Gap Year in Ecuador and Peru - Carpe Diem Education

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Trek to the sprawling Incan ruins at Machu Picchu. Submerge yourself in the natural mineral hot springs of Baños de Agua Santa. Try your hand at bartering in the indigenous markets of Otavalo—your conversational Spanish skills may reward you with a unique Ecuadorian craft. See why people from the far corners of the earth flock to experience the misty mountain terrain—and uncover the best-kept secrets—of Ecuador and Peru.

Note: This is a 3-month semester program.

Experiential education. Community. Intercultural exchange. It's how Carpe Diem Education connects with and gives back to the global communities we interact with. Learn a foreign language, stay with a host family, and participate in a volunteer project on a gap semester or year around the world.

Program Highlights

Discover traditional music, hike near the surrounding lakes and waterfalls, and visit the traditional market in Peguche.

Live with local families, experience traditional, rural Ecuadorian life, and learn about the political issues affecting communities in the cloud forest community of Pucara.

Practice your language skills with Spanish-speaking host families in Peru’s majestic Sacred Valley.

Learn about natural building, sustainable agriculture, and organic banana farming in small communities on the Ecuadorian coast.

Partner with a non-profit in the Ecuadorian Amazon to support riverbank erosion control and river turtle conservation projects.

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Program Reviews

Most Recent

Take a gap year with Carpe Diem

December 1, 2016

If you want to travel, challenge yourself, learn more about yourself, and improve yourself, take a gap year with Carpe Diem. It succeeds where others have failed. Just do it.

I feel so much more confident

December 1, 2016

I really didn't feel ready to go straight into college. I think many of my friends felt the same but decided to do the normal thing and go for it anyway. The spiritual and emotion growth I have gained from this trip are invaluable and unteachable in a classroom setting. I feel so much more confident about starting college now and I trust myself to make much better life decisions in the process.

Those days changed my life

December 1, 2016

The itinerary in front of you and the stories you hear draw you in because they sound truly amazing. When you're actually there and the ideas you've formed manifest into realities its almost incomprehensible. only afterwards, looking back, do you realize that that those days changed your life.

The effects of a trip like this are much more than you could ever anticipate

December 1, 2016

The effects of a trip like this are much more than you could ever anticipate. Everything from the friendships I've made to the things I've learned about the world have had a profound impact. Even the little things that I didn't think would be impactful changed my view.

Experience everything

December 1, 2016

This is a program that can either mean nothing to you or change your life. It depends on how you approach it and how you deal with things. Look positively at what is in front of you while you are there and don't forget that you have a whole life ahead of you. Experience everything.

Just be open and ready to expand your mind

December 1, 2016

Just be open and ready to expand your mind more than you know because you may or you life may change for the better and hopefully it is an experience you will remember forever. Some times may get hard or you may have to jump out of your comfort zone a bit, but its all worth it in the end.

Carpe has changed my life

December 1, 2016

Carpe has changed my life. I couldn't have done something so drastic (traveling without connection to my friends/family for 3 months seemed impossible) without the amazing support of the OEs and Carpe as a whole. I have grown more than I thought possible, and I will never forget what Ive learned on this trip.

Amazing experiences

December 1, 2016

"The fear of suffering is worse than the fear itself." - Paulo Coelho You may have a lot of fears when thinking about what awaits you on this program, but don't let them get in your way! Recognize your fears, accept that they probably won't be as bad as you think, and then let go. You will then be free to fully embrace all the amazing experiences that you will have on this trip.

Program Details

  • Age Requirement Varies
  • Contact Provider for Cost Details
  • No
  • Ecuador: Rural Areas

    Peru: Cusco, Rural Areas

    Multiple Countries:

  • Subjects & Courses





    Environmental Studies

    Foreign Language



    International Policy & Diplomacy

    International Relations





    Public Health

    Public Management

    Religious Studies


    Women's Studies

    Focus Areas

    Community Service & Volunteering

    Experiential Learning

    Gap Year

    Language Immersion

    Outdoor Education






    Building & Construction Projects

    Community Development



    Organic Farming



    Experiential Learning

    Language Immersion

    Study Abroad



  • Program Duration

    3-6 Months

    Year(s) Offered

    Year Round

    Terms Available



  • Age Requirement Varies

  • American


  • Contact Provider for Cost Details

  • Dormitory

    Group living

    Guest House


  • Language Skills Required



    Experience Required


  • Essay

    Online Application

    Phone/Video Interview



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