๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ Pacific Ocean ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ We couldn't leave Peru without me taking my first ever dip in the Pacific Ocean.

It was bloody cold and the waves were huge so I settled for just a paddle.  But it felt great!

After being a bit grumpy (I was worrying about our tsunami exit route) a dip in the sea proper cheered me up.

Miraflores has some great beaches for surfing and their are surf school right on the beach that will sign you up there and then.

I was tempted but didn't fancy trying to squeeze on a wetsuit with an audience. โค๏ธ #pacificocean #oceansoftheworld #ilovethesea #swimallday #familybloggers #travelblog #photooftheday #kidsthattravel #worldschool
๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ Pucara Bulls ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ You'll find miniature versions of this bull all over Peru.  In a variety of colours too.

Some of the houses in the countryside will have two little bulls on the roof.

They arrived in Peru in the early years of the Spanish colony and were originally crafted as a cup.  They would be filled with chicha, a drink made from corn and mixed with blood.  This would be consumed by the priest in a cattle blessing ceremony.

Now, they are used as a blessing to Apus, the Inca mountain god, to bring health, wealth and unity to the owner. โค๏ธ #pucarabull #exploreperu ##travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics
๐Ÿซ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿซ Hot Chocolate and Churros ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿซ The food in Peru is soooo good!  We didn't have one bad meal and the snacks are incredible.

Dan made it his personal mission to try everything and he did pretty well.  He did go back for seconds on some though, and that held him back.

Anyway, we had read about a place in Miraflores that did hot chocolate and churros and decided it was an absolute must.

Churros are a big thing in Lima.  People sell them everywhere and they are amazing.  But Manolo's is like the best.

You can get 6 churros and a mug of hot chocolate for S/16, which is less than ยฃ4.  Dan and the kids loved them.  Let's face it that drink looks more like melted chocolate. โค๏ธ #manolo #churros #miraflores #travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿœ๏ธ The Desert ๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿœ๏ธ I hadn't ever been to the desert before.  And if I'm being completely honest, I didn't know that Peru had any desert.  I'm learning, OK?

It is an amazing place!  We set out early in the morning to climb the sand dunes that surround Huacachina. 
Dan carried Alice but Emily walked to the top of a small peak all by herself.  We were super proud as it was hot and hard work.

We then took it in turns to look after the kids while the other climbed right to the top.

I thought I was going to die.  It was a hard climb.  It got steeper and hotter the closer you got to the top too.  But we both did it.  And boy, was it worth it?! โค๏ธ #explorethedesert #seizetheday #topoftheworld #travelfamily #suitcaselife #kidsthattravel #worldschoolers #worldschooling #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel
๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด Huacachina ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด After a night's stop at Paracas, we boarded another bus (only an hour this time) to Ica.

From Ica, we hopped in a taxi that took us to Huacachina.  A desert oasis!

This is a completely incredible place with a funky little vibe going on.  Surrounded by restaurants and hostels, this is a great place to hang out for a couple of nights.

It was here that we got to stay in our first hostel and we loved it.  It had a gorgeous garden with hammocks and a swimming pool.  It actually felt kinda luxurious.

We also got to catch up with a friends and have a spot of dinner too.  So sophisticated. โค๏ธ #huacachina #exploreperu #desertoasis  #traveltheworld #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
๐Ÿง๐Ÿง๐Ÿง Paracas ๐Ÿง๐Ÿง๐Ÿง As part of our stay in Peru, we wanted to get out of Lima and at least explore some of the many amazing things that the rest of the country has to offer.

One of the places we really wanted to go to was Paracas, as from here you can take a boat trip to the Ballastas Islands.

Now the Ballastas islands are excellent!  Home to a shed load of loads, some very rare but also a great place to see sea lions and PENGUINS.

The place was full of sea lions lounging about on rocks.  There were baby sea lions too with mummy sea lions that looked like they just wanted some peace and quiet.

Seeing penguins was a big one for us though, as this was on Emily's bucket list. 
We were all so happy to be able to seeing such beautiful animals living in their natural habitat. โค๏ธ #peru #penguins #ballastas #travelblog #travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š Travel stories ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š I'm going to tell you a story now.  I'm writing this and scheduling it to go out later so I'm hoping by the time you read this the story will have an ending.

This is the story about why we bought the kids alpaca wool cardigans.

It starts in the USA, where we managed to gather a small collection of coins.  This included a one cent coin.

Fast forward to our last day in Colombia, where Alice finds this coin on the floor and decides to eat it.  I mean full on swallow it.

This led to major panicking from Mummy and Daddy.  Lots of Googling happened including
โ›ฒโ›ฒโ›ฒ Parque de la Reserva โ›ฒโ›ฒโ›ฒ I had read about this park before heading to Lima and wanted to check it out.

This park contains 13 water fountains, all of them impressive and many of them interactive.  It holds the world record for the largest water fountain complex.

The kids loved this feature.  A 35m long tunnel that you could walk through and stay fairly dry.

Others include the Fuente Magica which has a jet of water that goes up 80m into the air and the Fuente de los Ninos which is a children's fountain that you can play in.

At night they all light up.  Then the Fantasia fountain comes to life with a light projection show, spanning its 120m length.

We had a magical evening walking around the fountains, drinking coffee and eating churros.  Another must-see in Lima! โค๏ธ #parquedelareserva #lightshow #lima #peru #seetheworld #familytravelin #familytravelers #travelblog #travelwithkids #exploretheworld
๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฏ Huaca Pucllana ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฏ Turns out there's not an emoji for Incan pyramid ruins, so you ended up with that.

Anyway, that's what this is.  Actually, it pre-dates the Inca period (200AD ish) and was a sacred place or place of worship at the time.

We didn't get to do the full tour unfortunately.  Kids were going a bit loopy in the sun, but we did get a pretty good look anyway.

The entire structure is made from mud and is assembled in a bookshelf formation.  The slabs stand on end with small gaps that allow for movement whilst retaining its strength.

It was here that I learnt that Lima has an average annual rainfall of less than 30mm.  Which is lucky otherwise this would have washed away a long time ago.

A great find in the heart of Miraflores, Lima! โค๏ธ #huacapucllana #miraflores #incaruins #exploreperu #loveperu #familytravels #travelphoto #travelblogger #familytravelblog
๐Ÿ‘’๐Ÿงฃ๐Ÿ‘œ Inka Market ๐Ÿ‘œ๐Ÿงฃ๐Ÿ‘’ Immediately on arrival in Peru, I had a huge urge to spend all my money on brightly coloured clothing and accessories made from alpaca wool.

Therefore, we had to head to Inka Market.  This colourful market is an absolute must see in Miraflores.

Emily loved it!  She borrowed Dan's phone and wandered around snapping pictures of everything she liked.

The bag in this picture was a particular favourite early on and she kept talking about it.

The shop owners kept enticing us in by shoving knitted hats on the kids, scarves around my neck and generally waving around toy llamas.

I loved it!  I nearly spent all of my money there and then bought a ticket home.  It was beautiful!

If you are heading there my advice would be to take cash and remember that the prices are VERY flexible.

SPOILER ALERT:  We went back and got Emily the bag the next day! โค๏ธ #inkamarket #perusouvenirs #alpacas #photooftheday #lima #kidsofinstagram #travelfamily #familiesaroundtheworld #worldschoolers
๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ Painting in the park ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ After our initial walk down to the sea, we decided to explore the parks closer to our apartment.

Turns out the park is brilliant.  As well as being a place for local artists to sell their work, food stalls to dispense delicious treats and cats to wander freely, there is a play area for kids.

We all sort of lost our minds at finding this play area.  We hadn't visited a proper play area since Central Park in New York.

This park has swings and slides, climbing frames and seesaws and, of course, those wibbly wobbly horse things.

On top of that, it had some added bonuses.  Our favourite was that you could do painting in the park.

A couple of (rather entrepreneurial) women had set up some easels and had a selection of pictures that the children could paint.

For S./5 (a little more than ยฃ1), the kids sat and painted happily for the first time in a long time.

We had such a lovely evening watching our kids just be kids. โค๏ธ #kidsbeingkids #kidsaroundtheworld #familytravel #familytravelbog #advetnuretravel #slowtravel #letkidsbekids #lima #peru #miraflores
Our Cocoa Beach Experience

Our Cocoa Beach Experience

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

We had done some sea swimming with the girls back in the UK before we left.ย  We actually have a video about it.

 

Reviews were a bit mixed back then.ย  Both kids liked it a bit but also much preferred sitting on the beach and eating fish and chips.

 

However, our trip to Cocoa Beach combined with some new swimming skills and giant waves made for an excellent day out.

First thoughts on Cocoa Beach

When we first arrived at Cocoa Beach, I pulled up the car and hope out to scope the beach.ย  The beach was pretty empty, no-one was swimming and there was a lifeguard hut flying a red flag.

 

I immediately felt disappointed for Emily who had been super excited to swim in the sea off the coast of Florida.ย  We had all been excited bout that.

 

Rather than admit defeat though, we decided to drive a little bit further down the beach to see if it was any different there.ย  Thank goodness we did!

 

The spot we found had cheaper parking for starters, and there were people swimming in the sea.ย  Yes!

 

Swimming in the sea at Cocoa Beach

The waves were big!ย  Not super big.ย  Iโ€™ve definitely swum in worse, but many were going over my head.ย  It was not going to be leisurely swim more of an extreme sport.

 

Alice preferred paddling in the shallow water, still lacking in confidence at this point.ย  But she did enjoy picking things up on the beach including sand and bits of seaweed.

 

Emily, on the other hand, went totally wild.ย  The waves were massive.ย  They knocked me off my feet more than once.ย  But that didnโ€™t stop Emily.

 

Emily loved the waves!ย  She would swim under them, swim with them, let them knock her over and any other game she could think of to do with waves.

I did not let go of her the whole time.ย  Every few seconds, I would drag her out of a huge wave to check she was OK.ย  She would get annoyed at me and ask to be thrown back in.

 

She spent more time underwater that day than above it, Iโ€™m sure.ย  But she had the best time!ย  It made me go all warm and fuzzy.

 

Picnic on the beach

When I did manage to drag Emily out of the water, we enjoyed a few sandy sandwiches and some cans of fizz.

 

Although, this didnโ€™t last long because the kids wanted to get back to the adventure and Emily was nagging one of us to take her back in the sea again.

 

Ron Jonโ€™s Surf Shop

Once we had completely had our fill of jumping and diving through waves and knew with complete certainty that we had sand EVERYWHERE, we decided to pack up and go for a wander.

 

The main destination was Ron Jonโ€™s Surf Shop which I just adore.ย  It is like my idea of heaven.

 

Firstly, unlike most clothes shop I go in, the clothes look comfy and practical.ย  Think shorts and vest tops, paired with flip flops and a straw hat.

ron jons surf shop

Then they sell everything you could think of for enjoying the ocean.ย  There are surfboards, bodyboards, snorkelling gear, fishing gear and swimwear.

 

I completely plan to go back there one day and spend a load of money.ย  I will look cool and the ocean will have to deal with me exploring it on an array of vessels.

 

Make Cocoa Beach part of your Orlando experience

It is only an hourโ€™s drive from Kissimmee and will give you something completely different from the busy theme parks.

 

We loved a true family day spent playing in the sand and the surf.ย  Just remember to take a lot of sun cream and be prepared for lots of sand in the car.

Not every trip in Florida needs to be all about Disney.  Cocoa Beach is a great day trip from Kissimmee and there is so much fun to be had at the coast.

Disclaimer:ย  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.ย  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.ย  Read the full disclaimerย here.

You may also like

LEAVE A COMMENT

Welcome

family adventure travel bloggers

Welcome to Our Adventurehood; we’re the Jessops!

Join us as we travel the world.ย  Starting in the USA, before heading to South America, Southeast Asia and more.

Everything from our adventure diary, travel planning and favourite moments along the way.

 

Latest Videos