You have decided to visit Peru for your next family travel adventure – that’s great! Now you are looking for activities that suit all the members of your family. Peru is the perfect destination for your family trip.
Your children, from 4 years onwards, will be amazed with the diversity of nature, animals and activities. Just read on!
- If your children are smaller, take your time to travel. Don’t try to visit the Southern road of Peru in 2 weeks, it will be a hazzle, lots of bus driving and very tiring for the whole family.
- Maybe you are used to travel independently and plan just a day ahead. Well, with children, it is better to have a plan set up, know where you will sleep when you arrive into a new town and have your activities organized. Just enough time to rest, and then to enjoy ?
- Museums can also be lots of fun for children, no matter what age! So, don’t leave them out.
- Choose activities that please your children as well, depending on their age it can be art, craft, or sport adventures.
Below you will find our personal recommendations that are certainly not exhaustive but will already give you a general overview of what a family trip to Northern Peru could look like!
What to see and do in Northern Peru with children
The north of Peru is undoubtedly a great route to discover, full of culture, diversity of flora and fauna, and welcoming people to have fun for the whole family. Big and small can enjoy this route.
Apart from any sites and activities, also take the time to discover Peru through its cuisine. Ceviche, mote (corn), all these different kinds of potatoes, food on the stick – your children will be delighted!
Activities with children in Lima
Parque de la reserva / Circuito magico del agua – a great sound and light show
You can visit the parque de la reserva by yourself, taking a taxi or the bus to get there. The parc itself is open during the day, but the sound and light show starts in the evening. There are 3 spectacles, one at 7.15, one at 8.15 and the last one at 9.30 pm.
You and your children will be delighted by an incredible show where music, water, sound and light play together in amazing figures. And if you are not there for the show, you still can walk around in the parc and pass through light arcs, play with water fountains and have fun !
Bicycle tour from Miraflores to Barranco
Take a guided bicycle tour from Miraflores to Barranco, discovering art, history and architecture of Lima !
You will pass parks and local coffees, street art and street food and the different cultural manifestations in Miraflores and Barranco, guided by a local who will share anecdotes and urban legends with you.
Culinary tour with Exquisito Peru
Is your family greedy ? Go for a culinary tour with Exquisito Peru and taste and learn more about the exquisite Peruvian food ! You will visit the Central market and taste local fruits and other products that come directly from the small producers. After that hop over to Chinatown and try the arroz chaufa (the Cantonese-Peruvian fried rice).
Please be aware that you should come hungry ? If your child is under 6, you can just share the food with him, no extra ticket is needed ! Just inform the guide before, so that he can adapt the itinerary to your child’s needs.
San Francisco Monastery and Basilica – the catacombs if you are not too scared !
For older children, you might want to have a visit at the catacombs in the San Francisco monastery ! This might be the moment your teenagers have been waiting for: the creepy, crusty, dirty, dusty catacombs! Actually they are not all that dirty, just a bit creepy.
There are supposed to be about 25 000 bodies buried in the catacombs. They have been sorted out by different body parts, like all the skulls together, all the femurs together and so on. Ourgh !
Rumors say that there are secret passage ways between the Cathedral and the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition.
Well, if you are looking for a creepy place, this one will be fascinating !
Visit the Choco Museum
Nearly all children love chocolate, don’t they ?
Have a visit at the Choco Museum in Miraflores and learn about the chocolate making process. Before making your own chocolate with milk or dark chocolate and more than 15 flavorings ! You can pick-up your chocolate about an hour after the workshop.
There are two different tours available, the short one, only 45 minutes, and the “regular” one, of 2 hours.
Family Activities around Trujillo
Ceramic Craft Workshop and traditional music
In the Campana de Moche, you can visit the workshop of the Hermanos Garcia (only upon reservation). They make traditional Mochica ceramics and keep the tradition of their ancestors alive. Dressed the official way, they will show you the typical musical instruments of the Moche. You might even try yourself to get a sound out of a potuto !!
Surf in Huanchaco
Surfing is for all tastes, ages and levels. From the age of 6 you can enjoy a day of surfing with the guarantee of having professionals to make it a totally safe activity.
And if you are very much into surfing, I recommend visiting between the months of January and February to celebrate a surfing championship.
Sandboarding in Salaverry
Have you ever practiced sandboarding? Well, sandboarding is the same as snowboarding, only that it is practice in sand. Don’t worry if you’ve never done it, professionals will take care of teaching you and your children. I am sure they will love this sport.
This activity takes place in the Port of Salaverry 15 km from Trujillo, facing the sea. After surfing the sand dunes, your children can enjoy the beach and appreciate the wonderful sunset.
Show Caballo de paso
Maybe your child is in love with horses? Why not attending a Caballo de paso show?
Just a little outside of Trujillo you have the association Criadores de Caballos de paso, a very serious institution, proud of their traditions and their horses. The show takes only 45 minutes and you will see different dances, the marinera and the Paso de Caballo.
This incredible adobe city (the biggest one in the world) will certainly impress your children ! Different rooms such as storage place, kitchen, reception areas and amazing decorations makes the visit alive and interesting.
Take sun screen and a hat with you, as well as water. Find here our detailed article about Chan Chan.
Activities with children around Chiclayo
Just 33 km from Chiclayo, in the district of Túcume, province of Lambayeque you have a cultural circuit full of learning and experiences for the whole family. A great stop during your family trip.
Pyramids of Tucume
The pyramids of Tucume are actually more than 20 adobe pyramids in this archaeological valley. You won’t visit the 20 ? But you tour the great, very interesting museum with lots of experiences adapted also for the little ones.
Cooking class at Los Horcones de Tucume
If you like cooking, why not join Elena from the hotel Los Horcones and participate in a hands-on Pachamanca cooking class ! This is fun for everybody, as there are several steps and produces to be prepared. The food is cooked in a hole in the garden, just covered by banana leaves.
This activity goes well with the visit of the Pyramids – you prepare the food and while it cooks, you visit the pyramids just close by.
Activity Masks and Dance of the devil !
Another stop could be the house of Sr. Martín Granados, caporal (dancer) of the Diablicos de Túcume dance. Sr Martin explains about this tradition and invites you to be involved. Wearing typical costumes and dancing will make this experience pleasant and attractive for the whole family.
Traditional dye and paint workshop
You can’t miss visiting the handicraft workshop – Julian Bravo, a didactic workshop where everybody will learn to dye and paint textiles with natural dyes and local iconography designs.
Visit the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve
This is the first conservation area in Peru and the best place in Peru to get up close and personal with spectacled bears.
The hike is adapted for children and you can enjoy watching species in semi-cautivity as foxes, rodents, hummingbirds and even condors. In addition, you can walk an interpretative path to the interior of the forest and visit pyramids of adobe and petroglyphs.
Family activities in Chachapoyas and surrounding
If you fancy a bit of nature tourism, Chachapoyas is the right place to enjoy with family and children. Here are our best options:
Visit the Milpuj Private Conservation Area
Perico and Doña Lola, mother and son will welcome you to this conservation area. You can spend the night in the Casa de Doña Lola, a cozy place. Together with the whole family you can go for a walk through Perico’s property, and learn about medicinal plants, mammal species endemic to the area and try organic products.
You can also adopt and plant a tree in the forest. You will get your stone with your name on it and regular updates about YOUR tree ?
Amazonas is one of the destinations chosen for this activity due to its great diversity of endemic species of birds such as the spatula-tailed hummingbird, the cock of the rocks and other species.
This activity is a good way to interact as a family with the children and see the teamwork. There are many places where you could have some birding time, maybe in Huembo, in Abra Patricia, at Perico’s place or in Leymebamba, starting at Sr. Jabier’s place.
Visiting the village of Leymebamba
If you have enough time during your family trip, you could spend several days in Leymebamba. I am sure your children would not be bored at all !!
You can start the day with a ride through the town, visiting the areas of cultivation and livestock. And if you have luck, you will be able to observe condors and some birds of the zone. After the ride you can visit the Leymebamba Museum where more than 200 Chachapoyas-Inca mumies are exhibited.
The museum has several replicas of the sarcophagi in the region that are very interesting for children.
Workshop Miguel Huaman
In the afternoon you can visit the craft workshop of Sr. Miguel Huaman who works in wood sculpture. Together with your children, you can paint small sarcophagi (representations of chachapoyas tombs) and take them with you as a souvenir.
Or you might want to visit Isabel and the women association of weavers and try yourself in weaving the traditional way ?
Starting from the village of Cuispes you also have lots of things to discover. The hike to the waterfall of Yumbilla is much easier than the one to Gocta and shorter as well. This means that you can take all your time with your children, have a look at birds and butterflies and hike behind the waterfalls on the way.
The members of the tourism association also propose several rural and traditional activities. So why not learn about making alfeniques, a delicious sweet kind of caramel made out of chankaka sugar. Or maybe you would prefer to see some beautiful orchids from the region ?
Let’s continue our family trip through Northern Peru by passing on to the region of San Martin. with its capital, Moyobamba, also well known for its beautiful orchids.
Family trip in the region of San Martin
From Moyobamba you can have an adventurous day-excursion to Tingana, or even spend the overnight there.
Nature reserve of Tingana
A 45-minute speed boat ride will be the amazing start to this immersion into the riverside of rio Mayo. Once arrived in Tingana, you will only move by canoe, accompanied by your knowledgeable guides. (This activity might not be suitable for smaller children, as they have to sit still in the canoe for several hours). But otherwise it is just amazing to be in this silent environment and have the possibilities of seeing monkeys in the wilderness.
About 3 hours from Moyobamba, one hour from Tarapoto, you will find the village of Chazuta, another great opportunity for a community stay and immersion into tradition and culture.
Here you children can see how to make local ceramics or even paper out of banana bark! If you are interested in organic cacao, here you will learn all about it and even help prepare some of the chocolate.
Well, I am sure there are many more activities that you can do with children in northern Peru. But this is at least a first overview.
Don’t forget about all the other different archaeological sites, that can be very much fun visiting.
We wish you a great family trip in Northern Peru!