Home to the internationally famous Machu Picchu, tourism in Peru is booming in popularity. Food, culture, history, wildlife, and nature, the country of Peru has it all. No matter what your interests are, a visit to Peru is sure to get your cravings satiated. However, there might be one problem. Not all attractions will be a good fit for your kids such as hiking the Inca Trail to the fabled Machu Picchu and white-water rafting the Rio Apurimac. Machu Picchu might not be a good experience for your kid’s first hike. Don’t worry! Here’s a list of awesome things to do with kids when you visit Peru.
Try the Chocolate Workshops in ChocoMuseo
While in the ancient Incan capital of Cusco, you might want to take a break from munching on your travel snacks. Those with a sweet tooth may want to check out ChocoMuseo. ChocoMuseo is a museum dedicated to the art of chocolate making. Their museum in Cusco, Peru, focuses on the local organic Peruvian cacao beans. You will be able to see and touch real cacao beans and pods while learning about the history of cacao and chocolate.
For those looking for a more hands-on experience, you can bring your kids to try the chocolate workshops ChocoMuseo offers. You can join the bar-to-bean workshop to experience transforming cacao beans into chocolate and the truffle workshop to learn how to make higher-end chocolates such as ganache and shelled bonbons. Once you’ve had your fill of sweetness, try their cooking class to experience touring the markets of San Pedro and discover local fruits, meats, cheeses, then cook a fresh meal of Peruvian food!
Feed Animals and Watch Traditional Weaving Process in Awana Kancha
For the animal lovers in your group, Awana Kancha is sure to be a delight. Awana Kancha, known as the ‘Living Museum of the Andes’, is just around a 30-minute ride away from the capital city of Cusco. At Awana Kancha, not only you’ll be able to see the domesticated alpacas and llamas, but you’ll also be pleased to spot a few guanacos and vicuñas living around their property! You can also try feeding the alpacas and llamas, making the trip a great interactive experience for you and your kids.
You can then head to the weaving part of Awana Kancha. Here, you can learn and watch the traditional art of weaving and experience the whole process and history of Andean textiles. You will be able to see the process from natural dyeing to weaving. It’s a great tour to let kids appreciate the hard work that goes with traditional textile weaving. After this, make sure to drop by and purchase a few crafts from their textile store. Not only you are able to purchase high-quality ponchos, tiqllas, and quilts, but you’ll also help keep this valuable tradition alive.
See Spectacled Bears and More Rescued Animals in Chaparri Conservation Area
The Chaparri Conservation Area is a nature reserve located near the city of Chiclayo in northern Peru. While it’s not as famous as the Amazon rainforest, the nature reserve is part of the Tumbes–Piura dry forest, an ecological marvel home to many endemic species. Deforestation, hunting, and other problems caused the dry forest to be listed as a critical or endangered place by the World Wildlife Foundation. The Chaparri Conservation Area is one reserve founded to help protect the valuable ecosystem. Here at the reserve, you can learn all about the unique ecosystem of the Tumbesian Dry Forest and its importance through their visitor interpretive center.
One of the biggest draws of visiting the Chaparri Conservation Area is the chance to see spectacled bears! At the Spectacled Bear Wildlife Rescue Center, Chaparri has a couple of spectacled bears (confiscated from illegal captivity) roaming the area. Other rescued animals you can see include ocelots, military macaws, and Andean condors. There are also hiking trails and a herpetarium to explore.
It’s a two-hour drive from Chiclayo to get to Chaparri, which might be a pretty long road trip. If you plan on staying for long, they offer rooms where you can experience more of the unique ecosystem.
Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary in Pilpintuwasi
Pilpintuwasi is a wildlife rescue center and butterfly farm near Padre Concha in the Amazon Rainforest. You can reach Pilpintuwasi by taking a scenic, short boat ride from the Bellavista-Nanay Port near Iquito. Make sure to wear life vests and keep safe! First founded by Gudrun Sperrer as a butterfly conservation farm in 2002, it soon expanded to be a wildlife rescue center in 2004. The center is a semi-captive habitat that takes in confiscated wildlife. Most of the time the animals received by Pilipintuwasi experienced maltreatment before, requiring much attention and care to prepare them for release back into the wild.
At the butterfly farm, you’ll see different kinds of exotic butterflies and their various life stages. Unfortunately, due to habitat destruction, many butterflies in the Amazon are slowly becoming endangered. To ensure that no egg is wasted, they collect and hatch the eggs, carefully raising them until adulthood. Some amazing butterflies to see there are the owl butterflies and blue morphos! Pilpintuwasi’s goal is to educate more people about the butterflies’ importance in the Amazonian food chain. With funds coming only from visitors and donations, stopping by Pilipintuwasi is a great way to help butterfly conservation and orphaned animals. And instead of buying a souvenir, you can sponsor a rescue animal of your choice. Kids visiting this sanctuary will surely appreciate the importance of protecting Amazon’s wildlife!
Dune Buggy Riding, Sandboarding, and Soaking in the Beauty of Desert and Oasis in Huacachina
Huacachina is a small village in the Ica Province, south of Peru, right at the edge of the Atacama Desert. The village is only a few minutes away from the capital city of Ica, making it a quick and easy destination to reach with your children. Huacachina, known as the oasis of America, is an amazing sight to see in the middle of a dune field, complete with a quaint turquoise lagoon.
A wonderful getaway in the Huacachina oasis!
Aside from taking in the magical view of the sprawling desert and oasis, you can enjoy a lot of activities here with your kids. Riding dune buggies is one popular activity in the dunes. The smooth, high dunes are also perfect for sandboarding. You can try bodyboarding if you are less experienced. But just walking through the dunes is already a breathtaking experience on its own!
You and your kids can enjoy lots of amazing things and places in Peru! Going to Peru is certainly both an informative and exciting experience for the young ones. Consider these places for your next international trip and make an unforgettable experience with your kids.
Be ready to pack up your kiddie essentials and gears! Peru is waiting for you!
Guest Author: Julien Mordret is the guy behind Exploration Junkie. He loves to share his passion and experiences with travel, nature, and photography. He’s crazy about all things and his explorations are fueled by his unlimited curiosity. Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter