We get tons of questions from prospective students and parents, so we’ve tried to list some of the most common questions and answers below. Still have a question after reading? We’d love to answer – don’t hesitate to contact us! 

  • What kind of student takes part in STRIVE-Peru?'
    Students who come to Peru are looking to immerse themselves in new cultures and new experiences, while also being committed to their athletic training. Each day will be packed with service, exploration, and training. As in all of our programs, we are more interested in your dedication to the ideals of the program – service, exploration, pushing yourself – than in any quantitative measure of speed or ability. In Peru, we have had Division I college track/cross country recruits and also student athletes who were focused on basketball, hockey, or swimming. Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself on, our group leaders will make sure you have the opportunity to push yourself as an athlete and as a person.

    ADULTS of all running abilities (and even non-runners!) are welcome to join us on our Running to Machu Pichu 10-Day Trip.

    What about Zika virus? Is that a problem in Peru?

    The short answer is “no”. Our programs take place entirely at high altitudes where Zika is not present. For more info, read this longer post which includes links to CDC, etc.

    What is the ISIC card and why do I need one?

    The ISIC (International Student Identification Card) is an internationally recognized student discount card. The rates that we have negotiated for our Andes trek and other day trip activities are based on student rates. However, in Peru these student rates will only be allowed if each participant has a valid ISIC card. These cards must be purchased upon acceptance into the program and a scanned copy (including picture) sent to STRIVE. Further, the ISIC card also provides each participant with international medical insurance during their travels, including emergency evacuations if necessary. Feel free to find out more about these cards and how to apply at: You might even be able to save on your own travels in the future

    How difficult is the hiking portion of the trip?

    The trek takes you through the Andes and up and down through indigenous communities without any road access to modern Peru. The scenery is spectacular and the hike, while challenging, is very manageable for athletes in training. Luckily, you will have already spent more than two weeks adjusting to the high-altitude and so you will be much better prepared for the hike than most travelers. The trip will be challenging, but with your training and acclimatization, you’ll be fine. If a student gets particularly bad altitude-sickness, our guides are well trained to deal with this and, in worst cases, students can be evacuated to lower elevation via horse-back.

    What do I need to bring on the trek? What will I need to carry during the hike?

    We’ll send you a complete packing list prior to departure. But in general for the treks you will need to have a day backpack (the one you use for school is likely to be sufficient), sub-zero sleeping bag, strong footwear (running shoes are okay if you do not have hiking boots), one complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (fleece or another light, small, and warm), water bottle (metal or nalgene type – we will provide sterilizing tablets or boil water for use as necessary), flashlight or headlamp and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries, camera and spare batteries (nowhere to charge your camera during the trek). You also have to bring your ISIC card and original passport with you on the trek.

    There will be porters or donkeys to carry all of the heaviest items such as tents, food, foam sleeping mats and cooking equipment. Each day the porters or horses will set up camp in advance of the trekkers’ arrival and start to prepare dinner. Tents are two person A-frame style and there is a communal dining tent for eating and staying dry if it rains. A change of clothes and your sleeping bags will also be carried by the porters or horses (with weight limitations) so that you need only hike with a day pack.

    Do I need to bring hiking boots?

    If you have them and they’re broken in, then it’s probably good to have them. If you don’t then running shoes will generally do. We do not recommend trekking in sandals or using new boots. Make sure that whatever shoes you bring are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek.

    Where can I store the bags that I do not need to take on the trek?

    All of your belongings will be put into safe storage while you are hiking.

    What is the weather like in the Andes during the summer?

    Average weather conditions in Pisac:

    J F M A M J J A S O N D
    Av. Max Temp ºC 20 21 21 22 21 21 21 21 22 22 23 22
    Av. Max Temp ºF 68 70 70 72 70 70 70 70 72 72 73 72
    Av. Min Temp ºC 7 7 7 4 2 1 -1 1 4 6 6 7
    Av. Min Temp ºF 45 45 45 40 36 34 30 34 40 43 43 45
    Wet days / month 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16

    In general, in Pisac, during the day when the sun is out, it can be very hot. The sun is quite powerful so we recommend you wear sun-screen and keep hydrated as much as possible. In the early morning and evening, however, it can be quite cold once the sun retreats behind the surrounding mountains. In the morning, you’ll probably run in pants or tights and a long sleeve shirt, maybe even a hat and gloves, while in the afternoon, just shorts and a t-shirt will be fine. May to August is the dry season so you are unlikely to experience a lot of (or any!) rain in Pisac.

    For the hike, the temperatures are similar, but could be a bit cooler at the highest points. We’d recommend you bring plenty of layers which you can take off as the day progresses. Pants that zip off at knee level are ideal and t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and a warm fleece are also recommended. It can rain in the lower cloud forest around Machu Picchu, so a poncho is a good thing to have, too.

    What immunizations are recommended/required?'

    For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control website. In general, no vaccinations are required, but we at STRIVE are not medical professionals and therefore we recommend you consult your own physician.

    Is the water in Peru safe to drink?

    The tap water is not potable in Peru. Bottled water is readily available and is included in STRIVE’s programs for all meals. If you want extra water, it might be worth investing in a SteriPen – a device which uses UV light to kill the nasty stuff in tap-water that makes you sick. Our group leaders and many previous STRIVErs have used these on tap water in Peru and had no problems with illness.

    How much Spanish will I use/need on this trip?

    All of the group leaders on this trip speak English and Spanish fluently, so if you don’t speak Spanish, they’ll look after you. However, if you have or are studying Spanish and want to use it, you’ll have plenty of opportunity in these three weeks. In Pisac, outside the hotel, few people speak anything other than Spanish or Quechua, the local Andean dialect. At the schools where you’re working, as you explore the town, and in many of your daily interactions you’ll have ample opportunity to hear and speak Spanish. If you want to get the most out of your trip, we really recommend you check out our Spanish Immersion Program, which will let you get a head start on the language so you can interact with the locals and fully immerse yourself in the culture.


    Want more on STRIVE-Peru?

    Read an overview of the STRIVE-Peru Program
    Explore a sample itinerary
    Check out our in-country accommodations
    Learn Spanish through the Spanish Immersion Program
    Read some Frequently asked Questions about STRIVE-Peru
    See what some of our past participants had to say in our testimonials page
    Ready to Apply? Click here!
    Still have questions? Contact us!