Peru Active Family Adventure With Lares Trek (19 Days)
Why you'll love this trip
This is a 19-day active family trip example that was originally made for the Verschelden family from Belgium with 2 teenagers. They were looking to discover Peru in a dynamic way that included a variety of soft adventure activities in different places such as surfing, sandboarding and hiking. They wanted to visit the highlights of Peru but also less-known places off the beaten path. They were interested in spending some time to meet the local people of indigenous Andean communities around Lake Titicaca and at Paru Paru to participate in activities with them and learn about their customs and culture. They did the 3-day Lares hike with llamas and also went to visit the Amazon rainforest. This family chose to stay at characterful, centrally-located, small, locally-run family hotels and lodges and they camped in tents during their Lares trek to Machu Picchu.
Example trip itinerary
Day 1. Arrival in Lima
Welcome to Peru and the City of Kings! Upon your arrival a member of our staff waits for you to take you to your hotel in Miraflores.
Day 2. Surfing and exploring Lima
We start the day with a great surfing lesson in the Pacific Ocean, with a professional instructor. After surfing, we hop on a bike to explore the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco and the cliffs of Miraflores. In the afternoon, our local guide takes you -by public transport- to the historical center to show you our favorite places.
Day 3. Travel along the coast and hike in the Paracas reserve
In the morning, we bring you to the bus station for a 3.5-hour ride along the coastline to the Paracas Reserve. You check in to your hotel and take time to explore the national reserve with your local guide. Our first stop is Sequion Beach where you appreciate a great variety of migratory birds. Your hike begins at the north of the peninsula and you walk along the shores of the peninsula for over 30 minutes, being stunned by the beauty of the cliffs and landscapes. You can see the Ballestas islands, the Chincha islands and Isla Blanca. Then we walk inland through a canyon and lose sight of the sea for almost 30 minutes; here you have the chance to admire the beauty of this subtropical colorful desert, where the yellow, red and black colors are always present. Finally, we notice the San Gallan Island on the horizon, which seems to be floating. This fantastic natural spectacle marks the end of this walk (2:30 hours). We take our bus and continue visiting Lagunilla Beach, where we can take a fresh bath and get a delicious lunch. After this, we visit more viewpoints in the National Park and finally return to the hotel. (B)
Day 4. Speed boat around the Ballestas Islands, desert oasis & sandboarding
In the morning you go on a speed boat with a nature-expert guide (together with other travelers) to explore the Ballestas Islands (also known as the ‘little Galapagos islands’). You navigate around the islands where we see many sea lions, thousands of marine birds and possibly penguins, sea stars and other marine species. It truly is an amazing experience of 360 degrees of marine wildlife all around you. On the way to the islands, you can also have the chance to see the mysterious figure of ‘Candelabro’. After this 2-hour speedboat adventure you take a short bus ride (1.5 hours) to Ica, known as ‘the region of eternal sunshine’ and the wine region of Peru. Here you visit the Huacachina Oasis in the middle of enormous sand dunes. This afternoon you have the chance to enjoy a ride in the desert by 4×4 sand buggies and give sandboarding a try. At the end of the afternoon, you have a 5-hour bus ride and transfer back to your hotel in Lima.
Day 5. Flight over the Andes mountains to the Amazon Rainforest
Today we take you to the airport for a short flight (1.20 hours) from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, located in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. The area of Tambopata is known as one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Your local guide is waiting for you at the airport and takes you to the Tambopata River for a beautiful boat ride to your jungle lodge. On the way, you have the chance to spot wildlife such as capybaras and colorful shore birds. Upon arrival, you are welcomed at the lodge where lunch is served. In the afternoon, your native nature guide takes you on your first walk in the area around the lodge between huge trees where you are very likely to spot different species of monkeys and wild pigs. After dinner, when it gets dark, we get on the boat to spot caimans and alligators. At night, you enjoy a concert of natural sounds. (B, L, D)
Day 6. Explore the Amazon and see parrots and macaws at the clay lick
We get up early today for an incredible morning. At 5am we jump in our motor canoe and go on the Tambopata River to go to the clay lick. We have the chance to see capybaras, tapirs and maybe jaguars on the river shores. At the Tambopata clay lick you can witness the spectacle of green, red, blue and yellow parrots and macaws who come to eat clay at this place to help their digestive system. Back at the lodge, you have the chance to swim in the stream. After lunch, you can join in for an afternoon walk to learn more about the medicinal plants. After dinner, your nature guide takes you on a night walk. (B, L, D)
Day 7. Explore the fauna and flora of the Amazon with a nature guide
You wake up with the sounds of the birds and probably howler monkeys. After breakfast, we navigate 30 minutes down the river to go for a fishing morning at the Gato stream to look for hungry piranhas. We walk to the fishing spots between the forest with big trees, and some monkeys are usually around to be part of this activity. In the afternoon, we walk to the mammal clay lick where you have a good chance to find howler monkeys, deer, wild pigs or some other mammals feeding around this place. At night, right after dinner, we can go to the river bank and make a fire to talk about your time in the jungle, maybe respond some of the questions that you might have, and if you want, your guide can share local stories that are passed down from generation to generation about the Tambopata Jungle. (B, L, D)
Day 8. From the Amazon to the Andes and walking tour in Cusco
After breakfast, you travel back to the jungle on the motor canoe and head to the airport of Puerto Maldonado for a 20-minute flight to Cusco. Our staff is waiting for you to take you to your hotel in the historical center of the city. In the afternoon, we take you on a walking tour to visit this incredible town and the ruins just outside the city, such as Sacsayhuaman -the impressive Inca ruins with enormous stones- and also the little-visited and hidden Temple of the Moon. (B)
Day 9. Private tour in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Today we take you on a private full-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We visit a llama cooperative, the Inca ruins of Pisac and hike down to the little town, famous for its local market. We spend the night in Urubamba at an inspiring project that provides education and health services to poor children of the Sacred Valley. If time permits, we can also visit the workplace of a local visionary ceramic artist in town. (B, L)
Day 10. Local school project, salt pans, circular terraces and Inca town
In the morning, you have a chance to visit and participate in an activity at the local school project and learn about their inspiring work. After lunch we take you to the Salt terraces of Maras, walk around the fascinating circular terraces of Moray and visit the Inca town and Fortress of Ollantaytambo. (B, L)
Day 11. Authentic community stay at a rural mountain village
In the morning, we travel through the fields up to the Andean agriculture community of Paru Paru. Paru Paru is a small community where the native knowledge of potato growing has been kept for centuries. They could be called “the guardians of native potatoes in Peru”. The community members show us a couple things about potatoes, tell us stories about them and, depending on the season, we might actually participate in some of their many agricultural activities. You also have the chance to take a beautiful walk around the town and the Kinsa Qocha lagoon. Tonight, a local family adopt you to spend the night at their home. (B, L, D)
Day 12. From the community of Paru Paru back to Ollantaytambo
Today the women show how they color wool and make textiles. You can go on a beautiful hike to the higher mountain lakes or stay with the family and participate in the activities of the day, which could be feeding llamas, fishing, taking care of the children, planting, harvesting quinoa, beans or potatoes and you can help with the preparation of lunch and natural herbal teas. In the afternoon, we take you back to Ollantaytambo to get yourselves prepared for your trekking. Having spent time at the community helps in your acclimatization to higher altitudes. (B, L)
Day 13. Start of the Lares trek
Get ready for an amazing trekking experience. You encounter incredible landscapes on this trek. The Lares trek is an Inca route that is still in use by local native people to date. You might likely encounter some of them with their llamas or working the land dressed in their colorful traditional clothing.
Our trek starts off in the small village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley. We gently make our way up one of the side valleys covering about 14 km in total and climbing about 1150 meters as we make our way towards the village of Puyoc. On our way up, we visit the small Incan site of Pumahuanca and learn about the native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region.
This particular route of the Lares trek is not commonly done by other companies so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbance. Because so few people visit the area, there is a good chance of seeing wildlife such as vizcachas (a rabbit-like chinchilla) and the Andean fox. Our campsite for the night is at Puyoc (4100 m); it is quite barren at this altitude and it is not uncommon to see snow up here during the dry season, so gloves and a hat are recommended. (B, L, D)
Day 14. Lares Trek
Today is the most spectacular day of the trek and quite a bit easier going than yesterday. We walk approximately 13 km today. It is 2 hours up in the morning and then mainly downhill to the village of Cuncani. The views are incredible as we make our way to Cuncani with snow-capped peaks high above us, and serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha – the black water lagoon). We also get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely different culturally-wise compared to the other side, and as we wind our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. You also get to learn a few Quechua phrases so that you can interact with the local people.
Day 15. Lares Trek and train to Machu Picchu town
The focus of today is to meet the local people. After breakfast, your guide helps you talk to some of the local families. The people are incredibly welcoming and are just as eager to learn about you as you are about them – hopefully, by now you have mastered a few phrases and are able to ask a few questions in Quechua (this will surely add amusement to the locals you encounter). There are opportunities for you to buy hand-made local products from alpaca wool that the region is famed for.
Once we leave Cuncani, we are 6 km away from the hot springs of Lares. Along the way we pass through several small communities and see the people growing a variety of crops such as quinoa and tarwi. You can also have the chance to spot flocks of Andean parrots flying over your head (they are easy to recognize thanks to the noise they make). After a relaxing and restoring dip in the hot springs we are picked up by our bus and driven back to the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo from where we then catch our train to Machu Picchu town.
Day 16. Machu Picchu
We get up early today because we are visiting Machu Picchu! You enjoy a private guided tour of Machu Picchu in the morning and then make an amazing hike up the Machu Picchu mountain from where you have incredible views over the ruins and green surroundings. We return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and take the train back to Ollantaytambo to pick up our luggage and we then bring you back to your hotel in Cusco. (B)
Day 17. Over the altiplano to Lake Titicaca
You are picked up from your hotel in the morning and brought to the bus station. You travel through the Andes Mountains by bus and over the altiplano region to the city of Puno, located at the shores of the huge Lake Titicaca. The bus ride is around 6 hours. On the way, you have the chance to see amazing landscapes. Upon arrival to Puno, someone from our staff is waiting to welcome you to their native region and bring you to your hotel. Your local guide for the next few days comes to give you a briefing at your hotel this evening. (B)
Day 18. The floating reed islands of the Uros, Taquile and the community of Luquina
Today you visit Lake Titicaca by slow boat and explore its islands and hidden gems. Our local guide takes you on a beautiful hike to Taquile Island (Unesco’s Cultural World Heritage Site) and learn about the local way of life. The people on this island speak Quechua and they are famous for the incredible knitting work by their local men. We also make a stop with our boat at the floating reed islands of the Uros indigenous people that are located deep in the lake Puno (not the tourist ones that are close to the town). In the afternoon, we arrive at the Aymara community of Luquina Chica where local families warmly welcome you in their house. You are then taken to their homes and you have the chance to interact with them and learn about the Aymara traditions. You are served dinner and you spend the night in the host family’s house. (B, L, D)
Day 19. Back to the capital and departure
On your last morning in Peru, you have the chance to make local bread with your host mother and take in the peace overlooking the enormous blue lake. After lunch, we say goodbye to our new friends and we take you to the Juliaca airport for your flight back to the capital and your connection home. (B, L)
- Activities & Entrances:
- Alternative city tour in Lima (private service)
- Surfing lessons (private service)
- National Reserve of Paracas (private service)
- Tour to the Ballestas Islands (shared service)
- Sandboard and buggy tour (shared service)
- 4 days and 3 nights at the jungle with activities (shared service)
- City tour in Cusco (private service)
- Tour to Pisac market, Pisac ruins, Awanacancha and NGO (private service)
- Tour to Maras, Moray and Ollantaytambo (private service)
- Tour to Paru Paru community (private service)
- Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days and 3 nights (private service)
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu (private service)
- Tour on Lake Titicaca (shared service on the boat but with a private guide)
- All entrances, guides and entrance tickets
- All transfers to/from airports and train or bus stations
- Bus from Lima to Paracas, from Paracas to Ica and from Ica to Lima
- Shuttle bus: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu round trip
- Train Expedition from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu round trip
- Bus from Cusco to Puno
- Local flights:
- From Lima to Puerto Maldonado
- From Puerto Maldonado to Cusco
- From Juliaca to Lima
Based on characterful, clean, small, locally-owned hotels in double rooms with a private bathroom. On some occasions you can get one big family room.
During the Lares trek you sleep 2 nights in North Face Expedition tents
Basic jungle lodge for your stay in the Amazon rainforest
Lima: Los Girasoles or similar http://losgirasoleshotel.com/?lang=es
Paracas: San Agustin http://www.hotelessanagustin.com.pe/en/hotels/paracas/
Puerto Maldonado: Collpa Inn http://tambopatahostel.com/blog/category/tours/
Cusco: Tika Wasi http://www.tikawasi.com/
Ollantaytambo: Samanapaq http://www.samanapaq.com/en-gb/
Urubamba: La casita del Arcoiris http://lascasitasdelarcoiris.com/
Puno: Hotel Intiqa https://intiqahotel.com/en/
- All breakfasts (at the hotels).
- Other meals mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Full board during homestay at Paru Paru
- Full board during your homestay at Lake Titicaca
- Full board during the Lares Trek
- Full board during your stay at the Amazon Rainforest
- Professional local English-speaking guides in each location
- Support from Vamos Expeditions staff 24/7
- Other food not mentioned above (our guides will give you good advice on where to eat well)
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, extra activities and tips
- International flights
Please contact us.
Price per person for the whole package in a double room:
Prices vary depending on the number of people
We will craft and tailor the perfect dream journey for you.
Every trip helps support local conservation and social projects.
We will take care of all the details and logistics for you