Vaya Adventures (http://www.vayaadventures.com), the expert in designing premier bespoke vacations in South America, announces a Peru itinerary inclusive of experiences and activities specially arranged for families while taking in the highlights of the country. As no two families are alike, the itinerary can be tailored to match a family’s activity level and interests, both before and during the trip.
Vaya’s Peru Active Family Adventure can be scheduled to depart on any day of the year (except in February when the Inca Trail is closed) for the convenience of family schedules. The per person rate, based on a family of four, for the nine-day program is $4,185 (with discounts for 12 and younger). This covers all accommodations, breakfasts, lunches on full-day tours, transfers, all guiding, excursions and entrance fees.
The trip starts in Lima with an overnight (flights often land late in the day and Lima can be just a stopover if the family prefers to limit time in this huge metropolis). This city has some surprisingly fun family options. Vaya Adventures can arrange a family boat trip out to the nearby Palomino Islands for viewing penguins, sea lions, dolphins and marine birds. Bike tours along the coast in Lima are an alternative to traditional city tours. Surfing lessons are another possibility, as the adjacent coast is a renowned surfing area. Evenings bring the Magic Water Circuit, a massive series of fountains with a light show that’s a hit with travelers and locals alike.
A short flight to Cusco introduces families to the fascinating lore and history of the Inca Empire and to special activities that bring the local culture to life and reveal how Peruvian families live, work and attend school. Four nights in the Sacred Valley provide time for a leisurely introduction to the region’s ancient and modern culture with guided hikes, mountain biking excursions (with options for varying abilities), one night of first class camping, a zipline adventure and a Via Ferrata rock climbing experience. Paddle boarding and kayaking are added options.
Accompanied by a private, home-grown English-speaking guide, visits will also be made to local families’ homes, the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary (with local species such as llamas, condors, pumas, and monkeys), and the Sacred Valley Honeybee Project (where kids can put on the bee protection suits and see honey being made). A lunch visit to a primary school will allow a family to interact with kids of diverse backgrounds; from indigenous roots to the children of expatriates living in the area.
A night of camping on Lake Piuray is a family highlight with options for kayaking and paddle boarding (activities kids can enjoy with no prior experience) past terraced hills and forests fringed by snowcapped mountains. Easygoing biking and hiking in the surrounding hills are other options. Once ashore families will experience a “Pachamanca,” a traditional Andean-style, cooked-in-the-ground feast. This offers a fun and engaging way to experience an ancient Andean culinary ritual. The evening is spent camping under the stars on the shores of the lake.
Leaving the valley, families board the train to Machu Picchu, disembarking at Kilometer 104 to hike the last few hours along the Inca Trail, through the cloud forest sparkling with birdlife and orchids. Arriving at Intipunku (Gate of the Sun) gives the first dramatic glimpse of Machu Picchu. Tonight, families overnight at one of the finest hotels in Peru, the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Here children may visit the hotel’s Inkaterra Spectacled Bear Project that recovers bears negatively affected by human impact and reintroduces them into natural habitat.
The next morning brings a guided return visit to Machu Picchu to explore the ruins at a personal pace with far fewer people around. Adventurous kids may hike (about two hours roundtrip) with parents to the top of Huayna Picchu towering above Machu Picchu.
An afternoon train returns everyone to Cusco. The next day is spent wandering the streets of this colorful city, exploring its markets and visiting the ChocoMuseo (Chocolate Museum) where families can participate in a chocolate making workshop with sampling of Andean chocolate sourced from the highest quality local cacao beans.
“This trip is designed with children as young as seven in mind, and is targeted to active, curious families,” said Jim Lutz, Vaya’s founder. “As a person with three kids I also understand the importance of not trying to do too much and making sure everyone gets ‘down time.’ We would customize this program to perfectly suit a family’s ages, interests and activity levels, and it would continue to be customized along the way based on discussions between the family and their private guide.”
Some details on activities: The Via Ferrata is a style of rock climbing on an established route with a safety system permanently installed, giving people with no experience in climbing the opportunity to move securely through mountain scenery; suitable for children ages 9 and up. The zipline activity gives participants the opportunity to fly over the Andean landscape. The ziplines are a series of 5 separate cables, from 100 to 500 meters in length, for a ride covering 2000 meters. The mountain biking is non-technical over flat ground, with more challenging biking options available for families with more advanced riders.
As with all of Vaya’s trips, the itinerary is completely customizable and will be personalized to a family’s interests and preferences.
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Vaya Adventures offers similar family-focused programs with flexible start dates in Belize and the Galapagos Islands.
Belize Family Adventure is an eight-day program exploring the rainforest, ruins and barrier reef at $3,180 per person for a family of four.
Galapagos Family Adventure is an eight-day program on a 20-passenger yacht from $4,100 per person, with discount rates for children.
Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour is for 12 to 15 days from $5,170 per person.
For more information, trip planning, availability and reservations please visit: http://www.vayaadventures.com.