10 Tips for Families Traveling to Peru

Peru has a lot to offer. It has everything from high mountains, lush jungles, and even a desert. To just go to Peru and stay in the capital or just go to Machu Picchu and come back is a wasted opportunity. 


  1. Develop your itinerary taking into account the altitude. It’s better to go from lower to slowly increasing higher altitude.
  2. The Incas used chewed on coca leaves to help with altitude sickness. Coca leaves are given to tourists at the lobby of the hotel in both leaves form or in tea. Decide ahead of time as a family whether or not you want your children chewing on coca leaves. It might not be an issue for your family, but it might be for others.
  3. Oxygen is often found at the lobby of the hotel. If you don’t see it, you can request it with the front desk. If you feel that you are out of breath, don’t hesitate to use the oxygen tank. It’s available for a reason.
  4. Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of bottled water. You might not feel thirsty, but it’s important to drink water anyway. My son wouldn’t drink water. He kept saying he wasn’t thirsty and he ended up needing a doctor to come out to our hotel and give him and IV. 

  5. Brush your teeth with bottled water. I didn’t trust the tap water of Peru. In fact, the one day I mistakenly used the tap water to brush my teeth, I got very sick.
  6. You can pay in many places with dollars, but it’s best that you have the native currency. If you bring dollars, make sure that they are brand new bills. If a bill has a tear of any kind, they will not accept it. We had a $100 bill that had a small tear on the bottom and we were not able to use it. They told us it as no good. We saved it and brought it home where it was fine to use. 
  7. If you are going to Machu Picchu visit the thermal bath waters afterwards. It will help soothe your aching legs. It’s family friendly. Kids are welcome. They are located in the town of Aguas Calientes where you are probably staying. It’s the only town before the ruins. Ask the hotel and they will tell you how to get there. If you forgot to pack a bathing suit, there is a shop before the entrance of the thermal baths that you can rent bathing suits and towels. 
  8. If you have a pet guinea pig at home, you might to avoid this one. Guinea pigs are a local delicacy. The little critters multiply like bunnies, so they are easy to raise and use as a food source. If you want to not be ripped off, don’t buy a guinea pig dish in a touristy town. You’ll pay way to much for it. 
  9. Trail of the Incas is a long path through the mountains in the Machu Picchu area. I don’t recommend doing this path with kids. It’s dangerous. There are no guard rails to prevent you from falling off the mountain. 
  10. There are some local llamas that hang out on Machu Picchu. If you get there early before it gets crowded with tourists, the llamas will often let you pet them. I saw other tourists feeding them apples. Remember that llamas spit when they get annoyed, like a camel. Pay attention to their body language. 

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