fun things to do with kids in cusco cuzco peru - family travel   Travel for Kids
  | The Andes

Inca Sites - Sacred Valley


Sacsayhuaman The Inca fortress above Cusco, where massive blocks of stone were fitted mysteriously, perfectly together centuries ago. Here is where Pizarro defeated Manco Inca in 1536.

Today, start your explorations at the three big red stone circles, remains of large tower foundations. Drop down to the huge zig zag stone walls that look like gigantic puma teeth. Cross the big dirt field area (the Esplanade), to the Rodadero, a perfect natural rock slide for kids. Kids will want to slide down a bunch of times (it's fun for adults too).

Before you go to the ruins, shop in town for a kite – the hilltop location of Sacsayhuaman is perfect for kite flying.

    Puca Pucara This circular ruin, the "Red Fortress," brings to mind a ruined Scottish guard tower, but the Andean mountains are a far cry from Scotland. It's worth a stop to run around the ruins, kids can imagine they're the Inca guard, monitoring anyone coming or going to Cusco.
Tambomachay – When the Inca nobles wanted to get out of town, they headed for Tambomachay. Here water from a spring is diverted to three stone tiers, water pouring from one level to the next. The Inca weren't all that tall, and could stand under the water for ceremonial baths. It's a peaceful spot for a picnic.

Ride horses around the ruins – Take a day trip to ride horses around the ruins (Saysayhuaman, Puca Pucara, Qenko and Tambomachay). It's a very pleasant way to explore the wide open countryside around Cusco. Ask at your hotel for arrangements.


Pisac – Pisac, the Citadel, was once a key Inca fortress that guarded routes to the jungle and protected Cusco. Today, it's a steep climb up terraces to reach the top of the saddle. From there, you climb up to the ruins. On top there are stunning views of red volcanic peaks across the valley and fields that go straight up the mountain! The climb to the top is pretty steep; it could be a bit much for small kids.

      Down in the valley, the town of Pisac has a busy Sunday market.
Ollantaytambo – Ollantaytambo was an Inca town, topped by a spectacular fortress overlooking the Urubamba River. The ruins are quite stunning, but as an added bonus, to the east of the fortress is an "aqueduct" that brought water to main plaza. Take a picnic lunch to munch while you relax along the small stream that flows at the base of the ruins. It's a pastoral spot to spend hours playing by the water.
      Rafting on the Urubamba River In summer months, when the water is low, the river is wide and smooth flowing in this section, good for a rafting trip with kids. You can arrange for day trips at the rafting office in the plaza in Ollantaytambo.
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