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

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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


  • 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


based on 40 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 31 - 40 of 40
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Volunteering in Cusco, Peru

I volunteered with Maximo Nivel, IVHQ's local partner in Peru.

Accommodation: I stayed in one of the volunteer houses. It had a good location, it was very comfortable and the house staff was lovely. Wifi was a bit slow.

Food: breakfast and dinner were provided. Delicious food!

Transportation to/from placement: I was lucky my placement was close to the volunteer house (20 min walk), but other volunteers had to take public buses to their placements.

Safety: I generally felt safe during the day in Cusco.

Volunteering: I taught English for a total of 10 weeks, for youngsters and adults. It was not what I had expected, since the students paid a fee to have classes, many of them were university students, had decent jobs, etc. The experience was good for me, whatsoever. Some volunteers were not happy with their placements as well (for example, teaching English at a private school).

How can this program be improved?
Cusco is a popular destination among volunteers, so my impression is that teaching at schools where students could afford paying is not something that I would like to do as a volunteer.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alvaro, nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the comments on the program in Peru. I have passed on your feedback to the Program Manager. Great to have you as an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend
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IVHQ programs in Cusco Peru through Máximo Nivel

My first volunteering experience abroad was this August. I booked a month with a special needs program through IVHQ and their partner in Cusco, Máximo Nivel. IVHQ did a wonderful job of getting me ready for the trip. My program coordinator, Dallas, was in almost constant email contact; answering all of my questions and making sure I had everything ready to go. When I got there, the Máximo Nivel staff were just as helpful and gave me constant support. I was never on my own, I was never lost (except maybe once when I got off at the wrong bus stop), and I never felt in danger (except when I experienced a freak whitewater rafting accident). Every moment I spent in Cusco was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my life. Through IVHQ and Máximo Nivel, I made wonderful friends from all over the world and really made a difference at my volunteer placement. Volunteers should remember that they will not change the world at their placement, but they may change the world of a few people. This is what it is all about: helping as many people as you can and being a positive influence. IVHQ helps you do this. My only bad experiences were not IVHQ or Máximo Nivel's fault but merely happenstance. Dangerous, dirty, or surprising things can happen but that is all a part of the experience and I would not trade any of it for the world. I must say I left my heart in Perú with the people I helped and befriended. I highly recommend both IVHQ and their partner Máximo Nivel.

How can this program be improved?
I would only change IVHQ's partner organization in Cusco, Máximo Nivel's recommendation for the travel agency in their building. I booked my excursions prior to arriving with this company and discovered after arriving that they were far over priced. I should have waited to book after I got there with another agency.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Branden, Thanks for sharing a little from your volunteer abroad experience in Cusco. It's great to hear you felt well prepared for your trip by Dallas your IVHQ Program Manager and that the support continued while in country by our local team. We couldn't agree with you more - being a positive influence is a big part of IVHQ volunteer trips. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Wonderful Summer

I am starting college in the fall, so I decided to do a program over the summer before I left for school. I was in Cusco for five weeks, working on a medical project. I had the opportunity to work at two different clinics, one in the city and one in a rural area. My time is Peru was so wonderful! I learned everything from basic medical procedures to how to get along with people who are difficult to get along with. I learned how to keep children calm and how to deliver bad news in the softest way possible. I learned that I really do enjoy working in medicine, and still want to pursue it as a career. I was nervous going into this program, but I loved it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mac, thanks for the wonderful review! We are so happy that you learnt so much valuable expertise while on the IVHQ program in Peru. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend
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Transformative Experience in Peru

Our group worked at an orphanage in Peru for two weeks. We received all of the support we needed (and more!) from the moment we arrived in Cusco until we were dropped back off at the airport two weeks later. The experience with the girls at the orphanage was truly transformative. Our group was so moved by their openness and joy. Our accommodations at a homestay were outstanding; our host, Eddy, was very friendly and went to great lengths to accommodate our groups many dietary needs. Chelsea, the volunteer coordinator, provided a very thorough orientation to Cusco and to the site, and answered every question that anyone in our group had throughout our trip. We were lucky enough to fit in a weekend trip to Macchu Picchu and a four hour horseback riding excursion in the mountains outside the city of Peru. Both excursions are HIGHLY recommended. IVHQ and the local team took care of all of the details so we could thoroughly enjoy our experience.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Cathy, thanks for the review. We are so pleased that you had outstanding support from the team and that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experience in Peru! Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope that you can join us on another adventure in the future!!

Yes, I recommend
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Great Program for Cheap

I loved my experience with IVHQ. Throughout the whole process, they were extremely helpful and accomodating. They answered my emails quickly and even managed to sign up my friend less than a week before our departure. One we arrived to Cusco, we were welcomed by their local partner, Maximo-Nivel, who took care of us throughout our stay.
I went to Cusco with two of my friends for two weeks. I wish we could have stayed longer! We lived in a host family with about ten other volunteers. The family was extremely nice and the meals were good, although they sometimes forgot about my dietary restrictions. We lived ten minutes away from the Plaza de Armas, the most touristy place in the area and 15-20 minutes away from the Maximo-Nivel office. Cusco felt really safe and we were never afraid to walk alone at night, even if we were only three girls. However, we prefered to be with guys when we came home after midnight.
We were in the Childcare Work program, so we volunteered in a christian school for children from difficult backgrounds. We were two volunteers in each class and we helped the teachers with whatever they had to do that day. Most of the time, we prepared the supply needed for the artwork the children would do that day, but we also helped with homework and discipline. Our shift was from 8:00 AM to noon and the bus we took to get there cost us less than a dollar per day.
Overall, I loved my stay in Cusco. Since we worked in the morning, we had the rest of the day to visit the city and we took the weekend to visit Pisaac and Machu Picchu. One afternoon, we also booked a horseback riding tour to the ruins around the city with Loki Travel.

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes, I felt that I was not helping in a concrete way or making a big difference. I know that there is not much I could do in two weeks, but it would have been more rewarding if the teacher sollicitated more help. Also, if I had to do it again, I would learn Spanish! I know a little bit of it, but communication at the project was still hard.
Yes, I recommend
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Wish I could have stayed longer!

I volunteered in Cusco for 2 weeks in 2010. I have done 3 volunteer abroad trips and this was by far my favorite work placement. And my homestay was absolutely gorgeous with the comfiest beds and the coziest comforters ever (you needed them for the cold Cusco winter nights!). I signed up for orphanage work and I got placed at a clinic with disabled orphans. There was also a school onsite where the kids would attend along with disabled kids from town. These kids were - ARE incredible. So brave and so strong and so happy! There were about 40 of them living there at the time. Most of them were between a year old to maybe about 12, but there were some older teens there too.

I would typically start my work day at about 8:00 and the first half of my day would be spent as a teacher's aide at the school. I would help all the kids whenever I could, but there was one boy who needed a lot of special attention so I was his buddy most of the time. I would also be on bathroom duty when one of the kids in my class had to go to the bathroom. You really get to test your upper body strength and your gag reflex as you're holding a wheelchair bound tween over the toilet and then putting them back together when they're done! I'm not going to lie, I was not excited about that part of the job, but seriously after doing it once it's so not a big deal. Anyway! Around 11:00 we would start taking the resident kids back to the living area and get them all washed up for lunch. We would help feed the ones who couldn't feed themselves and when everyone was done we would wash them up again, brush their teeth, and then put them all down for nap time. Sometimes there would be time for a story, sometimes they would get to watch cartoons for a few minutes. After all the kids were asleep it was time for me to go across town to the volunteer office for my Spanish lessons. The office was great. There was a little cafeteria there, which was nice because some days I didn't have time to pick up lunch between work and class (breakfast and dinner were included in the program fee, but lunch was on your own). There was also free wifi in the building and a computer room with about 20, maybe 30 computers that were free for volunteers to use. My Spanish lessons were 2 hours every day and there were 6 of us in my class. Definitely the best language instruction I've ever had. The classes were an additional cost, but very reasonably priced. Something like $5 or $10/hour and worth every penny. After class I would wander around town a little bit. Cusco is full of life and beautiful sights everywhere you look. If I wasn't completely wiped out by then I would slowly zig-zag my way home. It would usually only take about 30 minutes to walk home from town and I always felt safe as long as it wasn't too late. If I didn't feel like walking I would just hop in a cab and it would be a set rate pretty much from or to anywhere within town. Dinner at home was always a surprise. Anything from pasta to chinese to veal parmesan. Sometimes we would get local dishes like arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) or potatoes and something. I think that might actually be the only slightly negative thing that I would have to say about my placement - I wish we got more traditional food for dinner. But whatever. It was always good, whatever it happened to be that night.

There were a few really fun clubs in town that would have a good mix of travelers and locals. One night we found a Brazilian club that was so much fun! I went there with one other volunteer and a couple local girls. The other volunteer and I were the only non-local people there. So cool!

Cusco itself is absolutely magical. There is always something new to discover in town or in the hills just outside of town. Not to mention the Amazon jungle is at your fingertips and then there's that little Inkan gem, Machu Picchu.

One last little tip - go to the Alliance Francaise for the best coffee in town and if you can't make it there, there's a burger chain in the main square (diagonally across from the McDonalds) that has surprisingly good coffee as well. The coca tea was great, but sometimes I just needed coffee!

Yes, I recommend
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IVHQ in Cuzco

From the moment I signed up for the IVHQ volunteer program in Cuzco, Peru, I was impressed with the communication and level of detail from the head office. Jamie answered all of my questions and sent me more than enough information for me to feel comfortable arriving in-country.

When my TACA AIrlines flight was overbooked and I couldn't make it to Cuzco on the correct day, the local partner (Maximo Nivel) made me feel instantly at ease and promised to arrange an alternate orientation time for me.

The Manager of PATAS, the affiliated travel agent, was on time to greet me at the Cuzco airport and helped me get acclimatized to the altitude and a new city. From there, the Maximo Nivel staff (the local partner) did everything in their power to ensure I had a wonderful experience.

This included a comprehensive in-country orientation, an introduction to my project, and getting me settled into my cramped, but cozy shared accommodation. Although my project working with street kids at the local police station was emotionally draining, the staff at Maximo did their very best to support me by providing ideas for activities and checking in with me regularly.

The team at Maximo and Patas helped me sign up for Spanish lessons, find cafes to access wi-fi and work, and plan for my trip to Machu Picchu. The IVHQ/Maximo partnership provides excellent value to volunteers and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend IVHQ Cusco to anyone looking for a meaningful and reasonably priced volunteer experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Amazing Experience

I had support since the day I got in Cusco, there were people waiting for me in the airport, that left me at my familyhouse, etc.
I loved the country more than any other I've already been. I did childwork, and the kids were so receptive, they gave me reasons to believe we volunteers could really change their lives, even if we stay there for only a few days-weeks.

The region of Peru I stayed in is very poor and kids had basic necessities, such as baths, different foods (one of them asked me to bring him cheese!), etc. I live in Brazil, but in a region that does not have a lot of poor people, so it was very touching to be able to change these kids lives, even if just for a month!

I recomment the program to everyone, and IVHQ for the support I had during my stay!

Yes, I recommend
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Wonderful trip abroad

I had a fantastic time volunteering with IVHQ in Cusco, Peru. Cusco is a fabulous city and I was thrilled with my experience. I found the volunteer work to be rewarding and worthwhile. I volunteered with young children in a rural community center where I helped children with reading, their homework, English language skilsl, and hygiene. Lots of soccer games were played on the beautiful mountains and I formed great relationships with the kids. The volunteers were also able to provide community members with much needed resources, like vitamins and healthy snacks. The house that IVHQ put the volunteers up in was beautiful, the meals were delicious, and I formed great friendships with other volunteers. Cusco was a wonderful place to volunteer for 5 weeks. I also highly enjoyed traveling around the country and volunteering in the Amazon.

Yes, I recommend
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An Amazing Experience in Peru with IVHQ

I spent 3 weeks volunteering in Cuzco, Peru, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The staff at IVHQ was so helpful in preparing me for everything ahead of time, and they even sent me emails to check up on me while I was there! The local staff was friendly and knew my name by day one. They worked with me to make sure my volunteer experience was exactly what I wanted, and even helped me change projects mid-stay. I spent two weeks in an orphanage, with some really great kids, and then spent the last week in an after-school program. Both places really changed my life, and I have learned more from those kids than I ever expected.

Yes, I recommend


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