Overview

Journey from Lima to Cuzco to Machu Picchu—the “Lost City of the Incas”—during a month of exploration on this high school summer abroad program in Peru.

Program Description

Experience the diverse communities, historical complexity, and geographic diversity of Peru during a month of cultural exploration. Immediately begin learning about Peru’s history and different ethnic communities during the orientation in Lima — Peru’s capital and largest city, overlooking the Pacific coast — while visiting the Larco Museum, the city’s colonial areas, and other important sites.

In the city of Trujillo, in northern Peru, spend two weeks living with a Peruvian family. Once the center of Chimú culture, Trujillo is known as the capital of marinera dance and the land of the Peruvian Paso horse. During this period, you and your group have music and dance workshops while learning about the unique culture, Afro-Peruvian rhythms, and artistic heritage of the region. Meet with local students to engage in English-Spanish language exchanges, and go on an excursion to Cajamarca to explore pre-Inca archaeological sites and artifacts. During your daylong excursion to Pacasmayo harbor, work with local residents on a volunteer project, such as helping to paint and repair community buildings or working at a soup kitchen.

Your Peruvian exploration continues as you travel to Cuzco, a fascinating mix of pre-Columbian and colonial history, art, and architecture and long considered the archaeological capital of the Americas. Visit the temple Coricancha, the walled complex Sacsayhuamán, and the archaeological site Tambomachay. From Ollataytambo—an ancient Incan mountain town—take a two-hour train ride to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas,” to experience one of the most treasured historical and archaeological sites in the world.

Sample Itinerary

Days 1–5
Orientation in Lima

  • Learn about the history and culture of Peru
  • Visit important sites in the city, including the Larco Museum and colonial areas of the city
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities
  • Practice your Spanish language skills
  • Hike San Cristobal Hill

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 6–22
Homestay in Trujillo

  • See sites of interest in Trujillo
  • Do activities with your homestay family
  • Attend Spanish classes
  • Participate in cultural exchange activities with artistic groups and students from local universities
  • Participate in English/Spanish language exchange activities with local students

Thematic Focus

  • Attend workshops on Peruvian cajón playing and Marinera dancing
  • Perform a community service project such as volunteering in a soup kitchen
  • Go on an excursion to Cajamarca to explore pre-Inca archaeological sites and artifacts
  • Visit Pacasmayo harbor

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family in Trujillo.

Days 23–27
Travel in Cuzco and Surrounding Area

  • Go on a walking tour of Cuzco and see sites of interest, including the temple Coricancha, the walled complex Sacsayhuamán, and the archaeological site Tambomachay
  • Visit nearby Maras, a town known for its salt ponds, and Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca mountain town
  • Go on excursions to the ruins at Qenqo Puca-Pucara and Moray
  • Learn about traditional textiles in Chinchero
  • Go on a daylong excursion to Machu Picchu

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in hostels and hotels.

Day 28
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Lima

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 29
Departure

About The Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is a nonprofit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.

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