Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Cusco from $310

Video and Photos

Teacher Strikes
Teacher Strikes
Teaching World Locations in English
Teaching World Locations in English
Me and My Co-Teacher at Maximo Nivel
Me and My Co-Teacher at Maximo Nivel
The crew at Plaza de Armas
The crew at Plaza de Armas
Jennifer
Jennifer
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
View of the city
View of the city
The firestation I taught at
The firestation I taught at

About

Trusted by 90,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Cusco and 40+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 10 volunteer project options in Cusco and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a homestay, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Cusco, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Cusco program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $310 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 25 and 60 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Cusco each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 90,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 60 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 60
Default avatar
Cara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Cusco Program

This program was wonderful. Starting from the pickup at the airport, everything was taken care of. This was my first volunteer trip with IVHQ and it will not be my last. I made so many friends in this program. I recommend to anyone looking for an affordable and impactful way to travel!

All of the staff that I encountered were wonderful and the homestay felt very safe and welcoming. I was conveniently located just a few blocks from the town square as well. As for excursions, the staff was more than willing to make recommendations. I ended up doing a day trip to Machu Picchu through America Inca Trail. As for my volunteer placement, our staff member showed us how to use the public bus system in order to get there and made sure we knew what was expected of us. This was a great time!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Cara, I'm so glad to hear you had a rewarding experience on our Peru - Cusco program. The effort you put into your contribution to the project is greatly appreciated. We can't wait to have you back again with IVHQ. ^Aydan - IVHQ Peru - Cusco Program Manager

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Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience!

I had a really great time! There were many opportunities to book excursions like ziplining and quad biking that were fairly priced and completely organized for us. I went to Machu Picchu for a day which was really lovely. I went alone but met a lot of great people there, so I never felt alone. My host family was so nice. I saw a lot of really wonderful things and I would definitely recommend this trip!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think I would spend a whole weekend in Machu Picchu rather than taking a day trip.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Natalie, Thanks for your review on the Peru - Cusco program. I'm glad to hear that you had a rewarding and enjoyable experience on your project. The effort you put in is appreciated by the community. We look forward to having you volunteer with IVHQ again soon. ^ Aydan - IVHQ Peru - Cusco Program Manager

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zhen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable experience in peru

The reserve is located kind of far from city of Cusco, however, the overnight transportation is so far the best of the trip. Panthera reserve, the place in which I spent two weeks working and observing the nature may be one of the best options for jungle adventures. Each day on the reserve is well-organised and properly carried out by the staff on board, Alex, Pierre and the other staff are always willing to help at any time. I engaged myself to learning and communicating with people all day; the more time spent on the reserve, the deeper you feel attached to the surroundings. Personally, being immersed in the pure nature is a good way to figure out how you want your life to be; meanwhile, you may also come up with an idea on what to do for making your personal contribution. Signing up for jungle conservation program with IVHQ could be a life path changing step.

What would you improve about this program?
I would suggest a better orientation for the volunteer before their departure.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Zhen, thanks so much for sharing this feedback with us! It's great to hear that the project has had such a great impact on your life and we thank you for your contribution to the project. All the best! ^Aydan - IVHQ Peru Program Manager

Default avatar
Jasmin
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Program in Cusco

The two weeks I spent in Cusco, Peru was an amazing adventure, both for me and for my future in medicine. I enjoyed the city so much and loved the culture I was able to experience. I think I could have had a better volunteering experience if the clinic in Chinchero maybe was more aware of volunteers and had set protocols for us. I found myself really looking to fill in time and just roaming around trying to find something to do. The nurses were very kind and I learned a lot about the medical system in Peru. Overall, some of the changes that could have been made also come from my desire to just be more outgoing and just ask others if they need something from me. The adventures I did on my own time were amazing and I loved my stay. I really enjoyed the food and my host family were always very helpful and supportive. I felt extremely lucky while staying in Cusco and would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is thinking about doing an IVHQ program.

What would you improve about this program?
I felt that the fees and registration were a little on the high cost end and would have liked to be warned about the extra costs while applying. I also would recommend on improving communication with the volunteer before heading out there. My initial thought was that the program was only $665, but really was about $900-$1,000 after registering (which is nonrefundable) and the extra fee of using card.
Default avatar
Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

I am a pediatrician, I have stayed for 2 weeks in Peru, most of the time in the mountains, in the picturesque Cusco. I loved it, all the people I have met were incredibly nice and helpful. I had a great time, learned a lot on a personal level of truly lovely people and amazing culture. Besides, professionally, I could see a lot of the system differences, which was interesting and also rewarding for a volunteer. We were in a big enough clinic in Belampampa, where diverse cases were attended. So, I did get to see children, but also pregnant women. Nevertheless, I have met people of different backgrounds who volunteered with IVHQ, heard great life stories. It almost felt like time was flying by. Wish you all enjoy your experience just as much!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would double the time to spend more time in the clinic and also get to go to the Amazon and to Colca canyon
Default avatar
Claudia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Holiday Experience and Mini Adventure

Last Christmas I had the pleasure of volunteering in Cusco. It was my most exciting and rewarding travel experience so far and I would definitely do it all again if I got the opportunity.

It was my first time travelling solo in a foreign language speaking country so naturally I was very nervous in the time leading up to my departure. However once I arrived, I felt completely at ease. IVHQ were very supportive and I had an airport pick up as soon as I arrived and met another volunteer straight away on the taxi ride to my homestay. From there on the experience was nothing but enjoyable and I had the best three weeks of my life.

The holiday experience project was great as it is was the only project where we got to do a mixture of each of the available programs. Over the course of two weeks, I got to help run a Christmas party for the local kids, help build a dog shelter, work with special needs care, plant trees and build guinea pig houses with the locals. After completing my volunteering, I had a week to myself where I used the mini-adventure tour option which IVHQ kindly organised for me. This was a great option for me as I had travelled all the way from New Zealand and wasn’t sure when I would be able to return, so I wanted to see as many things as possible. Using this service meant I got to cover all the major attractions including Machu Picchu, Scared Valley, Lake Titicaca and the salt mines. It was also a very easy, safe and hassle free process.

I also took advantage of the Spanish classes offered which was organised for me prior to my arrival. Taking these classes really enhanced my experience and I would definitely recommend to anybody who is not confident with their Spanish skills. It was also useful as you could practice what you learnt in class with the locals you volunteer alongside.

Overall, this was a challenging and wonderful experience where I learnt so much about myself and what I am capable of achieving. I have made life long friends and have memories that will last a lifetime. I cannot wait to volunteer abroad and travel solo again in the future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Give everything a go and try as many things as possible. Take advantage of the Spanish classes, the social activities and the organised trips and really ensure you get the most out of your experience. Take every opportunity that comes your way while you are there.
Default avatar
lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Greatest Place on Earth: (No, not Disney World) CUSCO PERU!!!

You can try to dream up everything about your first trip abroad, but it will never come close. First, you will not have predicted the tough times, such as acclimating to the super high altitude, getting sick from food, or having arguments with traveling partners on what to do and when. But more importantly, you will not be able to fathom the unforgettable people you will meet, places you will see, food you will eat, stories you'll learn, history you will uncover, and PERSONAL GROWTH you will experience. Cusco captured my heart with its mountainous beauty, lively festivals, historic traditions, and host family hospitality. From hiking Machu Picchu, learning to salsa dance, taking cooking lessons, atving through the mountains, and helping those in need in clinics, Cusco stole my heart.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
My advice would to soak up every moment of the awkward! It sounds counter-intuitive, but being there for a month, I actually missed how uncomfortable and awkward it was in the beginning! There are a bunch of things in life you only get to experience as "new" once, and your first trip abroad is one of them. Going into a host families home for the first time, not speaking the language, it is very awkward, uncomfortable, and it is very common to wish past it into a time where you are comfortable. But soak up that moment, remember and cherish the discomfort, because once you get used to it, that's it! The fun of the unknown is over, and although it's great to be acclimated and comfortable, that initial nerve and excitement of what's to come is over, and then in the blink of an eye the whole thing is over. At that point, you wish to relive any moment, even the awkward beginning. So cherish EVERY moment, even those that you may wish are over in the moment, because the ENTIRE experience is LIFE CHANGING and beautiful, bursting full of opportunities for growth and education.
Default avatar
corina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great first volunteer experience!!

Being that it was my first time volunteering abroad I was a little nervous about what to expect, but the moment I was picked up by one of the staff members as soon as I arrived to the airport I started to feel less nervous, and when I arrived to my home stay I couldn't be more satisfied. Not only was the accommodation incredibly comfortable and spacious, but the host family was super hospitable and caring. I loved being immersed into an entirely different, yet beautifully new humbling culture, and to experience living as a local was the best feeling ever. The most rewarding part besides the wonderful site seeing was the actual medical project I volunteered at. It was such a rewarding an fulfilling feeling to help the locals who were in much need. I can't wait to go back next year! I am a new person thanks to you IVHQ!!!!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Corina, thanks so much for sharing this lovely feedback with us! I am really happy to hear that the local staff and your homestay family made you feel so at home on the program. We really appreciate the time you gave up to come and make a difference in Peru and we hope to see you again soon :). Aydan - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Sydeny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Jungle Conservation & Teaching English

I spent a total of 5 weeks volunteering in Cusco, Peru through IVHQ. The application process was easy and straightforward. I felt supported through my application, preparation, and time in country. IVHQ was great about answering all of my questions and ensuring I was prepared for my trip. Once in Cusco, Maximo Nivel was the organization I worked with. I spent my first two weeks volunteering at Panthera Sanctuary in Puerto Maldonado, Peru for the Jungle Conservation Project. These two weeks were incredible and I would recommend it to anyone ready to leave wifi, electricity, and hot showers behind. It was so refreshing to live a simple life, working hard, and meeting new people. I also learned so much about plants, animals, and sustainability.
After the jungle, I spent three weeks teaching English in Cusco with Maximo Nivel. I spent two of the weeks teaching adults who work in the tourism industry. My last week was spent teaching English to children in an afterschool program. My recommendation is only do the teaching English to children if you have more time to give than I did. It was difficult to only be with the children for one week. All in all, I loved my experience and I feel that I learned and grew a lot. I would definitely recommend volunteering with IVHQ if you have the opportunity!

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the structure of the afterschool program I volunteered at in Cusco. The children come directly from school and I feel that they need some time to unwind after school before jumping straight into English lessons. I also think volunteers should spend a minimum of 3 weeks at this project to give the children some consistency.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sydney, thank you for taking the time to share such a wonderful review of your time in Cusco! It's awesome that you were able to experience more than one project and we would love to have you join us on another program in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

Jade
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Project in Cusco

This was my first time travelling abroad, and I'm so grateful I was directed to the IVHQ program. Leading up to the program date IVHQ always quickly and thoroughly answered all my questions, made sure I was adequately prepared to travel and always made me feel safe and secure with my decision to travel with them. They also always very clearly emphasized the importance of abroad volunteer work as well as making very clear to keep realistic expectations of your project. Being in medical project there really is only so much one person can do to help, but I knew to go in with an open mind so I came out having learned so much, felt good about the work I'd done and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Cusco. Anybody looking to travel and do a little good at the same time I whole heartedly encourage them to go through IVHQ!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Getting off the plane was terrifying, and the gentleman sent to pick me up wasn't there the exact moment I left the airport, as we was showing another traveler in the program to the car. I had a moments panic as this was my first time travelling and I was in a whole new world! But very quickly after I saw the yellow smiley face flag and found my way just fine!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jade, thank you for taking the time to share such a wonderful review of your time in Cusco! It sounds like you made the most of your time on the program and we would love to have you join us again in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Holiday Experience + Construction and Renovation in Cusco

My experience in Cusco through IVHQ exceeded expectations. I was very hesitant as I was traveling alone for two weeks, but from the moment I got there I felt very safe. I was picked up safely from the airport which was a perfect way to start the trip feeling safe in a foreign city (and country!) alone. I was there for two weeks, over New Years where I did the Holiday Experience week which was a different project every day. I really loved this as it not only allowed me to see so many different areas of Cusco but also get to know various projects and the other people in the IVHQ program. The second week I was there I did the Construction and Renovation project which was a much smaller group and an awesome dynamic to have more of a routine every day with the same people. The volunteering lasted only half of the day so I was able to see so much of Cusco during the week as well. IVHQ recommended several activities and day trip programs that were very easy to sign up for and were already pre-approved through IVHQ which made them feel safe and each one was worth it. Highly highly recommend this program - Cusco is an incredible city and being able to give back while you are traveling is the most rewarding experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I truly do not have any suggestions on how IVHQ could improve the Cusco program, I absolutely loved it and recommend it to so many people. I do recommend trying to get up to speed with the local language (wherever you are traveling) before getting there, as I found it helpful to have conversational Spanish under my belt.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kelsey, thank you for taking the time to share such a wonderful review of your experience volunteering in Cusco! It sounds like you really made the most of your time and now have some memories that will last a life-time. We look forward to having you join us again soon! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

Cyrille
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing time in Cucso

I've been volunteering in Cusco in November 2018. It was my first time in Latin America and I'm glad I choose Peru and particularly Cusco. Cusco is a beautiful city with so much to discover around it! You have many things to do in the city itself: the main square is amazing with a beautiful cathedral, you can go to the chocolate museum and make your own chocolate, you can go to the planetarium, you can go to Cristo Blanco and have a wonderful view on Cusco, you can go to many markets and so on! There are so much to discover and you can feel safe there. The food is amazing and quite cheap! The only thing is that I had some strugle to get used to altitude, so make sure you take medicines with you :)

Many activities can be done around Cusco during your weekends : you can go to lake titicaca, to machupichu, to rainbow mountain, to salt mines, to humantay lake. The "American Inka trail" office is really great to plan these trips. I did all my excursions with them and was never disappointed (there are in the same building than the IVHQ-Maximo nivel staff in Cusco).

The orientation on the first day was fine and clear. You can meet some people there. The IVHQ Staff in Cusco (which is "Maximo Nivel") is very nice and helpful. Don't hesitate to ask them if you have any question/problem with your program. They are checking on you at your volunteer placement and always ask if everything is fine.

My homestay was really great and people there were so nice. It was at 30min/40min from the city center on foot but there were many bus available to go to the city center in 15min. The house was very confortable and shared with 2 other volunteer girls. Our "house mother" was really nice and cooked many peruvian dishes for us.

I was voluterring in the animal care project and enjoyed it too. I first went to the dog shelter which is a bit far from Cusco but the dogs are really cute. They really need your attention and love! And then, I went to the small rescue center and was able to take care of turtles, parrots, deers, lamas, etc. It was a really great experience and you feel like you can really help them in their day-to-day tasks!

I think that speaking spanish, at least a bit, is very helpful to make the most of your experience in your homestay and in your volunteer placement. You have very good spanish classes available with Maximo Nivel.

So don't hesitate to go to Cusco with IVHQ you won't regret it! :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Cyrille, thank you for taking the time to share your experience in Cusco! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience and really made the most out of it seeing and doing as much as you could. We would love to have you join us again in the future! :) Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cusco is so magical!

Having volunteered multiple times overseas, I tend to be flexible and expect very little. Having said this, the local staff in Cusco were AHmazing!! The orientation was clear and concise. Everyone was friendly and totally prepared to answer any questions you could possibly have. The office also had coffee/tea all day with resources for the teachers to comb through to help lesson planning. Communication was great- email announcements were occasionally sent out about local holidays and events. My homestay was awesome (although I heard that wasn't the case for everyone for varying reasons). My host was a young chef, so food was amazing and it was easy to text quick questions. Those going anywhere to volunteer need to be prepared to handle a lot of things on your own. Organization will not always be this awesome, homestays will not always be as comfortable, you may be thrown into your placement without much prep, but remember you are the one volunteering your time and effort. Ask questions, relax, and go with the flow. This will always help your experience be more pleasurable and ultimately rewarding. I can't rave enough about my time in Cusco. Do it!

Machupicchu
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare in Cusco

I have spent 4 weeks in Cusco in a childcare program. I was hosted by a wonderful family just ten minutes away from the city center. Maximo Nivel (the local office) was located exact in the center of Cusco and its staff was really helpful to me. I enjoyed spending time in the cafeteria and all the activities they organized for the volunteers, such as Salsa Class, Cooking Class and the Market Tour. My program was held just 40 minutes away from the office and I used to work with children aged 4-16. I used to spend there 4 hours in the afternoon, giving them food, helping them with their homework and playing games. One of my favorite day there was when we organized a Fashion Show with the children: it was very hard to keep the kids quiet but many important people were there, such as a major's delegate. I also spent my weekends traveling around Cusco, I have been to Machupicchu, Rainbow Mountain, Salt Mines and few other places. I loved spending time there and enjoyed so much meeting new people. I would really recommend to spend few weeks in Cusco, it is hard to manage the cold but it is definitely worth it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebecca, thanks for taking the time to share your experience in Cusco! It sounds you like you had a great time with the kids at your volunteering placement and the fashion show sounds fun! We look forward to having you join us again soon :) Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager

Default avatar
Isabella
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Construction in Cusco

I loved volenteering in Cusco! I met so many new friends, immersed myself in a new culture, did some sight seeing, and helped a community out while doing so. I had never done construction before but I still felt useful and like my work made an impact thanks to the support from the field manager. Working was fun because I was surrounded by other volenteers who shared their stories. My home stay experience was the best. They made me feel at home with the best food, and clean and comfortable accommodations. I would recommend this project to anyone.

What would you improve about this program?
Tell volenteers in advance when they won’t have to work.

Location

Location:
Cusco
Currency:
Peruvian Sol
Weather:
Jan-Mar
66 F / 43 F
Apr-Jun
66 F / 34 F
Jul-Sep
68 F / 34 F
Oct-Dec
70 F / 43 F
Airports:
Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport
( CUZ )

Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture.

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IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 50+ destinations. Over 100,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 12 years,...