Peru with a baby – what to see, how to plan the trip?
I got a question from Edyta, one of my readers: At the end of April we are going to Peru with a baby (3 years old) and an infant (10 months). We will be there for almost a month and I have some questions for you because I can see that you have seen a lot of nice places.
We get this kind of questions a lot, so instead of writing a separate message to each person, I decided (answering Edyta) to write a short guide to travel around Peru with a baby.
I will answer the following questions: how to plan a trip to Peru with a baby? Is it safe? Is it worth going trekking with your children? What about transport in Peru? Read about traveling around Peru with a baby!
Peru is a safe country to travel. Of course some thefts or accidents happens. Some places are also dirty and unkempt. However, In my opinion the level of safety in Peru is comparable to Europe (especially Eastern Europe). There are places to avoid, but there are plenty of other places where you will feel safe.
Always remember to prepare well for your trips in terms of health – I recommend reading about diseases and vaccinations. Buy good insurance so you will not worry if you need to visit a doctor. Finally, keep basic safety rules like: do not show your wallet, or expensive camera in public, do not keep a lot of cash with you, do not give your passport to anyone.
Car rental in Peru is quite expensive and renting a camper is not very popular. However, very good and cheap is traveling by small or big buses. There are tickets for buses of different standards, and this is a relatively comfortable way of traveling. With kids it may be difficult sometimes due to the lack of toilet, but let’s hope to have a kind driver who will stop so the child could use the “toilet” on the roadside (it happened to us).
Taxis are a good option for a traveling family, all luggage will be put in the trunk, and the family should fit in one car. Before taking a stroller remember to take one that will fit in the car trunk. It is also good to have a stroller with pneumatic wheels because of uneven Peruvian streets.
There are not a lot of train lines in Peru, but in some cases it is almost the only option, for example going from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, to go on a trekking to Machu Picchu. However, often the ticket is several times more expensive than for a Peruvian citizen, so usually traveling by bus or minibus is more economical. For example, on the Cuzco – Machu Picchu route, you can find a minibus that goes to a place called Hidroelectrica and from there walking, or you can take much cheaper train to get to Machu Picchu.
From our experience, trekking with small children is a pleasure for everyone if it takes 2-4, maybe 5 hours. Everything over this time causes tiredness of children, they must be carried by parents, so the parents get very tired as well.
We did the following trekking:
– around Karajia’s tombs
– to the fortress of Kuelap
– to the lagoon of Llanguanuco
– Pastoruri Glacier
Cuzco, Arequipa, Titicaca Lake:
– from Hidroelectrica to Machu Picchu
– Sillustani tombs
– Titicaca Lake
Usually on the trekking we take a baby carrier for the youngest Kaja, and the other children were sometimes taken “on piggyback”. Sometimes we could have rented out (for around 10 soles) horses with the leaders. I recommend all kinds of carriers or slings, but also a strong back and a common sense.
Altitude in Peru
Our children reacted very well to high altitudes in Peru, we didn’t have any problems. Perhaps because we started the journey a month earlier in Ecuador and the children had time to acclimatize.
Pay attention to the differences in temperatures in the mountains. Often during the day is hot and strong sun can burn children’s sensitive faces, but when the sun goes down it gets cold and not nice. Remember to take warm clothes for children!
Flight over Nazca
The flight over the mysterious lines from Nazca is famous and expensive.10 years ago, it cost 50USD / person, now it costs about 150USD / person. From our family only Dad flew over the Nazca signs. You can also see 3 signs from the observation platform and for a family with children it was a good attraction. Additionally there are exhibitions of found Indian tombs (skeletons!), which were much more interesting for our kids than “some lines there”.
Food prices and availability
In theory food prices in Peru are lower than in Poland. Especially if you are buying food at local markets or street. However usually in the new place you pay a little more before you get to know the standard prices and find cheap places. Plus while traveling on popular tourist routes you usually eat diner or shop in typical tourist places. That’s why our budget for food and children’s articles was more or less the same as in Poland.
Do not worry about articles for kids like diapers, porridges, even jars with baby food or pacifiers. In supermarkets you will find everything that is in Europe. Sometimes a little different brand, but it is much better in Peru than in neighboring Bolivia.
Wi-fi in hostels or guest houses is quite good, but it is not so good at campings, restaurants, cafes or in city centers. Generally, it leaves a lot to be desired, but well, its possible to live without the Internet (hard though, sighs mom-blogger) :))
Campsite vs. camping in the wild
If you’re thinking about traveling with a camper around South America, you’re probably interested in campsites. There are not many of them and you have to search a little on the websites with camping lists (for example here). You can also sleep “in the wild”. We usually parked our motorhome on the town square or village where we arrived and we felt the safest there. We also met many tourists traveling with camper who are always looking for stay “in the wild” far from popular route, somewhere on the side in narrow roads. They also feel the safest in such a places.
Traffic police and baby car seats
We have never been controlled in terms of having car seats in the car. Basically, we were controlled only once by a road police. The gentlemen did not really know what to check, so they looked at the children if they had their seatbelts fastened. The boys had their seatbelts fastened, but the police claimed we had fastened at the last minute and they wanted to give us a ticket. Because we did not have cash and we told them that we will have to go to the nearest ATM together, they let us go without a ticket!
English vs. Spanish
Of course, it’s great if you speak Spanish. However in few situations it is better to pretend that you do not speak Spanish, for example road police or other officials. There, often digging into the thing can mean trouble. It is better to send a person who doesn’t speak Spanish and be treated like a tourist.
However in contacts with locals it is very good to speak Spanish. It is also good to show that you are traveling with children. It opens many doors and hearts, and such meetings can be the best memory of a trip to Peru!
More information about traveling around Peru with a baby:
If you want to know more about buying a camper in South America, check out our guide: https://www.3kidsandtrips.com/jak-kupic-kampera-w-ameryce-poludniowej/
I also recommend the general post about traveling with children https://www.3kidsandtrips.com/jak-podrozowac-z-dziecmi/
And finally, make sure to check out our most beautiful photos from the trip to South America: https://www.3kidsandtrips.com/ameryka-poludniowo-warto-zobaczyc/