South America has a lot to offer traveling students. From hiking through mountains in Chile to lying on a beach in Rio de Janeiro, South America is a young travelers dream. While the most popular countries are Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, Peru is a country that deserves to be more widely visited, especially by students.
Planning a Trip to Peru
Travel Safe-Abroad gives Peru a medium rating for safety, which means it is imperative that students are careful. The biggest threats are pickpockets and scammers, especially in busy tourist areas. It is also best to be wary of traveling alone. Joining a student group is the best way to visit the country.
Student Volunteering in Peru
Peru provides plenty of opportunities for students who want to go on what Stuff calls a ‘holiday with a purpose’. The site notes that 68% of global travelers want to take part in cultural exchanges and 54% want to volunteer. Peru is a country where help is needed, as Save the Children reports that a third of the population live below the poverty line. The charity notes that literacy is a key issue that needs to be improved, as well as helping girls in rural areas receive a better education. Volunteer traveling has numerous benefits for those who engage in it. A volunteer program will often put the volunteers in accommodation and provide food, making traveling much more affordable. Look out for student volunteer companies that operate in Peru.
Lima is the capital city of Peru and is a bustling and exciting metropolis. The city is home to a lot of historical sites such as the catacombs under the San Francisco de Lima Basilica and Convent. This is also the place to try Peru’s national dish ceviche. Lima is also famous for its paragliding, with adventurers flying high over Miraflores’ cliffs.
Lima maybe the capital, but Cusco is the jewel of Peru (and interestingly also known as the belly button of the world). The beautiful Cusco Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds some of the country’s most historically significant relics. The city is also home to many museums and art galleries that showcase both the country’s heritage and its exciting modern art scene.
Visiting Machu Picchu
The ancient site of Machu Picchu is one of the world’s greatest historical destinations. Built by the Inca Empire, the beautifully preserved ruins offer glimpses into how the ancient civilization lived. While it is not the cheapest tourist destination, it is certainly worth the price. And if students are looking to save some money, they can climb up the 2,000-meter slope for free instead of taking the bus. For those who want to learn more about Machu Picchu, be sure to seek out the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón, which has lots of information on the famous ruins. It is tucked away near the base of the site.
Students visiting Peru have plenty to look forward to. The ancient historic sites combined with vibrant cities make it the perfect South American destination.