Fresh off the heels of Machu Picchu winning the 2010 World Travel Awards as the best ecotourism destination in South America, Peru family travel options include a variety of cultural traditions, festivals, and natural landscapes. The Amazon River’s origins are in Peru and its rainforests are home to some of the diverse habitats on Earth and present a wonderful option as an ecotourism destination for families.
Approximately three times the size of California, Peru is the largest country in South America which has a relatively stable democracy but high poverty levels. While its top industry is fishing, Peru also has an abundance of natural resources including copper, silver, gold, oil, and natural gas. The main language is Spanish and there are two main seasons of dry (May through September) and wet.
Peru Family Travel Options
While many tourists come to Peru only to visit Machu Picchu, there are other areas that offer a great variety of flora, fauna, natural reserves and culture:
- Lake Titicaca– the world’s highest navigable lake and one of the largest in volume, its sapphire-blue waters are known as the birthplace of the Inca gods, and home to pre-Inca civilizations
- Nasca Lines – was lost to the world until 1921 when pilots flying over this looked down and saw lines and carvings featuring a monkey, a spider, a pelican, a whale, and even an astronaut
- Arequipa – Arequipa is the “white city” named because so much of its architecture has been carved out of ashen volcanic rock
- Colca Canyon – offers opportunities for whitewater rafting, rock climbing, hiking, encounters with centuries-old communities
- Huaraz offers opportunities for mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, bird watching, paragliding, sightseeing, and even skiing
- Iquitos – hundreds of species of mammals, birds, and fish are abundant and guaranteed not to disappoint in this area including monkeys, macaws, turtles, and toucans
Peru Family Travel Impact
Ecotourism is having a positive effect on conservation and carbon offsetting measures in Peru despite the key environmental issues of deforestation, desertification, soil erosion, air pollution in urban centers, river and coastal water pollution from municipal and mining waste, and depletion of fisheries due to overfishing. Nonetheless, the country is expanding its environmental awareness and movements to preserve culture and lands.