Summer Volunteer Program Peru Detail Itinerary
Day 0: Arrive in Cusco (Sunday)
Day 1: Welcome to Cusco
On Monday, you will go to IFRE's Peru office for your orientation and your language placement test. In the afternoon, you will take part in a city tour of Cusco. This excursion includes the best highlights of Cusco – “the navel of the world” and the center of the ancient Inca Empire. You will visit Q'oricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun and then tour Cusco's Cathedral, a 16th century church filled with original artwork and an amazing main altar made of silver. You will then tour the four primary ruins surrounding Cusco, including Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Tambomachay and Puka Pukara. As part of the tour you will receive the “Tourist Ticket” which can be used in your free time to visit a number of museums and other attractions in and around Cusco.
Service Projects – Childcare Project (21 Days)
Days 2-22: Work in an Orphanage, School or Community Center
In Peru, many families are affected by extreme poverty and therefore many children are abandoned at a young age as their families are unable to support them. As a result, there are many children in Peru that live on the streets or in orphanages. For these 21 days you will help in orphanages, schools and community centers for approximately 4 hours each day. You will provide care, love and attention for these children as well as assisting the Peruvian staff at the projects. You will also have the option to continue with 2 hours of Spanish classes each day.
Volunteers will be sub-divided into small groups of 2-5 at each project depending on the number of children. You will assist in a number of areas depending on the project you are assigned to. For example, you may teach English, assist with homework, organize educational activities, and help the children by educating them on issues of personal hygiene and sanitation. If you are placed in an infant orphanage, you will help feed the children, change their diapers and/or bathe them. Volunteers are encouraged to take initiative at their projects and can organize games, drawing lessons, singing, dancing, and other creative, educational and extra-curricular activities. Volunteers are also encouraged to help wherever necessary, for example in the dressing of the children, food distribution, kitchen, garden, cleaning and various administrative duties.
Exploration of Peru (6 Days)
After spending valuable and rewarding time at your project, you will embark upon an unforgettable trip through beautiful Peru . The towering, snowcapped peaks and deep river valleys of the Andes provide some of the most spectacular scenery found on earth. Located within Peru are some of the most fascinating destinations the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the mountain lands of Machu Picchu , and the Amazon River Basin .
Day 23: Aguas Calientes
In the morning, you will depart Cusco bound for the village of Aguas Calientes , right on the edge of the Amazon Rainforest and literally at the foot of the mystical Machupicchu Mountain . When you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you will meet by our guide as you get off the train and they will escort you to your hostel. The first day, you can spend relaxing and getting to know the small pueblo of Aguas Calientes; and be sure to take a relaxing dip in the natural hot springs which give the village its name: Aguas Calientes. There are a multitude of little restaurants and shops in Aguas Calientes and you can enjoy one of the 3for1 Happy Hour specials. You will be staying at a nice, little hostel and your guide will visit you at 7:30pm to give you a brief information.
Day 24: Machu Picchu
Our guide will meet you at your hostel early in the morning. Very early in the morning at about 5am you will hike up to the entrance of the sanctuarycity of Machupicchu (20 minutes by bus), and then take a 3hour guided tour of the ancient ruins, which are still 60 % intact today. At the end of tour, you will have lots of free time to hike and explore independently, including a trek to the top of Huayna Picchu, the Temple of the Moon, or to the very last part of the Inca Trail and the Inkti Punktu (Sun Gate).
Day 25: Transfer Cusco – Tambopata
Early the next morning you will take a 1hour flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado – the biodiversity capital of Peru . You will then take a 4 hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado along the Madre de Dios River to your jungle lodge, where you will be welcomed with a traditional beverage, then settle into your bungalow and have lunch. Later in the afternoon, an expert jungle guide will take you for a visit to Monkey Island in the core of the Madre de Dios River . The group will also visit the Tambopata Reserve.
The Tambopata Reserved Zone is the most preserved area of the Amazon rainforest– covering an area of approximately 1.48 million hectares/3.66 million acres. It is in this amazing biological reserve that three ecosystems converge resulting in an astounding variety of flora and fauna. Among this incredible variety, there are a number of endangered species including the jaguar, the giant otter, and the harpy eagle.
Day 26: Lost Cocha
A local guide will lead you through the virgin rainforest to the Lost Cocha – a shelter and food source for a large variety of animals such as giant otters, crocodiles, turtles, numerous bird species, the majestic jaguar, and a great variety of tropical fish. Later, you will hike through the jungle to the famous Amazonian Viewing Point, built on the top of a Shihuahuaco tree. In the evening, if there is time, your guide will take you across the river by canoe to visit a local native family living in the jungle.
Day 27: Tambopata - Puerto Maldonado
On your final day, you will say 'goodbye' to the jungle, and travel back along the Madre de Dios River to Puerto Maldonado – where you will fly back to Cusco .
Day 28: Rest Day
You can spend your last day saying good-bye to Cusco and to your volunteer project. You will also be able to join in our free salsa lessons on Saturday evening.
Program Fee Covers:
- Airport pick-up in Cusco and transfer to accommodations
- Accommodations in volunteer hostel, host family, hotel, camp
- Local food three times a day (1 to 2 times a day during tour – lunch and dinner not included during Machupicchu visit)
- Orientation, project visit and ongoing in-country support
- Entry fees – Huaynapicchu not included
Program Fee Does Not Cover:
- Any room/food before the program and after the end of program
- Airfare from Cusco to the Amazon Rainforest ($150¬200 depending on when booked)
- Airfare from Lima to Cusco
- Daily transport to project
- Water, soft drinks during project
- 3 meals (lunch and dinner) at Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes
- Any tips to guides, gifts to host family or projects
- Entrance to Huaynapicchu
- Personal expenses
Program itineraries are merely samples and may change to meet the needs of the volunteers.
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