Report from Peru: Week 3
The students on the Peruvian Study Tour completed their third and final week in Peru in Cusco, Urubamba, and Aguas Calientes. The group was fortunate while in Cusco, because they got to stay at La Residencia del Sol. La Residencia del Sol is just several steps away from Koricancha (the Temple of the Sun). It is a beautiful location very close to the Plaza de Armas. The students spent their first morning in Cusco touring the city and many spent the afternoon shopping for handicrafts for their friends and family.
On January, 21st the group started a three0day “test.” During the “test” the group members had nothing but backpacks with their necessities. During this period, they did a lot of walking and saw more steps than they would like to remember! The first day of the “test” was spent touring the Sacred Valley. During the tour, the group took a beautiful hike from Incan ruins down into a market in the town of Pisac. The steps on the hike were formidable, but everyone was happy to have done it given the gorgeous landscape and the ruins they got to see. They also visited a farm where they fed alpacas and llamas and a chicheria to learn more about how corn beer is produced.
On the second day, the group took a train to kilometer 104 of the Inca Trail. They then hiked to Machu Picchu getting their first view of this site through the Sun Gate. The hike took approximately five hours. A number of the students, their professor and one of the guides then walked down from the ruins to their hostel in Aguas Calientes. At the end of the day the group had walked roughly 30,000 steps and more than 300 flights of stairs! The next day the group took a guided tour through Machu Picchu. In the evening they journeyed back to Cusco via train and bus. The group was tired getting back to Cusco, but they felt accomplished!
This was the beginning of the end for the Peruvian Study Tour participants. The following day they traveled from Cusco to Lima. After a few hours at a hotel in Lima (La Hacienda), they went back to the airport in Lima to fly home. The group was sad to see the trip come to a close. The trip meant a great deal to the participants. Here are some of their reflections in their own words…
“This trip has been one of the best experiences of my life. I mean, how many people can say they have jumped into Lake Titicaca, seen Machu Picchu, or hiked (part of) the Inca Trail? While I was learning so much about Peru and their growing economy, I also had the opportunity to build really great friendships with others on the trip (also known as my "puma family"), and I had so much fun sharing this experience with them.” ~Sara Logerquist, Senior
“I couldn't have made a better choice when I decided to travel abroad in Peru. The school, the people, the food, the sites, and the overall culture are things everyone should experience. While the trip is based around the economics of Latin America, I learned many more valuable lessons from my experience which is why I would recommend this trip to anyone who is considering a study abroad program.” ~Genevieve Giordano , December 2013 Graduate
"Peru was by far a highlight of my college career. This trip was one of the most adventurous and fun things I have ever done. The educational and cultural experience was also very eye opening. The best part of the trip was the friendships I have made and the wonderful memories I took home." ~Kelsey Van Abel, Senior
In closing, the trip participants would like to offer a hearty thank you to Augusto Chian of Happy Tours. Happy Tours is one of the major reasons this trip is always a success! Augusto is a wonderful resource offering deep knowledge in the culture, history and economics of Peru. They would also like to thank Universidad del Pacifico and more specifically Milagros Haro, Head of the International Relations Office; Sheyla Salazar Fernández, Incoming Students Coordinator; and Mariana Bardales Gómez, International Relations Office Assistant! All of our class sessions and company tours went very smoothly and this is due in large part to these three women!