My son and I will be hitting up Peru in a week and would appreciate any advice at all :)
From safety to health and entertainment...
We will be starting in Lima, flying to Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Macchu Picchu & Puno.
Any advice would be fab ;)
I was there last year and thought Peru is a great place to take kids! Lima was OK during the day (usual big city precautions apply) but do be sure at night to take taxis and to only take taxis that are licensed, perhaps best to ask the hotel or the restaurant you are leaving from to call one for you at night. Miraflores is a safe neighborhood to walk around it at night (at least I found it so as a single lone female traveler).
If your 9 yr old is intrigued by surfing, Lima has good surfing schools on the beach below Miraflores. Plaza de Armas and main Cathedral are stunning, and a a day in Barranco is a must.
Cuzco is a delight, but do take it easy due to altitude and possible altitude sickness. We took it slow and drank alot of water and coca tea. We felt safe walking everywhere in Cuzco. En route to Machu Picchu, try to overnight in Ollantaytambo and stay at the station albergue-one of the best places I ever stayed at-loads of charm and fab garden and restaurant. Good Inca ruins in town too. Puno was a so-so place for me-very touristy and overrun with touristy businesses, but the central market was great-only locals and lots of colour.
The buses between cities are great-vary from two decker comfortable to rickety. Spend the extra to go on a comfortable one. I prefer to arive in a place during the day, so depending on the length of journey, be OK with overnight buses.
Consider a trip to the Colca Canyon and stay at Cabanaconde-better than the mad dash day trips folks do from Arequipa to see the condors. We stayed in the village for three nights and could easily have stayed a week with all the hiking opportunities in the area.
Here's a good assortment of articles on Peru safety: http://journals.worldnomads.com/safetyhub/country/168/Peru almost 6 years ago