– Arrive in Lima, Peru
Upon arrival in Lima, your Program Leader will
welcome you at the international airport.
From there, you will head to your lodging to settle in and enjoy your
first dinner together in Peru.
Note: If we arrive to Lima with daylight to spare,
you will visit a nearby viewpoint for an impressive 360-degree view of the
city, or you will walk around the neighborhoods surrounding your lodging. In the event of a morning or afternoon
arrival, additional costs for meals, activities, transportation, etc. will be
added to the cost of the program.
After breakfast you will have your orientation
meeting discussing the exciting days ahead.
Once orientation is complete, you will visit the local market and tour
the Pachacamac Archaeological Site where you will learn about pre-Hispanic
spirituality. Next, you will get a taste
of Peruvian cuisine as you enjoy a traditional lunch at a local
restaurant. Finally, you will visit an impressive
regional cemetery where you will see how different cultures build burial sites
according to economic status and the availability of local resources.
In the evening, you will have dinner near your
lodging and spend some time reflecting on the day’s experiences.
– Lima – 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 two hours. Upon arrival, your bus driver will welcome
you and take you to your lodging. This
lodging belongs to a non-profit organization.
This organization 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 yourselves 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.
– Cusco and Surroundings
Today 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.
At 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 Program Leader about the
town and community 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 community.
– Cusco – Host Town and Surrounding Communities
Today you will travel to your host town, located an
hour from Cusco. This area is considered
one of the poorest of Peru, so your help 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
– 8 – Host Community & Service Project
For 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.
Additionally, 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.
In 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.
During your final afternoon in the community, you
will wrap up your community service project.
You will gather with the community members to celebrate the completion
of the project.
After the celebration, you will say your heartfelt
goodbyes to your new friends. You will then depart from your host community to
your lodging in Cusco. There you will
have a delicious dinner and rest for the exciting adventure ahead.
- Host Community – Aguas Calientes
After a good breakfast in your host community you
will travel towards one of the most impressive ruins in the world, the ancient
city of Machu Picchu. On the way you
will stop at Moray, this is believed to be an experimental agricultural station
that the Incas used to experiment and train new crops to be planted all over
their kingdom. You will also stop at the salt mines of Maras, where the mines
have been active since centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards and they
still continue producing salt. 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 Perú, followed by an early
traditional lunch before taking the train to Machu Picchu.
For 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 will
arrive in Aguas Calientes, the closest town to the citadel of Machu
Picchu. 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.
10 – 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
Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city that was built
between 1450-1470 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 lead to the hidden city and 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 continues 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.
After exploring Machu Picchu, you will return to
Aguas Calientes for lunch. If time
allows, you will visit to the local handicraft market. Finally, you will board the train to return
to Ollaytaytambo on your way to Cusco.
11 – Cusco – Lima
This morning you will travel to the airport for
your domestic flight back to Lima. This
afternoon, time permitting, you will explore the historical center of the city
and a local handicraft market. Tonight
you will have a farewell dinner to celebrate your time shared, and memories
made, together in Peru.
12 – Departure
Today your Peru program will come to a close as you
board your international flight out of Lima.
If your departure time allows, you will take advantage of your morning
and visit an artisanal market.
Note: If the group has a late afternoon or evening
departure from Lima, additional costs for meals, activities, transportation,
etc. will be added to the cost of the program.