Summer Abroad Peru - On Site

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Peru, Into the Andes Program, Header Image, On Site Page

Into the Andes—History, Environment, Culture


You will stay in a nicely refurbished but simple house, Casa Campesina, which is part of Centro Bartolomé de Las Casas - or Centro Las Casas or CBC. Rooms are simple and basic and house 2-3 students each. It will be cold at night but extra blankets and space heaters will be available. A pay phone and a computer are available in the reception area of Casa Campesina.

The CBC is a large non-governmental organization dedicated to regional development and research. The house is very secure because it only has one entrance, which is locked for most of the day. Students quickly become friends with the doormen and women, which will give students an opportunity to practice Spanish and perhaps Quechua.

The Casa Campesina is located about four blocks from the main plaza and one block from the CBC's library. Casa Campesina offers legal and medical aid as well as other services to indigenous people, many of whom will be fascinated to speak with students interested in the Andes. Laundry service can be found very close to Casa Campesina and is inexpensive.

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging. Please note that elevators, air conditioners and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at the Casa Campesina. Most meals will have some meat in them. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you should be prepared to spend extra money to purchase vegetarian meals from a nearby vegetarian restaurant. 

Excursions and Day Trips

Week 1

  • City Tour of Cuzco and visits
  • Visit to Inca ruins in vicinity of Cuzco
  • Tour of Machu Picchu museum by local expert
  • Corpus Christi and Inti Raymi festivals
  • Three-day trip to Machu Picchu
  • Free time to explore Cuzco

Week 2

  • Three-day trip to Lake Titicaca; homestay on an island 
  • Day trip to Sacred Valley of the Inca
  • Lecture and musical performance by Q’eros people
  • Group lunch: traditional Andean cuisine
  • Soccer game with CBC staff
  • Weekend walk to Sacsahuayman fortress

Week 3

  • Day trip to Maras and Moray
  • Coca tea and class discussion
  • Tour photo studio of the wonderful Martín Chambi
  • Attend professional soccer game
  • Group dinner and visit to folkloric ballet

Week 4

  • Day trip to Virgen del Carman festival
  • Lecture and book signing by local expert
  • Film screening: State of Fear
  • Shop for gifts in textile and craft markets
  • Farewell dinner

Activities are subject to change.

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About Peru

Lonely Planet description of Cuzco,

The high-flying Andean city of Cuzco (also Cusco, or Qosq’o in the Quechua language) is the uneasy bearer of many grand titles. It was once the foremost city of the Inca Empire, and is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Few travelers to Peru will skip visiting this premier South American destination, which is also the gateway to Machu Picchu.

Currency: Sol (PEN)

Language Spoken: Spanish and Quechua

Weather and Climate

It will be winter in Peru, with sunny days and cold mornings and evenings. The average high in July is 66°; the average low 32°. Make sure you bring a warm jacket.

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad