- Ollantaytambo: Ollanta’s fortress ruins have some of the Incas’ finest stonemasonry, including 200 stone steps straight to the top. Another engineering genius is the grid of 15th-century canchas, or city blocks, that form the old town. Canals ripple alongside the stone streets, carrying water down from the mountains.
- Inca masonry (Cusco): Monumental Inca walls, constructed of giant granite blocks so well carved that they fit together without mortar like jigsaw puzzle pieces, dominate historic Cusco. Down alleyways lined with polygonal stones, kids can pick out the famous 12-angled stone and a series of stones that forms the shape of a large puma.
- Sacsayhuamán (Cusco): Among the Incas’ greatest ruins, these zigzagged defensive walls—with some blocks weighing as much as 300 tons—are an unexpected delight for kids. Some large stones have time-worn grooves, which children have discovered make great slides. And nearby is a stone funhouse of claustrophobia-inducing tunnels.
- Colonial Lima: The original core of Lima, once the Americas’ richest settlement, preserves a wealth of handsome colonial-era architecture that has survived fires, earthquakes, and decades of neglect. Visit baroque churches and monasteries and restored colonial mansions with long carved-wood balconies.
- Caral-Supe (Side Trips from Lima): The first constructions at the settlement of Caral-Supe in the desert north of Lima date as far back as 2600 B.C., leading many to call it the oldest city in the Americas. Excavations are still ongoing, but many of the plazas and residential buildings have already been reconstructed. Still, few international tourists even know it exists.
- The Bridge of Sighs (Lima): Barranco was a seaside retreat for wealthy Limeños during the Republican era, and they built mansions along wide, leafy streets. The neighborhood’s architectural centerpiece is the Puente de los Suspiros, a wooden bridge crossing a sloping boardwalk that runs down to the beach below.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.