When it comes to experiencing the Andes Mountains with kids, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Maybe marching up to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu? Or, perhaps, snapping photos of your kiddos posed with alpacas and brightly-clad ladies in Cuzco?
While these are must-see highlights, Peru family travel doesn’t stop there. Check out these kid-friendly destinations that showcase the diverse geography of the Peruvian Andes.
Located in the Andes between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is one of the highest navigable lakes in the world with a surface level of 12,503 feet above sea level. By volume of water and surface area, it’s also the largest in South America. More than 25 rivers and glaciers flow into the lake but only one river drains it, the Desaguardo. The result? Only five percent of the lake’s water drains naturally while 95 percent evaporates.
More than 40 islands dot the lake, and many of these are inhabited. The largest one, Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) boasts more than 180 ancient ruins. The presence of innumerable ancient sites should come as no surprise since Andean legend names the lake as the birthplace of the Inca Civilization. Revered as sacred by the Inca, the lake even contains the remnants of a mysterious underwater temple between 1,000 and 1,500 years old.
Lake Titicaca contains incredible biodiversity with many species of water birds, the gigantic Titicaca water frog, the Titicaca grebe, and 530 aquatic species. Even more amazing? Ninety percent of the fish in the lake are found nowhere else in the entire world!
Huascarán National Park
Huascarán National Park in Peru showcases the Cordillera Blanca Mountains, the world’s highest tropical mountain range. Part of the Andes, the Cordillera Blanca Mountains (White Mountains) contains over 700 glaciers. Its deep ravines—carved by numerous floods—shelter stunning views, pristine glacial lakes, and diverse vegetation. The area remains a celebrated mountaineering spot, too.
Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985 by UNESCO, Huascarán National Park is known for its unique ecology. The park contains plant species such as the rare Queen of the Andes as well as animals such as condors, spectacled bears, vicunas, and tarucas.
Located in the Sacred Valley near Cuzco, the Ollantaytambo ruins remain laid out much as they were in ancient times. Although originally built for religious purposes, the fortress of Ollantaytambo marks the site of the only successful stand against the conquistadors.
The most popular starting point for the famous Inca Trail, Ollantaytambo’s gargantuan dimensions come into perspective as you start climbing the Inca stairs to the top of the fortress. At the top of the fortress, you and your children have a stunning view of the Sacred Valley.
The Andes Mountains with Kids
Interested in learning more about visiting the Andes Mountains with kids? Follow our blog to learn more about our favorite South American destinations.
Family fun in Peru doesn’t stop with Machu Picchu and Cuzco. They’re just the beginning. Interested in learning more about a Peru family trip? Check out our 11-day Peruvian Family Adventure.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the meaningful and unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.