There's more to Peru than Paddington Bear
Peru offers a spectacular array of natural, cultural and active experiences for families and children of all ages. Over 60% of Enigma's trips are designed with families in mind, and since most of Enigma's travel designers are mums themselves, all the country experiences have been thoroughly tested first-hand.
A country well-defined in our imagination, it's impossible to think of Peru without thinking of its iconic dawn-lit Machu Picchu. Visit this famous Inca citadel with children to awaken their adventurous spirit. Enigma carefully select guides for children who create mystery, excitement and intrigue to the different theories behind Inca history. The soft and short Inca trail to the citadel is regularly trekked by children of ten years and more, who then enjoy a leisurely train ride back to Cusco. It's an otherworldly, magical experience to not only deepen an understanding of the old paths of the Incas and their beliefs, but a unique opportunity to marvel at one of the seven wonders of the world.
There is, however, so much beyond Machu Picchu. Peru's northern coast is perfect for Surfing and the wide Pacific swell in this tropical region means waves and balmy weather are pretty much guaranteed all year round. Mancora offers a combination of fantastic surf, pristine beaches and cozy hotels. Enigma work with local surf instructors known for their success in not only teaching children to surf but keeping their interest piqued. For already-trained surfers and wave seekers, Chicama is home to the longest, left-breaking wave in the world. Swimming with turtles, whale-watching and beach horseback riding are also firm favourites with families.
The Andes offer epic mountain bike rides along versatile routes, from the well-known Sacred Valley to the deeper area of Ausangate and its enticing rainbow mountains and alpaca-grazing fields. For children ten years and older, excursions include quad biking, rafting, paddle boarding, and horseback riding with Peruvian Paso horses. For older children, climbing 'Via Ferrata' style in the Sacred Valley before overnighting in a pod dubbed the world's first hanging lodge, nestled 400m up a cliff face, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In Lima, a visit to the Larco Museum is a must. Specialised curators with storytelling expertise offer exciting insight into pre-Inca culture for children of all ages. It's also a chance to view the fabulous pottery on display. The much-loved Choco Museum offers hands-on chocolate workshops in a country of world-class chocolate. A graffiti class in Callao, the new edgy and artsy neighbourhood in the city, will spark imagination and creativity. Or for those who love the sea, swimming with sea lions in the Palomino Islands just off Lima. The Magic Water Circuit at Parque de la Reserva is also great for a summer visit at dusk. Cool off from the heat of the day and enjoy its thirteen fountains incorporating music, colourful lights and interactive elements.
The Amazon basin, its fragile ecosystem and its wildlife is often a preferred choice for families with Enigma. Prominent guides share their expertise and love of the region with children - how to spot jaguars, identify monkey sounds, use new technologies to count species and take the best photographic shots of the beautiful macaws in the wild. The Amazon also provides once-in-a-lifetime cultural encounters with the Ese Eja, ancient inhabitants of the region, whose lifestyle and traditions are in danger of extinction. This traditional nomadic community offers families a unique learning experience and a reminder of how connected we all are to the environment and each other.