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Peru Family Adventure

Inca Trail, Amazon & more | View photos »

Discover Peru's adventure playgrounds as you paddle in the Amazon, ride bikes downhill past salt pans, raft the white waters of the Urubamba River, and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on this tailor made family adventure.

15 day trip described, guide price £3,280pp i

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"Seamless organisation"

"Seamless organisation"

Seamless organisation during the holiday. The itinerary, accommodation and activities were excellent. Rachel H

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Sample itinerary

Fly to South America

Fly to Peru. Assuming a daytime flight you will arrive late in the evening so it makes most sense to simply stay at the very comfortable airport hotel. Please note: transatlantic flights for this holiday are quoted separately.

Into the Amazon

Check-in for your morning flight to the Amazon. Travel by boat up the Tambopata River leaving behind all obvious signs of settlement. You should arrive at around dusk to walk to your lodge which is set up high away from the river. The simple but very comfortable en suite rooms have one open wall facing the jungle so you really do feel close to nature. After supper, walk back down to your boat to look for caiman along the riverbank.

Explore the Amazon

Whilst here in the jungle you have a menu of excursions available to you throughout each day. All excursions are led by one of a dedicated team of lodge guides, many of whom are from the local communities based around the Tambopata River. Usually there is an early start as the best times of day to see wildlife is invariably sunrise, sunset and nighttime.

Explore the Amazon

Another day, another early start, this time to see a clay lick where parrots and macaws congregate at dawn. If you want to be more active, the lodge does offer optional adventure activities such as climbing into the jungle canopy and mountain biking. Tonight you might like to take a nocturnal tour of the jungle since only 35% of the animals here are diurnal, this could be your best chance to spot wildlife.

Into the Andes

After breakfast pack yourselves back up into the boat to make your way downstream to the airport at Puerto Maldonado. Fly up into the heights of the Andes and the charming colonial town of Cusco. On landing in Cusco, you are transferred you to your hotel to begin acclimatising to the rarefied air of this beautiful city (3,326m). You have a Pura guide on call for most of the rest of your stay.

Raft the Urubamba River

Today go to the upper Urubamba, the sacred river of the Incas for some fun grade II-III rafting. This equates to some big waves and adrenaline, certainly enough to get the heart pumping. Full instruction and safety talk are given so no previous experience is necessary. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the side of the river before transferring directly into the Sacred Valley.

Mountain bike the Sacred Valley

This morning a short transfer brings you to Chinchero plain for the start of probably the best one-day mountain bike adventure in Peru. Largely downhill, pass Lake Huaypo and enjoy great views of the Vilcanota mountain range. This fun dirt-road mountain-bike descent into the Sacred Valley is suitable for all the family. The final descent on mule trails is through the spectacular working salt-pans of Maras.

Explore the Sacred Valley

Your guide will come and meet you at your hotel this morning to take you exploring in the Sacred Valley of the Incas today. You might begin with stretching your legs in the hillside ruins of Pisac, whose extensive terraces served as the ‘bread basket’ to the Incas. As you wander the streets, be sure to pop into the bakery, where you may see them baking in the vast wood-fired oven, the same way it’s been done for hundreds of years.

Start the Inca Trail

Start your four day hike with a gentle afternoon walk that begins alongside the Urubamba River. The trail winds through green hills and passes tiny villages and Inca ruins, arriving at a campsite with lovely mountain views. You are at a lower altitude than Cusco for the first couple of days of hiking so you will be able to continue acclimatising. Enjoy delicious meals prepared for you by your cooks and sleep in comfortable tents.

Climb through woods

Today's walk begins at a relatively low altitude (3,000m), heading uphill through a very pretty wooded landscape. As the day goes on you will be passing the tree line and start to get spectacular views of the valley behind you and the mountains beyond. By the end of the day you will be higher than you were in Cusco, camping in a lovely spot at around 3,800m.

The longest day

Today is the hardest day of the trail as you cross over two high passes, effectively hiking an ‘m’ shape. Spectacular mountain views accompany you throughout the day, the scenery changing as you descend from the second pass and enter the cloud forest. Look out for orchids and butterflies as the trail takes you past enigmatic Inca ruins high above the Aobamba valley. By the end of the day, you should feel a great sense of achievement. Your campsite tonight is at 3,700m on a bluff overlooking the mountains.

Arrive in Machu Picchu

The final day of the trail is perhaps the most beautiful, starting with what can be the most stunning sunrise. There is a long downhill section of steps as you approach the Inca site of Winaywayna, and the evidence of Inca masonry is everywhere as the trail continues through the cloudforest. Lunch is served at the Inca ruins of Winaywayna before the final push to the Sun Gate and your first views of Machu Picchu, arriving in the quiet of the afternoon when the light is at its best.

Explore Machu Picchu

Enjoy a full guided tour of the site this morning. Afterwards you can continue to explore the extensive ruins on your own or climb the emblematic peak of Huayna Picchu for a ‘condor’s-eye’ view of the city. Return to Cusco by train this afternoon to arrive some time after nightfall.

Day to enjoy Cusco

After so much activity, enjoy a day in Cusco to do what you, and your children, want. Remember you still have your Visitor’s Ticket, which affords you entry to a number of sites you won’t have had time to visit yet. Perhaps shop for some handicrafts in the many markets, (not forgetting to haggle), or visit one of the excellent museums or art galleries.

Travel home

You have the morning at leisure before you transfer to Cusco airport and fly back to Lima. Connect onto your international flight home this evening. Alternatively, extend your time in Peru with a journey to Lake Titicaca, or perhaps Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, another wonderful location for hiking and other activities. Again, please note that international flights are not included.

About this trip

Summary

Discover Peru's adventure playgrounds as you paddle in the Amazon, ride bikes downhill past salt pans, raft the white waters of the Urubamba River, and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on this tailor made family adventure.

How adventurous?

Activity
1 2 3 4 5
Comfort
1 2 3 4 5
Culture
1 2 3 4 5

Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

Your holiday starts with time in the Amazon near Puerto Maldonado. The lodge we use in the Amazon offers first-rate guiding and activities, including walks and boat rides that will get you as close as possible to the landscapes, wildlife and nature around you.

In the Sacred Valley, near Cusco, you go white water rafting on one day and mountain biking on the other. The white water rafting is made up of good fun, grade III rapids. Crucially, we raft a section of the river that is far less crowded and much cleaner than areas that are better known. You don’t need experience to have a blast in the raft.

The mountain biking is not technical but it is thrilling. The more confident you are on a mountain bike, the more you will enjoy yourself. Even taken at a slow and gentle pace, the landscapes are stunning and the ride a highlight.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu covers 26 miles over four days, a distance that in itself is not great, though the high altitude and steep ascents and descents mean that the going can be slow and fairly tough. In return for your exertions you get four days of walking through the beautiful surroundings of the Peruvian Andes and cloud forest, ending with the sense of exhilaration and satisfaction as you arrive at Machu Picchu on foot in the quiet of the afternoon.

With a daily intake of 500 people onto the Inca Trail, the majority of hikers move along together and sleep at the same campsites. We pace our Inca Trail tour differently so that you can walk in peace and stay at quiet campsites with few others in sight.

This pace gives you extra time to acclimatise, with the first two days of walking at altitudes lower than Cusco. With each day carefully planned to ensure you see few other people, there is time to rest, enjoy the views, and take in the beauty of your surroundings without any sense that you need to hurry.

In Peru the driest time of year is the winter, from April to October/November. In general you can expect daytime temperatures of somewhere between 10°-20° in Lima, Cusco and at Machu Picchu, though temperatures drop at night. On the Inca Trail, night-time temperatures are likely to fall below zero. The Amazon is hot and humid throughout the year, with heavy rain always a possibility.

Level of comfort

This trip is based around comfortable accommodation where possible but we do not sacrifice your experience in search of comfort. The Amazon lodge we use is fairly simple, though very clean and comfortable with en suite facilities. The excursions and guiding staff are first rate and that’s what matters most.

The Inca Trail involves three nights camping out at altitude. Our team of porters will pitch the tents for you and we also carry our own toilet tent, set at a discreet distance from camp. Our chef does an amazing job creating meals that are substantial and remarkably elaborate given how far you are from a kitchen.

Elsewhere, you can expect comfortable hotels, roughly 3-3.5*, which have been carefully selected for their character, location and service.

Full details of the accommodation we use are on our detailed itinerary. Call us for a copy.

Level of culture

This holiday offers an authentic insight into the cultural diversity of the Andes and the Amazon. It is very much a part of our development of this holiday that you should come away from Peru with a nuanced and clear sense of the country.

The people of the Amazon have a rich history and culture, and employment for locals is a key part of the story with the rainforest lodges we work with.

In Cusco and on the Inca Trail you are in the Andean heartland of the Incas, a region with an incredibly rich history and mythology. You have the same guide with you throughout your time in Cusco and on to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. This consistency of guiding means you have a seamless narrative to link each place together, rather than the repetition which is inevitable if you have different guides in each place. It also gives you time to get to know your guide and find out more about different aspects of life in Peru, be that history or food, music, culture or politics. This in turn means that you and your family will come away from Peru with a real sense of this great country.

Practicalities

Please give us a call on 01273 676 712 or email us at info@pura-aventura.com to see a detailed itinerary for this trip, in the form set out above. Every Pura holiday is tailor-made so, in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you, we really need to discuss things with you first to find out your interests, when you want to travel, how long you want to go for, etc.

For instance, if a four-day hike to Machu Picchu doesn't appeal to you, we can replace it with the one-day ‘Royal’ Inca Trail or you could travel all the way by train. You might like to extend the trip to see the Colca Canyon and the 'white city' of Arequipa, or stay with a family on an island in Lake Titicaca. This is also a holiday which combines very well with the Galapagos Islands.

In the form set out above, the holiday price is per person, based on four people travelling together, and includes internal flights, transport and transfers. Accommodation in two rooms including all meals in the Amazon and on the Inca Trail. Guided excursions and entrances as set out in the detailed itinerary, including a full-time private guide in Cusco and on the Inca Trail, porters and chef as well as permits for the Inca Trail and porters. On each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. The best flight routing is to fly in and out of Lima (airport code: LIM).

Departs

Departs on a date to suit you from March through December, subject to Inca Trail permit availability.

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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Book Send me exclusive content » Family riding through the Sacred Valley of Peru Lima's cathedral, set within the UNESCO-listed colonial downtown Travelling along the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon Tasting traditional potions in the Amazon Macaw at the clay lick in the Peruvian Amazon Traditional dress and incredible Incan stonemasonry in Cusco Visiting the hair-dos of the llama farm in the Sacred Valley Downhill mountain biking in the Sacred Valley, Peru Traditional bread making in the Sacred Valley Walking towards the bridge over the Urubamba River that marks the start of the Inca Trail The early stages of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Spectacular views from the trail above Runcurakay on Day 3 of the Inca Trail The Inca Trail ends with a walk down to Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate The intricate maze of temples, houses, stairways and plazas at Machu Picchu Cusco's bustling main square, the Plaza de Armas Inca fountain on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco