Trade in a typical spring break at the beach for a meaningful service experience in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Contribute to a potable water project in a rural community while immersing yourself into life in the Andes. Round out your Peruvian adventures with an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu. Camp in a rural community, create bonds with community members, and have an incredible spring break among the mountains of the Peruvian Andes.
With our No Anxiety Escrow Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.Read More
Depart from the United States to Lima, Peru’s capital. Upon your arrival you will be met by Rustic Pathways staff and transported to a comfortable hotel in one of Lima’s nicest neighborhoods. After a group orientation, ice-breaking activity, and review of the week to come, enjoy a good night’s sleep in preparation for tomorrow’s adventure to the Peruvian highlands.
Welcome to your first full day in Peru. After a continental breakfast it is off to the airport to catch a one hour flight to Cusco, the old Incan capital located high in the Andes Mountains.
Once we arrive in Cusco, we will jump on a private bus and be transported to Urubamba, a small town in the heart of the famous Sacred Valley. In Urubamba we will have a delicious buffet lunch before continuing on to Soccma, a small community from where we will begin our hike to Pilkobamba (your home for the next three nights). Upon arrival in Pilkobamba, we will set up camp and get acquainted with the community. The day will wind down with a group discussion about life in rural Peruvian communities and the service work that you will begin tomorrow.
Today you will begin work on a service project that has been pre-approved by the community members and is supported by the local government. This year, students are continuing work on a potable water project that was started in 2015 and hopefully will be completed by the end of 2017. One of our most ambitious service projects, providing access to clean drinking water to multiple villages in the Sacred Valley will help improve health conditions and quality of life.
While many of the inhabitants of Pilkobamba still speak the native language of Quechua, many also speak Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish though, don’t worry, we have Spanish speaking staff and with a little imagination it won’t be long until you master the art of non-verbal communication.
Today will be dedicated to service as you complete work on the potable water project. Work your hardest to provide access to clean drinking water to your host community members. This day will culminate with a farewell celebration. The group will share a typical Incan meal and enjoy roasting marshmallows around a bonfire with the community members and local children. On this day, you will also have the opportunity to try the specialty of the region, guinea pig!
Head down from Pilkobamba to Ollantaytambo and board the train for a scenic ride along the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Along the way, the group will pass under the majestic Veronica Peak and along the intense bottom section of the Urubamba River. Nestled in the cloud forest amidst jagged peaks, it is amazing to think that you are just a short ride from the drier alpine village of the past week.
The rest of the day will be spent in and around Aguas Calientes. The activities will vary based on the interested of the group, but may include shopping at the local market, visiting the Machu Picchu museum, relaxing in the hot springs, or hiking to a nearby waterfall.
You will wake up early in the morning and travel the windy road up the mountain to the world famous ruins of Machu Picchu. The group will be there in time to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and long enough to explore the magnificent ruins.
In the afternoon, you will re-board the train and return to Ollantaytambo where you will spend the night.
Upon arriving to Cusco, we will check into the hotel and go on a walking tour. As part of the tour, you will explore the cobblestone streets of Cusco and visit temples and cathedrals that date back to the Incas and colonial period of Peru. Spend the afternoon shopping for souvenirs and Peru’s world famous textiles and handicrafts at the local artisanal market.
In the evening, enjoy a final dinner with your group and reflect on the last week in Peru.
On the final day, it’s time to say goodbye to Peru. Head to the Cusco airport for your flight to Lima and then board your flight home. We hope you had an incredible time in Peru and hope you take away more than just souvenirs from your time in the Land of the Incas.
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.
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Students from the United States will be issued a tourist visa on entry into Peru. 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.
Students will fly from Lima to Cusco at the beginning of the trip and fly from Cusco back to Lima to catch their international flight home.
Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Below is your packing list, and for those of you looking for some extra guidance on what to bring, check out the packing guide.
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)