Day 1 - Travel
to Lima, Peru
departs and arrives to Lima in the evening.
Upon arrival in Lima, your Tour Manager will welcome you at the
international airport. You will head to your
hotel in the Miraflores area and have breakfast and time to rest.
Day 2 - Arrive
in Lima and Tour the City Center
Today you are off to explore the historical center
of Lima where you will have the chance to walk in the main square and visit
churches such as the breathtaking main cathedral (the Basílica Catedral de Lima) and the convent of San Francisco with
its ancient burial sites in the catacombs below. You will also spend time exploring the area
around the hotel. In the late afternoon you
will return to your hotel to rest, have dinner and your orientation meeting discussing
the exciting days ahead.
Day 3 - Lima
This morning you will rise for an early breakfast. You will then travel to the airport and begin your journey to Cusco. The domestic flight takes approximately two
hours. Upon arrival, your bus driver
will welcome you and take you to your lodging.
Your lodging is run by an organization that works with several
development programs and provides lodging and education to indigenous girls who
migrate to Cusco to work, usually as maids.
Here, you will learn about this organization and their local initiatives
to help children of indigenous background improve their quality of life.
Upon arrival to your lodging, you will have a delicious lunch. During your first day in Cusco, you will
spend most of your time acclimating to the high altitude, 12,467 feet above sea
level. Activities will involve resting
and spending time with the girls at the lodging and neighborhood children. If you are here during a weekday, and while
school is in session, you will go to a local high school that is supported by your
lodging organization. Here, you will
present yourselves and meet the local students, interchanging information and
learning about each other’s ways of life.
Day 4 - Cusco
you will wake up early to enjoy a tasty breakfast and a tour of nearby
archaeological ruins. You will visit Puca
Pucara, Sacsayhuaman and Quenko, all amazing archaeological sites built around
the city. You will then return to the
historical center of Cusco for lunch with time to explore a local market where you
will participate in a scavenger hunt activity.
the end of the day, you will return to your lodging, rest and relax. Before a delicious dinner, you will have a
meeting with your Tour Manager about the town and communities where you will
live and work. In addition to your service
work, you will discuss topics such as the economic and social realities in the
Day 5 - Cusco
– Host Town and Surrounding Communities
Today you will travel to your host
town and surrounding communities, located approximately an hour from
Cusco. This area is considered one of
the poorest of Peru, so your presence and help on with a development project is
greatly appreciated by all. Here, the
economy is based on potatoes and grains, and daily struggles relate to lack of
infrastructure, education and nutrition.
You will be staying in the town center in group lodging provided by the
same Cusco organization. Surrounding the
town are multiple rural communities where you will spend your days working on your
service project and interacting with community members.
Upon arrival, you will have a tour of the town
center and continue your orientation discussion about the service project. After a traditional lunch in the communal
dining area of the community, you will visit the Cultural House, a space where
children gather for extracurricular activities while their parents are
working. Here, children learn the basics
of hygiene and nutrition, work on school assignments, and are provided
At night, you will enjoy a nice dinner at your lodging.
Day 6-8 - Host
Community & Service Project
the next few days, you will work on a much-needed service project in the
community. Potential projects include
improving community buildings and agricultural infrastructure, as well as
reforestation. You will work between
four to six hours per day depending on the project.
you may have the opportunity to help at the Cultural House playing with the
local kids, helping them with homework and learning a little of the Kechua*
language, which will help the children value their indigenous identity. If you work at the Cultural House, you will
have a short training in the community before you begin.
the afternoons and/or evenings, you will continue to participate in local
cultural activities such as pick up soccer games with the local children,
traditional dance lessons, agricultural activities and learning how to prepare
“chuño,” a type of dehydrated potato. You
also may have the opportunity to help in the community kitchen, make “adobe,”
traditional local bricks used in construction in rural areas and work with local
textile makers to learn the process of wool preparation.**
*Kechua and Quechua are
both correct spellings for the native language of Peru. While Quechua has been the predominant
spelling based on the Spanish alphabet, the official Kechua dictionary of Peru
has replaced the “Qu” with a “K” in order to reflect an indigenous
spelling. Indigenous peoples seek to
make this spelling the official internationally, but have not yet been able to
**All cultural activities
depend on community circumstances and availability at the time of your visit.
Day 9 - Host
Community – Aguas Calientes
During your final morning in the community, you will
wrap up your community service project. You
will gather with the community members to celebrate the completion of the
the celebration, you will say your heartfelt goodbyes to your new friends. You will then depart from your host community
and travel towards one of the most impressive ruins in the world, the ancient
city of Machu Picchu. When you reach
Ollaytaytambo, the location of the train to Machu Picchu, you will walk around
town and enjoy a view of nearby Inca ruins.
You will also visit a local museum and learn about the diversity of food
in Peru, followed by an early traditional lunch before taking the train to
a few hours, you will enjoy the scenic transition from mountain vegetation to
cloud forest as you travel down the highlands to Machu Picchu. You arrive in Aguas Calientes, the closest
town to the citadel. If time allows, you
will go for a short walk to either a nearby waterfall or a viewpoint from which
it is possible to see the local forest. You
will spend the night in Aguas Calientes.
Day 10 - Machu
Picchu – Cusco
morning you will rise very early and enter the tranquil and sacred city of
Machu Picchu. You will have the entire
morning to enjoy and explore this magnificent place.
Picchu is an ancient Inca city that was built between 1450 and 1470 A.D. Considered the former center of the Inca
Empire, the site was built 8,000 feet above sea level and is situated on a
mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley.
Approximately one hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish
conquest, Machu Picchu was abandoned. It
was not until 1911, when an American archeologist was led to the hidden city,
did the rest of the world become aware of this magnificent city. Excavations soon began to discover what
existed beneath the dense forest that grew on top of the city, and still
continue today. Machu Picchu was
designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 when it was described as “an
absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to Inca
civilization.” Today you can see the
remnants of the ancient city including residences, temples, storage structures,
fountains and aqueducts.
exploring Machu Picchu, you will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch. If time allows, you will enjoy a visit to the
local handicraft market. Finally, you will
board the train to return to Ollaytaytambo on your way to Cusco.
Day 11 -
Cusco – Lima
morning you will travel to the airport for your domestic flight back to
Lima. This afternoon, time permitting, you
will explore the Miraflores area where your
hotel is located and also visit a local handicraft market. Tonight you will have a farewell dinner to
celebrate your time shared, and memories made, together in Peru.
Day 12 - Departure
will have breakfast at the hotel and depart for the airport.