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Help plan a big group tour to Peru

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School group tour, Peru

Help plan a big group tour to Peru

Andean Trails organised a fantastic summer Peru adventure for 14 teenagers and two adults from Dunfermline’s Queen Anne High School.

The group camped in the Amazon, trekked the Inca Trail, visited remote communities in the Sacred Valley and went fishing with locals in Lima.

Check their photos on our Facebook page or Pinterest.

 

Group leader David Low writes:

“For a school trip, this fortnight was superb. If kids are prepared for days without TV, days of no wifi and meals they will have to adapt to, then they will have the time of their lives. Safe, challenging and exciting; everything you want in a school trip.

The itinerary was organised in such a way that it was varied and exciting throughout. Enough time in the rainforest and camping on the Inca Trail rewarded by more comfortable urban stays afterwards. The adults especially loved the homestay village in Willoq as it offers an authentic and friendly piece of rural living.

Football against locals was a highlight as well. The biking to Moray was perfect – a little challenging for some on the downhills but exhilarating with incredible views of surrounding glaciers high in the mountains.

 

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is far more sustainable than I had imagined; very few people up until camp three and maintained to an excellent standard. Ridiculous views and incredible engineering to build the stone paths. Miraculous meals produced by our team of chefs and porters; their workrate was phenomenal.

Macchu Picchu is as good as you would imagine, and I’m pleased that we scaled Huayna Picchu as well – great sense of achievement here.

Trekkers at Machu Picchu Inca Trail Trek Peru

Inca Trail trek, Peru

 

Accommodation

Accommodation can’t be faulted.

Range of food was very good – even fussy eaters were ok. It was a buzz for us to eat piranhas that we had caught in the Amazon. Cuy (guinea pig) was another first.

Guides were all superb.

I don’t know how I’d improve on the itinerary we had – rainforest, homestay, biking, Inca Trail, Cusco, Lima.

We definitely benefited local communities. This is partly why we chose a trip like this.

One change we made during the Amazon section was to stop at a local (non-touristy) village (Infierno) during a boat trip – we bought a fair amount of juice here that probably made their week!

 

Homestay

In the homestay village, we were given the chance to buy local clothing that the villagers had made – often the families we stayed with. This was a nice souvenir and definitely added money to the local economy.

Unless the students are expecting 5-star hotels (or perhaps even if they are) the homestay experience should be on a school trip itinerary. You are out of your comfort zone and are actually living.

The interactions between the students and local children, with little language skills to speak of, were heartwarming. We played football and gave out football tops we had collected for the trip. It was obvious locals were delighted, especially if it was a Spanish top.

 

Uros floating islands Peru

Uros floating islands Peru

 

Favourite moments:

 

–       Playing football in the Homestay village at 3500m against a makeshift Peruvian side that featured a woman with a baby strapped to her back playing in defence.

–       Being with the people of Willoq village and getting to dress up like them and take part in their way of life.

–       Arriving at the Sungate and seeing the first glimpse of Macchu Picchu.

–       Watching a tarantula emerge from it’s cave in the Amazon.

–       The biking, as the route was very fast-paced and had amazing scenery left, right and centre.

–       Getting down to the camp after a day hiking up and down dean Woman’s Pass. Just relaxing at the tent looking out over the valley was amazing.

–       When I first thought I had caught my first piranha but unfortunately it fell off the hook before I could get it on the boat.

 

I asked the tour guide if he thought we could have improved the trip.

“The conclusion I have is no.”

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