Welcome to the Land of the Inca
Your flight from Miami to Cusco is more than just a flight into Peru. It kicks off an exploration into a once powerful society, whose ruins still stand in once majestic cities. It’s an examination of ancient and modern cultures, and how their collision continues to play out on the cobblestone streets of present day Peru. All the history that exists here is prologue to a journey and story that you will ultimately write. It’s a story that ends with you developing a greater sense of self and experiencing true selflessness. Visit colonial cathedrals, the historic Plaza de Armas and the bustling Mercado Central. Investigate the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Qenko and Tambomachay. Work on your Spanish, bargaining for crafts with Quechua Indians in colorful markets. This is only the beginning.
People spend their whole lives trying to get to Machu Picchu
Get ready to experience the kinds of things other anthropology students only read about. After a relaxing dip in natural hot springs, we set off on a challenging trek on the Inca Trail, winding through mountains, valleys and rural villages. Hike past cliff hugging ruins in a valley speckled with cloud forests and walls of stone (we swear we’re not making this up). Visit ancient cities and well-preserved archeological sites. Camp under star-filled skies. Until at last, you arrive at Machu Picchu, the world's most awe-inspiring archaeological site.
Formal Spanish studies in paradise
The goal of the Spanish language studies program is to develop working conversation and comprehension skills in order to go out into the local community and take part in service projects. After spending a few days at the Amauta Lang School, we pick up a paintbrush and pitch in to decorate and help improve the condition of a local elementary school. Giving back and improving the day-to-day lives of ordinary Peruvians is incredibly rewarding, considering that we are now a part of their communities. In Pisac, explore local markets where artisans sell their colorful wares. Plus, spend an afternoon exploring a llama and alpaca farm. Como te llama?
Get your head into the cloud forest
Gear up for hands-on research at the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station. This is Peru’s only permanent field station, focused on cloud forest ecology. Encroaching expansion is threatening treasured ecosystems and weakening the cloud forest’s ability to mitigate flooding, protect fish spawn and keep habitats safe for countless species. This is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots, where the slopes of the Andes meet the Amazon lowlands. Your work here will focus on the interactions within the ecosystem and how climate change is affecting the cloud forest. It’s an environmental education that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
Enter the Amazon as you are, but leave different
Travel to Puerto Maldonado where we take a boat up the Amazon to Picaflor, an environmental education center. Assist in trail development and maintenance, organic gardening, and plant and animal identification. host a school group for an overnight camping adventure, teaching them about environmental issues. Everyone has a blast painting murals at the schoolhouse and sharing a few laughs. In the Amazon, the work can be challenging yet intensely rewarding. For our last few days, we travel downstream to a breathtaking eco-lodge. Capuchin monkeys provide the entertainment while we relax in hammocks under the shade of Kapok trees. Leave with an undeniable sense of accomplishment.