Peru Gap Years

Overview and Highlights

Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America and also one of the safest. It has wonderful cultural and ecological diversity and these are just some of the reasons it is such a popular gap year destination.

Of course, highlights such as the former Incan citadel of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca are sure to feature on many travellers’ wish lists but a roll call of Peru’s “greatest hits” is a long and varied one. Peru has a very low cost of living, a rich and varied cultural hotchpotch of Hispanic, Quechua and Aymara influences and a diverse mix of ecosystems including rainforests, cloud forests, mountains and beaches.

All in all it is easy to see why so many people put Peru at the heart of their gap year.

Peru Gap Year Companies

We found 17 companies in our database that provide Peru gap years. Choose one below to learn more.

Gap Provider What They Offer Learn More
Gap Provider
Projects Abroadbrand-logoFor over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.Visit Site »
What They Offer: For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.
Raleigh Internationalbrand-logoRaleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Raleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.
Peak Leadersbrand-logoWe've been training ski instructors all over the world for over seventeen years, so when it comes to packing your skis and heading off to the mountains, we know everything there is to know. In fact we've built an experienced team at Peak Leaders who have all been on the same journey as you, so we know exactly what it's like to start a ski instructor training course.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We've been training ski instructors all over the world for over seventeen years, so when it comes to packing your skis and heading off to the mountains, we know everything there is to know. In fact we've built an experienced team at Peak Leaders who have all been on the same journey as you, so we know exactly what it's like to start a ski instructor training course.
CESA Languages Abroadbrand-logoLive in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Live in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.
Oyster Worldwidebrand-logoOyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Oyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.
Project Trustbrand-logoProject Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Project Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.
Frontierbrand-logoGap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Gap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.
POD Volunteeringbrand-logoPod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projectsVisit Site »
What They Offer: Pod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projects
Gap Gurubrand-logoGapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.Visit Site »
What They Offer: GapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
The Leapbrand-logoWith The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.Visit Site »
What They Offer: With The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.
Global Vision Internationalbrand-logoWe're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).Visit Site »
What They Offer: We're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Outreach Internationalbrand-logoWe make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.
Pacific Discoverybrand-logoPacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Pacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.
i-to-ibrand-logoA TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!Visit Site »
What They Offer: A TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!
Travellers Worldwidebrand-logoEnrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/ResumeVisit Site »
What They Offer: Enrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/Resume
Lattitude Global Volunteeringbrand-logoOur mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.
Gapforcebrand-logoWe've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.

Gap Year Opportunities

Peru isn’t a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the unofficial list of “first world” or fully developed countries. However, it is often classed as a “middle power” and economic and social development has been fast-paced during the current millennium.

That said, many of the volunteering options that exist in the lowest GDP countries are also available in Peru. Teaching and especially teaching English, is a popular choice for those visiting Peru, whilst jungle conservation, childcare and medical opportunities also exist. Helping those in smaller communities is usually at the core of many projects, although some volunteers may be based in and around Lima or Cusco.

If your time in this captivating country is more of touristic or travelling nature, again, there are many options. Aside from the obvious must-sees already mentioned, the Nazca Lines, the soaring condors of the Colca Canyon and Sacred Valley are all well worth visiting. Nature lovers are sure to be amazed too by the birds and mammals of the Tambopata Reserve, the pumas, sloths and monkeys of Manu National Park and penguins, marine life and boobies of the Ballestas Islands.

If all the adventuring makes you hungry then why not indulge in a local cookery course? Peru’s unique cultural melting pot has created a style of cuisine that is arguably the hippest in the world right now. In 2017 three of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America, including those in top spot (Maido) and second place (Central) were in Lima. If you don’t have time to learn how to cook Peruvian food, make sure you get to sample plenty of it - even the national delicacy of guinea pig, if you’re feeling brave!

Practicalities, Health and Safety

Peru is a safe country with the vast majority of residents being warm, friendly and helpful towards visitors. It is a tolerant society and few gap year visitors will suffer any crime or other unpleasant experience. Indeed, heavy rains and dangerous roads may be your biggest concern.

Information on the various risks, as well as pointers for medical concerns and visa requirements is best obtained via the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) website.

Visitors should be aware of the risk of altitude sickness and also take the usual precautions with regards water and food. Malaria, Dengue fever, yellow fever and other such viruses are also risks so plan to visit your doctor or local travel clinic at least two months before your trip.

In terms of a visa things are rather simpler, with tourists to Peru usually granted 183 days on arrival. Depending on what work, volunteering or internship you intend to undertake you may need a visa prior to arrival. Check with the Peruvian authorities to be sure.