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Overview

MACHU PICCHU TO THE AMAZON

This trip will take you on an educational journey through the history of Peru, with visits to the unmissable highlights of Peru’s Sacred Valley and of course Machu Picchu. You will then venture deep into the Amazon rainforest for an introduction to the region’s ecology with a naturalist guide. The trip begins in Cusco, where you’ll have the chance to explore magnificent Andean landscapes, visit mind-boggling archaeological sites, and learn about Indigenous ways of life in traditional communities. You’ll then travel from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Amazon in southern Peru. Our carefully chosen partners in the Amazon run sustainable, eco-friendly lodges where you can deepen your knowledge of biodiversity and conservation. A mix of history, culture, and nature, this eye-opening adventure offers a truly immersive educational experience, with the chance to really get under the skin of Peru.

Highlights of the Trip

  • Build bridges between cultures by visiting Indigenous communities
  • Visit the outdoor adventure hotspot of Piuray Lagoon
  • Witness Incan Ruins on an excursion in the Sacred Valley
  • Experience the wonders of Machu Picchu and enjoy an optional hike
  • Stay at a jungle lodge in the Amazon rainforest

Key Pillars

Service: Participate in educational discussions for a deeper understanding of MEDLIFE’s work. Your trip also directly contributes to our work bringing medicine, education, and development to local communities.

Environment:Partnering with an eco-friendly Amazon lodge, this trip gives you the chance to learn about sustainability, biodiversity, and conservation in the world’s largest rainforest.

Education: Your expert guides will share their knowledge of the Incan civilization and colonial history of the archeological sites you visit. You’ll gain insight into local culture through visits to Andean communities.

Life-changing experiences: Connecting with local Indigenous families and learning about their day-to-life will open your eyes to a new perspective as you build understanding across borders and languages.

Itinerary In Brief

Day 1: Saturday

Arrive in the beautiful historical city of Cusco. Take some time to relax and settle in as you acclimatize to the altitude. In the evening, the group will meet for a welcome drink and a briefing to review our itinerary and prepare for the adventure ahead. 

Overnight in Cusco

 

 


 

Day 2: Sunday

Learn about the lived experience of Indigenous communities of the Andean highlands on a Reality Tour of Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Your expert guide will provide a deeper context to the geographical, political, and social realities of the region, helping orient your understanding of the country. 

We will enjoy a traditional lunch before heading to the stunning Laguna Piuray. Here, you will have the option of getting up close and personal with nature by trying your hand at stand up paddleboarding! In the afternoon, we will continue learning about local culture with stops at some Indigenous community projects. 

Overnight in Cusco

 


 

Day 3: Monday

Begin your adventure today at the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo. Take a short but steep hike to visit the terraced ruins and take photos of the valley below. Along the way, your certified tour guide will explain the historical significance of the site and introduce you to the genius of Incan architecture. We will then stop at the colorful artisanal market to learn about local art and textiles, before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes. Spend the afternoon exploring this charming town! 

Overnight in Aguas Calientes

 


 

Day 4: Tuesday

Wake up early to catch the best views of the famed Inca fortress of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been astonishing travelers for years. Your historian guide will lead you on a 2.5 hour tour of the ruins, visiting the temples, terraces and all the best spots for photos. For those who’ve reserved in advance, there will be an optional trek to Machu Picchu mountain! After a day of exploring, the group will return to Cusco in the evening.

Overnight in Cusco

 


 

Day 5: Wednesday

Enjoy a free day in Cusco with a variety of educational activities to choose from. You could tour the archeological landmarks with a historical expert, or learn about its pristine ecosystems with a guided trek to Humantay Lake or Rainbow Mountain. Alternatively, if you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping, you can get out of the city for a day of white water rafting. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to have a blast!

Overnight in Cusco

 


 

Day 6: Thursday

Fly from Cusco to the city of Puerto Maldonado and journey to your jungle lodge. Sometimes called the lungs of our planet, the Amazon rainforest stretches over 2 million square miles (5.2 million sq. km) of South America. Teeming with incredible wildlife, it is the most biodiverse place on earth! 

Overnight Amazon Jungle Lodge

 


 

Day 7: Friday

Wake up bright and early for a full day of learning about biodiversity and conservation as you explore the jungle with naturalist guides. You might enjoy a jungle walk to see the spanning forest above the treeline, head to a nearby Macaw Clay Lick to spot the colorful parrots of the region, or visit a lake to find monkeys, sloths, and river otters. Sneak through the forest on the lookout for peccaries or the elusive jaguar. And in the evening, head out in the dark for a night walk in search of creepy crawlies!

Overnight Amazon Jungle Lodge

 


 

Day 8: Saturday

After a tasty breakfast at the lodge, board your canoe for the journey back to Puerto Maldonado Airport and onwards to Lima. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Lima for onward travel or your international departure, which can be anytime after 8pm. Alternatively, you can spend the night in Lima and depart the following day. 

Overnight in Lima

 


 

Day 9: Sunday

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading to the airport for your international departure or onward travel. 

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg
Parent

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.