2019 Colorado Academy Middle School Peru Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 Colorado Academy Middle School Peru Program! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. This page, the Pre-Enrollment page, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info which participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for Peru!
Travel Dates: June 10, 2019 - June 20, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,390 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $990
Deadline(s): Interested travelers should enroll by November 1st

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

June 10USA - LimaThis evening the group will depart from the US and fly to Lima, Peru, arriving early the following morning.Airplane
June 11LimaWe will arrive to the airport early this morning and transfer to the hotel for breakfast, some rest, and our orientation meeting. Early this afternoon we will set sail for the Callao Islands to get a closer look at the wildlife that call these islands home. We will finish the tour with an opportuntity to swim with sea lions! If time permits, we will end the day with a tour of the temples of Huacapucllana, a set of adobe ruins in the heart of the city.Hostal El Patio
June 12Lima - CuscoThis morning we will catch a flight to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Quechua empire. After settling in to our accommodations in the beautiful San Blas neighborhood, we will orient ourselves on a walking tour of the city and marvel at how Quechua, Spanish, and modern influences mold the current day Cusco.Pension Alemana
June 13CuscoOur day will begin with an adventurous photographic scavenger hunt in the cobblestone streets around the central plaza of Cusco. Next, we'll tour the massive Quechua ruins of Saksaywaman. In the evening, we will enjoy a Chaufu feast, a classic Asian/Peruvian fusion with our friends from Peruvian Hearts.Pension Alemana
June 14Cusco - UrubambaThe adventures continue as we set out for Chinchero, a small town just above the Sacred Valley. We will enjoy a weaving demonstration from the women famous for this local craft, then set out through the Sacred Valley to Salineras, where thousands of salt pools cascade down the mountains, and Moray, an ancient Incan agricultural laboratory. We will end the day descending the valley in bikes (or vans) and grab dinner at the Alhambra Hacienda restaurant before making our way to our hotel in Urubamba.La Quinta Eco Hotel
June 15UrubambaToday we will work hand in hand with the good people at Peruvian Hearts. The specific details about the programming for today is forthcoming, but will likely involve visits to the homes of some of our friends at Peruvian Hearts, followed by a picnic and a project in the afternoon. If time and energy permits us, we can organize a soccer game back near the hotel later this afternoon.La Quinta Eco Hotel
June 16PisacToday we will journey through the Sacred Valley, making our first stop at an andean camelid farm. After feeding and petting our fair share of llamas and alpacas, we will head on to the town of Pisac, famous for it's bustling market of textiles and hand-woven crafts. In the afternoon we will have the option to hike the ruins above town and learn about this breathtaking archeological site before returning to our hotel.La Quinta Eco Hotel
June 17Machu PicchuToday's the day! We will wake early and board the train to the world-famous Machu Picchu. With our local guide, we will learn about the history and significance of Machu Picchu and take time to reflect on our journey thus far. In the afternoon, we will take the train back to our hotel in Cusco.Ollantaytambo Hotel
June 18Ollantaytambo - CuscoWe will spend a relaxing morning in Ollantaytambo, options include playing soccer at the local field, enjoying one of the town's quaint cafes, or sleeping in! Around midday we will drive to Cusco and participate in a chocolate making workshop upon arrival. After dinner, we will have a reflection about our journey thus far from the comforts of our hotel.Pension Alemana
June 19Lima - USAAfter breakfast, we will head to the airport to fly back to Lima. In the afternoon we will explore the historic center, including the plaza mayor and the catacombs underneath the Church of San Francisco. We'll check out the impressive library in the convent as well! We'll then head over to the museo Larco to admire the vast collection of ancient peruvian tresures. If time permits, we will wrap up our experience with a visit to parque de los fuentes nearby to enjoy a spectacular watershow ahead of our international departure this evening.Airplane
June 20Denver, COArrive homeYour own bed!

Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

Use the promo code FAIRFALL through the end of 2021 and save 10% off wholesale cases prices.

Learn more here.

WTT coffee


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hostal El Patio

This beautiful bed and breakfast provides the perfect escape in the heart of Lima’s trendy, coastal neighborhood of Miraflores. Flowery terraces and the friendly staff give personality and charm to this lush, green oasis in the middle of the city. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Pension Alemana

Situated in the hills of the San Blas neighborhood, Pension Alemana is a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking the historic center of Cusco. Representative of the city’s history and culture, this hotel blends Quechua and Spanish colonial styles to provide a stunning setting to relax at 11,000 feet. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

La Quinta Eco Hotel

La Quinta Eco Hotel offers modern facilities in a lush, unforgettable setting. All rooms are comfortable, clean, and have their own private bathroom. Students can enjoy the facilities on the grounds as well, including a game room, a pool, and ample green spaces. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel to keep everyone connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.

Group Flight

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure City Departure Date and Time  Arrival City Arrival Date and Time 
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, USA
June 10, 2019 at 4:32PM
DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas–Fort Worth, USA
June 10, 2019 at 7:35PM
DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas–Fort Worth, USA
June 10, 2019 at 10:22PM
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
June 11, 2019 at 5:31AM
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
June 19, 2019 at 11:53PM
DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas–Fort Worth, USA
June 20, 2019 at 7:22AM
DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas–Fort Worth, USA
June 20, 2019 at 8:50AM
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, USA
June 20, 2019 at 9:47AM

Once your flight has been secured the itinerary will appear here. Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, but travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

Air travel is unpredictable, especially in a pandemic.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

Packing List

What follows is our suggested packing list for your program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a duffel bag or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

Please note that seasons in South America are opposite ours in the United States so we will be traveling during South America’s winter. With that said, winter is the driest time of the year and often the most pleasant times to visit. Most of our program will be spent at high altitudes where daytime temperatures can reach the 70’s and it can freeze at night. Layering is the best way to prepare for variable conditions.


(1) Swimsuit
(1) Towel
(10) Underwear
(10) Socks
(4-5) T-shirts or tank tops
(1-2) Long sleeve shirts
(1-2) Sweatshirt/jacket
(1) Shorts
(2-4) Jeans/pants
(1) Rain jacket
(1) Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
(1) Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
(1) Flip flops (optional)
(1) Hat

Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
Mosquito repellent
Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid
Hand Sanitizer
Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)

Journal and pen
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
Converter (Peru runs 220v, 60Hz AC electricity. Only necessary if electronic device doesn’t have built in converter)
Alarm Clock and watch
Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle with a personal water filtration system or a nalgene (Walking Tree will always provide drinking water)
Deck of cards or other portable games
Student ID
Spanish/English Dictionary

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Luke Mueller
Luke Mueller
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO

Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History

During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents.  Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.

Tommy Tyson
Tommy Tyson
Country Director, Country Operations Manager - Peru

University of Denver – B.A. Spanish, Minors in History and Hebrew

Currently based in Minnesota, where he is originally from, Tommy works in the Country Operations department at Walking Tree Travel. His hobbies include camping, snowboarding, basketball and traveling. Fluent in Spanish, he first developed his love of languages and Latin American culture at the age of ten on a mission trip in Mexico. This experience and subsequent trips to follow inspired him to study Spanish and pursue development work in other areas of Latin America as well. Tommy gained valuable experience as a middle school Spanish teacher and coach after he graduated. His experience in education encouraged him to combine his two passions of travel and education and join our team full time. He had the pleasure of living in Cusco, Peru for three years as our Country Director and has enjoyed planning and guiding student trips ever since.

Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Global Country Operations Manager

Earlham College – B.A. International Studies, Minor in Economics

Born and raised with a big family in Guatemala, JP spent seven years living and studying in the US where he was exposed to highly diverse communities. JP worked as a Wilderness Leader guiding expeditions in the Southwest of the US. After spending two years in New Mexico studying the International Baccalaureate, he moved to Indiana where he spent the next four years at Earlham College. His passion for international affairs brought him to spend a semester in China, and several other Southeast Asian countries. During his time abroad, he spent his summers traveling and backpacking through 15+ different countries, and participating in several service projects. Today JP is based in Costa Rica where he works full time with the Walking Tree team.  Juan Pablo also enjoys hosting friends and travelers coming to visit. He’s always down for an exciting road-trip around the country, or even better, around Latin America. He is a long time art and design enthusiast, and a photography aficionado.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Anabelle Twite
  • 2 Anna Baumbusch
  • 3 Arantza Pereira
  • 4 Ava Geisler
  • 5 Blake McAfoos
  • 6 Calvin Schumacher
  • 7 Cash McCoy
  • 8 Elizabeth McIlravy: Group Organizer
  • 9 Ellen Clowes
  • 10 Fatima Garcia
  • 11 Georgia Burstein
  • 12 Harper Hodgson
  • 13 Holland Burkett
  • 14 Lilly Biederman
  • 15 Mattiline Mielke
  • 16 Oliver Ebel
  • 17 Sue Counterman: Group Organizer
  • 18 Taylor Slutzky
  • 19 Zoe Cope
19 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program.  Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.


GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct.


  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.


  1. Failure to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Possessing weapons.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  5. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  6. Being out after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of your program. Please take the time to review these as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Peru website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.


While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.