Hola Dragoncitos y familia/amigxs!
Over the past few weeks we’ve been chatting with our friends and contacts in Peru to co-create an itinerary that focuses on general knowledge of Peru’s history/current events, a deeper appreciation for the natural world and a glimpse into everyday life in Peru. With the health and safety of our local friends and you our students at the forefront we’ve created a program that will allow us to connect with and learn from local experts while practicing now commonplace health & safety measures. As with all Dragons programs and travel in general our itinerary will adjust to the needs of our group and the communities hosting us but you can expect to roughly follow this course progression. So without further ado we’d like to present to you your summer 2021 Peru 4 week itinerary!
Orientation & Urubamba July 1st-7th
On the evening of the 1st you all will meet a Dragons representative in the JFK airport who will travel with the group all the way to Cusco where your instructor team will be waiting for you in the airport on the morning of the 2nd (you’ll receive more travel day details closer to your departure date). To help with the acclimatization (Cusco is at 11,100 ft!) we’ll leave the airport and drop nearly 2,000 ft in 90 minutes to the city of Urubamba where we’ll hold our orientation. In these first couple of days we’ll get to know each other better, set intentions for our time together, meet some of our friends in Urubamba and prepare for our trek in Peru’s Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley Trek- July 8th– 11th
We start by making our way up, up, up and over snowy Andean mountain passes before dropping down into lush cloud forests. Our trek in the Sacred Valley of Peru will give us a glimpse into the incredible biodiversity of this part of the country. We’ll hone our trekking skills, cook our own meals and try to identify the constellations of the southern hemisphere’s night sky, all while getting to know each other and ourselves on a deeper level.
Machu Picchu- July 12th-13th
The most popular tourist destination in South America and arguably one of the most popular in the world, the impressive ruins of Machu Picchu are truly a sight to be seen. Here we’ll dive into conversations about the beneficial and harmful effects of tourism and our role within it all.
Paru Paru- July 14th-17th
From the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu we’ll make our way to the village of Paru Paru. Six distinct Quechua communities, including Paru Paru, make up what is called Parque de Las Papas (Potato Park). In this remote community we’ll learn from our hosts about their everyday lives. We will hear about the different potato varieties and their importance to this region, practice weaving, learn about Andean spirituality and so much more.
The Rainforest- July 18th-24th
We’ll drop thousands of feet from the chilly Andes to the sweaty Peruvian Amazon. Here we’ll partner with a research station outside of Puerto Maldonado to learn about the local fauna & flora and about the different environmental issues facing the Peruvian Amazon, such as gold mining & deforestation . We’ll take educational hikes through the forest with our local guides to learn about the daily ins and outs of working in a research center and if we’re lucky we’ll see some exciting wildlife!
Transference- July 25th-27th
To wrap up our time together in Peru we’ll spend a few days outside of Puerto Maldonado reflecting on what we learned and how we want to apply it to our lives back home. This is also a time to celebrate our experience and continue to explore the rich cultures and biodiversity of Peru’s Amazon Rainforest. You’ll fly from Puerto Maldonado to Lima and then back home accompanied by the same Dragons representative.
Start to familiarize yourself with these places. Find them on a map, research their history, look for relevant news articles and most importantly get excited for this amazing adventure!
-Paola, Itza and Zack