An experience that will live with me forever. The most challenging yet best 10 weeks of my life, without a doubt.
Spend ten weeks in Peru living and contributing to remote communities in the Sacred Valley, Colca Canyon and at Lake Titicaca. Learn Spanish, explore the colonial Andean Cities of Arequipa and Cusco before completing the 'grande finale trek' to Machu Picchu.
This program departs three times a year and is fully immersive, taking in all the sights and experiences you'll find described on the Peru page with plenty of downtime for you to explore the country.
Whilst we recommend the full ten weeks for a complete experience, if you want to join this program in January, April or September for a shorter length of time, that's no problem. Just get in touch to arrange a return date and price to suit you.
Over the last 12 years we've taken thousands of young people overseas to experience the trip of a lifetime.
That success has drawn industry-wide recognition. We're an accredited member of the Year Out Group, an association designed to promote the benefits of well-structured gap year programs, and part of the equivalent organisation in the USA - the American Gap Association.
We're big on safety too; every one of our programs is carefully researched, audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Industry Standard for organising and managing adventurous activities outside the UK.
You’ll start in the sun-drenched colonial Andean city of Arequipa where you'll spend your mornings learning Spanish before exploring this pretty World Heritage Site in the afternoons.
Visiting the San Camilo Market, meeting the resident alpacas and white water rafting down the Chili River, is just for starters.
Three hours north of Arequipa is the stunning Colca Canyon where you will meet the Coporaque community who are keen for you to help with their community development.
You‘ll work in the mornings leaving the afternoons free to explore the area and surrounding Inca remains.
Colca Canyon is a sensation of green valleys, white water, terraced agriculture, Lamas, alpacas and of course the famous giant Andean condor.
After two weeks of volunteering, you‘ll venture off on 3-day/2-night hike deep into the canyon to explore its majestic beauty.
Steeped in history the shores of Lake Titicaca are a visual feast of crumbling cathedrals, desolate altiplano and checkerboard fields backed by Andean peaks.
Here you’ll travel to find the traditional Aymara community of Karina, found on a peninsula that juts out into the lake.
Karina are keen to develop community tourism so you will help here with their village development and teaching in the school.
On route you‘ll have the chance to see the incredible floating islands of Uros.
Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture.
You will have a week here to explore this beautiful colonial city and other pre-Inca sites at Sacsayhuaman and Sillustani, near Puno.
The “Tierra de los Yachaqs” project involves a group of small indigenous communities tucked away in the Sacred Valley.
They live at about 3,500 to 4,500m high, in the spectacular Andean landscapes and live largely by traditional agriculture and crafts production. Keen to develop they will need your help with their traditional agricultural processes, teaching English and with the craft design.
Saving the best to last. Now’s your chance to visit the breathtaking and iconic Inca site of Machu Pichu.
After a day or two exploring in and around Cusco you can either travel to the start of the Salkantay Trail, the less touristy and more spectacular 4-day trek through the winding valleys and stunning scenery before ascending to the site of Machu Pichu in time for sunrise. You will have the day to explore the site in all it’s glory before heading back to Aguas Caliente for the night.
Or you can spend an extra couple of days in Cusco and bus up to the entry point from which you can start a 2 hour trek to reach the main site.
You will return to Cusco for a final day before taking a long coach ride back to Arequipa.
In Arequipa you will have one last day to explore before heading beyond or home.