For many parents Peru isn’t the first country that comes to mind when planning a family trip. Many parents opt to wait until their kids are a bit older before heading there. The biggest concern is usually the altitude and whether its safe to take a baby. We decided to find out exactly what its like traveling to Peru with a baby by talking to one of our Club Bébé Voyage members, Michelle!
Michelle decided to travel to Peru by herself with her 10-month-old daughter because it was a place that had always been on her list and she didn’t want to put it off any longer. After reading a multitude of family travel blogs of families who had traveled to Peru, she was inspired to turn her dream into a reality. The mom and daughter duo spent 7 days exploring Peru, they visited Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu, explored the Sacred Valley and local markets.
Michelle shared with us her 5 biggest lessons learned when planning a trip to Peru with a baby:
1.Packing – Check the weather
The thing I wish I would of paid more attention to before going is the weather. We went in August which is in the Peruvian winter season, with average temperatures of mid-high 60s (15-21C). The issue is that is also very windy, which makes it feel a lot colder than it is. In the city of Lima it was also a bit grey and rainy during our stay, that latter I heard was rare. Many hotels and homes do not have a heater so it can be really cold. If you visit Peru during the Peruvian winter season make sure they have blankets or bring a blanket.
2. Baby wearing is highly recommended
Two unmissable pieces of gear that helped me tremendously were my Tula Carrier and baby hiking carrier, the latter was especially helpful during our day in Machu Picchu. It allowed me to carrying around my daughter and all the essentials for the day, the bottom hold holds formula, diapers, snacks, etc.
Also note: I did not really see many car seats in Peru and most people just hold their child on their laps in the car. Many hotels do not carry cribs, so make sure that you get a bed big enough to share with your baby, which is what I ended up doing.
3. Make sure you try the local cuisine
The food in Peru is absolutely amazing. Make sure you try Lomo Saltado! Note that most restaurants did not have highchairs. This is where the Tula Carrier was again very helpful.
4. Don’t be scared of the altitude adjustment
My biggest concern going was the altitude. After staying in Lima we boarded a domestic flight to Cusco (2 hours), which is at an altitude of 11,152 feet (3,400 m). In comparison Maccu Picchu is significantly lower at 7,970 feet (2,425m). Therefore many people experience altitude sickness, which normally hits a 8,000 ft+, in Cusco while they are fine in Maccu Picchu.
When we got off the plane I immediately felt dizzy and experienced altitude sickness, but my daughter did very well. No issues. There was a point where she didn’t want to eat and just wanted to sleep and I am almost certain that was the altitude adjustment, but I made sure to keep watching her. I would suggest to bring plenty of medicine, just in case and to make sure that you take your time to adjust to the altitude in Cusco i.e. add 1-2 altitude adjustment days to your itinerary.
5. Machu Picchu is a must see and it is best to look for a accommodation in the vicinity to cut down on travel time
In the midst of the Andes lie the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, the remote Peruvian site is a must-do for the vast majority of tourists. Between May to October, the high season as many as 5000 people visit Machu Picchu per day, which means it can get very crowded. When we visited it was crowded, very hot and sunny. Make sure to bring sunscreen, bug spray and most importantly a hat or umbrella to cover your little one child. You will need a carrier for Machu Picchu because you will be doing a ton of walking. One big lesson learned is taking into account travel time. On the train back to Cusco from Machu Picchu (4,5 hrs) my daughter was very tired and cranky, I wished I would have chosen to stay in a nearby hotel or in Aquas Caliente.
Would Michelle travel to Peru again? YES! She says “It takes effort to plan the trip, but it is worth it. I am not going to lie, traveling to Peru by myself with a baby was extremely difficult and at times I missed an extra pair of hands. But all Peruvian people I have encountered were very helpful and nice, they love children over there and don’t be surprised if people come over wanting to see/ touch your baby. I encourage all parents who want to visit Peru with their little ones to just do it!”
Want to know the best places to visit with a baby while in Peru? Check out our Top Tips in Peru article!
Let us about your Peru travel experience in the comments below!