Peru

Secrets of the Sacred Valley

Now Accepting Applications!

Peru

Secrets of the Sacred Valley

  • Live on an organic farm high up in the mountains, learning about sustainable agricultural methods, traditional medicine, and the real story of the Incas.
  • Explore the beautiful cobblestone streets of Cusco as we dive deep into various cultural classes that will give us a real sense of daily life in Peru.
  • Trek through the Andes to see pre-Incan wall paintings and hidden lakes high up in the mountains!
  • Meet our partners at Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras to learn about the impact of international mining companies on our environment and human rights.

Currency:

15-DAY ↑

Fees + Community Contribution 

$2,060 USD + $170 USD
$2,150 CAD + $175 CAD

Program Dates

February 1 – 15, 2018

March 10 – 24, 2018

9-DAY ↑

Fees + Community Contribution 

$1,370 USD + $100 USD
$1,425 CAD + $105 CAD

Program Dates

December 27, 2017 – January 4, 2018

Applications Closed!

January 13 – 21, 2018

Applications Closed!

Sample Itineraries

*These itineraries are based on our previous experiences with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

9-day Track

Orientation – Cusco

We begin our journey in Cusco, the capital of the mighty Incan empire, where our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, and smiles of the 3,400 m/11,000 ft-high city. We’ll explore the cobblestone streets of Cusco while learning about the complexity of Peru’s colonial history. We will hit the streets learning how to bargain hard in local markets and end our day learning how to cook one of Peru’s signature dishes.

Culture & Traditions – Cusco 

We will wake up in our cozy guesthouse in the mountains and take in the breathtaking view of the Andean city with a cup of coca tea. We will continue our exploration of traditional food by learning about the health benefits of various grains and plants, followed by a hands-on opportunity to make our own energy bars.

From there we will switch gears and think more critically about our environment and human rights as we meet with Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras. Our partners will share important insights about the impact of multi-national mining companies and the conflicts they are causing. Of course, we will also learn what DHSF is doing to counter these detrimental effects!

Environmental Sustainability and Traditional Medicine at Kausay Punku in Maska

For the next three days we will live on the organic family farm at Kausay Punku. Located in the remote village of Maska, it serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional and organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine.

Our first day will be spent learning from the Ccapa family about sustainable agricultural methods, traditional medicine, and the real story of the Incas.

Adobe Construction and Distillation at Kausay Punku in Maska

After waking up in our cozy adobe huts, we will enjoy delicious meals made from locally grown produce. We will spend the day harvesting eucalyptus, and learning about the distillation process of medicinal plants into pure essential oils. We will also learn about the environmentally sustainable adobe construction projects on the farm and continue discussions about the traditional Incan way of life that the Ccapa family has committed to preserve.

**NOTE: Our December 27 – January 4th program will have a special New Year’s Eve celebration. We’ll be ringing in the new year with an unreal experience as we join our new friends with an ancient ceremony, a bonfire, and a dance party under the stars right in the heart of the Sacred Valley!

Going off the Beaten Path: Part 1 – Maska to Paru Paru

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll set off on an epic hike through the Pisac region. Guided by our partners at Kausay Punku and friend, Silvestre, we’ll be shown sights rarely seen by tourists, including pre-Incan wall paintings and secret mountain lakes! We’ll learn of histories from the region and hear stories passed down for generations. We will trek to Silvestre’s home-turned-guesthouse on a beautiful lake in the town of Paru Paru where we’ll enjoy a traditional dinner and spend the night in a unique and cozy corner of the Andes. 

Going off the Beaten Path: Part 2 – Paru Paru to Pisac

Rise and shine! We’ll continue our trek through the Andes, finishing above the Pisac ruins with a view of the old Inca city overlooking the Pisac Valley. The ruins are considered to be one of the finest remaining Inca archeological sites in the country, with vast agricultural terraces and the largest known Inca cemetery of 20,000 caves carved into the side of the mountain.

Then, we’ll make our way down into the valley and spend the night in the town of Pisac where we’ll rest our tired legs and weary minds. We will fill our bellies and sip on Pisco sours as we tell stories and share lessons learned. Of course, we’ll also sit under the stars thinking about our impact and what we can do to bring it home.

Departures – Pisac, Cusco 

Finally on our last day, we’ll have one last walk around the famous Pisac market before making our way back to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco. Get ready to say adios and adelante!

15-day Track

Orientation – Cusco

We’ll begin our journey in the modern city of Cusco, once the capital of the mighty Incan empire. Our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, and altitude of the 3,400 m/11,000 ft-high city. We’ll hit the city’s cobblestone streets and learn about the country’s colonial history before hiking to the Temple of the Sun and Moon for a glimpse of the valley’s Incan past.

During the next few days, we’ll spend our mornings in a cozy guesthouse complete with a cup of coca tea. We’ll explore tasty traditional Andean food and jump right in with some hands-on learning about the health benefits of native grains and homemade energy bars. Still got room for dessert? We’ll even take a chocolate-making workshop and hear about the healing powers of cacao!

On our final day, we’ll switch gears as we meet with Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras (DHSF). DHSF is dedicated to working with communities affected by multinational mining; they’ll give us the dirt on what multi-national mining corporations are doing in the altiplano and how local communities are responding. Exploring the intersection of human rights, mining, and international development – our day will be jam-packed with learning!

Andean Traditions in Maska

For the next three days, we’ll live on the organic family farm at Kausay Punku. Located in the remote village of Maska, it serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional and organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. Our time at Kausay Punku will be full of learning as the Ccapa family is an invaluable resource for knowledge on sustainable agricultural methods, cuisine in the sierra, traditional medicine, and the real story on the Incas.

After waking up in our cozy adobe huts, we will enjoy delicious meals made from locally grown produce. We will spend time harvesting eucalyptus, learning about the distillation process of medicinal plants into pure essential oils, and trying our hand at sustainable agricultural methods. We will also learn about the environmentally sustainable adobe construction projects on the farm and tackle discussions about the traditional Incan way of life that the Ccapa family has committed to preserve.

Cozy Corners of Paru Paru

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll set off on an epic hike through the Pisac region. Guided by our partners at Kausay Punku and our friend, Silvestre, we’ll be shown sights rarely seen by tourists, including pre-Incan wall paintings and secret mountain lakes! We’ll learn of histories from the region and hear stories passed down for generations. We will trek to Silvestre’s home-turned-guesthouse on a beautiful lake in the town of Paru Paru where we’ll enjoy a traditional dinner, and spend the night in a unique and cozy corner of the Andes.

We’ll wrap up our trek through the Andes with a view of the old Incan city overlooking the Pisac Valley. Then, we’ll make our way down into the valley and spend the night in the town of Pisac where we’ll rest our tired legs and weary minds.

Foot Paths & Fortresses in Union Chahuay

Continuing on the road less travelled, we’ll hop on a bus to the stunning Four Lakes Region of Cusco. And when we say ‘the road less travelled’… we mean it! Only 200 people (mostly local Peruvians) visit this site in a single year, as compared to the four thousand that visit Machu Picchu every single day. You don’t get any more off-the-beaten path than this!

After enjoying the calming views of Lake Pomacanchi, we’ll challenge ourselves with a two-day hike to the remote fortress and Incan ruins of Wakra Pukara. Along the way, we’ll see mild mannered Vacuña, ragged rock formations, and mountain ranges that disappear into the horizon. This natural and archaeological wonder once served as an astrological observatory and altar for agricultural rituals, but for us, it’s simply the region’s best kept secret!

Disorientation

After almost two weeks of meeting amazing people, trekking jaw-dropping landscapes, and listening to awe-inspiring stories, we’ll return to where it all started. A staple of every OG program, disorientation is our chance to kick back, relax, and reflect. We’ll acknowledge our accomplishments, trade tales of adventure, and talk about the lessons we’ll bring back home.

Finally, we’ll take one last walk around Cusco’s colourful markets before making our way back to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. Get ready for a hug-filled (maybe even tear-filled!) farewell!

Scroll below for more program details

What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals.

While exploring the Sacred Valley, there will be a number of different styles of accommodation. While in cities or small towns, we will be sleeping and eating as a team in clean, safe, and secure hostels and guesthouses that reflect a backpacker’s ethos. When we are staying on the farm we will be living in small adobe huts, without electricity or warm showers. Creepy crawlies are common while comfy beds can’t always be guaranteed — so come prepared. Be ready to share the wonderful simplicity of life in the Sacred Valley of Peru!

Meet Our Regional Director

Ana was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and has since travelled whenever possible in pursuit of her passion for education, development, and nature! She has worked as an English teacher in public and private schools in Costa Rica, and volunteered in Quijingue, Bahia (Brazil) on community development projects. After completing her Masters in Translation, she worked with Peace Corps, Costa Rica until returning to the world of NGOs as a Program Coordinator in Riobamba, Ecuador. Now, she’s super excited to be part of the OG family and looking forward to establishing new partnerships, working with and training awesome program leaders, and designing more amazing programs in South America!

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