Trekking Peru with two children

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of November 6-12, 1997
Finding family trips for all seasons
Doin' California with a big doggy
Trekking Peru with two children
Climbing Kilimanjaro in February
Finding the perfect East Coast spa

Trekking Peru with two children
Question: My husband has gotten the trek and see-new-culture bug and wants to go to South America with our two older children (ages 9 and 11, both of whom are adventurous and fit) in late March. Any ideas?

Amy Munro
Weatherby Lake, MI

Adventure Adviser: By all means, go! There are dozens of wonderful places to kayak, mountain climb, jungle hike, and ride horses in South America.

I'd say the best place to trek is Peru. The country is much safer than it was a few years ago thanks to President Alberto Fujimori's commitment to squelching any guerrilla presence.

For first-time trekkers, I'd recommend a trip that includes Machu Picchu, the famous ancient Inca city perched high atop a mountain. G.A.P. Adventures offers an "Inca Empire" trip where you'll spend 15 days in Bolivia and Peru. Four of those days will be spent hiking the Inca Trail and, according to their brochures, experiencing "breathtaking views at every step."

The rest of this trip you'll spend visiting such famous sites as Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, La Paz, Cuzco, Puno, and other beautiful and historic cities and sites in Bolivia and Peru.

The trip is surprisingly reasonable for 15 days of adventure at $950. You may want to call G.A.P. and ask for a catalog; the company has a half-dozen Peru itineraries. Headquarters in Canada can be reached by calling 800-465-5600 or 416-922-8899. Or call Himalayan Travel in the United States at 800-225-2380.

If you have entertained thoughts of going to Peru on your own, I'd consult a local library or bookstore for travel books on Peru. Two of the better-known and reliable travel publishers are Lonely Planet and Moon Publications.

I'd also keep your eye on news from Peru. Though the danger has considerably mellowed, it's good to keep your head up.

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