What to Expect

Maximo Nivel’s Adventure & Culture program are by definition more self-determined than not. We offer a variety of options to explore, travel, and learn and each program and destination is quite different. It’s important to be in good physical condition, stay flexible and always maintain your sense of humor. Remember, the pace of life is very different in Latin America. Patience goes a long way, and anger gets you nowhere. Be ready for anything and open to everything!

Sample Week Itinerary

Airport pick-up is included in all of our programs. Maximo Nivel’s professional drivers meet you outside of baggage claim as you exit the airport—just look for the yellow smiley face flag. You receive a Welcome Folder detailing your accommodations, orientation time, and our Emergency contact numbers. Depending on your time of arrival, you come to the Maximo institute or go directly to your accommodations.
Your Welcome Folder tells you the exact time of your orientation. Your host family shows you the best way to get to/from your family-stay and the Maximo Nivel institute. Orientation is very important because we cover specific details about your program, a health and safety review, dos and don’ts, cultural activities and tours that are available, and a short walking tour to be sure you’re familiar with the area around the Maximo institute. During your orientation, you also take a Spanish placement exam.
You have breakfast at your accommodations. We have a lot to do on Day 1, so we expect you at the institute first thing in the morning. A Field Manager from Maximo Nivel shows you how to get to/from your project and Maximo Nivel (e.g. buses, taxis, walking, etc.). Our Field Manager accompanies you to the project site, explains the activities that take place there, and answers any questions you have so you’re fully prepared to begin volunteering.

If you’re doing volunteer work, you are programmed for the morning shift from 8:00AM to 12:00PM, or the afternoon shift from 1:00PM to 5:00PM. Note that times are approximate and vary by project.

Spanish classes are available on the opposite schedule of your volunteer program, so if you’re volunteering in the morning, you can take Spanish classes in the afternoon and vice-versa.

During the week, you start the day with breakfast at your host family, generally around 7:00AM to 8:00AM. Most often, you eat with some of the family members or with other program participants who are staying at the house.

From there, you make your way to Maximo Nivel or directly to your project. You either have mornings free or afternoons free, and every day you have time to meet other travelers, local students, socialize, and do some exploring. You can spend some time with your host family, explore the city, take excursions, and hang out at the Maximo institute. Be sure to take advantage of the many free activities we have including salsa classes, cooking lessons, Tandem Conversation Program, and more.

There are plenty of great restaurant options around Maximo Nivel. Be sure to get out and try some of the local dishes and do some looking around.

In the evening, you have dinner with your host family. After dinner, families like to sit and talk about their day and hear about yours—remember, this helps you become more involved in the daily routine of your host family. If you won’t be home until later, or if you’re going out to a restaurant with friends—just let your host family know you’ll not be there for dinner.

At night, your evenings are free to relax at your accommodations or to enjoy the nightlife with friends. You have your own key to the family-stay house and you’re free to come and go as you please. However, we ask you respect the routine and house rules of the family. If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly! It’s important to follow the Maximo Nivel safety rules—we want you to have a fun and safe experience abroad.

Weekends are free to go sightseeing, traveling, or trekking. You can arrange tours with Maximo Nivel’s on-site travel partner or pool together with other participants or head out on your own. If you’re traveling, please be sure your host family knows where you’re going and when you’ll return so they don’t worry. If you decide to stay with your host family on the weekends, you are welcome to get involved in their routine, go to church with them on Sundays, and in general spend quality “family time” together.
Departure day is always bitter sweet. Our program participants are excited to go home and share their adventure with family and friends, but they also realize they’re going to miss their new home and new friends in Latin America. Remember, you’re always welcome to extend your stay!

On your last Friday, make sure you come to Maximo Nivel to check-out, collect your Maximo t-shirt, and leave us your feedback card. Client service is very important to us and we take your feedback very seriously—it helps us improve our programs so that future participants continue to have a great experience.

On your last Saturday, you are welcome to stay at your accommodations until 11:00AM, and breakfast is included. We’re always happy to help organize a lift back to the airport. Please note that airport drop-off is not included in your program fee.

Life at Maximo Nivel

At Maximo Nivel, we have lots of large common areas to hang out and meet up with friends, students, and other participants. At the institute, there is free WiFi, a computer lounge, free Spanish tutoring, and free coffee and tea. During your program, you should definitely take part in the free Tandem Conversation Program. Every month we have a calendar of free activities including salsa dance classes, cooking lessons, movie night, and so on.

At every Maximo institute, travel and excursions are easy to arrange through our on-site travel partners.
MyJ Travel (Costa Rica)
Eco-Expedition Guatemala (Guatemala)
American Inca Trail (Peru)

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