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Advice with family

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fort worth texas
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Advice with family

My husband and I are considering a July 2008 trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu with our children ages 17, 11, and 8. This would be our first trip to Peru and have read we would need to be very concerned about safety. I also would like to do our own planning, not going with group. Just be aware of area and not display any jewelry or cash? Any different then any US metropolitian area? Any suggestions for travel in the area or with kids would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Advice with family

I went to Cusco with boys ages 10 and 14. We had a great time. Our family has traveled to many places around the world, but our first view of Machu Picchu stands out as the greatest highlight of all. If your 8-year old is a good walker, consider the 2-day Inca Trail tour. The first day is a 10-mile walk to the ruins, followed by a night in town, then a wbhole day back at the ruins before taking the train back to Cusco. What makes this tour worth the effort is your first view of Machu Picchu - you will have just climbed a few hundred stone stairs when you step through the Sun Gate. At the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu is spread out in its entirety below you. If you get to Machu Picchu the normal way, you will see the ruins a bit at a time as you climb up from the entrance gate. Either way, it will be a memory for your family's life.

If you have the time and money, look into a visit to the Amazon basin. You can either drive with a tour company (8 hours from Cusco) or fly in. The kids will get a kick out of the monkeys, parrots, etc.

Physical safety is not a big concern in Cusco, but there are very skilled pickpockets. Keep all valuables in waist belts under tucked-in shirts. No need to carry wallets, just keep enough cash for immediate use in your pocket (pickpockets can't feel the cash when it's loose in your pocket). We stayed at Hostal Los Ninos, a very friendly place with local color, and it raises money for education of children.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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2. Re: Advice with family

I do not recommend the Inca trail with an 11 and 8 year old children.

Go and stay in Urubamba (see this forum for recommended hotels) for yr children to properly aclimatize.

No concerns about safety, Peruvians are very friendly with children,

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3. Re: Advice with family

We spend as little time as possible in Lima area; due to flight arrivals and departure times, we have arrived too late for connections to Cuzco; have to leave early next AM. We chose to just stay in airport, sleep in chairs; but with kids I would not recommend. See if you can get direct to Cuzco; or if you must stay overnight, take a taxi away from airport area of Lima to Mira Flores part of town. Lovely and much safer.

Cuzco itself seemed very safe to us; were traveling with groups of adults, teens and kids as young as 8. When you arrive, do NOT plan anything for the first day or at least afternoon / evening. Have simple, quiet time entertainment for the kids so everyone can stay in hotel; rest; nap; lounge; read -- let your body get used to the altitude.

Even walking 4 blocks from our hotel to restaurant the day we arrived seemed like a marathon, but next morning all was well.

Do be aware of pickpockets - or if not aware, since they are very skilled - prepared. We like those small silk pouches that hang around our neck; and the camping/travel vests with a roll up or down collar AND lots of pockets -- too many for the quick hands of pickpockets to cover. Do not carry wallet or purses; if you have backpack or camera bag; keep it wrapped around your wrist. We like the larger fanny packs that you can keep secure around your waist for sunglasses, sunscreen, lip gloss, mini first aid items, kleenex, wet wipes [can NOT have too many of those in Peru, esp. for the bathrooms] -- simple things like that we keep in the fany pack or pockets, maybe a few coins.

Check out lodging in the village nearest Machu Picchu carefully; we rode the train in from Cuzco one afternoon and had time to ride the buses up the hill to main gate. We explored on our own; and went up twice the next day since the train left later in the day. That was a very nice itinerary.

May be good idea to have plenty to keep kids occupied for train trek; it seems long esp. when they back up. The train interior was very comfortable; we felt very safe in the small village area below MP; wonderful people, very open, sweet.

We take groups down to Peru from US/Canada/Europe at least once a year; to sites in and around Cuzco, the sacred valley, and headwaters of the Amazon. We also have been privileged to visit in a particular high Andes village outside Cuzco; way up the mountain.

If you would like a hit from our YouTube videos of some of our trips - check out the video link on our site ...


fort worth texas
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4. Re: Advice with family

Thanks for the advice; it was very useful. After reading responses and doing a little more reading on the area we have decided to go ahead and start planning the trip. Can't wait it looks like a great adventure. Thanks again all!

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5. Re: Advice with family


We travelled as a family in August with 2 kids 7 and 11. We arranged things ourselves and had guides in each location. The best thing we did was to go to Arequipa 1st great city as this gave us time to get used to altitude in stages. Later when we got to Cusco a lot of people were saying they suffered for 2/3 days which ruined their holidays. From Arequipa we went to Colca and saw the condors ( excellent) then over to Puno for the islands. From Puno we took the train to Cusco ( well worth it the kids were impressed). From Cusco we then spent a few days in SV and MP (glad we didn't do Inca Trail !) visiting sites white water rafting horse riding etc. The kids loved Peru we had no problems and it was a fantastic experience. Happy kids = happy parents.

6. Re: Advice with family

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