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 40 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 16 - 30 of 40
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Jacob
9/10

Construction in Cusco was Fantastic

I volunteered in the construction program in Cusco for 3 weeks from May 29, 2017 to June 16, 2017. Our Peruvian foreman Marco was a great teacher and he gave us a lot of valuable and interesting information about Peruvian culture. He also organized a football match every Friday where we as volunteers would get to play him and his Peruvian friends. My homestay was with an 80-year old retired couple. They made great food and it was a nice quiet place to live. I made a lot of friends through both my homestay and through volunteering and I had a blast exploring Cusco with them. The city of Cusco is fantastic. It has a fun night life and a wide variety of tourist attractions both within the city and in the surrounding Andes Mountains. On the weekends I toured Lake Titicaca, hiked the Rainbow Mountains, went surfing and to a football match in Lima, and backpacked to Macchu Picchu at the end of my program.

For anyone considering Cusco or Peru in general, I would highly, highly recommend it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jacob, Thanks for your recommendation! It sounds like you had an action-packed time in Peru and we are delighted to hear that enjoyed your placement, homestay, and meeting other volunteers. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Lucy
10/10

Cusco!

I volunteered in child care, and it was an amazing experience. And I did not expect to meet new people. I didn't expect to make friends who I plan on seeing again. I thought it was just going to be me and my best friend, and it was so much more. Cusco is such a beautiful city, so rich in history and culture. And very high up, too! The coca leaf tea is great for altitude sickness. I only wish it were legal in he states, ha!

Overall, volunteering through IVHQ was incredible.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lucy, We are so happy to hear that you had an incredible volunteering experience with IVHQ! Thanks for taking the time to share 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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Sophia
10/10

Volunteering in Cusco

I spent 4 weeks volunteering in a dog shelter in Cusco, Peru. I have volunteered in the past for a month in Sri Lanka and my time in Peru easily beats that time. The shelter I was at was run by an amazing woman. I try to tell everyone I meet about her because she is such an inspirational woman. I met other volunteers who are now my lifelong friends from all over the world. My host family welcomed me instantly with opened arms, and Coca Tea for the altitude! They became my home away from home. The local team was always available and by the second week they knew my name and would say hi to me on the streets. Cusco itself is an amazing city. I just got home a few days ago and I am already planning my trip back next summer to visit my family and the dog shelter.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sophia, Thanks for sharing! We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing time in Cusco at your animal shelter placement, were inspired by the placement founder, felt right at home, and made friends from all over the world. We can’t wait to have you back!
Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Gregor
10/10

Jungle conservation at Panthera

I spent 12 weeks at the Panthera Sanctuary in the Amazon with IVHQ AND Máximo Nivel.

Ok, dealing with the above the impact was not 10 because the jungle is so varied, the multiple projects are ongoing. Support is not 10 because we are so isolated, a 10 would be impossible. Social scene in the jungle is you and the trees-awesome. Value, spectacular. Safety can't be 10 because it's the jungle, crazy stuff happens.

Now comes the fun stuff, stumbling upon huge snakes, wading through swamps, macheteing new jungle paths, eating food straight from the trees, playing with monkeys, watching Amazon sunsets, colourful birds, the rain, the sun, the peace, the adventure. It never ends. Plus, you learn, you get involved, you make a difference with the plants and the animals and the future of the beautiful Madre De Dios region.

A lot of people stay for two or three weeks and everybody wants to stay longer when their time is up. If you choose this project, you won't regret it.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gregor, We love your review! Thanks for encouraging other volunteers to experience “watching Amazon sunsets, colourful birds, the rain, the sun, the peace, the adventure” on the Jungle Conservation project. Your review makes us smile with glee and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Siobhan
10/10

Medical Volunteering in Cusco

Hand on heart, my experience in Cusco was one of the best in my life and this couldn't have been possible without IVHQ. From the get go I felt supported, between the online workshops and coordination with the staff I could tell I had made the right decision. I was nervous when I landed in Cusco but I was immediately put at ease when I was greeted by a member of the team who brought us to our homestay. Our host family and accommodation were far more luxurious than I could have ever imagined and I felt at home at once. I liked how we shared accommodation with other volunteers and through this I ended up making lifelong friends from all over the world. The food was plentiful and delicious. Orientation was brilliant as it gave us a brief overview of our volunteering and also included a tour of the city. Everyone working for Maximo Nivel were beyond helpful, friendly and I felt completely part of the team. The volunteering itself was amazing. I spent 3weeks in a small clinic where I got to help with a vaccine campaign as well as carry out baby checks and STI testing. The fact that I only had basic Spanish didn't hold me back too much and by the end I could communicate effectively with the staff in the clinic. I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about volunteering, to go with IVHQ to Cusco because it is undeniably an unforgettable experience that is surprisingly affordable. Thanks again to everyone in Maximo Nivel Cusco :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Siobhan, Thanks for your awesome review! We are so happy to hear that you were well supported by IVHQ and our local team and had an amazing volunteering experience in Cusco, Peru. It sounds like you were able to offer valuable assistance to your clinic placement and weren’t restricted by the language barrier. Thanks again for your great review and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
9/10

Amazing Experience

My visit to Cuzco could not have been more enriching and amazing! I loved staying with my host family and getting to know them. I made awesome new friends and had such a great experience at the orphanage where I worked. It was life changing, I highly recommend this destination, and I highly recommend IVHQ. I have traveled with the organization 3 times now, to Peru, and to South Africa twice before with my son. We just booked a 4th trip, to Kenya this time and we are so excited!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jennifer, We are so happy to have had you and your son join us in Peru! It is great to hear that you loved staying with a host family, enjoyed the volunteer work and that the entire experience was enriching. It is always interesting to hear from volunteers who have experienced multiple programs and we are stoked that you will join us again. Until next time!
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Tyler
10/10

Amazing Experience

IVHQ made volunteering easy! Everything was incredibly well organized and straight forward. Throughout the entire planning process they were quick to email, and even checked in during my project. I had the most amazing experience doing medical in Cusco and learnt a lot! The country is truely amazing and I would have not found this opportunity if it wasn't for IVHQ! I suggest everyone looking through any of their programs, they are extremely helpful!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tyler, It is awesome to hear that you had an amazing experience on the Medical project in Cusco, Peru! We are stoked that you found IVHQ to be helpful – that is what we are here for! Thanks for being an IVHQer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Lanjing Cathy
9/10

Great Experience!

I had a wonderful experience with IVHQ through the Holiday Program for two weeks in Cusco, Peru! Everything was planned out well before you got there and I never felt that I was lost in the country that I have never been before. I am especially thankful for the local staffs who were always there for us all the volunteers 24/7. During my two-week volunteer program, I was also able to sign up for some tours to places around where we were staying, the staffs were always willing to work with us to figure out the time if there were any conflicts. Everyone was super nice and helpful!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lanjing, Thanks for your review. We are happy to hear that you had a wonderful experience in Cusco, Peru and felt well supported by our local team. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Katie
10/10

Time of My Life in Cusco

I recently went through some major life changes (not by choice), and I needed to do something for myself. When I was in high school I read a story about a girl who overcame her own challenges, and then escaped on a volunteer trip to Peru. Since reading this book I've always wanted to go myself to see Machu Picchu, explore the jungle, and to help make a difference. IVHQ gave me that chance. This was my first major international trip and the first time I'd ever gone anywhere on my own. IVHQ prepared me well and gave me everything I needed to have the time of my life while also keeping me safe and connected to experts at every stage of my trip. In only 2 short weeks I became a jungle-dwelling adventurer complete with machete and monkey friends. I had such a blast and met so many cool people, and I didn't feel like I was really on my own at any point. I loved it so much I'm planning another trip for this summer! The jungle conservation project with IVHQ in Peru was truly life changing, and I'm so grateful for the experience and I can't wait to discover more places and people around the globe.

How can this program be improved?
I only wish I could have stayed longer!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Katie, What an awesome review! We couldn’t be happier to hear that the program turned you into a jungle-dwelling adventurer, complete with machete and monkey friends. It is our pleasure to ensure that you are prepared for the program and it sounds like you really made the most of your two weeks volunteering. We can’t wait to have you back!
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Christine
10/10

A perfect fit!

My Son and I decided to go volunteer in a dog shelter in Peru. The most difficult thing for me was that, my best friend Pinotte (my dog), passed away just a week before I left to Peru. Just before taking the plane my Father told me ''Christine, now; do not come back home with a dog!'' I responded ''No way, no one can replace my Pinotte and I am done attaching my self... It hurts to much''. And up we went my Son and I.

As soon as we put my foot at the shelter, we knew that this program was the perfect fit for both of us. It was amazing! All the help we provided was appreciated.

Volunteers brings so much to this program it is unbelievable. Every minute was worthwhile.

Thank you IVHQ to have provided us this opportunity.

p.s.: We came back home, not with another dog but TWO! We call them Amour and Skyppy! They are both awesome dogs and they adapted immediately to the Canadian world!

Christine and Lorenzo

How can this program be improved?
This program wold really be improved if more funding would be put towards it. They need some much help: man power, financially, space, supplies, etc.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Christine, Thanks for sharing! Your story has made us so happy and we are thrilled to hear that the Animal Care program in Peru was the perfect fit for you and your son. We are so grateful to have had you both on the program and we wish Amour and Skyppy all the best with their Canadian life.
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Jessica
10/10

Mother Son Peruvian Adventure

I had recently finished graduate school and had a career break this summer. Traveling internationally and volunteering abroad is something that I have always been passionate about. My parents had instilled this in me from an early age and I thought now would be a good time to instill this in my own son. After talking with a representative from IVHQ they assured me that volunteering with my son was completely plausible (and encouraged) and that we would be safe at all times. My six year old son and I decided to travel to Cusco, Peru for three weeks where we worked at a local preschool, part of a childcare program. It was absolutely amazing. It was a great experience for my son to be able to interact with kids his own age from a different culture. I loved working with the children as well! On weekends we had time to explore, hike, and tour nearby cities. We stayed with a host family that was a perfect fit for us. They had a four year old son that my son enjoyed playing with. My son even picked up a lot of Spanish just talking and playing with the children there. The local staff team was always kind and ready to help us if we needed it, but the organization prepared everything so well for us that we rarely ever needed anything else. I encourage anyone (child or no child) to travel through IVHQ. I was thoroughly impressed with all of their services and their support.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jessica. Wow, what an incredible trip to share with your son. We are so glad to hear that you had an amazing experience. It sounds like you made the most of your time by interacting with the children at the placement, getting to know your host family and exploring in your free time. We hope to welcome you and your son back on another IVHQ program again in the future!

Yes, I recommend
Pía
10/10

The highlight of my summer

Traveling with IVHQ was a decision I decided to pursue because of a friend's recommendation. I had heard great things and found that the price was the perfect fit for me to make my desire to travel South America come true. It all happened very quickly but IVHQ's quick response to all the questions I had from travel insurance to homestay accommodations quickly eased my anxiety about committing to something so quickly. I followed all of their suggestions on how to prepare for the trip and it all really does make you feel like you're 100% ready to embark on a journey abroad.

Once in Peru everything worked out so smoothly, I had nothing to do but enjoy my experience there. From the moment I landed, I was meeting new people. I got a folder with all the information I needed to get ready for the two weeks I signed up for. My only regret is not signing up for longer because my time in Cusco, Peru was such a beautiful and surprising experience full of unforgettable moments with some of the most genuine people I have yet to meet. I was excited to travel abroad but what I experienced was far more than anything IVHQ could've prepared me for. It was full of adventure, love and most importantly volunteering.

My placement for teaching english allowed me to feel confident in my skills but also gave me so much room to grow and learn from the others surrounding me. I signed up for two weeks and felt like I had gained so much experience. I really cannot imagine what it would've been like if I had chosen to be there for a extended amount of time.

How can this program be improved?
I would love to get to know the in country staff a bit more before going. Maximo Nivel was absolutely incredible and I think IVHQ knew that but I wish I could've made connections a little bit earlier.
Yes, I recommend
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Julie
10/10

Great way to get involved in the medical community

I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in Cusco, Peru for the medical program. I worked at Centro del Salud en Chinchero for the month as a medical student and I learned so much about their healthcare including things that need to be improved on. The mentality of healthcare is very different than in the United States such as the importance of hygiene, sterility and preventive medicine. Many of the Quechuan speaking women live hours away from the clinic and wake up early morning to begin their walk. Many of them cannot afford medications. I remember I had donated some medications to this 78 year old Quechuan speaking woman and she was ever so grateful. It made me so glad that I decided to volunteer here because even though we did not understand one another, her smile resonated the room. In addition, watching the little toddlers walk around barefoot in the clinic broke my heart a little because providing shoes was not a priority to their families. There are so many diseases that could be prevented if they had the tools and resources to implement these changes. I am glad that I did this volunteering experience because I will cherish the memories and treat my patients with the top care necessary to prevent the illnesses I saw within my volunteering experience. I hope I can volunteer again because I want to continue impacting others as they have done for me. Thank you for the experience.

How can this program be improved?
Please donate more gloves, hand sanitizers and disposable bed pads because the clinic needs them desperately. The doctors need to protect themselves so that they can continue providing care to others.
Yes, I recommend
Ryan
10/10

Making big impact on community health with little to no training

I traveled with a group of 13 other friends from my university to volunteer with Maximo Nivel's medical campaign in Cusco, Peru. Only one of fourteen had formal medical training, and we were only going to have five days of volunteering ... so I wasn’t really sure how much of an impact we’d help make on the communities we’d work in.

Just in the first day of our medical campaign, however, that doubt was broken. Despite our group's lack of medical training and short time in country, our group took the initiative to learn from the doctor to provide screens of patients’ health statuses and support one another in running an efficient, educational, and impactful medical campaign.

We saw nearly 200 patients in just our first morning – many of whom would not otherwise visit the doctor due to lack of insurance and/or money to do so. By the week's end, we had seen around 1,000 patients. I had never imagined we'd be able to make such big impact, but we couldn't have done that without the awesome support and friendliness of the Maximo Nivel staff.

Especially if you'd be traveling with a group, the medical campaign is a great way to meet locals, practice your Spanish, get practice with basic medical screening, and make positive impact in lives of so many people. And the scenery, culture, adventures and people in and around Cusco are some of the best you'll ever meet.

How can this program be improved?
The campaign set-up runs very smoothly, but we found some rearrangement of the system makes it run most efficiently. We would recommend keeping one person at registration, one person at the hand washing station, two people at the dental hygiene station, another person at the height/weight measurement station, three people performing eye exams, two people monitoring heart and lungs, another two people taking blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and a final two people at the pharmacy following the doctor consult. The program could use one to two more doctors; as phenomenal as the doctor is that works the entire campaign, there's just no way to see the number of patients that arrive to the campaign for medical attention or check-ups.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ryan, it’s so nice to hear from you! We are so glad that you had another memorable experience volunteering with IVHQ on the medical campaign in Cusco. It sounds like you and your group had a very busy week! It’s great to hear you were able to work together to make the campaign as successful as possible. We love having you as an IVHQer and look forward to welcoming you on another program again soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Lisa
8/10

Sick?

In Peru, I was very scared to eat a lot of the food, especially outside of the house. I had a fear of getting sick by eating something bad. Well just my luck, even trying to be safe i managed to get a bad case of food poisoning. I had a fever for three days, i couldn't keep any food in my system for longer than five minutes, and i mainly stayed in bed for those few days. But this story isn't about me being sick it is about the treatment i received while i was sick. My program director Chelsey was in contact with me the whole time, she was sending well wishes, and contacting the teacher of the daycare that i was at. But she also arranged for the doctor to come and see me. He gave me a prescription and said i needed antibiotics to clear this up. I wasn't going to die but in a foreign country being sick is so much harder, and scarier. I appreciate everything that was done for me, and i didn't feel so far from home with the care i received.

How can this program be improved?
There is no perfect program, and my only criticism would be for the staff to accompany the volunteers home too. They take you to the placement, and stay for a while, but it is really hard to go back when the buses take a different route and it's your first days in a new city and country.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lisa, it’s nice to hear from you. There is no doubt that when you are abroad being sick is more daunting than if you were at home. We are glad that you felt so looked after by the team in Cusco and they were able to ensure you got the care you needed. Thanks for being an IVHQ volunteer and it’s great to know that despite getting sick you were able to have a meaningful experience volunteering. We hope to see you on another program soon.

Yes, I recommend

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About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

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...