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Hiking to Machu Picchu with Kids: A Family Adventure

Machu Picchu, nestled high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is a bucket-list destination for many adventure seekers and history enthusiasts. The ancient Incan citadel is not only a marvel of engineering and architecture but also an educational and awe-inspiring experience for children. Hiking to Machu Picchu with your kids can be a rewarding and enriching adventure, creating lasting memories for the entire family.

Key Takeaways

  • Several hiking trails lead to Machu Picchu, each with its own level of difficulty and duration
  • Ensure you have enough food, water, and snacks to keep your children energized throughout the trek
  • Reaching Machu Picchu as a family is a remarkable accomplishment

Preparing for the Journey

machu picchu overhead view - bamba travel

Before embarking on this journey, it’s important to ensure that both you and your children are physically and mentally prepared. Hiking to Machu Picchu involves trekking through varying terrains and altitudes, so a reasonable level of fitness is essential. Make sure your children are accustomed to hiking and walking for extended periods.

Additionally, acclimatization is key, especially since Machu Picchu sits at a high altitude of around 7,970 feet (2,430 meters). Spend a few days in Cusco or other high-altitude areas to help your family adjust to the reduced oxygen levels. Use a travel agency software to coordinate with local travel experts to help you prepare your children for the trip.

Choosing the Right Route

Salkantay View in Peru - Inca Trail trekking

Several hiking trails lead to Machu Picchu, each with its own level of difficulty and duration. Considering the abilities and interests of your children is crucial in selecting the most suitable route. The Classic Inca Trail is a popular choice, but it requires a minimum age of 10 years due to its challenging nature.

Alternatively, the Short Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek may be better options for families with younger children or those seeking a less strenuous adventure. Research the routes in detail and choose the one that aligns with your family’s preferences and abilities.

Engaging and Educating Your Children

Ollantaytambo, Peru ruins jungle trek

Make the hike a learning experience for your children by sharing information about the history, culture, and geography of the region. Explain the significance of Machu Picchu and the Incan civilization, sparking their curiosity and making the journey more enriching.

Encourage your kids to ask questions and engage in discussions about the flora, fauna, and the Incan ruins you encounter along the way. Point out unique plants and animals, fostering an appreciation for the natural world.

Packing Essentials

peru inca trail - experience - bamba travel

Packing appropriately is crucial for a successful hiking trip. Ensure you have enough food, water, and snacks to keep your children energized throughout the trek. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for varying weather conditions, as well as sturdy hiking shoes to ensure comfort and safety.

Other essentials include sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, insect repellent and a quality camera to capture the breathtaking scenery and memorable moments. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit.

Safety and Well-being

why take a custom trip to the inca ruins - peru - bamba travel

Prioritize the safety and well-being of your children throughout the journey. Maintain a moderate pace, taking breaks to rest and admire the scenery. Hydration and proper nutrition are key to keeping energy levels high, so monitor your children’s water intake and provide healthy snacks regularly.

Additionally, encourage them to voice any discomfort or fatigue they may experience and address their concerns promptly. A positive and supportive attitude from parents goes a long way in motivating children to complete the hike.

Making Lasting Memories

Winay Wanya Ruins on Inca trail hike to Machu Picchu - incan empire

Reaching Machu Picchu as a family is a remarkable accomplishment. Celebrate this achievement and relish the awe-inspiring views of the ancient citadel. Capture photos, create a scrapbook, or journal the adventure to preserve the memories for years to come.

Reflect on the experience as a family, discussing the highlights, challenges, and what everyone learned from this incredible journey. Not only will this hike create cherished memories, but it will also strengthen the bonds within your family.

Final Word

Hiking to Machu Picchu with your children can be a life-changing adventure, providing not only an opportunity to witness one of the world’s wonders but also to foster a love for nature, history, and exploration. With proper preparation, the right route, and a focus on safety and education, this journey can become a transformative experience that your family will cherish forever.

Check out the Inca Trail Express Trek to Machu Picchu 2D/1N itinerary from Bamba Travel.