Machu Picchu, Peru
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Peru Teen Program

Peru Machu Picchu

21 Days to explore the adventure and culture of Peru. 35 hours of Community Service in the Amazon Rain Forest & Lake Titicaca.




2019 Dates

June 29 - July 19
July 23 - August 12


21 days



Trip Highlights

  • Explore: Machu Picchu
  • Hike: the Ancient Inca Trail
  • Surf: Cerro Azul
  • Experience the Amazon
  • Lake Titicaca Homestay
  • Community Service: 35 hours




From the colonial city of Cuzco, we spend three days tracing the footsteps of the Incas to Machu Picchu. Our pace is moderate and our gear is transported by porters as we stop frequently at hot springs and local villages. The sense of accomplishment upon arriving at Machu Picchu, combined with breathtaking views of this ancient city, make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Hike the Lara Trail on Bold Earth's Peru teen trip.


Surrounded by some of the most pristine primary rain forests in the world, we stay at a remote eco-lodge in the Amazon Jungle! From our lodge, we explore the jungle by foot and canoe as we fish for piranha and look for monkeys, sloths, and toucans. In addition, we spend two days working at a local wildlife refuge, helping to rehabilitate animals to be released into the wild.


High in the Andes, the Uru people have inhabited man-made islands crafted from reeds in the middle of Lake Titicaca. During our homestay on the islands, we build chimneys in the village’s thatched-roof huts to help with ventilation and village health. Our time on the Uros Islands offers an amazing opportunity for cultural exchange and community service. An amazing authentic experience on our Peru teen program.


Having seen the mountains and jungles of Peru, our journey continues to the beach of Cerro Azul for two days of professionally guided surf lessons. The warm water, abundant sun, and perfect waves create a great surf experience for beginners and more experienced surfers. Next, we head north to Lima, Peru’s metropolitan capital. We spend the last day of Bold Earth's Peru teen trip on a city tour seeing the beauty of colonial Lima and celebrating an amazing three weeks of adventure!
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Day 1
Welcome to Peru
Welcome to Bold Earth! Campers will be met upon arrival at the Lima International Airport by your experienced Bold Earth trip leaders. Campers will immediately call home to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has arrived, we load up our private van and travel to our hotel in the historic Central Lima. After playing some name games and changing clothes, we leave our hotel to see the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. For dinner, we eat our first Peruvian feast (one of many!!) and enjoy looking forward to our 21 days together! Welcome to Peru Machu Picchu!
Day 2
From Lima To Puerto Maldonado
We fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado and head to the Tambopata river port in Puerto Maldonado. Puerto Maldonado is situated at the confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers and is a bustling, booming tropical frontier town. Its principal activities are gold mining, Brazil nut collecting, timber extraction, agriculture and ecotourism.
Day 3-7
Lending a Helping Hand
Amazon Volunteer Project: Spend five days volunteering at a center for the rehabilitation and conservation of wild animals. Work alongside staff to feed and take care of animals so they can be successfully released back to their natural habitats. Other activities may include assisting with maintenance of an interpretive trail, construction of animal enclosures and interaction with the local community. Amazon Shelter is a group of professionals and volunteers devoted to promoting the protection and welfare of wild animals, free or captive, and the conservation of their natural environment. We will spend 5 days volunteering with Amazon Shelter’s Center for Rehabilitation and Conservation of Wild Animals which acts as a rescue, educational and research center devoted to the protection of wildlife and the environment. Their mission is to conserve and protect Peruvian Amazon wildlife by working on the rehabilitation of wild animals that arrive at the Center, with an emphasis on species threatened by the destruction of their habitat and illegal trade. Amazon Shelter also interacts with local communities and visitors in general, promoting the conservation of the rainforest and the sustainable management of natural resources. During our stay, we may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roadside Hawk, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers and local wildlife such as tapir, monkey, etc.
Day 8
Exploring Cuzco
Today we will fly to Cuzco and explore this fascinating city. Cuzco is the oldest constantly inhabited city in the Americas and the hub of the South American travel network. In the afternoon we take a city tour and visit the Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Puca-Pucara, and the Tambomachay ruins. Cuzco is steeped in history, tradition, and legend; stonewalls line the streets and Inca ruins abound. We get a chance to explore Coricancha which was once the Inca Empire's richest temple and literally covered with gold! In the evening we have a private salsa lesson for our group!
Day 9
Sacred Valley of the Incas
We depart early from Cuzco to visit the Sacred Valley of the Inca, which surrounds Cuzco. In the morning we tour the market town of Pisac at the entrance of the Sacred Valley. Pisac is a typical Andean market town seemingly unchanged for centuries. After lunch, we continue on to the town Ollantaytambo and the ruin of the same name that overlooks the town. Ollantaytambo's narrow streets, canals and Inca walls recall its ancient heritage. In the late afternoon, we attend a cooking class. First visiting the market to purchase ingredients and then head back to the cooking school to try our hand a cooking local Peruvian cuisine.
Day 10-13
Trekking in the Andes
Our hike in the Andes is an exceptional, challenging hike and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This Lara Trail trek is about 25 miles long and takes three full days to complete. The trail is often steep and we cross some high mountain passes. For our effort, we are rewarded with breathtaking views of the Andes. We pass through beautiful cloud forest and view the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range and the beautiful Urubamba Valley. Our trek finishes up with a soothing hot springs plunge! After hiking, we explore Machu Picchu while the mist rises off the mountains in the early morning sun. Machu Picchu is both the best known of the Inca ruins and the most mysterious. To this day, archaeologists can only speculate on the origin and function of these magnificent ruins.
Day 14
Discovering Puno and Lake Titicaca
We will travel by bus to Puno. Located at 12,565 feet or 3830 meters above sea level, Puno is the place at the highest altitude, on the tour, where we spend the night. As a result, the weather can be extreme with cold nights and a strong sun during the day. There is a lot to see in Puno itself and also several good spots offering scenic views of Lake Titicaca and the town. Puno is known for its wealth of traditional dances. There are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in the street processions celebrating Catholic feast days.
Day 15-17
Homestay on the Uros Islands
We board a boat on Lake Titicaca - the largest lake in the world above 2000 meters. An overnight homestay affords an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and participate in the local traditions. We assist the community by bringing with us specially constructed chimneys which we install into the mud walls of their kitchens. By properly ventilating their living structures, the local people enjoy much healthier living conditions. The next morning we disembark at Amantani Island, which has beautifully terraced hills and the remains of ancient temples of the sun and moon, which pre-date the Inca Empire. Our final stop is the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from the Collas and the Incas. Today about 300 people live on the islands, however, their numbers are slowly declining. The Totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake, are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the model boats that the islanders sell. The islands are made up of many layers of reeds. As the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.
Day 18-20
Learn to Surf in Lima
Our final adventure is a surf camp on the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Outside of Lima, we enjoy instruction and waves suitable for any ability level. We are outfitted with surfboards and wetsuits and our local instructors teach us the basics as well as the necessary tips for success. Soon enough, we are all catching waves and enjoying the South American surf. Surfing and relaxing on the beach is the ideal way to complete our journey together in this fascinating country.
Day 21
Heading Home
Our last night together in Peru, we pack up our gear and celebrate our successes. We share our memories and challenges and say our good-byes. All great things must come to an end. Early on the last day, we go to the airport, confident, tan and strong after the most incredible summer of adventure, fun and friends.

Why Peru?

Peru has it ALL – beaches, mountains, culture, ancient, new and most importantly…. LLAMAS!!

Campers love Bold Earth’s Peru Machu Picchu trip due to the depth of programming, authentic culture and AWESOME adventure activities. Bold Earth expertly balances culture, adventure and community service.

Some INCREDIBLE Highlights:
• Explore Machu Picchu
• Surf and Beach time
• Trek the Lara Trail
• Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Refuge
• Lake Titicaca Community Service

Peru is most famous for its ancient heritage and natural wonders. Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca top many traveler’s must-see destinations. Bold Earth takes an “off-the-beaten-track” approach to visiting these destinations. We hike to Machu Picchu and do community service at Lake Titicaca – doesn’t get better than this.

While wearing alpaca sweaters, campers experience the all of Peru in an EPIC 21 day adventure. Included in the cost of tuition are two internal flights. This allows the group to move efficiently from one place to another (not wasting an ENTIRE day driving). We are proud to expertly organize our Peru Machu Picchu trip to ensure campers make the most of their 21 days in Peru.

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Peru Machu Picchu references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

Tell me more About Peru!

Peru is a democracy in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the west by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the east of the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a large country with pristine mountains, beaches, culture and rain forests! Wow.

The Peruvian territory was originally home to many ancient cultures and civilizations. Among the most famous of these is the Inca Empire (the largest state in Pre-Columbian America). The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Today, Peru is an independent, developing country of 30.4 million people. It is multiethnic – including Indigenous populations, Europeans, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music. The main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing.

The geography of Peru varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. Because of where the mountains are situated, the annual rain and snowfall in the Andes are where the Amazon River begins its 4,000 mile journey across South America.

Community Service?

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 40 Hours

Project #1: Amazon Conservation Project: Spend five days volunteering in Peru’s Amazon Rainforest! Living and volunteering at a Wildlife Center, campers work hands on in the rehabilitation and conservation of wild animals. Working alongside conservationists and wildlife biologists, campers help the staff to feed and take care of animals so they can be successfully released back to their natural habitats. Other activities may include assisting with maintenance of an interpretive trail, construction of animal enclosures and interaction with the local community. With its emphasis on species threatened habitat loss and illegal trade, campers learn about habitat restoration and biodiversity. During our stay we may see lots of wildlife species typical of the river or forest edge such sloth, monkey, tapir, Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roadside Hawk, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers.

Project #2: Cuzco School Project! Cusco is an ancient and spectacular Peruvian city located high in the Andes Mountains. As a gateway to Machu Picchu, most tourists just pass through the city. On Bold Earth, our dedication to authentic travel leads campers to a full-day service project in Cusco. Partnering with an after-school kids program, Bold Earth campers spend the day teaching English, playing soccer and planting a garden. This unique project introduces Bold Earth participants to local culture and a behind-the-scenes look into one of Peru’s most interesting cities.

Project #3: Lake Titcaca! One of the world’s highest lakes (12,000+ ft) is the location of Bold Earth’s third and final service project on Peru Machu Picchu. Traveling by boat from the shore, we travel across the vast and magical Lake Titicaca to the shores of Amantani Island. Home of the Uros People, the man-made islands are full of authentic culture and the location of our service project. Staying in the village, campers not only get to help the community but also get an authentic look into the culture of these ancient peoples. Working with a local non-profit, Bold Earth helps to install specially constructed chimneys from the mainland. After meeting with the local villagers, we spend a day working side-by-side with our host families installing the chimneys into the mud walls of their kitchens (6-8 hours). By properly ventilating their living structures, the project helps prevent respiratory disorders and allows the local people much healthier living conditions while saving fuel and reducing pollution.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

What do I Pack?

Over the last 15 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Peru Machu Picchu Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: Peru Machu Picchu Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? Most campers will check bags on their way to Peru. The majority of airlines DO NOT charge baggage fees for international travel.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

Is Peru Machu Picchu Authentic?

Understatement? YES! Bold Earth is an authentic experience. This is so much more than a teen tour. Bold Earth is MORE fun, MORE interesting, MORE service, MORE adventure, MORE leadership, MORE friendship and MUCH MORE authentic than a teen tour.

Campers who choose Bold Earth want to eat local food, wake up early, and get their hands dirty! With twenty years of experience in Peru, Bold Earth has scouted the coolest locations, hired the best local leaders and found the sweetest host families. Bold Earth is the REAL DEAL!

Bold Earth partners will local Peruvian communities and companies to provide students with the most authentic and hand-crafted experience possible in the area. Our adventure, service and village stays are tested and perfected with thousands of Bold Earth alumni. Please visit Peru Machu Picchu Trip Blogs to get a student perspective on Bold Earth’s Peru Machu Picchu Trip.

What is the weather like?

The climate of Peru is both beautiful and incredibly diverse. Peru stands out as one of the more geographically diverse nations in the continent, making for three different climate zones: the tropical Amazon jungle; the arid coastal desert; and the Andean mountains and highlands. Peru’s climate overall has two main seasons – wet (winter) and dry (summer). Temperature is generally influenced by elevation – the higher you go, the cooler it becomes.

The areas Bold Earth visits will typically be in the 60°-90°F (15°-25°C). Be prepared for warm and chilly days, as well as some chilly nights. Or just follow our packing list…

Can I combine Peru with another trip?

Peru Machu Picchu is specifically designed to be combined with Ecuador Galapagos or Costa Rica Classic 21. The time between trips (1 day) is fully supervised and is included at no additional cost.

It is important that if you are interested in combining trips that you contact our Colorado office for more information: 303-526-0806 or email at

Why are groups limited to 13 campers?

Small group size = SUCCESS!

Especially on a community service/adventure style trip. Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success. Who wants to travel with 40 other teens on a big bus??? LAME! The communities we visit WOULD NOT permit Bold Earth to visit with such a big group. Bonding and friendship are essential to the success of any summer program.

Bold Earth leaders are carefully trained in group dynamics and leadership. Also, Bold Earth leaders are the MOST FUN PEOPLE EVER! Your two Trip Leaders will take a hands on approach for the success of every individual. Bold Earth campers make friendships that last a lifetime.

Some Facts:
• Maximum of 13 Campers
• 2 Adult Trip Leaders (one male and one female)

One of your leaders will be an experienced local Ecuadorian guide who has usually worked with Bold Earth for many years. Your second leader will be an American fluent in Spanish. Having local guides provides a safer, more authentic and rich experience. Local guides in addition to their local knowledge and safety expertise, assure that the Spanish content of the trip will be 100 authentic. All leadership teams absolutely include one female and one male leader, certified in Wilderness First Responder, Lifeguarding and CPR.

Do Campers Join Bold Earth Alone?

YES! Bold Earth campers are diverse, energetic, leaders and FUN! Approximately, 80% of campers join Bold Earth on their own. Bold Earth fully supports students joining on their own or with friends.

Bold Earth will not allow more than three people who know each-other in one group. We recommend you contact alumni references from this trip to ask them for feedback about the students in their group. BOLD EARTH CAMPERS ARE AMAZING!

Where Do We Stay?

• Hotels/Hostels – 17 nights
• Supported Camping – 3 nights

Peru Machu Picchu enjoys a combination of hotels/hostels (17 nights) and supported camping (3 nights). The accommodations are chosen to provide campers with a more authentic and interesting experience. No, we don’t stay at the Marriott.

Supported Camping: Really? In Peru? YES this is so awesome! Often claimed as the best part of the trip is Bold Earth’s trek to Machu Picchu. While completing the 25 mile journey, we will be camping support from guides and porters. Bold Earth provides the sleeping bags (Yes they are clean!) and campers are not required to carry more than their water and raincoat. Campers will share a tent with 2 or 3 other Bold Earth campers– a special experience and a great way of getting to know each other!

What is the food like?

The food in Peru is incredible! Like most Bold Earth international trips we eat traditional foods in casual restaurants or prepare our own breakfast and lunches. However, we will have the opportunity to really discover this incredible culture through the pallet of the locals. Bold Earth caters to all special diets including vegetarian, kosher, allergy diets, etc., and makes sure you are eating well and eating what you want. We always provide plenty of delicious and nutritious food, and you will get plenty of opportunity to do some hands on cooking!

The best part of Peruvian cuisine is that it is unique to local cultures and ingredients—including influences brought from the indigenous Inca as well as cuisines brought in with Spanish, Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese and African immigrants. The food that we eat will be a reflection of the places that we visit.

The three traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes, and rice. Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat and meats. Many traditional foods—such as quinoa, kaniwa, some varieties of chili peppers and several roots and tubers have increased in popularity in recent years, reflecting a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques.

Do I need a Passport & Visa?

Passport: ALL campers require a valid passport to enter Peru. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after end of trip.

Americans, EU and Canadians: No visa required

Other Countries: Most campers WILL NOT require a visa to visit Peru. For more information, we recommend you contact the Peruvian embassy in your home country.

What about Immunizations?

Bold Earth carefully researches possible health risks as part of our trip planning for the exact destinations we visit on Peru Machu Picchu. Bold Earth visits well-established tourist locations. For most campers, standard vaccinations are sufficient for travel in Peru.

For more information, please consult your family physician or local travel clinic. The day to day Peru Machu Picchu Itinerary on the website can be printed show to your travel clinic or family physician.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Peru specific website which we find to be very broad covering all areas, ages, seasons and types of travel.

Peru Machu Picchu

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
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"Going to Peru with Bold Earth was the highlight of my summer. The layout of the Peru trip was outstanding, every activity was well planned out and well thought out. I had such a fun time with my group traveling around the country. Thank you so much for everything!"

-Cory K.

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