Welcome to Lima, the capital and largest city with 10 million people.
Travel to the foothills of the Andes and into the pristine Amazon rainforest on this unforgettable two-week service adventure. Start in the Lunahuana Valley where you will live and work at a rural school. Tourists rarely make it to this off-the-map location. From here, travel to a remote jungle lodge along the Tambopata River to discover the Amazon rainforest. Get up close and personal with animals as you help at an animal rehabilitation center and then explore indigenous communities.
Meet your fellow travelers in Miami and take an overnight flight to Peru, arriving in Lima the next morning.
Welcome to your first day in Peru. Meet your program leaders and head to Lunahuana is tucked into the mountains along the pristine Cañete River, fairly removed from the tourist track, allowing you to have an incredible and unique experience in Peru. Our final destination is Huayllampi, a small rural village past Lunahuana where Rustic has been working for years. We have a close relationship with the local school and both the students and teachers here are eager to meet you.
Upon arrival, you will get settled into the schools sleeping quarters and participate in a welcome ceremony with the local school children. During the afternoon, students will get acquainted with their surroundings and prepare for the week of service.
Rustic Pathways has developed a strong working relationship with an underfunded boarding school for students from rural communities. Today the group with start working side by side with the local students on projects designed to improve their living conditions and educational quality. In the afternoons the group will tutor the local students in English and basic skills. When not working on service projects or with the students, you will be able to take a refreshing dip in the river that runs alongside the school to cool off from service, and visit nearby ruins and learn about the Inca Empire.
After wrapping up the service project in Huayllampi, the group will embark on an exciting expedition to the indigenous community of Tupe. This little know village nestled in the side of the Andes mountains, about a 2 hour hike from the road, has preserved its culture and language for centuries. The residents of Tupe have a very distinctive style of dress and speak Jacaru, a unique dialect only spoken by the 50 families that have populated this village for generations. This is sure to be a unique cultural experience and a highlight of your time in Peru.
After the day in Tupe, the group will head down the valley and spend the night in Lunahuana.
Wake up, grab breakfast, and get ready for a full day of adventure in Lunahuana. We will start the day whitewater rafting down the class II-III rapids of the Canete River. This raft adventure will keep you on your toes as your guide navigates you around rocks and through waves. Enjoy a delicious lunch and then head to your next adventure: zip lining. Fly through the desert hills on an exhilarating zipline, culminating with one of South America’s single longest zipline cables. At the end of the day, we will go back to the hotel for a special mystic dinner on the banks of the Canete River.
Today the group will start the journey back to Lima, making a stop in Cerro Azul to enjoy some delicious ceviche by the ocean. Upon arrival in Lima, check out an artisanal market and buy some souvenirs for family and friends back home. Enjoy the night in Lima and rest up for the second half of your program: exploring the Amazon rainforest.
After breakfast, hop on the bus to the airport and board your plane to Puerto Maldonado, our launching point into the Amazon jungle basin. After arriving in Puerto Maldonado, you will travel to an animal shelter where you will spend the the afternoon volunteering and helping with the care of the animals. You will work alongside the shelter employees assisting with cage maintenance, animal feeding, and if you’re lucky, take a picture with a monkey or two. All the animals at the shelter are being rehabilitated so that they can be released into the wild and return to their natural habitat. This will be an awesome opportunity to get up close and personal with a range of exotic creatures!
Spend the night at the animal shelter and get a taste for life in the jungle.
Say goodbye to the animals and head up the Tambopata River to our secluded jungle lodge located on the buffer zone for the Tambopata National Reserve. Upon our arrival to the lodge, we will get settled into our accommodations. Relax and listen to the sounds of the jungle until it is time to prepare for our first excursion into the jungle in search of animals and insects. The accommodations at the lodge are basic but very comfortable and their excellent staff makes sure we are well feed with amazing meals. After dinner, we’ll head out on a guided tour in search of the forest’s nocturnal life. The next three days will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly experience and learn about the Amazon rainforest.
Each day will head out on excursions to learn about the forest and those that live there. The daily schedule will vary based on weather and local conditions, but below are some activities you can expect to do during your time on the Tambopata. These excursions will be led by experienced local guides excited to help you explore the jungle:
Sachavacayoc Lake: One of highlights of the program, hike out to a remote jungle lake and camp at on an elevated platform. This definitely qualifies as a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you spend the night in the heart of the Amazon basin. During the day, be on the lookout for macaws and monkeys. After the sun sets, go out onto the lake in canoes to hopefully spot some nocturnal wildlife.
Colpe Visit: Rising before sunrise, head to the local clay lick, where parrot and macaws come to feed on the mineral rich clay to help counteract the toxins in the fruit they eat. Listening to the forest come alive with sound and movement is truly an unforgettable experience.
Jungle walks: Head into the forest in search of local fauna and learn about the medicinal uses of the plants and insects in the forest. The local guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the rainforest and you will be amazed by all the uses they have for almost every plant and animal in the forest. Tread lightly as you look for animal tracks and hopefully you will spot a few on your excursions.
Floating down the Tambopata: Constructing a raft and floating down the river as macaws fly overhead and the sun sets over the Amazon is the perfect way to end the day. There will always be a support boat with us as well for safety.
Visiting with local communities: The forest is home to amazing wildlife, but it is also home to people who make a meager living off the land. Learn about how they live their daily lives and the challenges they face in this remote area.
Today we will pack up our things and say goodbye to the friendly jungle staff before we board our boat and return upriver to Puerto Maldonado. Once in Puerto Maldonado, catch a plane back over the Andes to the Peruvian capital of Lima. Enjoy your last evening in Peru with your new friends and reflect on the last two weeks.
Wake up and head back to the airport, bid farewell to your guides, and board your flight to Miami. Say your final goodbyes to your friends in Miami and then board your connecting flight home. We hope you had an incredible time in Peru and that you have fond memories of Lunahuana and the jungle for years to come.
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.
The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.
“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.
For more information, email email@example.com
Depending on session availability, this program can easily be connected to our other programs in Peru. This program can also connect to programs in Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic, as long as Peru is done first (for logistic purposes).
No pre-trip visa necessary for students from the United States.
Students from other countries should check with their consulate. Please know that it is the student’s responsibility to obtain any appropriate documentation before entering Peru.
Yes. Escorted flights depart from Miami and fly direct to Lima.
The flight from Miami is approximately 6 hours.
Students traveling on the Andes Service and Amazon Expedition program will be take place in two separate regions of Peru. The Andes Service portion of the program will take place in Lunahuana, a small village three hours south of Lima. The Amazon expedition portion of the program will take place outside of Puerto Maldonado. Students will also be arriving in and departing from Lima.
Students will fly roundtrip from Lima to Puerto Maldonado during this program.
Yes. Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 students. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.
Rustic Pathways either purchases bottled water or uses sterilization techniques to ensure that all drinking water for students is potable and safe to drink. We ask students to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.
Students are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Students will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If students are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.
These days, most common electronics like cameras, phone chargers, computers, and mp3 chargers have built in adapters and can be plugged straight into the wall.
For all other electronics, please make sure to check if they can be used with a 220V outlet.
Peru has 3 very distinct climate regions; the desert coastal region, Andean Mountain regions and the Amazon Basin; on this program, students will spend time in all three. Students need to be prepared to adapt to the rapid temperature changes ranging from 50 to 90 degrees F.
Please make sure to refer to the packing list when preparing for this program.
Accommodation on this program ranges from guesthouses to hotels. In Lunahuana, students will be living at a boarding school with local students. For the majority of the Amazon expedition, students will be staying in a jungle lodge.
Students will be eating mostly Peruvian food on their program, but may have a few chances to eat more international fare such as Italian, Chinese, etc. Peru has been called the “Culinary Capital of the Americas”, so prepare for some delicious meals!
Yes, however please know that while we are happy to accommodate alternative diets, many of the special diets common in the United States are not common in other parts of the world and travelers must be patient and understanding in having these needs met.
Vegetarians and other travelers with limiting diets should consider bringing energy bars or other snacks to ensure they have a well-rounded diet if their needs are unable to be met on certain occasions.
Please contact us at Peru@rusticpathways.com with any questions regarding special diets or allergies.
Western-style toilets will be available while staying at hotels and guesthouses.
Cell service and wifi are generally available throughout Peru. The exception is while we are staying in the Amazon jungle lodge.
Students will have the chance to do laundry about once a week while on their program. Please make sure to have enough clothes to last least a week. It generally costs around $1 – $2 per Kilo for full laundry service.
While on this trip, healthcare is easily accessible in Lima, Lunahuana, and Puerto Maldonado. While staying at the jungle lodge, it could take over an hour to access healthcare. For any safety questions or concerns, please visit International SOS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit theInternational SOS and Centers for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON YELLOW FEVER: While as of September 2011 it is not required that students receive their yellow fever vaccination to travel to Peru from the United States, other countries such as Costa Rica, require that you do have proof of your yellow fever vaccination before entering their county. Please make sure you consider your full travel itinerary when speaking to a doctor and always carry all records of your vaccinations and inoculations on you while traveling. Please also remember to check for updates on U.S requirements before travel to Peru or other countries.
International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access toInternational SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access toInternational SOS’ extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our International SOS webpage.
While on this trip, healthcare is easily accessible in Lima, Lunahuana, and Puerto Maldonado. While camping in the village, it could take over an hour to access healthcare.
There are bugs in Lunahuana and in the Amazon. Students must each bring a small bottle of quality repellent (DEET or similar) on their trip.
Personal gifts, internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.
Between $200-$350 USD is a good amount of spending money for this trip.
Yes, up to 28 service hours will be awarded to students who successfully complete their service on this program. Please refer to our Community Service Hour Awards webpage for more information on how service hours are awarded.
Please see the program specific packing list for Andes Service and Amazon Expedition.
Yes, however it is not required! Students will be living in a boarding school setting with local students in the Andes Service portion of the trip, providing a perfect opportunity to practice Spanish.
This program is not overly strenuous, but students should be prepared to spend time hiking and working in humid jungle conditions.
Altitude should not be a problem on this program. This program never reaches a high altitude that will effect students.
If you don’t speak Spanish, you should not be concerned. There will be bi-lingual guides that can assist with translation when needed.
Of course, if you are able to get down a few phases before your arrival it will only help to interact with locals and make your experience more rewarding.
A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for day trips.
A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.
(travel sized in ziplock bags)
Welcome to Lima, the capital and largest city with 10 million people.
A small rural village where Rustic Pathways has had a close relationship with the community for many years. You will work side by side with the local students here on projects designed to improve their living conditions and educational quality.
Take a break from your service project to visit this indigenous village nestled into the side of the Andes Mountains and catch a glimpse into life in rural Peru far off the tourist track.
Tucked into the foothills of the Andes, along the pristine Canete River, this city is a national tourism destination for rafting and adventure sports. We will have the chance to whitewater raft, zipline, and explore the city after completing our service project in Huayllampi.
A remote jungle city, and the jumping off point for all Amazon expeditions. We will spend time working at an exotic animal rehabilitation center here before heading to the Tambopata Reserve.
A nature reserve in the Peruvian Amazon basin home to 165 species and 41 families of trees, 103 species of mammals, 1300 species of butterflies, and 90 species of amphibians. We will call a secluded jungle lodge and research center home as we explore one of the most pristine primary rainforests left in the world.