Travel with Saint Mary’s this Summer. Think of It as Jan Term Without the Homework.

Explore Spain and Austria, Mexico and Peru. Learn about wildlife in Australia. Or head for the mountains of Northern California for writing and yoga.

by Office of Alumni Engagement & Events | February 15, 2024

Where will 2024 take you? What new music, food, and ways of seeing the world will you explore? For members of the Saint Mary’s community—including Gael alumni, family, and friends of all ages—a few of the big possibilities open up through the 2024 Summer Travel Series. 

Led by experienced Saint Mary’s faculty, these educational trips to meaningful destinations offer a chance to connect with others and discover new places, with the world as your classroom. Registration for six destinations is now available—with a deadline to sign up of March 4.

The trips are designed for small groups and include some seminar-style discussions. They head for Spain and Austria, Mexico and Peru, a journey down under to Australia, and a writing and yoga retreat in the mountains of Northern California. We've put together a quick summary of what's in store for each trip. Interested in more info? Online information sessions are happening now. Check out the “Learn more” links on individual trips for links to those. 

Summer 2024 Travel Destinations

🇪🇸 Walking the Way: The Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain

SMC travelers in Spain

May 11–May 23, 2024

Professor Molly Metherd

Buen Camino! For over one thousand years, pilgrims from around the world have been walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela where the remains of the Apostle Saint James are buried. Explore the historic, artistic, social, economic, and religious development of the medieval pilgrimage in the broader context of the history of Spain. 

Learn more about Walking the Way.

🇦🇹 A Musical Journey through Austria

June 9–June 21, 2024

Salzburg, Austria

Professor Sixto F. Montesinos Jr.

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the heart of classical music and European culture in Vienna and Salzburg. Discover the opulence of Schönbrunn Palace, explore the residences of musical legends including Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert, and Haydn, and attend a magical concert in St. Anne's Church featuring the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert. In Salzburg, enjoy the Sound of Music Tour and explore iconic landmarks like Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg Cathedral, and Fortress Hohensalzburg. 

Learn more about A Musical Journey through Austria.


🇵🇪 Peru: Food and Culture

June 28–July 7, 2024

Machu Picchu in Peru

Professor Aaron D. Sachowitz

Peru is a gastronomic mecca, home to some of the best and most innovative fine dining in the world, including the reigning World’s Best Restaurant in 2023, as well as delicious street and traditional foods. Peru truly is a culinary melting pot, where the traveler’s tastebuds open the door to a rich world of history and culture. We’ll use food as a lens to explore ancient archeological sites and modern Peruvian culture. Explore Lima and learn the role of food in the many pre-Colombian cultures that called Peru home. Visit Cusco to explore the ancient capital of the Inca empire, Machu Picchu, and other breathtaking Incan ruins, and tour the Sacred Valley.

Learn more about Peru: Food and Culture.


🇲🇽 Mayan Experience in Mexico

June 30–July 24, 2024

Saint Mary's travelers in Mexico with pyramid

Professor Álvaro Ramirez

Enjoy the beautiful Mayan Riviera with turquoise beaches and green jungles. Begin with a stay at the beach town of Puerto Morelos just south of Cancún and explore the remains of the ancient archeological site of Tulum. Visit the majestic Chichén Itzá and Uxmal ruins. Stroll through the colonial streets of the Mérida with its wonderful architecture and tasty foods. Discover Villahermosa, Tabasco, and the ruins of La Venta, where the Olmecs established the mother civilization from where all subsequent civilizations developed in ancient Mexico. Visit Chiapas with its awesome Mayan ruins in Palenque—and more.

Learn more about Mayan Experience in Mexico.

🇺🇸 Yoga and Writing Retreat on the Cohasset Ridge

July 25–July 29, 2024

lavender field on Cohasset Ridge, California

Professors Dana Lawton & Jennifer Kulbeck

Leave your busy life behind and revitalize during this special four-day yoga and writing retreat in the mountains of Northern California. Unplug, relax, and find inspiration in the quiet atmosphere of Cohasset Ridge at 3,000 ft elevation in the evergreen mountains above Chico. On this camping retreat, relax in the slower pace of nature; rejuvenate with yoga, writing, and nourishing meals; and recharge your creative expression and well-being.

Learn more about Cohasset Ridge.

🇦🇺 Endangered Australia: Wildlife and Culture

July 25–August 7, 2024

woman swimming in natural pool in front of waterfall in Australia

Professor Derek Marks

This cultural immersion trip ‘down-under’ focuses on wildlife conservation and Aboriginal culture. The off-the-beaten-path expedition includes hands-on activities with native Australian wildlife conservation groups, Aboriginal cultural experiences, and ample time to explore this amazing country on your own. 

Learn more about Endangered Australia


Key dates 

Registration is now live and deposits are being accepted. Online information sessions are happening now. Check out individual trip info for details on info sessions. 

Deadline to sign up and deposits due: March 4, 2024

Final payments due: April 29, 2024

LEARN MORE about the Summer Travel Series, including an FAQ.

Questions? Email