Rustic Pathways | Peru
97% Rating
(15 Reviews)

Rustic Pathways | Peru

Rustic Pathways offers one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the breathtaking landscapes of Peru. Our staff has cultivated strong relationships with local communities, developing sustainable, long-term service initiatives and providing authentic experiences for our students. As a student you will have the opportunity to travel to Peru and backpack through the Andes, live in rural village communities, or even volunteer at an animal rehabilitation center in the Amazon Jungle.

“For me, Peru is much more than a stamp in my passport. It’s being welcomed like family into Quechua communities, it’s being overwhelmed by incredible vistas in the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca, and it’s trekking deep into the Amazon jungle and truly learning about the power of nature. Tourists will come to see Machu Picchu, but travelers come and fall in love with the raw beauty, rich culture, and endless adventures Peru has to offer.”
--Kelly Moynihan, Peru Country Director

Locations
South America » Peru
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
Project Types
Language
English
Housing
Guesthouse
Hostel
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Cost does not include international airfare.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    93%
  • Support
    99%
  • Fun
    89%
  • Value
    95%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (15)

Anna
Female
15 years old
Culver City, California
Other

Andes to Amazon Service Trip

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Kiara
Female
15 years old
New York, NY
Other

Off the Map: Peru 2017

10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

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.

Margarita
Female
3 months old
Austin, TX
Other

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

maybe less hiking, but that is just a personal preference.

Drew
Male
17 years old
Greenwich, Connecticut

2016 Rustic Pathways Peru Sacred Valley Service Week 7

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Monica
Female
19 years old
Naperville, Illinois
Other

Rustic Pathways Sacred Valley 2015

10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

I wished there were more volunteer days because it was really fun getting to know and work side by side the locals.

Bridget
Female
18 years old
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Other

Sacred Valley Service

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Liz
Female
19 years old
Corning, New York

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

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!

Robert
Male
42 years old
Los Angeles, California
University of California- Los Angeles

Peru-Great trip

9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Amanda
Female
19 years old
Atlanta, Georgia

Rustic Pathways - Sacred Valley Service

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Olivia
Female
19 years old
New Jersey

Best experience in the world

9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked more service work.

Skyler
Female
19 years old
Vashon, Washington

Peru

9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

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.

Audrey
Female
19 years old
Rochester, NY
University of Rochester

Literally the best experience of my life

9/10

As the headline suggests, going to Lake Titicaca was the best experience of my life. Learning about a new way of life by engulfing yourself in the culture while also having fun at the same time is what makes this trip so special. We made countless unforgettable memories from late night chats, to dinners with the locals (mmm yuca!), to building greenhouses and celebrating your birthday with people you just met 5 days ago! It truly was a once in a lifetime experience and I name-drop the fact that I've been to Peru at least 3 times a week with a casual "So this summer, I went to Peru.." because I wish so much that I could go back and relive the amazing two weeks I had!

How can this program be improved?

If I had to change one thing, it would be to make it a three week trip just because two weeks went by so quickly and it was so sad to say goodbye to people you had gotten so close with in such a short amount of time.

Brad
Male
24 years old
Haverford, Pa
Haverford College

Lake Titicaca Service and Adventure

10/10

I really liked living in Luquino and building a greenhouse. It was community service with a tangible result. Playing football with the locals was a blast. I really liked my guides Kelly and Alejandro. They were both really helpful, nice, and fun.

How can this program be improved?

Less travel time in buses/boats.

AmeliaHenning
Female
19 years old
Monmouth County, New Jersey

Best summer ever

10/10

I travelled to Peru this summer with a friend and 15 strangers. At the end of two weeks, we were all best friends, built a greenhouse out of nothing but adobe bricks, mud, and a little wood for the roof, and experienced the culture of Peru. Throughout the entire trip I was stunned by the beauty of the land of the vast differences and sometimes surprising similarities between the US and Peru. I immediatley felt at home with the welcoming natives and I would absolutely go back if given the chance.

Disclaimer: The diet of Peruvians consists largely of soup and potatoes.

Ali
Female
19 years old
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Rustic

10/10

I've been on 5 trips with Rustic and my Peru one was one of my favorites. We traveled all over the country, so I was able to experience travel in a way I never had before. The staff was amazing. Kelly was my leader on my first ever Rustic one and on this last one, both times she was amazing. I ended up getting sick and she was there the entire time to make sure I was comfortable and did anything she could to help me feel better. Peru is the most beautiful place I've ever been, and the way that the landscape changes and the friendliness of the people make this a place I'm positive I would return to again.

How can this program be improved?

I wish this program were a little longer just because we were traveling almost every day and it would've been nice to stay in some of the places for longer.

About The Provider

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Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on purposeful community service projects, and expand

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