Traveling with Kids to Peru Part II: What to Pack?

Peru Travel with Kids: What to Pack?

Apus Peru Cofounder Ariana Svenson is currently planning a multi generation trip to Peru – with her mother and her children, aged 5 years and 20 months. What are some of the things to consider for Peru travel with children?
This is the second in a series of blogs – Travel with Kids to Peru – and is packed with realistic and useful advice from someone who has 5 years of travel with a small child under her belt, and is now looking forward to travelling with two! She has now planned her trip, which is covered in the first blog. Now: what to pack?


   Pushing the pram in Ollantaytambo –
explains the need for a robust pram with good wheels!

In 2015 Australian parents are in the grip of an enormous vaccination debate as it’s increasingly popular to NOT vaccinate one’s children against basic childhood diseases. It is such a big issue the government has even proposed removing family benefits from those parents who don’t vaccinate! I am aware of the arguments against vaccination and question my decision to inject my gorgeous little 5-year-old with a number of extra vaccines. But then, on the other hand, the idea that Master L, with his propensity to eat dirt and whatever he encounters on the path, won’t be vaccinated, is just as alarming.
I realise that I don’t plan to go un-vaccinated so book in Miss M for her extra travelers’ shots. My final piece of advice – do it plenty of time prior to travel so the child’s body has time to recuperate.


Miss M in the Centre of Cusco wearing layers :) the essential clothing requirement for a trip to the Andes.

This is the easiest on the list – layers, layers and more layers! Of course, there are plenty of alpaca beanies, mittens and jumpers in Peru so don’t go overboard with bulky jackets and the like, as you will be able to stock up while there. Or shop the beautiful selection of Baby Wear at Threads of Peru!

3Lima stroller 3Baby gear

I’m packing just enough nappies to get to Lima! Peru has everything that you might need for a baby or small toddler including disposable nappies, dummies (pacifiers), teething rings and lots of baby food. There is a good range of baby creams /shampoo in large supermarkets but not too many of the eco or earth-friendly variety, so if it’s important to you to use eco products, then best to bring them from home. In Australia we have teething rusks – these are not available in Peru.

Baby paraphernalia 

  • Stroller
  • Pram
  • Car seat
  • Baby cot

Babies/toddlers need a lot of paraphernalia, and international airlines include a stroller/pram, a car seat and a baby cot in the price of an infant plane ticket!!! (Note that domestic airlines do not). I have a specially purchased stroller, which is lightweight (10kg) and has big wheels that are good for negotiating cobblestone streets. Having strong wheels is an important consideration for a pram in Peru! Also be aware that outside of Lima and the better suburbs of Cusco, there are not too many pavements.

Car-seats are not commonly used by children in Peru and pretty much everyone I know thinks I’m a little odd for wanting to use one – however given that traffic is quite inconsistent and traffic accidents (even little prangs) are more common than in other countries – I’m insistent on a car seat for my kids’ protection. ** Note – we are going to explore “how to carry your baby” in a separate blog!
Most better hotels have a cot that they won’t charge for, but if you are on a budget then bringing your own portacot might be a good idea. Or – do as many Peruvians do and co-sleep.


Waiting for meals at restaurants can sometimes be interminable if you have a hungry child – that’s when the bag of goodies comes out :)

Hungry kids are no fun. Hungry kids who are screwing their nose up at some food that they aren’t familiar with are extremely frustrating. I’m taking enough of their favorite snacks to get us through the first 3-5 days when the world will be disorienting – and we will all be tired. Then, we can begin the culinary adventure that is Peru, including the fun of shopping in foreign supermarkets!

Bag of Toys and Books
We carry a bag of goodies to be brought out at opportune moments – small toys (My Little Pony for the Little Miss, and Matchbox toys for the boy) and lightweight books. That said, planes hand out coloring books and once you get to Peru it’s a great adventure getting a range of different toys we have never seen before!
With a bit of patience, and a willingness to slow your pace, traveling to Peru with children can be a relatively stress-free, and yes, even enjoyable, experience.

Peru Travel with Children

Apus Peru Co-founder Ariana Svenson is currently planning a multi-generation trip to Peru – with her mother and her children, aged 5 years and 20 months. What is there to consider when planning Peru travel with kids?

This is a first in a series of blogs – Peru Travel with Kids – and is packed with realistic and useful advice from someone who has 5 years of travel with a small child under her belt, and is now looking forward to travelling with two!


Miss M heads off with her suitcase at the Cusco airport – When at airports, make sure the kids have plenty of time to run!

Flight timing

I’m mentally preparing myself for long haul flights with two kids! Twenty-month-old toddler Master L, who finds an hour car ride sufficient confinement for his active little legs, is likely to be a challenge on long haul flights. Miss M, having crossed the Pacific Ocean already 4 times in her 5 years, is likely going to be easier, though the fact that she can fit in a question every few seconds (often inappropriate) is going to be a bit of a challenge. Last time we travelled the Australia – Peru route she was 3 and we stopped for a night in Sydney and a night in Los Angeles before finally arriving in Lima. The travel period lasted for some 4 days and felt interminable. This time we are trying for direct flights and just 28 hours from our home airport to Lima. We leave at midnight (one hopes the little guy will be zonked) and will just fly…. We will let you know which option works better.


Miss M at a Lima Playground, aged 2, getting her body clock set and sharing playground equipment with the locals!

Getting body clocks set

So many people arrive in Peru and want to skip Lima – and if you are not into great museums, food and a vibrant city, that’s understandable. But the next destination for many is Cusco – which at a colossal 3400m (11,154 feet) is an extremely high altitude city. We are going to spend 3 nights in Lima in a comfortable hotel – with sound-proof walls. The idea is that we rest, recuperate and swim in the pool until our body clocks are organised without having to cope with high altitude at the same time – as well as getting our kids’ body clocks sorted out. (This advice is particularly appropriate for Australians, whose body clocks are the reverse of Peruvians’). So what have we got planned? – nothing at all –we are just going to rest.

Two nights at every hotel

From Lima we are going to forge south – and from here we have one fixed rule. Two nights in every hotel, which means one day driving/travelling and one day to explore and play. This is going to be slower – and more expensive than if we were traveling on our own, but it will also mean that the kids have a lot more fun!


Sacred Valley Hotels, with sunshine and beautiful gardens, allow for perfect acclimatisation for kids. We very much enjoyed the Hotel Pakaritampu, Ollantaytambo. (Pictured)


When we finally arrive in Cusco, we won’t stay – we’ll rather head to the lower climes of the Sacred Valley. Yes, three of our travelling party have been at altitude before and we suppose we will be Ok. However, Master L, at just 20months, is not particularly verbal and we don’t want to take the risk of not acclimatizing him properly. Some vital -and important – advice I read about travelling with small children at altitude is the following: if you are confident that you are able to distinguish the symptoms of altitude sickness in your child from an upset tummy, or even a terrible twos tantrum, then by all means acclimatize rapidly with a small child. For me it’s a no brainer – it’s much safer for him to acclimatize slowly!


Alpacas at many Sacred Valley hotels provided much fascination for our three-year-old, since we acclimatized before heading to Cusco!

In the next blog in this series, we will discuss how to pack when traveling with small children.

!nternational Youth Day

It was International Youth Day yesterday, 12th August, so we thought we would post to acknowledge the day and let you know a little of what we get up to ‘behind the scenes’…

Amongst our other contributions to the local community and sustainability (see this link for details of our projects ), Apus Perú have worked to support a Mosqoy student here in Cusco and we have in our current employment an ex student of Mosqoy, Adrian.

We thought it would be a nice idea to offer Adrian the opportunity to give his side of the story. But first, here’s a little about the Mosqoy organisation… Mosqoy means ‘Dream’ in Quechua and was founded in the Peruvian Andes in 2006, by Canadian and Peruvian youth. Their mission in Peru is to “help break the cycle of poverty that impacts the indigenous Quechua people of the Andean mountains by providing post-secondary educational opportunities for the region’s promising youth”. Their mission links in very nicely with our approach of seeking out projects which recognize that insiders (Andean Peruvians) and outsiders (foreigners) all have strengths and weaknesses – and that by working collaboratively we can reach best practice. As Mosqoy appropriately quote ‘hand-up instead of a hand-out.’

For many of the higher Andean communities the cycle of poverty is escalating while their traditional way of life is increasingly threatened. Mosqoy´s aim is for this to be alleviated by providing students in Peru with opportunities for advanced education, enabling Andean youth to possess the tools necessary to be local leaders and role models! A philosophy that is core to our commitment to making a positive and sustainable contribution to the quality of life for rural Andean communities.

And now over to Adrian:

The Apus Team! Adrian first left.

The Apus Team! Adrian first left.

Hello my name is Adrian Jimenez Suma. I’m from Ollantaytambo and live in the community Mandolista. I have 3 brothers, I studied tourism in 2006 with the help of the NGO Mosqoy.

It was a beautiful experience to be a part of Mosqoy, they helped me a lot in my life and that is why I always stay in touch with them. I was with Mosqoy for four years; three years as a student and one year as manager of the students. My job was to organize trips with students, to support social aid work in the communities of Rio Mapacho, and one of the trips was to Rumira Sondormayo it was there where I met Apus Peru!

When I finished my contract with Mosqoy I spent a long time without work and then I found an adevrtisement for Apus Peru, I contacted them the same day and the next day began working!

I have now been working with Apus Peru for 1 year. My work is in the area of ​​stock preparation equipment for treks and I have occasionally worked with Threads of Peru ( as a Quechua to Spanish translator. What I like about Apus is that my co-workers are friendly and they all work well as a team, we all help each other and I like traveling with Threads, because I can show my culture by speaking Quechua. I am also studying English and would like to join Apus, not as caretaker but as a guide, I hope to have that opportunity.



Thanks for making me part of Apus Peru. Thank you Adrian for sharing your story!

Lares to Machu Picchu in pictures…

Sharing – this year we’ve received some great fotos from some great clients – BIG thanks to all of you – keep a look out for foto blogs and facebook posts!

THANK YOU to Dee Andrews and Theresa Seiwald for these beautiful shots of your 4 day Lares to Machu Picchu trek with us in June.

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The unsung heros of the trek our Arrieros and their best friends

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Theresa Seiwald up high in the fabulous wide open spaces of the Andes

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Lush Lares Valley

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A warm welcome!

Lares Mapi

Local girls

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For more information on this or any other of our treks and tours please contact

Beers in the Valley

Apus Peru have a sister NGO called Threads of Peru with whom we work directly in support of their work; “..connect(ing) the world to handmade textiles of Peru helping to preserve ancient craft techniques and empower indigenous artisans.”

threads 1

Threads of Peru work with great commitment and dedication in their continued efforts to create a sustainable international market for the amazing textile products created by weaving communities in rural Cusco.

It seems we are not the only ones that consider Threads of Peru (ToP) a worthy organisation and positive contributing force in Cusco. The folk down at The Sacred Valley Brewing company (Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado) also think so too! Their team consists of: Alex Ball (New Jersey, U.S.), Juan Mayorga (Peru), and Joseph Giammatteo, the Brew-Master (Maryland, U.S.).

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On the last Saturday of every month the brewery holds a party to celebrate their wonderful beer and 20 percent of beer sales go to a non-profit of the brewery’s choice. ToP was chosen for March, so naturally we headed out to the Valley in support of our friends and partners at ToP and to enjoy a couple of pints in the process!

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It was a really great turn out, the weather was perfect and the beer flowed freely all in support of a good cause! In addition to the monthly party, the tasting room (or tap room) is open to the public from Friday to Sunday in the afternoons or by special arrangement.


Interested in making a visit as part of your Sacred Valley tour?? Please contact us at

9 day Choquequirao, Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu – foto blog

Many thanks to Father and Son team Matt and Russ Wood for their photographs and our Chef Mauro and Guide Herbert for their skills along our 9 day adventurous trek from Choquequirao up to Vilcabamba including a visit to Machu Pichcu as a just reward!

We have 4 confirmed departures ready to join for this trek on 19th July, 2nd and 17th of August and 5th October. Check out our trekkers wanted page:

We think you will agree a truly magestic route, enjoy the photographs…

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For more information or to join a confirmed departure via our Trekkers Wanted page please contact us at:

Festive Peruvian family adventure!

We would like to share a review with you and a little anecdote from one of our clients while travelling with us on their Peruvian family adventure tour, Christmas 2014. We helped plan their bespoke ‘child friendly’ itinerary in which they spent time on the beach in Lima, went hiking in Chaullacocha, visited Maras Moray and Salineras, the Chichubamba Community project, onwards to Machu Picchu and last but not least discovered the Amazon jungle! Unfortunately, the children got a little sick whilst in Cusco but soon recovered and were able to complete their adventure…


On the way to Chaullacocha

“I have been meaning to write to you and thank you once more for all your hard work that contributed to making the trip such a memorable adventure. I particularly appreciate your flexibility when things didn’t go according to plan (all part of the adventure).


Village of Chaullacocha

The trek to the village was a highlight for everyone (even though we had to truncate it), and it made a huge impact on the kids. In particular, we have to thank Jose (our guide): when I asked what the villager ate, he replied “Potatoes”. “And with potatoes?”. “Potatoes with potatoes”. Now the kids don’t complain about dinner!

Here’s a lovely foto provided by the family of the girls in their Apus T-shirts enjoying the sunshine in Lima. Thank you to the Veitch family, for your comments and anecdote, wishing you happy future travels! From all the team at Apus Peru!

Tara and Tanaya soaking up the Lima sunshine

Tara and Tanaya soaking up the Lima sunshine

For personally programmed itineraries, please contact us at: