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Five hundred years ago, Peru lay at the heart of a vast empire that stretched across South America. A legendary kingdom, this Land of the Inca came to an end with the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. For your family’s journey through Peru, you’ll explore massive ruins, age-old villages and spellbinding landscapes in the Sacred Valley. An incredible train ride to Machu Picchu, the famed Lost City of the Incas, is sure to stun, and is the stuff family memories are made of. A full day at this city in the clouds gives your family ample time to explore its empty stone buildings, crumbling walls, and astounding natural beauty. There is time to learn about traditional Andean weaving and explore beautiful and charming colonial Cuzco before continuing to Lake Titicaca.
Included in this exceptional itinerary are several special opportunities for behind-the-scenes access and exclusive tours and activities, such as:
Visit the studio of renowned ceramicist Pablo Seminario. Pablo Seminario’s work is dedicated to rediscovering and preserving the ceramic techniques and designs of ancient Peruvian cultures—an important part of this area’s cultural heritage.
Meet llamas and alpacas at the Awanacancha Llama Center. Here your family can learn about and see up-close llamas, alpacas, and other New World camelids, which have been important to the way of life here for centuries.
Explore the Inca ruins of Raqchi. The ruins at Raqchi are among the few Inca ruins left that still have adobe covering the stonework at the base of the walls. The site features the ruins of a temple and a granary, and is a good example of the Incas constructing buildings in trapezoids—a design feature intended to help buildings withstand earthquakes.
Walk the pre-Inca burial ground at Sillustani. The pre-Inca burial ground at Sillustani was created by the Aymara culture, which was conquered by the Incas in the 15th century. The area is located at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, and consists of several burial towers in various states of ruin.
Explore the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca. Board a small chartered boat to cruise out onto Lake Titicaca. Your destination is a floating reed island Uros community in Puno Bay—this visit is very popular, and you will have time to explore these unique islands and talk with some of the residents.
Hike the remote community of Santa Rosa. In tiny valleys tucked between folds of wind-eroded sandstone, the members of the community of Santa Rosa farm, fish, and raise a few animals. Hike to a ridge-top viewpoint, meet some local villagers, and make the most of the spectacular rural surroundings.
Final payment can be made by credit card. Exclusively on our Smithsonian Family Adventures, families are able to make their final payment by credit card.
|Dates||Adult Price||Teen Price||Child Price||Internal Air|
|06/28 - 07/07||$4,490||$4,390||$4,290||$500|
|08/02 - 08/11||$4,490||$4,390||$4,290||$500|
|12/20 - 12/29||$4,690||$4,590||$4,490||$500|
Upon arrival in Lima, your family is met and transferred to the hotel. Rest and relax after your long journey.
Impressive ancient ruins, gentle mountain slopes and quaint farming towns make the Sacred Valley a perfect stop. Here your family can explore quiet ruins, enjoy lunch in a small restaurant run by a local family, get up close to a llama, and learn about the centuries-old craft of ceramics from a man dedicated to preserving this local art form.
- Saqsayhuaman Ruins
- Awanacancha Llama Center
- Pisaq Ruins
- Ceramics studio
- Train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu
Now one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World,” Machu Picchu is revered as one of the most exquisite and enigmatic sites on the planet. The magical “Lost City” that is Machu Picchu cannot be experienced by reading a book or looking through photos. Watch as your family passes through its main entrance and the panoramic view comes into site–their jaws will drop. A full day is reserved for exploring this remarkable place.
- Machu Picchu
- Huayna Picchu hike
- Gate of the Sun optional hike
This family vacation is not complete without a full day to explore all the ins and outs of this charming and unforgettable city. On your walking tour of Cuzco, your family will feel like they have entered a make-believe world where history comes alive with ruins, museums, churches, and mansions. Food is a great way to get acquainted with a culture, and you will have several opportunities while in Cuzco to sample various local cuisines.
- Traditional lunch
- Cuzco Traditional Textiles Center
- Cuzco city tour
- Koricancha Temple
- Peruvian cooking lesson
The trip to Puno is an overland journey, during which you head southeast, up the valley of the Vilcanota River (the same river which flows by Machu Picchu and through the Sacred Valley). Continue up the valley to reach the La Raya Pass at 14,202 feet, and descend onto the Peruvian Altiplano, the high plain surrounding Lake Titicaca. You will pass many small villages and farms and have the opportunity to explore some lesser-known ruins, and as the valley broadens out, you might see large herds of alpacas and llamas grazing in the moist pasturelands along the river banks.
- Raqchi ruins
- Sillustani burial ground
Lake Titicaca is perched at nearly 12,500 feet above sea level, and lies across the border between Peru and neighboring Bolivia. The lake is home to a number of islands, including artificial islands constructed of reeds by local people, which were traditionally used defensively, since they could be moved. The shores of the lake are dotted with small farming communities connected by paths that offer spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
- Lake Titicaca
- Hiking in Santa Rosa
Depart early this morning for the airport and the flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in the Miraflores district, where you can rest, relax, and enjoy some lunch.
- Mercado Indio
- Farewell dinner
The Ramada Costa del Sol is conveniently located at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. The hotel features 130 clean, comfortable rooms, each with air-conditioning and internet access. Other highlights of the hotel include a spa, gym, business center and great restaurants.
Casa Andina Private Collection-Valle Sagrado: a mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle. On more than 8 landscaped acres (3 hectares), it breathes an air of tranquility and relaxation. Unique among Sacred Valley hotels – most of which remain isolated in the valley, offering little for guests to do – it contains an extraordinary, full-service “Sacred Spa”, a domed Planetarium & Observatory for stargazing in the massive Southern Hemisphere sky, and gourmet restaurant and bar.
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, surrounded by twelve acres of beautiful cloud forest, is conveniently located just minutes from the train station. It features tile-roofed casitas (bungalows), a tea plantation, more than 100 species of birds and 250 species of butterflies. The hotel has eighty-five large, comfortable, air-conditioned rooms – many with a fireplace and a balcony or terrace. Other highlights include an outdoor pool, hot tub, spa, jogging track, business center and high-speed internet access.
The 72-room Hotel Picoaga, situated just a few minutes from the Plaza de Armas, is as much a cultural and historical landmark as it is a four-star hotel. The property was once a 17th century mansion belonging to a Spanish nobleman, and remnants of its colonial charm still abound, from the furniture and floral prints to the picturesque courtyard. Hotel Picoaga is the perfect spot to really experience the unique feel of Cuzco.
This luxurious hotel is situated on Esteves Island on Lake Titicaca, so a stay here comes complete with some wonderful views of the lake and the sunrises and sunsets that grace it. Although on an island, Hotel Libertador Isla Esteves is just five minutes from downtown Puno. The property has its own private pier, a gym, restaurants and bars, and a Jacuzzi and outdoor pool.
Why Peru with Thomson and Smithsonian?