For many travelers, Machu Picchu is a must-see bucket list adventure. It doesn’t matter what kind of traveler you are or how your past trips were, this Incan citadel hidden in the Andes mountains seduces anybody in several ways. With over one hundred structures divided into royal sites, sacred zones, residences and farming areas, Machu Picchu offers many interesting activities and experiences. According to this, is it possible to explore Machu Picchu with kids? Although some parents think that traveling with kids is an impractical idea, it’s absolutely possible to do it.

Now that you have a positive answer, you don’t need to see a picture and imagine how great Machu Picchu would be. Cusco Peru Travel really believes that neither pictures nor words do it justice to this imposing, fascinating and magical place. So, what are you waiting for? Celebrate that new travel opportunities have arisen, and start planning your family vacation in Machu Picchu… Your dream will become true and your eyes will sparkle with delight.

But there could be more questions in the forefront of your mind, right? Something like: Is it safe to travel to Machu Picchu with kids? Are there things to do in Machu Picchu for kids? Do I need a guide? Will altitude sickness be worse for kids? We know that, as a parent, you want to take care of the details, but you don’t need to worry, Cusco Peru Travel will help you with everything. You will find a good balance of site seeing and kiddie activities and your trip to Machu Picchu with kids will be an extraordinary and captivating travel experience.

Visiting Machu Picchu with kids

enjoy machu picchu with kids

Visiting Machu Picchu is an adventure by itself. Once you arrive and catch a glimpse of this stunning Inca sanctuary, you will know it was well worth all the effort. The first thing you will do, when passing through the Machu Picchu’s gate, will be to pinch yourself. But the second will be more interesting for your kids.

According to history, the American scientist Hiram Bingham re-discovered the Machu Picchu Sanctuary guided by a 10-year-old local kid. This kid provided Hiram complete information of the archaeological site. The idea that a kid held the secret to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu definitely stirs up the children’s interest. Your kids will be completely dazzled during your tours in Peru

There are three areas that you can access at the Inca citadel: The Citadel ruins, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu. But the most popular and also kid-friendly area is the Citadel ruins. This natural playground will give your kids the opportunity to have fun while climbing the stones. In fact, every corner of Machu Picchu is more thrilling than the next.

Besides, the Machu Picchu Sanctuary is not only a priceless archeological site but also associated with flora and fauna. The wildlife there will be very entertaining for your kids because, without a doubt, there is nothing that can compete with a fluffy llama, don’t you think? Your kids will be in heaven!

Sacred Valley with kids

machu picchu with kids sacred valley moray

If you have extra time before heading to Machu Picchu with kids, spend a couple of days in the Sacred Valley exploring the Inca cities of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Visit the salt ponds of Maras and the archaeological site of Moray. Also, enjoy adventure activities such as ziplining, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

What you need to know before going

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness can frighten many parents off when planning to travel to Machu Picchu with kids. As a matter of fact, it’s an important concern. But you must relax, there are many ways to deal with it. First off, the main part of your Machu Picchu tours is acclimatizing to the high altitude.

Altitude sickness starts approximately at heights above 2,438 m. At this level, the symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, dizziness, fatigue, stomachache, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath. Cusco sits at an altitude of 3,399m, while Machu Picchu sits at 2,430m. Although the Inca Citadel altitude is lower, you need to pass through Cusco on your way to the sanctuary.

We recommend taking it slow and spending a couple of days in Cusco to give yourself and your kids time to adjust to the high altitude. Or, go directly to the Sacred Valley, especially if you are arriving from Lima. The Sacred Valley altitude is lower than Cusco; so, you will have a better chance of acclimatizing more quickly. Lower altitude can make a huge difference. Make sure to stay hydrated and rest.

machu picchu with kids coca leaf altitude sickness

In addition, there is also a natural and very effective remedy to deal with altitude sickness, the famous coca leaf. You can chew it or drink it as a tea (mate de coca). They increase energy levels. But if you are kind of slightly wary of trying it out, you can consider consulting with a doctor or a pediatrician about what kind of medicine your kids -and also you- can take.

Book in advance

Make sure to purchase your Machu Picchu tickets in advance, particularly during the high season. New regulations state that there is only allowed a certain amount of tickets per day; also, a tour guide is required. There are lots of them hanging around the gate at the ready to take you for a tour. 

Moreover, don’t forget to get your passport stamped with the Machu Picchu stamp. Your kids will be really excited to show their friends they visited one of the seven wonders of the world. Plus, the “news” that a child held the secret to Machu Picchu before it was discovered by outsiders.

*You can get Machu Picchu tickets directly through Machu Picchu’s official website.

What to pack

travel to machu picchu with kids

With a large variety of climates and microclimates, unpredictability is the only predictable thing about Peruvian weather. With this in mind, you may be asking yourself “What to pack for Peru?” Some parents think packing for Peru can be almost as confusing as planning the actual trip. But everything depends on when you are coming and where you are going.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “four seasons in one day”? Well, this is what may happen in Peru, especially in the Andes. For this reason, you must pack very wisely when exploring Machu Picchu with kids. Cusco Peru Travel suggests dressing always in layers, you can remove clothing when you get hot and put it on if you get cold.

*The rainy season is from November to April, and the dry season is from May to October.

In conclusion

Visiting Machu Picchu with kids could get difficult but you don’t need to hold-over until your kids are older. Your trip to Machu Picchu with them will end up being an enjoyable and awe-inspiring experience. 

You and them will have the opportunity to see, learn and enjoy firsthand this fascinating sanctuary. Something that most people will only ever read about in textbooks. Exploring Machu Picchu with kids will be as magical as you can imagine. Trust us, you won’t regret it at all.

Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.


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