Summer High School Programs in Peru with Rustic Pathways

Video and Photos

Even if you don't speak Spanish, you will still form very close bonds with the children at the boarding school.
Even if you don't speak Spanish, you will still form very close bonds with the children at the boarding school.
The view in the Andes is gorgeous.
The view in the Andes is gorgeous.
the Amazon
the Amazon
Ausangate
Ausangate
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Locals by Lake Titicaca

About

Students who join us in Peru have the opportunity to scale glaciated Andean peaks, explore ancient Inca ruins, enter the depths of the Amazon Jungle, and work alongside villagers in rural communities. Students partner with local organizations to understand some of the area’s most significant challenges, which include access to clean water and education for girls. Outside of service, Peru offers students a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, and more.

Whether it’s the mountains, the beach, the rainforest, or valley towns, every view in Peru is breathtaking. Meet hardworking people in remote villages, contribute to service projects that make a tangible difference, and leave the country feeling refreshed and inspired. You’ll want to return as soon as you leave.

Scholarships

Rustic Pathways Scholarships
Rustic Pathways Scholarships and Financial Aid

Rustic Pathways is committed to making life-changing opportunities possible for students worldwide. We know how impactful our programs are, and continually strive to make them more accessible to all students.

Value
$1,000 - $5,000

Want to travel this summer? Enroll up to 8 days before programs depart!

Programs depart weekly through August 6th to destinations around the world. Find out which programs still have space for you to enroll today!

Popular Programs

Join us on a two-week adventure to explore the diverse regions of picturesque Peru. This whirlwind tour will bring you to some of the country’s biggest attractions while moving off the beaten path to traditional villages and hidden treasures. Get your heart racing as you go hiking, mountain biking, bungee jumping, and zip lining. From Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, to Apu Agusante and down to the Amazon rainforest, get the full Off the Map Peru experience.

Travel to the foothills of the Andes and into the pristine Amazon rainforest on this unforgettable two-week service adventure. Start in the Lunahuana Valley where you will live and work at a rural school. Tourists rarely make it to this off-the-map location. From here, travel to a remote jungle lodge along the Tambopata River to discover the Amazon rainforest. Get up close and personal with animals as you help at an animal rehabilitation center and then explore indigenous communities.

Get ready for two weeks of eye-opening community service, cultural immersion, and adventure near Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in off-the-beaten-track villages in the Sacred Valley and work alongside the friendly locals on important service projects. You will live in home stays and camp in rural villages, and assist on a potable water project under the guidance of community members.

Gear up for one of our most independent programs. Become an experienced backpacker by planning your meals, housing, and travel arrangements, and trekking across the diverse Peruvian terrains. Explore cascading waterfalls and small mountain towns, and meet locals who will help you get to your next destination. Embark on two treks to discover the Andes, explore Machu Picchu, sleep under the stars, and gear up for the unknown.

Trade in a typical spring break at the beach for a meaningful service experience in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Contribute to a potable water project in a rural community while immersing yourself into life in the Andes. Round out your Peruvian adventures with an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu. Camp in a rural community, create bonds with community members, and have an incredible spring break among the mountains of the Peruvian Andes.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 19
Default avatar
Camilla
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru: Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

I took part in this program a couple of years ago, and it still is one of the best memories I have of my time in high school.

The program lasted two weeks, being a perfect combination of travel and hard volunteering work. The traveling part was absolutely stunning: Peru is an amazing country, and its people are amongst the most welcoming people I have ever met, always smiling and trying to make you feel at home. We had the opportunity to visit the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Lake Titicaca and the city of Arequipa.

Our volunteering part of the program took place in locals' houses on the sides of the amazing Lake Titicaca. We were split into small groups (2-3 people), and each of these stayed for a week in the locals' houses, helping the community with their everyday activities, assisting them with the construction of modern-style toilets in the mornings, and teaching them english in the afternoon.
The warmth with which I have been welcomed in these guest houses is something I will never forget. They treated us as if we were part of their families, and I left the community feeling I received a lot more from them than what I gave them with my work.

During this experience I also made incredible friends with whom I'm still in touch, even though we live in the opposite sides of the earth!

Default avatar
Charlotte
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sacred Vally Service; Peru

My trip to Peru this summer was some of the best days of my life. My friend and I traveled to Peru for the first time and at first I was worried. My friend Lexi, has traveled with rustic before and this was my first time. As we landed from Toronto into Miami we were instantly greated by smiles and the kind airport staff that made both me and my parents less nervous about the upcoming travel. As my group and I landed in Peru, we were met by our program leaders who made the whole trip a great experiance. Every rustic staff that I had met during my experiance was kind, helpful and understanding. Throughout the whole trip the staff helped push us out of our comfort zones and helped to make the trip the best it could be. One of the things that I was most worried about the people, however the people that I have met have become some of my closest friends. As my group was small, we were able to become very close in the short amount of time which made it very hard to leave at the end of the trip. I am a picky eater and the food on the trip was not a challenge for me, where it most of the time is. Rustic made sure that the food provided had many options to choose from and the food always tasted great!! My rustic experiance this summer was by far the best travel experiance that I have had and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for adventure, service and new experiances.

What would you improve about this program?
The program sacred valley service that I participated in was designed well. I vertualy have no recommendations on ways to improve the program. The one thing that i would is the wait times between the experiances that we have. During travel days we would be waiting in our hotel for up to 2 hours when we could have been exploring our new surroundings.
Default avatar
Ramsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sacred valley service Peru

Sacred Valley service is a life changing experience,
While in Peru our community service work was to dig trenches and lay piped that would soon be used to transport fresh water to local villages. Not only was it amazing to do physical work that would soon change live but it was awesome getting to stay with one of the families that would later be positively impacted by the work we were doing. Not only were we doing community service but we were hiking, camping, staying with host families, went zip lining and so many other out of this world experiences. I made so many long term connections in Peru and getting to meet and share experiences from people all over the world is amazing. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this life changing experience for anyone who is willing to go!

What would you improve about this program?
I WOULD NEVER CHANGE A THING!!
Default avatar
Rhea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing service

The community service is fantastic. You feel like you are truly making an impact and the results are instant. The villages and children are so cute and it is a once in a lifetime experience that you gave to take. My favorite memory from this trip was definitely playing with the children in the town. All of them after school play soccer in the fields and in the street and are extremely welcoming. We played with them all day until dinner and they were so kind. Even though there was this language barrier, it disappeared once we started playing with them.

What would you improve about this program?
The itinerary did not necessarily align to what we did everyday so it would be helpful if that was updated.
Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Andes to Amazon Service Trip

This trip changed my life and the way I see the people and things I surround myself with back home. The part that impacted me most was helping at the Huayllampi boarding school. The children there taught me so many life lessons that I will never learn in school or from my family. They are the kind of life lessons that you will only learn when you have an experience such as this; seeing the people who live such simple yet meaningful lives, and becoming a part of a community such as the one in Huayllampi. One memory that will stick with me forever is travelling to the small village of Tupe in the Andes Mountains. This is the most secluded place i have ever been to. The people there live without cars, phones, computers, or even bikes. They walk 8 hours down the mountain to get to the nearest town. This kind of isolation is something that most people will never experience, and it is something that most people probably consider impossible. But the people that I met in Tupe were happy without the cars, phones, computers, and bikes that we consider so essential to our daily lives. After visiting this village, I had a whole new perspective on what I feel is important to me. I don't need to drive a car to be happy, and I don't need constant connection with the outside world through social media to be "up to speed." If anyone is ever on the fence about traveling with Rustic Pathways, they should know that these experiences are worth every penny that they cost. The counselors are such stunning people, with incredible and inspiring life stories. These counselors will keep you safe wherever you go. You will make friends and memories that last a lifetime. Traveling with Rustic was the best decision i have ever made and I cannot wait to travel with them again next year.

What would you improve about this program?
The fact that you need to be completely covered (long sleeves, hats, long pants, and long socks) due to sand flies needs to be more emphasized. In the Andes, sand flies will bite any centimeter of skin that is exposed and bug spray DOES NOT WORK.
Default avatar
Kiara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Off the Map: Peru 2017

This trip was my first trip with Rustic Pathways and it was an absolutely unforgettable experience!! It was definitely the highlight of my summer, and I can't stop looking at all the photos wishing I could go back. Two weeks were the perfect amount of time to become incredibly close with your group. We bonded very quickly and our leaders were helpful and always there if you had a question or a problem. This wasn't a community service oriented trip so it involved a lot of traveling and moving around, but there was no time wasted as you were always talking and laughing or playing cards during free time. The spectacular views and music playlists made the long car rides seem shorter. There were many favorite parts to this trip but one of them was mountain biking through incredible mist and scenery just on the third day, as well as playing a pick up soccer game with Peruvian mothers at a local school. Seeing Machu Picchu was breathtaking as well, but even better was staying at the small community at Ausangate and seeing the glacier at 12,000 feet. Following that we got to spend 3 days in the Amazon at a comfortable lodge. Waking up at 6 am and sitting on the dock gazing at the jungle and listening to the sounds of the animals were things that I will never forget. Besides exploring the glacier and the Amazon, we explored Cusco and Ollantaytambo and also zip-lined, rafted, hiked and had the opportunity to bungee jump. Every day there was a new adventure waiting for us or a new challenge to overcome and we all tried something new. This isn't to say the trip was perfect; our rafting trip was cut short due to a teacher strike that cut off all the exits and entrances to the city. Even so, this was a raw and real experience that we got to encounter about the struggles of civilian life. This trip is for anyone ready to power through early mornings and a lot of travel. Don't overpack since you will typically stay at hotels for only a single night. The food was very good, considering we moved around so much, but it was just a little repetitive. It was usually a meal of chicken, rice and soup (there were vegetarians on our trip that were easily provided for). I would suggest bringing Nature Valley bars or something else as a snack. Do not forget a travel journal as you will want to remember every little detail of your day! This trip was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I loved it all. Get ready to see a lot of llamas!

What would you improve about this program?
There is a LOT of travel involved. There is no other way to see all the incredible sites we did without traveling, but it is something to bear in mind. We had one 8 hour van ride, 2 short internal flights, two 2 hour boat rides, and an hour and a half train ride. We had shorter van rides (between half an hour and 4 hours) as well.
Default avatar
Margarita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

AN AMAZING TRIP!!!!!!!! Got to see so many different parts of Peru -- from Maccu Piccu, to the homestays in Perka Norte, Taquile island, the floating villages, Colca canyon, Arequipe, and more --- loved every part of this program. Would reccommend to those doing their first rustic trip, or alumni. great for all types of travelers. Hotel accomadations were good, food was great, and friendships were amazing. Will never forget this amazing trip and the experiences it provided. Loved the service component of helping our homestay families at the lake. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

What would you improve about this program?
maybe less hiking, but that is just a personal preference.
Default avatar
Drew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2016 Rustic Pathways Peru Sacred Valley Service Week 7

What drew me specifically to the Sacred Valley Service was the amount of community service we were able to complete for the local population through the portable water project. The community service on this program was fantastic; it gave us the ability to interact with the culture of the Sacred Valley town of Suqma while also allowing us to see the implications the completion of this water project would bring to the community. The overall trip was amazing; when we got to Cuzco we went on a tour of the city center and were specifically told the history and influence the Incans and Spanish brought to the region and the city specifically. After Cuzco, we left for the first camp site on an amazing hike through the Sacred Valley. Every morning we got to wake up to a beautiful view and we had that same view even while we were working. The work consisted of pick-axing and shoveling on the side of a mountain; it was rigorous but it made you feel extremely good as you went back to your campsite at the end of the day. After four days of service, the program took a break with White Water Rafting on the Urumbamba River and mountain biking. It was a great divider between the times of service because it allowed us to take part in awesome activities and see a new experience of the country. After leaving Ollantaytambo the next day, we went to the second campsite where we carried piping to the project and covered the pipes with dirt. Also, we were able to hike to an Incan temple of Pachamama and a nearby waterfall. We then left for Aguas Calientes, the base town of Macchu Picchu. The experience of seeing Macchu Picchu was one of the coolest and amazing wonders you will ever see. The trip itself was life changing as it allowed yourself to be able to adapt to a new culture and see a different part of the world that is completely different from the one in which we live. The landscape is very different from the United States and the lush green forests and alpine mountains within miles of each other are something that is astounding. The community service work we did taught us to appreciate every little thing we have such as clean and running water that these people have to take for granted. The trip also allowed you to go out of your comfort zone; for example we did bungee jumping from 400 feet in the air, an activity that nearly every single person on my trip had never done. The amount of independence of the trip was perfect because it allowed us to experience certain activities such as hiking through the Sacred Valley and going to marketplaces which allowed us to experience the culture. I even saw an underwater phosphorus cave in the valley on a hike with only 3 other students. The leaders on the trip were extremely relatable and enthusiastic about showing the country of Peru to the students on our trip. A reason of what made the trip so great is how much they loved doing their job which allowed the students to have the most maximized experience possible.

What would you improve about this program?
The program was nearly perfect and there is only one main thing that the program should improve on which is the timing. Sometimes, we had too much time to walk around. The free time should also be reduced on some days in cities to use the time to tour ruins and/or do group activities. Also, on your flight from Cuzco to Lima on the last day, it always takes off one hour late. It is because of the crowded airport; no one person to blame. As soon as the cabin door in Lima opens, be ready to run to catch your flight back to the USA.
Default avatar
Monica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways Sacred Valley 2015

This was hands down one of my favorite memories from the summer of 2015. If you are thinking about doing this trip, DO IT. I promise you it was worth every penny and this is coming from a girl who had to pay for this trip herself (My parents covered the plane ticket). However, you get the opportunity to live right next to the locals, meet a handful of people from all over the world, and visit Machu Picchu! Our trip project was helping the locals dig a mini trench where we then began to lay down the pipes for their water system. I thought that it was very rewarding because I don't get to do that when I volunteer in my community. Overall, push yourself out of your comfort zone, just have fun, and learn about everything that you see or hear. I guarantee you that you will have a blast and make lifelong friends and memories!
Extra tips:
-a refillable water bottle is a must
-hiking shoes are great and I love them
-bring a fleece jacket and a nano for the nightnighttime
-a journal & pen to write and reflect on your trip
-flight delays SUCK. Carry your charger in your backpack ALWAYS.
-Don't rely too much on your phone, WiFi is hard to access most of the timetime
-Don't worry and have fun!

What would you improve about this program?
I wished there were more volunteer days because it was really fun getting to know and work side by side the locals.
Default avatar
Bridget
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sacred Valley Service

I went to Peru this summer as my first trip with Rustic Pathways and everything was amazing. We did a service project that was so great and meaningful. We worked on building a new water pipeline to bring potable water to different communities in the area. Tthere was also a lot of exploring and learning about Peru and the culture. We spent time in multiple different towns and communities and we went to Machu Picchu. All the kids on the trip were amazing and we all got along so well. The trip leaders were also extremely nice and helpful. They really knew what they were doing and made the trip so much better. I would recommend this trip to any teenager whether you've never done a trip like this or you're more experienced.

What would you improve about this program?
The start of the trip was a little hard just because we flew in at 1 am and the next morning had to fly out again from Lima to Cusco. It was all a bit hectic but it was honestly necessary because it would've been a waste of time to take our time in the beginning. But overall the trip was amazing and not much could've been changed to make it better.
Default avatar
Liz
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

My experience with Rustic in Peru was absolutely amazing. The country itself is diverse and beautiful, and touring with Rustic was a great match for me and what I was looking for in a trip. The group leaders were amazing people and I always felt that if I needed help with anything I could ask them. The group dynamic was unmatched even by the other Rustic Pathways trip I was on. We all meshed so well together and had a ton of fun- even on the planes and busses we had to take. The time spent in Perka Norte in the homestay was something I will cherish for my entire life, and I definitely couldn't have done that on a family vacation. The community service aspect of the trip was meaningful, and I knew that what I was doing was making an impact on the local community. The food was good, just a bit repetitive. I suggest bringing Cliff bars or another filling snack. On my trip we went mountain biking, hiked Machu Picchu, visited the floating islands on Lake Titicaca, cliff dove, and visited a ton of cities within Peru that we could shop and explore on our own. Overall, this Rustic trip was a great experience for me, and I liked it even more than my Fiji trip!

What would you improve about this program?
Although impossible to avoid, one hard aspect of the trip was the amount of travel. This trip travels a lot throughout the trip, and although the bus rides gave the group bonding time and time to catch up on sleep, it was definitely a lot. We took 2 planes and various bus and boat rides within Peru. You see a ton of Peru with the travel, though. Another disclaimer is about the altitude- although I personally didn't get sick on the trip, 2 of my group-mates did get ill from the altitude. That is relatively normal according to the staff, usually at least one person gets sick. Pretty much everyone was okay, but one girl was sick for the whole time at Lake Titicaca. The other girl was sick but acclimated within a couple days. Hydration is everything in Peru!
Default avatar
Robert
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru-Great trip

My 14 year old son went to Peru on his first Rustic Pathways trip. He had a great time, and learned a lot both about his own independence and about helping others. As soon as he got home, he started talking about what trip he wants to go on next year. Overall, a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Coordinate the travel. Airfare was very expensive and did not include travel from our home to Houston. Our son's luggage was lost for two days, with the connection from the US to Peru.
Default avatar
Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways - Sacred Valley Service

Peru was absolutely phenomenal. For our service we were working on a clean water project that will eventually benefit over 1,000 individuals around the area. My group was the inaugural group, so our job was digging the lines that another group would later come through and insert the pipes. Working alongside the locals was an amazing experience you don't get to try anywhere else. The Peruvians were so hardworking and grateful for our hard work as well.

What would you improve about this program?
People in the Lake Titicaca group said they would improve there food. I WOULD NOT CHANGE THE FOOD FOR THIS TRIP. The Sacred Valley chefs did a fantastic job. Typically I am a very picky eater but every meal I was satisfied and never hungry. Everything was delicious.
Default avatar
Olivia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience in the world

My trip to Peru with Rustic Pathways was better than I ever could have imagined. The program leaders are incredible and always kept us busy. Favorite experiences included hiking Machu Picchu in time to see the most beautiful sunrise in the world and spending time with a homestay in a local village. We were able to make a real difference for the people of this village by making greenhouses that will supply them with fresh vegetables even at a high altitude.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more service work.
Default avatar
Skyler
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru

My favorite part of this program was building the greenhouse and staying with the host families at Lake Titicaca. I loved helping in the community and getting to know the family that I stayed with. I also really enjoyed seeing Machu Picchu. The hike to it was amazing, although difficult, and once we got there it was spectacular. The other kids on the program were great and so were our leaders!

What would you improve about this program?
If I were to change one thing, I would change the amount of time we spent traveling. I thin too much of the time was spent on a bus when we could have been doing something more beneficial.

Location

Location:
Peru
Currency:
Peruvian Sol
Weather:
Jan-Mar
70 F / 46 F
Apr-Jun
70 F / 38 F
Jul-Sep
72 F / 38 F
Oct-Dec
74 F / 47 F
Airports:
Jorge Chávez International Airport
( LIM )
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport
( CUZ )
Rodríguez Ballón International Airport
( AQP )

Peru is treasured for its gastronomy, Incan history, and stunning Andes mountains. As you travel, you will notice the pride the Peruvians have for their heritage of having been not only the Incan empire but Spain's South American empire. Peru's eco-tourism is growing the quickest of any South American country. If you are looking to tap into a currently less-frequented travel destination, pick Peru.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways. Choose from culturally-immersive adventure and volunteer programs in 17 countries. Make lifelong friends from around the world, work on sustainable community service projects, and discover new...