Peru Blossoms as Unique Destination for Families

Story by Southwind Adventures

Posted: November 15, 2013
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Southwind Adventures Launches Kid-friendly Itinerary

Peru and Machu Picchu for families and kidsDenver, CO – With its wealth of natural and cultural heritage, Peru is growing up as a multi-generation travel destination. Today, an increasing number travelers of all ages are planning bucket-list dream trips together to Peru’s Andes Mountains, Amazon rain forest and ruins of Machu Picchu.

The region’s top travel specialists are noticing an uptick in requests for family-oriented trips. Parents want to share the country’s rich culture and nature with their children and teens. In Peru, they find “teachable moments” to share.

In response, hotels and tour suppliers have stretched their imaginations to meet the needs of their most promising new clients – kids and teens.

Southwind Adventures, a boutique tour operator that specializes in South America’s top destinations, has been operating trips to Peru for over 23 years. The country has always been a best-seller for the company, given its position as home to Machu Picchu, one of CNN’s top 20 most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites on the planet. Now, reports Southwind President Tom Damon, its popularity is growing as a family destination, and bringing the kids can really enrich the experience.

“When my wife and I were in Peru a few years back with our daughter, I was amazed at how traveling with children helped to bridge the cultural divide,” notes Tom. “We experienced an especially warm welcome from the Andean weaver women and everyone else throughout our journey.”

Southwind recently launched the ultimate family soft adventure itinerary, the 9-day Family Andean Discovery, by hand-selecting the best activities and accommodations for discerning families who hold safety, comfort, fun and learning as their top priorities. To allow for acclimation in the region’s high altitudes, the itinerary flows gracefully from the lower elevation of the Sacred Valley (9,000 feet) to the higher elevation of Cusco (around 11,150 feet). The trip is ideal for families with kids ages 5 and up. A more active variation of the itinerary is ideal for teens ages 12 and up. Discounted rates are available for kids up to age 17.

Highlights of the itinerary include a cross-cultural visit with a local primary school, a gourmet cooking class, a hands-on ceramics workshop, a planetarium visit and a walking tour of Cusco with new local friends.

For animal lovers in the family, the trip features encounters with native species on a visit to a textile workshop where all four Peruvian camelids – llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and guanacos – reside. They’ll also visit an endangered spectacled bear at an award-winning conservation project, as well as spot rare birds in the depths of a misty cloud forest.

Outdoor adventure activities like river rafting, sea kayak, horseback riding, and a one-day sample of the Inca Trail can be customized into the itinerary. The trip’s climax is a scenic train ride to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu for two days of guided exploration.

Family vacations are the stuff that dreams and memories are made of. According to a recent market study by HomeAway, 78% of travelers say they wouldn’t trade their family vacation for anything.