Location
Multiple Locations +2
  • Peru
  • Chile
Length
4 - 26 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel College Credit Conservation Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Language Immersion Post-High School Social Justice Study Abroad Volunteer Abroad Wilderness +1
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility, BIPOC funding

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Backpacking Boating Camping City Exploring Farming Hiking Kayaking Rafting Remote Exploring Sightseeing Swimming Trekking
Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17
Age Max
20

Pricing

Starting Price
16000
Price Details
Program tuition includes accommodations, transportation, food, and activities once participants are in-country. International airfare is additional.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Equipment Meals Tour Guide Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
May 18, 2023
Apr 23, 2023
33 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Adventure and education collide during our journey through the lush jungles, snow-capped peaks, and enchanting sites of Peru and Patagonia. Treading in the footsteps of the Inca, we gain insight into an ancient culture as we explore the famous ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Setting up camp in a remote community in the Sacred Valley of Peru, we get hands-on experience understanding the important role that llamas play in environmental conservation and sustainability in the region. Embarking on a rafting trip down the famed Futaleufu River, we experience some of Patagonia’s most exhilarating rapids. Settling into a homestay on a traditional estancia, we immerse ourselves in the Chilean gaucho way of life. Exploring the effects of climate change on the melting glaciers in Patagonia we understand the complex conservation issues facing Patagonia. Embarking on a five-day trek amidst the towering peaks and glacial lakes of the famous Torres del Paine National Park, we are awed by the beauty.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

ARCC is committed to increasing accessibility for our programs and supporting socioeconomic diversity within our community. ARCC’s Voyagers Scholarship provides up to five scholarship opportunities per semester to students who identify within the BIPOC community. These scholarships can range anywhere from $5,000-$8,000, and also includes gear lending and mentorship support throughout the gap year experience. The Voyagers Scholarship can also be combined with ARCC Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to gap@arccprograms.com.

LGBTQIA+ Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

Neurodivergent Support

Our Essential Eligibility Criteria outlines the requirements for participation in our programs to determine if our programs are a good fit for each student. While ARCC Gap is not a therapeutic program, we do provide an inclusive environment for students with neurodivergence. We have had students with various diagnosed neuro-differences (such as dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, TS, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, etc) find success on our gap semester programs.

During our interview process, we have open communication with students and families about the support ARCC instructors are able to provide students while on program. For students needing some additional support, we ask them to complete a “Plan of Action” with their at home support system. These plans may include additional information about communication/support preferences, coping strategies, and/or specific requirements to encourage the student to engage with the program effectively. Once on the program, our instructors will periodically check in individually with each student, help the student stay accountable to their Plan of Action, and provide general support to all participants.

Accessibility Support

ARCC Gap Travels to locations around the world that have varying levels of accommodations for students needing accessibility support. For this reason, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria to see if our gap programs are a good fit for you.

Whenever possible (determined by specific location and program - ie. infrastructure, access to specific health care facilities, dietary options available, etc), we have successfully assisted students with anaphylactic allergies, chronic medical conditions, and other accommodations on programs. We recommend that you reach out with specific concerns to your Gap Director to find the right fit for you.

Impact

Sustainability

At ARCC Programs we recognize that all human action impacts our physical environment and the living beings on the planet. Everything on Earth plays a role in supporting life and we believe that it is our responsibility to have a net positive impact with our actions. We strive to balance the impacts of our programming by partnering with communities and organizations with similar goals toward bettering our planet for future generations.

Ethical Impact

ARCC believes that we (as an industry) need to shift the way we think about international service. We (as a society) have now come to realize that international volunteers often benefit from their service experience, while the impact on the community can be short-lived or even harmful. We at ARCC are taking the years of experience that we have in the international service learning realm, have reflected on previous mistakes, learned from our in-country partners, and have made changes. Our goal is to live, work, and learn alongside community members while also making a positive impact. We are committed to partnering with local community-driven organizations to focus on reciprocity while contributing to established long-term projects. It is our responsibility to engage in mutually beneficial community-driven projects and teach fair trade learning principles to our students.

Program Highlights

  • Delve into South American Culture and Language During a Homestay
  • Volunteer on the Grounds of Parque Patagonia, Chile’s Newest National Park
  • Walk in the Footsteps of the Incas and Explore the Ancient Ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Trek in the Shadows of the Towering Peaks and Glacier of Torres del Paine
  • Raft the Exhilarating Turquoise Waters of the Futaleufu River in Patagonia

Program Reviews

4.72 Rating
based on 46 reviews
  • 5 rating 73.91%
  • 4 rating 23.91%
  • 3 rating 2.17%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.5
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 4.6
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 46 reviews
Default avatar
Thomas
4/5
No, I don't recommend this program

South America ARCC Gap Semester

Overall this program is a mix of extremely fun adventures and a lot of rule following. There are many things you get to do on this program that you wouldn’t be able to do solo travelling due to ARCC’s connections, however if you get stuck with a group you don’t connect with it’s going to be a long 70 days. Remember that the experiences you will get will be invaluable, but you will also be following others the entire journey which for me felt a bit restrictive and I would have preferred to do all these activities solo.

Pros
  • Spanish language learning
  • Cultural immersion
Cons
  • Group travelling
135 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Clarissa
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America ARCC Gap semester

Truly an incredible program with outstanding people and amazing in-country partners and activities that make your experience way more than just a tourist trip- you’re connecting and traveling and experiencing so many things that you wouldn’t be able to without ARCC’s connections.

Additionally, ARCC’s semester has tons of adventure! You get to do some of the “instagrammed” touristy things that places are known for. Though, even more important, you get to do the adventure travel that isn’t crammed with hundreds of tourists- what i personally loved the most- where you’d be hiking or biking or doing something else with a local or community and connections are made and culture and values are exchanged.

Pros
  • adventure
  • cultural experience
  • personal and character growth
Cons
  • nothing!
131 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Thomas
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America ARCC Gap Semester

This adventure was packed with opportunities for fun and unforgettable experiences. During the semester cultural immersion, community service, and building leadership were central to each leg of the journey. I loved the challenges, like our week backpacking the W-Trek, or organizing an entire week with my peers for the student planned module. Each week was like another world, between the dense Amazon rainforest, and the ashen slope of Cotopaxi volcano. Our instructors were enthusiastic, well traveled, and clearly valued our personal growth and allowed us the room we needed to take charge and learn. Although there were moments where I felt discomfort, perhaps due to unfamiliar circumstances, the powerful moments and once in a life time opportunities created something I would have never been a part of otherwise. Beforehand I didn’t have much interest in travel, but now with expanded horizons, I want to continue to visit and learn from locations around the world.

Pros
  • The program has many long term connections with local guides, communities, and establishments
  • You will obtain lots of experience with international travel
  • The structured nature of the program allows it to be completely packed with unique excursions
128 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Tess
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America ARCC gap semester

I had a very memorable and impactful time on my gap semester with ARCC. I made strong connections with many different people through home stays. This was definitely a highlight for me. I also got to participate in awesome activities in amazing places. Backpacking the W trek in Patagonia, surfing and snorkelling into the Galapagos, biking down Cotopaxi, I mean, come on! I also learned a lot about myself, how to achieve my best self, and be surrounded by good people. And I got to do it all in South America! A continent so rich in culture and adventure.

Pros
  • Culture immersion
  • Adventure
  • Making connections
Cons
  • Lack of 100% freedom
  • Sometimes uncomfortable
  • Access
131 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ben
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America arcc gap semester

When into this program kind of blind and it turned out to be one of the best trips of my life. My eyes were opened to new food, language, geography but most importantly people. The connections I built on this trip will last for a long time and the memories were priceless. If it’s your first time traveling without your family arcc is a great stepping stone into the world of travel and sets you up with great skills to manage common difficulties that must be faced when abroad. It is also very good if you want to study a new language as well

Pros
  • Fun
  • New experiences
  • Culture
Cons
  • Long
  • Travel illness
133 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hayden
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America Program Ratings

I think it was really good for me and I think the experience was valuable for me. I have very little I would change about it. South America has a lot to offer. I would do again if I could. Even though some things don't go according to plan it still feels like in the end the trip worked out. I enjoyed the different places we went to. Also it was nice getting to know the group and sharing memories and laughs. It made me certain on what I wanted to do after the program and continue my education in college.

Pros
  • culture
  • learning
  • fun
Cons
  • not always what you expect
178 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Arden
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

SouthAm

I had such a good semester in South America. I experienced many new things including white water rafting, A homestay, weaving classes, language classes, and a group backpacking trip. I made many good friends. I tried new food and experienced many lenses of culture. My favorite activity was the student planned module where we were able to choose what we did throughout the week and where we stayed. The best part was a Via Ferrata day where we climbed up the side of the mountain and repelled down. The instructors were supportive and insured we had fun at every stop. Overall I recommend the South America semester. I believe it to be the most adventurous ARCC semester you could do.

Pros
  • Cultural immersion
  • Language immersion
  • Hiking and camping
194 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Mateo
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC

ARCC gap programs was a great program that offers both international and domestic trips for students on a gap year. I went to Chile and Peru and had an awesome time. It was a 10 week program that first went to Patagonia in Chile and then to the Sacred Valley in Peru. It was a good introduction to outside living and activities while not being too intensive. It was incredible being able to visit places like Torres Del Paine national park and Machu Picchu. Overall I had a great time and would recommended this program to students looking to take a gap year.

187 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers