Peru Discovery and Service
$2,995 + Airfare
Jun 29 – Jul 9, Jul 21 – Jul 31
Session 2, Session 4
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, Misminay, Machu Picchu, Coricancha, Moray
|Optional group flight there:||
Miami to Lima
|Optional group flight back:||
Cuzco to Miami
Peru Discovery and Service is one of our most spectacular trips, offering the opportunity to perform meaningful service helping the local communities of Misminay and Urubamba as well as explore the most iconic sites of this South American gem! Your rewarding days of service will be spent on projects ranging from aiding in construction projects and farming, to teaching English as a second language. During the service portion of the trip you will be welcomed into Peruvian families and live like a local during your homestay. The rest of your time will be nothing short of transformative as you experience the unique atmosphere of the Sacred Valley. Drink in the mountainous culture of Lima and Cusco as you see the mix of Inca and Colonial architecture around the Plaza de Armas and the temple of Coricancha. You will also peruse vibrant handicraft markets and finally marvel at the mesmerizing fabled Incan city of Machu Picchu. Service, culture, incredible sights and adventure, what more could you ask for in a Peruvian summer!
On this trip you will:
- Earn up to 40 hours of community service credits helping improve village and school facilities in Misminay and Urubamba
- Make lifelong bonds with the local schoolchildren as you interact with them, helping them learn English
- Be mesmerized by Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
- Live like a local during our unique homestay program, as you are welcomed into Peruvian homes and communities
- Experience the Sacred Valley and its Incan past, exploring Coricancha, Ollantaytambo and Moray
- Relax in soothing hot springs in Chivay surrounded by mountains, soaking in the atmosphere
- Hone your bargaining skills as you peruse the vibrant local markets for authentic handmade souvenirs
- Learn how the locals make, dye and weave natural alpaca wool into the stunning patterns you will see all around
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM MIAMI TO CUSCO
Upon our arrival in Lima, we’ll board the next flight to Cusco. Next, we’ll head straight to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll rest and start getting used to the Andean altitude.
DAYS 1-4: Ollantaytambo and Urubamba
We’ll kick off this incredible trip in the Sacred Valley! Visit the amazing sites of the area, including the ruins in Ollantaytambo and Moray, where archaeologists theorize that the Incans conducted agricultural experiments. We’ll also begin our community service in Urubamba, this time, helping an elementary school rebuild their playground. Form lifelong bonds as you also spend time instilling English as a second language and playing games with local children.
DAY 5: MACHU PICCHU
Explore legendary Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World! This imposing Incan city perched in the clouds will take your breath away, it’s nothing short of incredible!
DAYS 6-9: MISMINAY
Balance your sightseeing experiences by immersing yourself in the small communities that define the diverse cultural identity of Peru! We will be welcomed in the warmest way you can imagine, with open arms and big smiles, into the village of Misminay. Our first project in the small community will include providing hands-on help in various projects like building houses, kitchen improvements (construction work) and farming. During our stay in Misminay, we will be sleeping in our own private rooms attached to some of the local family homes, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the local community.
Days 9-11: Cusco
Cusco is one of the most important cities in the Sacred Valley, so wake up and get ready to explore the historic Incan empire! Wander through a beautiful mix of Incan and Colonial architecture, before checking out Coricancha, the most important temple in the Incan Empire, which is dedicated to the Sun God, Inti. At the handicraft markets in Cusco, sharpen your bargaining skills to get unique souvenirs for our family and friends! Also spend a day channeling your inner Indiana Jones as you roam through incredible Incan Ruins, getting off the beaten path to explore some of these ancient cities.
Day 11: Return flight home to the USA
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
On this trip we stay in well-appointed 3 star hotels and a homestay. Our homestay is in the Misminay community, where you will be in a private room of the villager’s home, with shared restrooms and communal meals held in the main center of the village.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Students love that they have the opportunity to explore one of the 7 wonders of the world along with many other beautiful and mysterious Incan ruins! Being immersed in Peruvian culture, students connect with locals, become a part of their community and leave with a completely authentic view of the region.
What is unique about this program?
We have the amazing opportunity to live like a local in the Sacred Valley. The homestay portion of our program gives our students unrivalled access to the genuine lesser-known parts of Peru very few people get so see. Our local guides are extremely experienced and knowledgeable, providing us the chance to truly experience Peruvian culture.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OUR STAFF?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
This trip is designed specifically so that participants can combine it with other trips, most easily in Latin America. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
The food in Peru is delicious! Expect to eat corn, potatoes (all different varieties!), quinoa, rice, meats (beef, pork, chicken, and even Alpaca), veggies and many other foods flavored with unique Peruvian seasonings!
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
How much free time do we get?
This carefully crafted itinerary is full of incredible activities, but we know the importance of downtime, especially in Cusco where the altitude can lead to overexertion if you aren’t careful. From this, there will be free time to relax, for example; to soak in hot springs in Chivay or take a walk around the central square. During these times students will always be under the supervision of our counselors and a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time they are involved in water activities. In certain well known pedestrian areas such as markets, groups of students may be allowed to explore on their own for an hour or so, before meeting up with the rest of the group.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
What kind of visa do you need for this program?
U.S. citizen visitors to Peru do not need a visa if they are traveling as a tourist with a valid U.S. passport. You will be issued a tourist card upon entry, which is valid for up to 90 days. If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, please contact the nearest Peruvian embassy for visa information.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!