Machu Picchu is an excellent place to travel with the kids – and we’d like to share some of our reasons why.
In an effort to find the “Lost City of the Incas,” Hiram Bingham, an American historian and explorer, studied for years and raised money for his expedition to Peru. In 1911 he set off into the jungle of the Andes Mountains. When he made it to Machu Picchu, Bingham believed he had found the Lost City of Vilcabamba. He had no idea what his rediscovery would mean.
When Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911, he didn’t know at the time that his findings would change Peru forever. Today, Machu Picchu is Peru’s number one tourist attraction and people travel from all over the world to take in the beauty of the ancient Inca citadel.
But Machu Picchu was never really lost as Bingham would claim. It is believed that the Incas had abandoned the citadel and fled so that the Spanish would never find it. But before Bingham arrived, the farmers in the surrounding area and the valleys below already knew of its existence. In fact, Bingham would have never found the site were it not for the help of the locals – specifically an 11-year-old Quechua boy. With that in mind, Machu Picchu is an excellent place to take the kids on vacation, and here are a few reasons why:
1. The landscape is incredible and there is so much to explore
When you make it to Machu Picchu, the landscape will seem unreal and other-worldly. The ancient citadel of Machu Picchu is the perfect place to let a child’s imagination run free. With so many complex structures and narrow winding passages, the kids will feel like they’ve stepped back in time. At the Temple of the Condor, be sure to show them the massive stone that has been carved to resemble the figure of an Andean Condor.
2. There are a lot of friendly llamas and interesting animals
Peru is known for a lot of things, but llamas and alpacas definitely top the list. At Machu Picchu, the llamas roam free around the site, keeping the lawns nicely trimmed. For kids who love animals (and what kid wouldn’t love a llama?), Machu Picchu is a magical place to come face-to-face with these adorable creatures. But besides the llamas, at Machu Picchu you can see and interact with a lot of other animals, including chinchillas and many fascinating species of birds!
3. They will learn something of history firsthand
A trip to Machu Picchu is more than just an adventure and the chance to take pretty pictures; it is an opportunity to teach your kids about history and another culture. The Incas have left a lasting impact on Peru and their legacy is ingrained in the people and the way of life in this country. A visit to Machu Picchu is a great way to learn about their incredible past up close.
4. Every step of the way is an adventure
Despite whether you choose to take the train to Machu Picchu or hike the short or multi-day Inca Trail, you can be assured that every part of the journey will be an adventure. Trains are a novel and exciting way for kids to travel and the Inca Trail offers something new and exhilarating to explore around every turn. No matter how you choose to get to Machu Picchu, you can’t go wrong – especially if you are traveling with kids.
One of our past clients chose to hike the Inca Trail as a family and this is what they had to say:
“My family decided that, despite the fact that we lived at sea level in South Florida and despite the fact that we had an 8 and 15 year old and despite the fact that we really had no hiking experience, we were going to hike the 4-day Inca Trail. Thankfully, we booked with Enigma well in advance!” – The Mahan Family
While Machu Picchu is an excellent place to take the kids on vacation, as a family you’re going to expend a lot of energy exploring the ruins and discovering their fascinating history. At Enigma, we understand that traveling with kids can present a lot of challenges, but the memories you make as a family are definitely worth it.
When taking the kids to Machu Picchu, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and water to keep the little ones energized and happy. If you’re planning a trip to Machu Picchu with your children, we would be happy to help and give you all sorts of tips to create the best possible experience.