Volunteer in Peru

Volunteer in Peru – the ‘heart of the Inca empire’ – and discover a country with a cultural history as rich as its part of the lush Amazon rainforest. Hiking up to Machu Picchu is a bucket list must-have! Take the volunteer opportunity to give back to your host country and work for a good cause at a social project in Peru. Do you come from a medical background or plan on studying medicine? The healthcare projects in Peru need skilled and motivated volunteers. Win-win! Volunteer in Peru at community projects in Cusco or Lima and improve your Spanish skills at the same time. Pass on your knowledge and teach English to underprivileged children. Apply to volunteer in Peru and start making a difference in South America!

Wildlife Caretaker

Our volunteer program as a wildlife caretaker is very important in the project progress. We require people who mainly have a deep love for animals,

Inca Trail Adventure & Children Support

Combining the essence of contributing for welfare of poor communities and adrenaline of adventure VolSol brings you this 2 Weeks Special Program in Peru

Amazon Rainforest Conservation

Upon arrival at the project, which is situated on the fringe of Manú National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only a short journey from the Inca capital

English Class Teacher

Because public education in Peru significantly lacks funding, and the majority of the community cannot afford private schooling, the members of our community have very few opportunities

Volunteering Abroad in Peru

Peru – the ‘heart of the Inca empire’ – is known for its rich cultural history. Hiking up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a must on everyone’s bucket list! Peru’s lush nature offers exciting activities like rafting, hiking, and mountain biking. This is truly the perfect travel destination for adventurers and volunteers! The friendliness of the Peruvians will motivate you to volunteer for the many volunteer programs in Peru and support local rural communities. Grab this chance to be the meaningful explorer you’ve always wanted to be! Start your volunteer adventure abroad today!

If you ask volunteers about their volunteering experience in Peru, the answers are quite similar: Peru is a country that impresses everyone because of its natural diversity, vibrant colors, and wonderful people.

Discover the wonders of the Incas, the ancient city of Cusco, and assist other volunteers by joining one of the volunteer opportunities in Peru. If you plan on taking a career break and want to do something meaningful, consider volunteer work in Peru! Before we continue with the volunteer opportunities in Peru, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about this tourist hotspot:

  • Over three-quarters of the world’s Alpaca population lives in Peru.
  • The national animal of Peru is not the Alpaca but the Vicuna. Its wool is considered the world’s most luxurious fabric.
  • Roasted Guinea Pig, Cuy, is Peru’s national dish. It’s served whole including hands and feet!
  • The Incan Empire was larger than the Roman empire at its peak. It had over 24855 miles of roads!
  • The potato originated from Peru and there are now over 3000 varieties of this tuber.

Best Places to Volunteer in Peru

Cusco and Lima are the largest cities in Peru with a high number of volunteer programs. Other programs are spread across the country in rural areas. Whatever your preferences are, whether it’s volunteering in the city or the country, you’ll find a program that will meet your expectations in Peru.

Volunteer in Cusco

Volunteer in Cusco to admire the lost city of Machu Picchu tucked away in the Andean mountains. Help with various volunteer opportunities in Cusco ranging from working with Andean communities to medical care or helping stray dogs. Volunteers who want to admire some amazing landscapes are in for a treat in Cusco.

Volunteer in Lima

Volunteers who prefer a more urban environment can volunteer in Lima where teaching opportunities are abundant. Discover Lima, the coastal capital of Peru, and join a social project!

Volunteer in the Amazon Rainforest

The amazon rainforest is an enchanting destination where volunteers can truly escape the daily realities. Volunteer for a rainforest conservation project. You will help with reforestation efforts and protect its precious wildlife. Get ready for an unforgettable once in a lifetime opportunity.

How Much Does it Cost to Volunteer in Peru?

The suggested daily budget for living as a volunteer in Peru is between US $21 and US $35. This is an estimate made considering the average price of some of the goods and services you may want to buy. It gives you a general overview of how much things cost in this country, so you can be prepared and save the money you will need.

Additional costs you should consider will be:

  • program fees
  • flight tickets
  • travel insurance
  • fees for your visa

Can I Volunteer in Peru for Free?

Most volunteer projects will require volunteers to pay a fee. This fee usually covers the volunteers’ accommodation and provides the volunteer organization in Peru with the necessary funds to support their cause. There are quite a high number of volunteer programs in Peru that are free. This is great for those who are on a budget. The majority of free projects are located in Lima, the capital of Peru. This may require you to arrange your own accommodation so definitely keep this in mind when booking your volunteer adventure abroad. Be sure to check the program page to find out exactly what is included in the program.

Good to Know Before Volunteering in Peru

When you volunteer and travel abroad, it is important to familiarise yourself with the culture. This will help you to settle in quickly and avoid misunderstandings. These are some tips you may find helpful when preparing for your volunteer work in Peru:

Culture & Religion

The people in Peru are generally very friendly. These are some of the most important things to know about Peru’s culture:

  • Do not call a local indigenous person “Indio” or use this word at all. It is a derogatory term that is often used in Latin America as an insult.
  • If you are an American and someone calls you “Gringo”, don’t take this as an insult. It is a commonly used word in Peru and Latin America to refer to US Americans, and is not meant to offend anyone!
  • Pack light. Elevators are not very common in Peru.
  • Peru is not known for its efficiency. Do not expect things to be on time, or exactly as they intend to be.
  • Because English is uncommon outside of the bigger cities, people might give you the wrong advice trying to be friendly.

 Is it Safe to Volunteer in Peru?

When visiting a new country, it’s good to be informed about their laws and safety precautions. Generally speaking, Peru doesn’t call for severe safety measures but keep the following tips in mind:

  • Pickpocketing is very common, so be sure to have your belongings with you at all times and keep a close eye on your bag or backpack.
  • Leave your valuables, credit, and debit cards as well as travel documents in a hotel safe.
  • Because a great part of the population lives below the poverty line, there are a lot of protests. These protests can turn violent so don’t put yourself at risk!
  • Make sure to only take licensed taxis or prearranged “rides” from the airport. Don’t risk being robbed!
  • A dirty old backpack with valuable content is safer than a fancy new one with old clothes in it.
  • Driving in Peru can be chaotic. If you are planning to drive in Peru, make sure to always keep your eyes on the road.

When it comes to the law, it’s always good to remember:

  • you can’t take any archaeological artifacts out of the country without permission
  • don’t take pictures of military actions or staff. You will be penalized!
  • small quantities of drugs for personal use or possession are permitted by law, given that the user is in possession of only ONE type of drug. Buying, selling, or having more than 8g is considered illegal trafficking and can result in legal actions.

Health Advice

Traveling abroad always requires some precautions when it comes to your health. This is our health advice for volunteering abroad in Peru:

  • Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before every trip. These vaccinations include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, and your yearly flu shot. Moreover, the US-based health protection agency CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations as you can get these diseases through contaminated food or water in Peru.
  • Because of the different altitudes, be informed about what you can do to avoid mountain sickness. Be prepared! Test yourself to see if you can take it, and avoid going to high regions if you suffer from cardiac problems.
  • Be careful with food from street vendors. Don’t drink tap water – buy bottled water instead!

Please note: the Zika virus is a risk in Peru. This means that pregnant women should NOT travel to or join a volunteer project in Peru. All travelers should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during and after their trip such as using insect repellents, wearing long sleeves and trousers, and sleeping under a bug net.

Packing Essentials

You may be wondering what to pack for volunteering abroad in Peru. We’ve listed a few packing essentials for your time abroad:

  • Rain poncho
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Walking shoes
  • Water-resistant shoes
  • Lightweight jackets and sweaters
  • Insect repellent!

This is an extensive blog post on the ultimate packing list which will come in handy when you start backing for your volunteer project.

Who Can Volunteer in Peru?

Each project requires different skills and abilities from their international volunteers. While you can find the specific requirements for each project on their profiles on Volunteer World, here are some general requirements that apply to most projects in Peru:

  • Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old for most volunteer projects. When in doubt, we advise you to get in touch with the local project manager because some projects accept volunteers under the age of 18.
  • You should have a basic level of English; some projects may require advanced English or basic Spanish skills.
  • Depending on the project, you might need to provide a criminal background check before volunteering.
  • Certain projects will require you to stay for a minimum number of weeks. You can check out which projects correspond with the number of weeks you can volunteer by using the filter option.

Do I need a Visa to Volunteer in Peru?

Please take into account that the following information is based on a best practice approach, made in cooperation with several volunteer organizations. That’s why you should discuss your visa requirements with your contact person at Volunteer World. If in doubt, we also recommend getting in touch with the Embassy or Consulate of Peru in your country.

General Entry Information

There are some general requirements all volunteers need to comply with upon arrival in Peru:

  • Please check the current validity of your passport. Your passport should have at least 6-month validity from the date of arrival in Peru.
  • Make sure your passport has at least two blank Visa pages. Peru requires you to have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
  • Please check if a transit visa is required for any connections.
  • Make sure to have a valid return ticket.

Best Practice for Short-Term and Long-Term Volunteers

As a citizen of most American and Western European countries, you can enter Peru on a so-called tourist visa which is obtained when entering the country. With this visa, you can volunteer in Peru for up to 90 days continuously. Here is an overview of the countries that can enter without a visa.

Please keep in mind that this is the maximum amount of days and is not extendable once you have entered Peru. If you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you need to apply for another visa. You cannot reenter the country to get a new visa for 90 days. Another option is to pay a fee of $1 per exceeded day at your date of departure.

We hope you’re excited about volunteering abroad in Peru. This will be an incredible experience that is an opportunity for self-development and contributing to something greater.