Planning a trip to Pachacamac, Lima, Peru

We initially mentioned Pachacamac in the itinerary that you could follow when visiting Lima.  In this post, we will expand upon why Pachacamac will be a great day trip for you and your family.  Located about 45 minutes to an hour outside of Lima (depending on traffic, which can be very unpredictable), Pachacamac will offer you the chance to get out and experience more of Peru’s diverse and extensive history.

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This is a place where the Incas lived for centuries until the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.  Our guide told us some fantastic stories, and we experienced the benefit of him being a direct descendent of the Incas.

Navigating Your Day Trip

Expanse of the Pachacamac site

Our tour picked us up at a very friendly time of the day—around 1pm. This worked out well for us because we were able to relax that morning.  We ended up arriving at Pachacamac at around 2pm or so. At that point, we spent around 3 hours at the site and returned to Lima by 6pm.

We recommend taking a day tour of Pachacamac that provides transportation to and from the site.  We used based on their stellar reviews and timing. Ultimately, it may be a little bit challenging or intimidating to drive in Peru (and please, if this is something you are considering, do your research).

The tour itself was very reasonably priced, costing around $35-$40 per person for a guided tour. Make sure you bring sunscreen and plenty of water.  Additionally, you will be walking a lot, so wear comfortable shoes.

What We Enjoyed

Picture in front of an Inca temple complex

Pachacamac is an ancient excavation site where the Incas used to live in great numbers. We found this very interesting, because in terms of “newness” this is an active archaeological dig.  It has many unique sites, including a major temple and a village, and you can get a glimpse into how the Incas used to live. We really enjoyed the fact that you didn’t have to imagine or visualize what the village looked like when it was inhabited.  The mere fact that they are excavating currently means that you are seeing much of the original infrastructure that the Incas built centuries ago.

Just know that when you first arrive, you will be struck by the wide “openness” of the space; however, don’t be fooled, there is so much to see. For most of the tour, you will be shuttled around from one spot to another.  Then, you will reach the main temple where you will be able to walk up the hill to the top.

Road going to capital of Inca kingdom (Cusco)!

Now, about this part of the tour, there is a lot of walking—and you will have to do much of this uphill.  As we noted previously, it’s very important to wear comfortable shoes or it’s likely your feet will really be howling by day’s end.  However, we did bring our stroller with us—and it was worth it. Consult in our tips at the end for details on this.

Kid-Friendly Tips

  • Prepare for dust—possibly bring a hat and make sure you have sunglasses. Also, know that because it is dusty and sandy, your child may want to play in the sand.  Make sure they wear something that you won’t mind getting dirty.
  • Bring the stroller!  When you get to the part where walking uphill is involved you will want it.  For the most part, we could push it up the hill as we walked. Just take note, there were times where we had to pick the stroller up and carry it because we encountered steps, etc. Keep that in mind in terms of logistics. All in all, we recommend having the stroller with you because a little one could easily get tired over the course of a few hours of exploring. Here is a link to our recommended stroller.
  • Have some kid-friendly distractions at the ready, such as books or an iPad.  As you go from one point on the tour to the next, your child may not want to come out of the car at every point.  Some of the stops only last a few minutes, and it might be easier to keep them in the car.
  • On that last point, you don’t need a car seat in Lima, but we used one.  Please reference our recommendation.

Useful resources/links

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