Day 1 – Travel to Lima, Peru
Depart the U.S. and
arrive in Lima in the late evening.
Upon arrival in Lima, your Program Leader will welcome you at the
international airport. You will head to your
hotel in the Miraflores area and have time to rest.
Day 2 – Lima
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 your hotel.
In the late afternoon you will return to your hotel to rest, have dinner,
and attend your orientation meeting discussing the exciting days ahead.
Day 3 – Lima, Flight to Cusco
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 80 minutes.
Upon arrival, your bus driver will welcome you and take you to your
lodging in Cusco. The lodge 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 getting
to know the girls who live at the lodge.
This evening you
will have a delicious dinner at the lodge, followed by a meeting with your
Program Leader about the town and communities where you will live and
work. In addition to your education-related
activities, you will discuss topics such as the economic and social realities
in the community.
Day 4 – Cusco, Host Community
breakfast you will enjoy a leisurely visit to a local market, the Plaza de
Armas, and the main Cathedral before driving to your host community, located an hour from Cusco.
This area is considered one of the poorest of Peru. 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 visiting schools and interacting
with community members.
arrival, you will have a brief tour of the town center and continue your
orientation discussion about the community.
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 nutritious food.
Your group could organize some structured games during this time to, perhaps,
teach some basic English words, phrases, or songs to the children.
night, you will enjoy a nice dinner at your lodge.
Day 5 – Host community
This day will be spent visiting a school in a nearby
community and interacting with the students and teachers.
night, you will have dinner at your lodge.
Day 6 – Host community - Cusco
Today you will visit another
local school and assist the local teachers.
You will return with the school children to the lodge to share
lunch. In the early afternoon you will spend
more time with the local students and later depart for Cusco to spend the night
in the lodge there and have dinner.
Day 7 – Cusco, Aguas Calientes
Early in the morning you
will depart from Cusco and travel towards one of the most impressive archaeological
sites in the world. First, you will
visit Moray. This site contains unusual
Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular
depressions. Speculation about the site has led to discussion about Moray as an
Incan agricultural experiment station to study of domestication,
acclimatization, and hybridization of wild vegetable species that were modified
or adapted for human consumption.
Then you will travel to Ollantaytambo
where you will enjoy a brief walk around town and a visit to more Incan
ruins. You will have an early
traditional lunch before catching the train to Machu Picchu.
For a few hours aboard the
train, you will enjoy the scenic transition from mountain vegetation to cloud
forest as you travel down the highlands to Machu Picchu City, or Aguas
Calientes. Upon arrival you will walk and
carry your luggage to your hotel for dinner and rest.
You will spend the night in
Day 8 – Machu Picchu, Cusco
This 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 with your Program Leader teaching you about the
history and importance of this place.
Machu 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 local farmers led an American archeologist to the hidden city,
that the rest of the world become aware of this magnificent city. Excavations soon began to reveal what existed
beneath the dense forest that grew on top of the city. 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 Incan civilization.” Today you can see the remnants of the ancient
city including residences, temples, storage structures, fountains and
After exploring Machu
Picchu, you will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit the local souvenir
market before you board the train to return to Ollantaytambo, then return to Cusco
by bus. You will spend the night at the same lodge in Cusco and have the
opportunity to spend more with the girls at the shelter.
Day 9 – Cusco, Lima
Today you will wake up early
to enjoy a tasty breakfast before you travel to the airport for your domestic
flight back to Lima. In the afternoon
you will visit a local school in Lima where you will learn more about the
educational system in Peru.
This evening you will enjoy
a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant before making your way to the
international airport to check in for your overnight flight to the US.
Day 10 – Departure
You will depart very early
in the morning for your return flight to the US.