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Peru is one of the world’s greatest centers of ancient civilization. It is also one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse countries on the planet. Come join us in this amazing country!

Peru is located in the west central part of South America, and it is the 19th largest country in the world. It shares borders to the north with Ecuador, to the south with Chile and Bolivia, and to the east with Columbia and Brazil. Peru’s geography, climates, and cultures are very diverse due to the natural variation of its geography, which includes the Pacific coast, the Andes, and the Amazon Jungle. Peru’s diverse cultures and civilizations were some of the most advanced in the world, culminating in the well-known Inca Empire. These ancient cultures left behind one of the richest collections of architecture, metallurgy, ceramics, and textiles known to man.

Population: 32,170,000
Geography: 1,285,215 km² (494,208 square miles)
Peru is approximately three times the size of California. The highest point is Huascaran at 6,768 meters (4.2 miles) above sea level.
Capital: Lima
Population 7,989,000
Founded: 18 January 1535
Currency: New Sol (S/.)
U.S. dollars are accepted in all places of business and are available at most ATMs. Other currencies can be easily exchanged.
Government: Elected democracy
Languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara
Time Zone: UTC -5:00
Map: Peru Map


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Video Tour Maximo Nivel Cusco, Peru


The Maximo Nivel-Peru institute is just a 3-block walk from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. Located on the main commercial street of Avenida El Sol, the campus sits right in the historical center and is just across the street from Q’oricancha—the most sacred site in the Inca Empire. Maximo Nivel-Peru is always teeming with local and international students with lots of opportunity to practice your Spanish.

The Maximo building includes 4 floors with 22 classrooms, a snack bar, and a computer lab. The school’s spacious common areas are great for meeting up with friends and making new ones. There always lots of free time activities and cultural events to take part in. The institute is open 7 days/week, including holidays.

The city of Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is located in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 3,326 m (11,200 ft). Cusco is the mecca of South America and is one of the most sought-out travel destinations in the world!

The Cusco area offers some of the richest collections of architecture, ceramics, and textiles known to humankind. Program participants can experience the history and culture still alive in the city today. The highlight of any trip to Cusco is a visit to the lost city of Machu Picchu or a hike along the Inca Trail.

Due to Cusco’s elevation, temperatures range from a low of 1°C (34°F) at night to a high of 21°C (70°F) during the day. ‘Green season’ is from November to April, and ‘dry season’ is from May to October with June being the coldest month of the year.

Cusco’s city center is easy to navigate on foot and everything is within a 15-20 minute walk. Public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services are all available at very low prices. Taxis and ‘colectivos’ are commonly used when traveling outside of Cusco to the Sacred Valley. Private transportation and buses are available for travel to Arequipa and Lima, the Amazon, the Pacific Coast, or even to Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. Rental cars are available on a limited basis.

Peruvian cuisine is probably the most internationally recognized of all Latin American gastronomy. It is very diverse in taste, includes a variety of ingredients, and is highly seasoned. Some of the best dishes that you should be sure and try include ceviche, anticuchos, chicharon, seco, aji de gallina, lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa, and arroz chaufa. Peruvians are very proud of their cuisine and as a visitor it is important to try their food and to react positively no matter how you really feel about it!

Peruvian culture is unique, especially in the Cusco area. Traditional customs and indigenous rituals are still present in daily life, and should always be respected. Most Peruvians are Catholic and it is the official government religion. Peruvians are generally conservative and even somewhat formal until they know you, after which they are quite fun loving and very friendly. Some cultural recommendations include:

– Dress conservatively
– Speak politely even if you are angry
– Ask before taking someone’s picture; tip people wearing traditional dress
– Do not take long showers—it is considered rude as it uses lots of electricity
– Wear shoes or sandals at your family-stay
– Understand that “Cusco time” is often flexible
– Avoid topics such as pre-marital sex and teen pregnancy

Cusco has an abundance of markets and shops where you can buy souvenirs, world-class alpaca products (sweaters, blankets, etc.), and traditional hand-made textiles. The entire Cusco area and the surrounding villages are famous for their handicraft markets. There are also great open-air markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. In recent years, a modern mall was built in the suburbs of Cusco where you can find a movie cinema, clothes, hiking equipment, and anything else you might need.

Cusco has excellent food—much of it is very inexpensive, though Cusco also has excellent higher-end restaurants. By eating in local restaurants, visitors can enjoy good food at very low prices. For example, you can get a 3-course lunch plus drink for as little as $2.00 (USD). At tourist level restaurants and hotels, you can find fine dining, casual bistros and cafes, and excellent wood-fired pizza and pollo a la brasa.

Most clubs and bars in Cusco are concentrated around the Plaza de Armas and in the San Blas district. Cusco has a lively nightlife with a wide variety of clubs and bars; Cusco also has some good places to relax and listen to live traditional and modern music. Cusco is a very safe city, but it pays to be vigilant. You should never walk alone at night, and you should be very careful with your valuables.

Programs in Peru You’ll Love!

We’re the local study abroad organization in Peru.

Volunteer in Peru


Peru is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. However, its social development has not kept pace with its commercial development, and Peruvians still wrestle with illiteracy and basic social justice. Peru is a safe country, but visitors are often taken aback by the tremendous differences in socioeconomic levels and lack of access to education and healthcare. Peru works hard at self-improvement, making it an ideal place for international volunteers to get involved, contribute to sustainable programs, and provide help to vulnerable populations. There is no shortage of things to get done in Peru and international volunteers can truly learn to serve here.



Once the cultural, spiritual, and economic center of the Inca Empire, Cusco, Peru is now one of the world’s most sought after travel destinations. With constant improvements to the Peruvian social, political, and economic sectors, Peru is rapidly becoming a leader amongst the developing countries of South America. Whether your studies are focused on Education, Healthcare, Business, Human Rights, Hospitality, or Special Education, an international internship in Peru provides a unique opportunity and helps you stand-out as candidate to prospective employers. International interns in Peru, are transported into an amazing mix of history and culture–living and working among archaeological ruins, colonial architecture, and ancient civilizations, all while expanding your modern skill set, your professional network, and your global understanding.

Internships in Peru
Study Abroad in Peru


Studying abroad in Peru opens the door to one of the world’s greatest centers of ancient civilization. The country’s amazing history and diverse cultures along with its natural beauty and biodiversity make Peru a center for global learning. Peru’s people and its climates are very diverse due to the natural variation of its geography, which includes the Pacific coast, the Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Jungle. Peru is a natural choice for students who are studying Anthropology, Business, Education, Hospitality & Tourism, Medicine & Healthcare, and Veterinary & Animal Science, among many others.



Peru is a Latin American tiger! The country is equal parts beautiful, historic, and ambitious. It is truly one of the great success stories in South America and it keeps getting better. This is the back-drop for one of the most exciting decisions of your life—getting TEFL certified! Earn your internationally-accredited TEFL Certification at the Maximo Nivel TEFL Training Center located in the historic city of Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu. A lot of travelers make their way to Cusco, but only the special few stick around and really get to know the depth, the beauty, and the adventure of this amazing place. The strength of Peru’s economy and the importance of the tourism sector, means there is always a strong demand for English teachers. The Maximo Nivel team and your TEFL Trainer are experienced English-teaching professionals and very knowledgeable about Peru. They are always ready to support you throughout your TEFL journey!

Teach English in Peru
Peru Spanish School


Cusco, Peru is the traveler’s mecca of South America. The city is special–it is vibrant, exciting, and beautiful! You might think you are coming to Cusco just for the culture and history, but with Maximo Nivel’s accredited Spanish Immersion program you learn a new language and you really step in to an amazing experience abroad—building skills that serve you for lifetime. As you learn Spanish in the land of the llamas, courses are led by certified native Spanish-speaking teachers. In the classroom, learners and teachers utilize Spanish conversation, context, and visuals to ensure understanding of vocabulary and grammar. Through a structured curriculum that emphasizes speaking, you naturally acquire the language as you are pushed to learn through practice.



Peru is an absolutely amazing country for your gap year experience! Study Spanish, get your TEFL certification, and join a volunteer abroad program. Along the way, you visit Machu Picchu and trek through archeological ruins and open-air markets. There is never a shortage of things to do in Peru! The standard gap year program in Peru is a 24-week program, but every gap year can be personalized to meet your goals. Gap year program is based in the historic city of Cusco, Peru, and this is the perfect launching point for travel and adventure!

Gap Year in Peru
Adventure and Culture Programs in Peru


Maximo Nivel is proud to offer Adventure & Culture programs in Peru, the adventure and culture capital of South America! Explore, learn, and travel far beyond the classroom. We are the locally-based and we know and love Peru; and we love showing our country to everyone who is interested. See the best places and most important sites in Peru like Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and Lake Titicaca. Get outside of Cusco to earn your scuba certification and go to surf school. For cooks and foodies, we offer a unique culinary and wine tour that leads you through Peru’s wine and pisco region, and includes a tour of the mysterious Nazca lines.


Ready to Experience Peru?


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