Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Peru - Cusco from US$320

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About

IVHQ offers highly affordable volunteer programs in Cusco, Peru. A wide variety of projects are available, including childcare, teaching, conservation, medical work, as well as service learning opportunities.

Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast and dinner during volunteer program period and in-country 24/7 volunteer support.

During the weekends, volunteers enjoy trekking the Inca Trail to explore the tourist mecca of Machu Picchu together.

Volunteers can choose to join the program for anywhere from 1 to 12 weeks with program fees starting at US$320 for 1 week.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Projects in Cusco:

  • Teaching English
  • Special Needs Care
  • Childcare
  • Medical
  • Jungle Conservation
  • Animal Care
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Andean Immersion
  • Spanish Service Learning Course

Highlights

  • Programs are available year-round at extremely affordable prices starting at US$295 for 1 week
  • The Cusco program starts every Monday and volunteers can join for 1 week up to 24 weeks
  • Projects are based in and around the city of Cusco and in rural areas in the Sacred Valley and the Amazon rainforest.
  • Cusco program fees includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation, breakfast and dinner during volunteer program period and in-country 24/7 volunteer support
  • IVHQ offers volunteers the opportunity to enjoy discounted Spanish language courses.
  • Read the great reviews IVHQ alumni have left about their experiences in Cusco, and visit the IVHQ website to start planning your trip!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 43 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 43
Scoop
9/10

IVHQ jungle conservation, cusco

Had a really amazing experience living in jungle, met some lovely people, did some really cool treks into jungle, mammal monitoring, caiman monitoring, harvesting orchids etc. The Panthera reserve is really beautiful, especially at sunset! Couldn't recommend IVHQ highly enough- the staff were always so helpful before/during/after the trip and the other volunteers were also really great! Lots of friendly monkeys around the place too!

How can this program be improved?
Would love a bit more emphasis on planting trees etc and not as much clearing invasive species etc.
Yes, I recommend
Kenia
10/10

Medical Project in Cusco, Peru

I recently came back from volunteering on a medical project in Cusco, Peru. Partnering with Maximo Nivel, I volunteered at a small clinic called Centro de Salud Dignidad Nacional doing a variety of tasks. I got to work closely with the chief of medicine there as well as rotate with other doctors and nurses. I honestly loved every second of this experience.

I became extremely close to the clinic staff there, so much so that they invited me to parade with them during their annual Inti Raymi festival. We still keep in touch and I am currently making plans to return in December! Cusco is a magical place full of history and kindness. You will definitely find adventure here! So much to do, especially in the month of June.

How can this program be improved?
This program is fantastic! Definitely remember to bring gloves, masks, and stethoscope. Venture out of your comfort zone and explore the surrounding areas of Cusco.

One thing that could be improved is the volunteer domicile placement. My home stay was pretty far from the plaza and my clinic placement, but the host family was incredible! Just wish it was a bit closer to better enjoy the plaza and nightlife.
Yes, I recommend
Tejbir
10/10

Cusco Peru, Teaching English, Biblioteca Kalphanchis - Tejbir Dhillon

Overall, if I can do this program again I would! The attitude you have is very important when teaching english is important. Especially if the kids are only 7 years old and up! Bear in mind when teaching (If you can not teach and explain the topic to someone like they are five years old then you are making it too hard!) this was a rule of thumb I tried to use when teaching and helping each student. Ensuring they understand, numbers, words, climate, landscapes, and Animals each with a simple lesson. With pictures, worksheets, games, tandem conversation, one on one practice and repetition.

Key tip if you are doing this program for over two weeks take the time to learn spanish it greatly improves the learning for the kids and your growth and experience while teaching english. I took spanish classes for a total of 3.5 weeks and the kids will help you learn spanish! Funny enough it is like an exchange or tandem conversation sometimes my Spanish greatly improved with the combination of lessons, and kids helping me. Correcting me and laughing at my broken spanish! Practicing with kids is one of the best ways to improve your spanish. You have nothing to lose they are young and only care to laugh, learn, and help you! Just like how you might find it funny when they are speaking english and say some words with a different accent. You are a team help each other get better at English and Spanish. I was very glad to have practiced spanish and if there is one additional recommendation I would try to have done more tandem conversations or one on one spanish lessons in addition to my group lessons as I have come to the final week my Spanish has really gotten stronger as a result of working with the kids and teaching English.

Be prepared do not show up to the class with no plan, I did my best to have at least 2 different lesson plans to adjust for different student groups and skill levels. Always have a back up plan because there will be days where the students are not motivated! That is alright not one person can be motivated everyday that is your job to adjust and see what makes the student more interactive. Colour worksheets, games, and getting students to write on the board really helped them. Another technique is to understand what each student may want to get out of english one of the students really enjoyed to have vocal basic conversations with me each day in English. As a result I made it a goal to have at least one full conversation in English when I saw him.

Another student she really enjoyed to write on the board. As a result she would listen to me say a topic in english or a word/number and she would be instructed to write on the board. This helped with her listening, communication, and writing skills in english. If you can find the benefit and reason the students want to learn you will do great!

Go out, explore, talk to the locals and embrace the chance to be here. I loved the kids, local life and hiking of course the food was great!

How can this program be improved?
Providing a more detailed itinerary beforehand regarding the housing, accommodations and what to expect in the first few days in detail regarding adjusting to the climate.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tejbir, Thanks for all of the great tips and ideas - I'm sure future volunteers will find these helpful! It's great to hear that you found the local team's language lessons helpful and enjoyed practicing your Spanish with the children! Thanks for being an IVHQer! ^Charlotte - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Thomas
9/10

My Amazon experience

For as long as I could remember I had wanted to explore the Amazon. In 2017, with the help of IVHQ, I did just that. The experience was a highlight of my travels and something I will never forget.

We were an hour's boat ride from the nearest town, with limited electricity and no cell coverage or WiFi. The Rio Madres de Dios provided us with a means of showering, and our diet relied almost solely on non perishable foods. It was remote, basic and awesome.

For the reasons listed above, there was plenty of time for cards, board games and banter amongst the volunteers. By the end of the two weeks I'd made a lot of cool and interesting new friends, some of whom I caught up with again later in my travels.

The volunteering was interesting, valuable and at times challenging. Helping to develop an agroforestry plot, night time reptile monitoring missions, cutting jungle tracks and more; it was definitely varied.

What I'll remember most though, is the pure thrill and excitement of being in the Amazon. Wading at chest depth through Aguajales, keeping an eye out for anacondas. Paddling though caiman filled lakes in a leaking canoe. Discovering a tarantula crawling on my boots just as I'm about to put them on.

A unique experience such as this is probably best suited to a unique type of person, but don't be too put off, it's not all snakes and spiders. Just make sure you bring a head torch!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Tom
10/10

jungle experience of a life time

Jungle Experience of a life time!!!

I volunteered for 2 weeks in the Peruvian Amazon, 1 hour down the Madre De Dios river from the small town of Puerto Maldonado. It was an unbelievable experiences, and couldn't recommend it anymore.

We spent our days cutting tracks, performing plant transplant, reptile monitoring and at nights we hunted for snakes in the jungle and camen on the river. For a man who isn't a fan of snakes I managed to wrap one around my neck and remove trees in an anaconda riddled swamp on the second day. Not only did the experience test my fears and introduced me to fantastic people from around the world , it also gave me the opportunity to contribute the sustainability of the sanctuary, benefiting the local community.

IVHQ were excellent from the start to the finish, ensuring everything went smoothly and helped with every question asked. Big shout out to Clover from IVHQ, you were a big help!!

How can this program be improved?
better food!!!!!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Florence
9/10

Cusco, you need to go!

I went to Cusco in June-July, for 5 weeks! I voluntered 3 weeks in a school with kids and 2 weeks in the zoo of the University. Both of programs was so much fun ! Just a little warning : dont accept the food at the school , the kid and the teacher can put some pression but it's important to say NO! I said yes and i've made an indigestion 2 hours after, for 5 days... nice ! Aditionnaly, the staff is really amazing and always there if you need help! My host-family was really cool and we were 13 volunteers in the same house , so its easy to make activity with them during the evening! In perou, I've discover some wonderful people, amazing places, good food and a different culture! My best memories was to visit Plaza del Armas, the Macchu Picchu, rainbow mountain, Moray, salt mines and the lake Titicaca during the weekend. The organisation American Inca Trail is a great staff to organize your tours! Finally, Just do it !

How can this program be improved?
Before our departure, me and my friend asked to be in the same host-family. The staff tell us that she will do with. But when we arrived , we were not assigned to the same family! We were little bit disapointed but hopefully the driver was nice and bring us to the same house. So, maybe be more carefull about the special demands of vulunteers and be shure that it's repected. Except that, all was really good :)
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Florence, It's nice to hear from you! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience across your projects and exploring the wonders of Peru. Thanks for your feedback and for being a wonderful volunteer. We hope you'll join us again in the future. ^Andrea - IVHQ Peru - Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Anna
10/10

My volunteer program with ivhq/Maximo nivel

My trip was amazing and very life meaningful. Not only did the employees and host family make sure I was comfortable at my host house the staff was unbelievably helpful and useful. I Met some amazing people on the way and helped the community as a whole instead of small issues and it was such an amazing experience to be able to be apart off. The program was very safe and effective and put the money paid to very good use such as anything the program may require or need.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Anna, Thanks for sharing! We are stoked to hear that you had a life-changing experience in Peru - Cusco and felt your efforts contributed to the local community. We have loved having you volunteer with us and we would happily welcome you again in the future! ^Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Matthew
9/10

Construction and renovation in Cusco with maximo nivel

Overall, my time volunteering in the construction of a new children's hospital clinic in Cusco has been incredibly rewarding and memorable. Process can be slow at times, but it is a fulfilling experience to see every step taken towards the construction of a new building. The people I worked with were always enthusiastic, and the people at IVHQ were always helpful, especially Derek. Even coming here with an open mind, it's hard to imagine what day to day life would be like in Cusco. My advice to other volunteering is to be helpful, proactive, and cooperative on the worksite, as it's not going to be what it is like at home. The one thing I wish IVHQ did more of is be more open with their budgeting and what money is directly going towards. We pay an extra $65 USD per week exclusively for the construction and renovation project, yet we frequently could not afford materials such as windows and floor tiles. Consequently, this makes volunteering go even slower when you dont have the materials on hand. Regardless, I loved my time volunteering in Cusco and I recommend it to everybody.

How can this program be improved?
Be more open with budgeting
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Matt, Thanks for sharing your experience on the Construction and Renovation project. I couldn't agree more with your advise to further volunteers. I thank you again for your feedback and for allowing us to take your reflections on board.
Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10

Medical and childcare

Working with IVHQ made everything very simple. The entire trip went smoothly. Even planning the trip was super easy with the help of IVHQ. They were available to answer any questions I had and offered suggestions along the way. They have great connections in Peru which was reassuring. This was my first solo trip and I wouldn't have changed a thing! I just got back from Peru a few days ago and am already thinking about where to go next!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jessica, We're happy to hear everything went smoothly. Congratulations on completing your first solo trip, mark it off the bucket list! Thanks again for your great review and we hope you will join us again in the future!
Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Tarah
10/10

My IVHQ Trip to Cusco, Peru

My trip to Cusco was everything that I had wanted it to be. The IVHQ team prepared me with overview modules online, providing resources, and giving safety information. I felt safe and ready to go on my first international trip, which was really important for me.
My experience in Cusco was crazy from the start. I went to teach English as a second language but arrived when Cusco was in the middle of a teaching strike. The local team, Maximo Nivel, was extremely supportive and set me up working at night with adults. I got to spend every evening teaching English to firefighters! I had a co-teacher who I became really great friends with and the firefighters sang Happy Birthday to her on our last day, which was a fantastic way to end our two weeks there.
I wish I could describe to you just how wonderful all of the firefighters and the local staff made me feel. I cannot wait to go on my next adventure with IVHQ.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tarah, We are so happy to hear that your program in Cusco was everything that you wanted it to be! It sounds like your teaching placement was a very worthwhile alternative considering the strikes. Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Meet Nicole Pochat!
Nicole
10/10

Unforgettable experience at Cusco, Peru.

It all started with a spontaneous decision to do volunteering abroad this summer and International Volunteer HQ made it all possible. Their guidance, accessibility, interactive training and full support in my process made me feel prepared enough to take a flight to Cusco.

In an eye blink I was already in Peru. The city of Cusco is completely surprising every moment you spend at it; it’s such a vibrant, beautiful, magical little town from whom you fall in love with. Filled with so many polite and helpful people at every corner, delicious and exquisite cuisine, Incas history is so extraordinary and each day you experience something completely different from the one before.

I was the luckiest to be placed in orphanages with kids that are so sweet, bright, happy and grateful every minute of the day. We spend our time together playing, dancing, singing, laughing and letting me teach them English because they have the will to learn every moment. I gained so much sensitivity and closeness from this kids and they have the biggest affection for life that’s so inspiring.

Also, making new friends from all over the world everyday, spending my nights partying while getting to know the city at night and traveling the weekends to places like Machu Picchu, Sacred-Valley, Moray, Rainbow Mountain and Lake Humanity where pictures and words are not enough to explain what it's like to be there, will be memories that will last in my heart forever.

I can honestly say it was one of the best life changing experiences I have ever had. My time in Peru was full of all kind of emotions, amazing stories, close bonds with friends and unforgettable days and nights. This was my first IVHQ experience but I'm sure that after what I lived, it will not be the last one and I'm so excited to see what future volunteers abroad have for me.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nicole, Wow! What an awesome review! Thanks so much for taking the time to so eloquently share a little of your experience volunteering and exploring in Cusco, Peru. Is has been a pleasure to assist you in making this trip happen and we are excited to see where the journey takes you next!
Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Ghardie
10/10

Best Experience

Spent two weeks working the medical project in Peru, and even though the first week was uneventful due to a Medical strike, the second week was changed to a Medical campaign and I loved it! This allowed us to work closely to the locals who needed medical aid. From admitting the patients, to taking their vitals and checking them for pain while working with the doctors. It was truly a one of a kind experience. I would absolutely participate in another IVHQ program.

How can this program be improved?
It was great.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ghardie, Thanks for sharing! It is awesome to hear about the Medical Campaign you were able to join during your second week volunteering in Cusco and we are glad this made up for the first disrupted week due to the strikes. It would be great to have you join us again!
Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10

Teaching English in Cusco

I had the most amazing time in Cusco teaching English to the Bomberos (Firefighters). I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people on this project, and could thus sort of shape it to be the best way for me to teach, which was super amazing. The people there were all incredibly nice and so, so, so excited and willing to learn. Our homestay was also incredible! The food was amazing and the location was somewhere not many tourists see! I love the city of Cusco - I was never bored. There was always a different placed to explore in the city. Besides that the day trips and excursions were 10/10! I cannot wait to go back!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebecca, We are so happy to hear that you had the most amazing time in Cusco, Peru! Thanks for being open to teaching in a new placement and for making the most of your time volunteering, getting to know the local people and exploring Cusco. We can’t wait to have you back!
Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lauren
9/10

Childcare in Cusco, Peru

I was lucky enough to volunteer in Cusco for two weeks working in childcare. I spent one week in a preschool setting and another in a local hospital (pediatric unit). My experience was so amazing. The children are so grateful for your help and love having the volunteers around. You can see the excitement in their faces every morning and really feel like you are making a difference in their lives. Even with a language barrier, I took so much away from my experience in Cusco and would definitely do it again. The city itself is amazing and has so much culture and history to learn about.

How can this program be improved?
Knowing your placement, or at least if you will be working morning or afternoon, would help with planning.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lauren, Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you experienced two diverse volunteer placements and we are glad that you also took the time to learn about the history and culture of Cusco, Peru. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Andrea - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Sophie
10/10

Teaching English in Cusco

I took part in the teaching English project in Cusco. The project was interesting I got to teach two classes English and plan my own lessons. I felt like I really got to experience what it is like to be a TFEL teacher. All my students were also really interested in learning English and were always asking me questions about the UK. I definitely feel like my lessons were having an impact on them even though I can only speak a little Spanish so do not worry if you cannot speak the language. I was put in amazing home stay where breakfast and dinner were including. I was lucky enough to meet other volunteers from all over the world as well as making friends with some of the local people in Cusco. I could also go to the volunteer office if I ever needed help with anything. I would definitely recommend this project to anyone. It's a great way of travelling and staying in home stay in Cusco was a great way of truly experiencing the culture.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sophie, Thanks for sharing! We are stoked to hear that you had a great experience Teaching English in Cusco, Peru! It is awesome that you were able to develop your own lessons plans and that you felt that your lessons were having a positive impact on your students – this sounds like quite an achievement. Thanks again for sharing and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend

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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 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...