Our 2019-20 school year includes a term in the wonderland that is Peru, a country revered by anthropologists for its Incan ruins and indigenous Indian tribes. Peru’s eleven ecological regions include lush rainforests, boulder-strewn highlands, and glimmering coastlines, and each of these varied terrains holds the possibility for extraordinary biology labs. A two-day learning excursion might include a trip to Colca Canyon, where our students can calculate Andean condors’ wingspans as they fly overhead, followed by a visit the next day to Paracas bay, where the objective might be to gather samples on endangered loggerhead turtle hatchlings.
Situated in the middle of a tropical mountain forest sits the crown jewel of the Incan empire, the lost city of Machu Picchu, and our visit to this archaeological marvel will surely be the highlight of the term for many of our students. Constructed in the 15th century, Machu Picchu was built without the aid of metals like iron and steel, and more impressively, without the use of wheels. Pondering how the precisely-cut stones were set in place will likely result in more questions than answers, ensuring a healthy discussion on the train ride back to town.
For the fitter of our students, the option to reach Machu Picchu by foot will seem like a no-brainer, and they’ll likely hike to the site via the legendary Inca Trail. This two-day trek offers an experience unlike any other, and the remote wilderness is tailor-made for moments of silent awe and reflection.