Peru: Ancient & Contemporary Exploration

Language and Cultural Discovery

Journey across the Andes and discover the majesty of Machu Picchu. Experience the diverse communities, historical complexity, geographic beauty, and archaeological sites of this vibrant country.


July 2, 2018



Community Service

Rugged Travel

Outdoor Activity


Program Description

Delve into Peru’s history and learn about its different ethnic communities during your orientation in Lima, Peru’s capital and largest city, which overlooks the Pacific coast. The first days of this journey will be spent visiting the MALI Museum, the city’s colonial areas, and Pachacamac, the most notable sanctuary on the central coast of Peru, before moving to  Chincha and El Carmen to discover the roots of Afro-Peruvian culture.

In the city of Trujillo, in northern Peru, you’ll spend two weeks living with a Peruvian family. Here you will learn how to dance La Marinera, the national dance of Peru, and play soccer with Peruvian youth. During this period, you and your group will also take music and dance workshops while learning about the unique culture, rhythms, and artistic heritage of the region. Expect to improve your Spanish while visiting with Peruvian students. Travel farther north to Pacasmayo harbor and work with local residents on a community service project, such as helping paint and repair community buildings or working at a soup kitchen. Continue to Cajamarca to explore pre-Inca archaeological sites and artifacts.

Your Peruvian exploration continues as you travel to Cuzco, the archaeological capital of the Americas, which boasts a fascinating mix of pre-Colombian and colonial history, art, and architecture. From Ollantaytambo, an ancient Incan mountain town, take a two-hour train ride to Machu Picchu to experience one of the most treasured historical and archaeological sites in the world.



Spanish (at least one year)


July 2, 2018 - July 30, 2018 (4 weeks)

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:



Lima, 4 days


Trujillo*, 15 days

Other Accommodations:


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
    • 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


    Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • William Cavu-Litman

    A native of Redwood City, California, William Vosa Cavu-Litman graduated with a BA in behavioral sciences and sociology from San José State University in 2009. In 2011, he completed his MA in early childhood education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Vosa taught for two years with Teach for America before heading abroad to South Korea to work in international education. For the past few years, Vosa has been teaching young learners, supervising schools, and training teachers around Seoul.

    With family from the Fiji Islands, Vosa has traveled extensively in Fiji; he has also continued his explorations through Mexico and across Europe, including Spain, France, Greece, and England. He has visited many countries in Asia and has been a leader with The Experiment three time, in Spain in 2011, Chile in 2013, and most recently Peru in 2014. He enjoys rivers, lakes, and oceans; loves riding bicycles; and thoroughly enjoys learning about new cultures.

  • Valentine Sergon

    Raised mostly in Rockville, Maryland (but also some in Kenya), Valentine Sergon fled the East Coast to attend Pomona College in the Golden State. She majored in international politics, studied as many languages as could fit in her schedule, and served as a residential advisor. In her third year, Valentine studied abroad in the Middle East and Latin America, allowing her to practice her two favorite languages. While in Oman with SIT Study Abroad, she held an internship teaching low-income, high-performing Omani teenagers English as preparation for university. She then spent a semester in Argentina, studying at the university in Buenos Aires, eating her weight in beef, and not learning how to tango. At the end of the program, she conducted research about Arab-Argentine communities and traveled throughout the Southern Cone. She has been fortunate to visit five continents and over a dozen countries including Oman, Qatar, UAE, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil (for the 2014 World Cup!). Valentine now teaches at an international school in Abu Dhabi.

Student Voices

  • On my birthday, my whole (host) family came—even extended family. They took me to the beach at night and even got me presents. I felt like I was part of the family. They cracked eight eggs on my head! A new tradition for me. Being such a part of the family made it like I was at home, and made it a real experience. By being in a smaller town and living with a family, I learned how differently people can live. That’s how you learn about a culture and a people. It made my trip a lot better. I didn’t feel like a tourist; I felt Peruvian..

    Elizabeth, Saint Helena High School
  • Everyone in my host family made me feel like I was truly included. Each member of the family was delighted by my presence, which made the homestay enjoyable, too. I would help my host sister, Camila, with her English while I practiced my Spanish; my older brother, Mauricio, and I would chat with his university friends; and my host father, who was like a second father figure to me. Finally, my host mother and I would do everything together. The Experiment is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.

    Deja, Country Day School, Sacred Heart

Pre-departure Documents

Summer 2018

Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the Peru: Ancient & Contemporary Exploration program. Visit our pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning. In early 2018, our summer international information will be published in a secure page, found in the Parent Portal.

In early spring 2018, the following program-specific documents will be linked to this page:

  • Participant Handbook
  • Parent Handbook
  • Health Guidelines
  • Personal Funds Abroad
  • Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • Packing List

Many questions can be answered by reviewing these materials, but please do not hesitate to contact us if further information is required. To submit or update your domestic travel and emergency contact information, please login in to the Parent Portal.

Important Passport and Medical Information

If you do not yet have a passport, or if you have not applied for one, you should do so immediately.

If you have not had a physical with your doctor since June 2017, make an appointment as quickly as possible, as your health form must be filled out based on a current physical.

Please bookmark this web page for easy use in the future.