Did you just finish high school and are you uncertain about what to do next? Do you need a break from studying and want to explore the world?
There are many gap year programs to choose from and you might have some great gap year ideas. Keep reading and find out why Peru is the Perfect Destination for your Gap Year!
Peru is a diverse country with many different climates and environments. Go trekking in the Andean mountains or rafting, or quad riding; go surfing and swimming at the coast, go sandboarding in dessert or go for a ride in a sand buggy and explore Peru’s wildlife in the rainforest and the Inca Citadel Machu Picchu. Because Peru has it all!
After English, Chinese and Arabic is Spanish the most spoken language in the world with about 560 million Spanish speakers in the world. Spanish is the official language in over 20 different countries in Central and South-America and in Europe. By learning Spanish you can communicate with millions of people.
Spanish is also a really beautiful language and not very difficult, you can learn to speak Spanish quickly! Especially when you are in a country where the language is spoken! Spanish studies look great on your Curriculum Vitae. And you will improve your conversational skills even faster when living with a local Peruvian host family during your Spanish course in Peru.
There are many options to work as a volunteer in Peru and to help the local communities, especially in the surroundings of Cusco. There are many projects with children that need your help. You can help out by playing with them, teaching them English or helping out with painting and cleaning the location. There are also options at local schools and hospitals. Volunteering is a perfect way to improve your Spanish and to give back to the local community.
As a volunteer, you can live with a local Peruvian host family or in a student residence in the city center of Cusco with other international students and volunteers.
Cusco was the former capital of the Inca Empire and is, therefore, the perfect place to explore the many Inca ruins and Inca walls in and just outside of Cusco. Cusco also has colonial influences which you can see in the many churches and museums in the city. The city is small; you will be able to move around by foot most of the time, as everything is nearby. There are many nice and cheap restaurants, bars and cafes on the typical cobble stoned streets. Cusco even offers nice opportunities to go out.
Learn about the history of the Incas. Try the delicious Peruvian food; lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with onions, tomatoes and potatoes) and aji de gallina (chicken with rice in a special yellow sauce). Or very special dishes like cuy, guinea-pig or alpaca steak.
Enjoy Peru’s beautiful traditional festivals and the many colorful parades on the streets; see traditional dances to Peruvian music and try the local food. When you are walking the streets you will run into women in colourful traditional clothing with llamas and alpacas, they all want to take pictures with you!
Peru is definitely not overcrowded, but yet a very popular destination for backpackers, all year round. The city is full of nice restaurants and bars and it is very easy to make new friends. But you will not only make international friends! Peruvians are very friendly and love to meet new people and especially if you have lived with a host family they will be happy to introduce you to more people and be your friend for life.
Taking a gap year in Peru is a great opportunity and might be a life changing experience! The gap year benefits are obvious and learning a new language and living abroad are only a few gap year pros.
Peru is waiting for you!