Over the past weeks, we have been working together to craft a course itinerary that is dynamic, immersive, and inspiring. This is called the tentative itinerary, because at Dragons, we intentionally keep our itineraries flexible so that we can take advantage of the unexpected opportunities on the ground and adaptively craft the trip to match the interests of our group. For now, please know that we’ve intentionally chosen places and activities to provide a progression of challenges and opportunities throughout our four weeks together.
Our excitement has been growing as we’ve delved into planning details, and we can’t wait to share these wonderful places with each of you! So with great anticipation, we present you with our tentative itinerary.
Departure: (June 28) We will all meet at the Miami Airport and travel together to Peru to start our course (please stay tuned to more information about travel day logistics).
Orientation: (June-29 to July 2) After arriving to Peru, we will dedicate three full days to getting prepared to travel safely as a group over the following month. We will be staying in a beautiful place in Puerto Maldonado, where we will get to know each other and set goals for out time together. We will also dedicate some time to getting to know this gateway to the Amazon Rainforest.
Amazon excursion: (July 3 to July 6) We will visit a small community close to Puerto Maldonado where our partners from a nonprofit working on conservation in the area will teach us about ecology and traditional ways of life in this part of the rainforest. We will hike through the forest, support on-going research initiatives, enjoy soccer afternoons with the community, and talk about the issues that the Amazon is facing and the work of different actors in the area.
First Trek in Nacion Q’eros: (July 7 to July 12) We will travel from the Amazon region to one of the most beautiful mountains in Peru. We will take a couple of day to prepare for our trek and to get used to the altitude. Our trek will be both a backcountry and a cultural experience. We will trek in the day and in the evenings we will have small group homestays with families in different remote communities. Q’eros is an autonomous nation within Peru, home to a collection of Quechua villages tucked away in the folds of the high Andes. The people of Q’eros are the direct descendants of a group of Incan nobility that fled Cusco during the Spanish conquest and stayed isolated from the rest of the world for hundreds of years. There is so much to learn here!
Homestay: (July 13 to July 17) We will travel from Nación Q’eros and arrive to our homestay site in the Cusco region. We will have one or two people staying with families, where you will be able to interact with the families in their daily life. During this period we will learn about agricultural and spiritual practices in the region, and learn about the issues faced by your homestay families. We will also have some structured language lessons so that you feel more confident in your interactions with your families. We will get to learn about the culture in a safe space and beautiful setting.
Lares Trek: (July 18 to 21) this second trek will be part of your student led expedition. You will have the chance to practice your Spanish, group leadership and organization, and backcountry skills. We will be hiking on one of the most beautiful treks in the Sacred Valley. Our three days of hiking will take us through mountain passes, green valleys, native trees (Qewiña) forests and will end at natural hot springs where we can relax after our days hiking.
Machu Picchu: (July 22 and July 23) We know that this is your favorite part!! That is why we are giving you the chance to lead our time in Machu Picchu. From the Lares trek we will make our way to Machu Picchu, with the student group leading the way (don’t stress, we will be there to support you). We will visit the ruins on the 23, and we will enjoy plenty of activities in the area. With this we will close out the student-led part of the trip and the instructors will take over again to nurture the group during our final days together.
Transference: (July 24 to July 27) We celebrate our journey and process our learnings as a group and as individuals. For transference we will settle into a beautiful site surrounded by ruins to make meaning of our experiences and prepare to apply that learning to our lives back home.
We hope this itinerary gets you excited for our summer adventure together! We are definitely counting the days to start this amazing experience, look forward to meeting you all very soon.
Your instructors: Jhasmany, Ana, and Ben