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Cusco Popular Destination for Families

Elvi Bjorkquist - Sunday, July 21, 2013

By María Elena Tord for El Comercio

Translated by Alix Farr

There are many activities in the Sacred Valley that are suitable 

for family members of all ages.

Cusco is becoming an ever more popular destination for families.

The charm of the city that so delights the adults can also be 

something to please the kids, though they may not immediately 

realize it. Once there, your family will see that the number of 

activities for children is on the rise. 

It is recommended that the first stop of your trip, after arriving in

Cusco, be Urubamba, because it is at a slightly lower altitude, 

which can help prevent altitude sickness. 

Children love walks to the river and through the valleys. A little 

bit of fresh air is always nourishing, especially for those who 

live in the city. 

One outing that the kids  always like is to the salt-evaporation 

ponds of Maras, where wells of salt create a sea of white 

surrounded by mountains. This is where salt is extracted and t

hen sent to the regional markets. Those who extract the salt 

come on foot or by car in the dry season.

Not far away are the circular terraces of Moray, which served as 

an agricultural laboratory during Inca times. Today it is a fun place 

to visit. The kids can run around, up and down, through the terraces.

Also near by, only 20 minutes by car from Moray, is Chinchero. 

When there, ask for the textile workshops, where local women 

do demonstrations of the weaving process. These textiles are known

as being the most beautiful of the region, and they preserve the 

ancestral techniques that you will be able to appreciate in a class.

In Chinchero, you can also visit the church and the archaeological 

complex located next to the main plaza.

An option for the afternoon is Wayra, which is part of the 

Sol y Luna Hotel. It offers a number of different experiences for 

those in the Sacred Valley, including many that would appeal to young

people. The concept of Wayra is to introduce the culture and art of 

the local people to children by way of workshops in ceramics, textiles 

and cooking.

In Wayra, as well as in other rural centers in the area, there are 

opportunities to go horseback riding, as well as go on mountain biking 

and kayaking expeditions. In Pachar, Natura Vive has alternative

adventures in scaling a 300-meter rock wall that are suitable for 

children, from 6 years old. 

In the valley, there is a chicken restaurant called Wallpa Wasi, 

which is a nice country-style restaurant, in the style of Lima’s famous 

Granja Azul. Kids will be able to enjoy pollo a la brasa and play 

on a playground. This is a great lunch option.

In the city of Cusco there are also many options for the youngest 

members of our families. Just outside the city is the archaeological 

complex of Sacsayhuaman, where there are a number of natural

rock formations that are used as slides.

If you would like some fresh-air activities, you can ride horses to 

“Zona x” where you can explore the mysterious caves.

In the city, you can also take tours that start at the Plaza de Armas.

In the afternoon, what could be better than something sweet in a 

place full of toys? In Cusco there exists such a place, called Yanapay, 

which has a “village” for children. There are tables and chairs

sized just write for the kids, as well as games, desserts, and storytime.

Another option is El Hada where Alessandra Pinasco, inspired by the 

culinary passion that she inherited from her grandfather, offers artisan 

ice cream in 40 flavors, which are 100 percent natural. Options include 

lavender, baked apple, Doña Pepa, vanilla and “suspiro.” And for the 

adults in the group, there is also coffee.

The Choco Museo is another great option. Visitors here can learn 

about the process of preparing cacao and chocolate. For kids, there 

is the workshop called “From the Tree,” which includes two very

fun hours where they will make their own chocolates and have a 

dozen flavors to choose from. This is recommended for children 8 years 

old and up, and the experience can be shared with parents. 

For the smaller children 4 years old an up, there is a mini-workshop 

that takes 45 minutes. Kids will mold their own chocolates with flavors 

of their choosing. And at night, what better than a pizza? In the San Blas 

neighborhood, you will find Pacha Papa, a great restaurant with a big patio. 

From the clay ovens come pizzas of a variety of flavors.

Contact Us for special tours with kids.

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