Ultimate Guide to Volunteering in Peru

Whether you are still considering, or have made the decision to volunteer in Peru, this blog will provide you with all the information that you need.

This ultimate guide to volunteering in Peru will outline different volunteer opportunities and other things to do in Peru.

From volunteering in the Amazon to seeing one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, volunteering in Peru can be very rewarding and provide you with wonderful experiences that will last you a lifetime.

Volunteers with children at Picaflor in Oropesa, near Cusco"
Volunteers in the Peruvian Amazon"

Who can volunteer and how long can you volunteer for?

Volunteering in Peru is open to both locals and people from all over the world. There is also, generally speaking, no age range. Globalteer has volunteer opportunities for those under 18 years, and we have had people over 70 years volunteer with us.

Globalteer is able to accommodate those who will be volunteering alone, along with those who want to volunteer as a family or as a group.

Regarding how long you can volunteer, individuals can volunteer between 1-12 weeks.

A volunteer at dog shelter"
A volunteer with children at the Picaflor House"

Volunteer Programmes

Peru offers individuals opportunities to volunteer in a wide range of areas. Volunteers can work with children, dogs, in Amazon conservation, and at a wildlife sanctuary. Volunteers can also combine volunteering to increase their exposure of the different projects.

Children: those looking to work with underprivileged children can volunteer at a project such as Picaflor House. Here, volunteers work with local staff and help children with English, arts and crafts, and sports classes. Volunteers also assist with lunches and games in the kindergarten.

Dogs: for those wanting to help Globalteer fight the stray dog problem in Cusco, they can volunteer at the Peru Dog Rescue Shelter. This programme aims to promote the humane treatment of stray dogs through rescue, rehabilitation, neutering, and eventually adoption. Volunteers would work at the shelter to help achieve these goals.

Amazon Conservation: those looking for an experience in the Peruvian rainforest should consider the Peru Amazon Conservation Project. Here, volunteers work to conserve the ecosystem of the Manu National Park. Volunteers engage in forest regeneration, animal monitoring, bio gardening, capacity building, and agroforestry.

Wildlife Sanctuary: those looking to work with wildlife can select the Peru Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary.  Here, volunteers care for, and feed rescued animals. Volunteers would also work to maintain the sanctuary by repairing enclosures and improving enclosure enrichment for the animals.

A volunteer at the wildlife sanctuary"
Volunteers on the boat to the Amazon Conservation Project"

What you need to know before arrival

Before embarking on any trip to Peru, it is crucial to seek guidance from a medical professional or a travel health expert regarding the necessary vaccinations. Additionally, ensuring that your routine immunizations in your home country are up-to-date is essential, which typically includes vaccinations such as tetanus, diphtheria, and polio.

It's also worth noting that:

  • Certain vaccines may be costly, so it's advisable to have a candid conversation with your healthcare provider to weigh the potential risks against the expenses.
  • The prevalence of some diseases in Peru can vary with the seasons, particularly during the rainy season.
  • Individual susceptibility to infections can differ, and certain medical conditions might contraindicate specific vaccinations.
  • Not all diseases have available vaccines, so it's wise to consult with your healthcare professional on strategies to minimize your risk in such cases.

For more information:
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organisation
NHS Travel Vaccinations

The second most important thing to look into before arriving is whether you need a visa. For many countries of origin, as of the time of writing, Peru offers 90 days visa-free travel. This should enable you to volunteer without having to apply for a visa.

A third thing to know about is the altitude. Cusco, for example, is 3,400m (11,200ft) above sea level, and many visitors experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Although symptoms disappear after a few days, volunteers can buy medication to treat any symptoms they might experience.

Volunteers together in Cusco"
A volunteer at the dog rescue shelter"

Things to do in Peru

Volunteers will have time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Peru in between the work. Below is a non-exhaustive list of things to do in Peru, assuming you’re close to Cusco where our projects are predominantly based.

There are many tourist attractions in and around the Cusco region, most notably, Machu Picchu. As one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu rightfully grabs the headlines in the area. However, it is not the only attraction. Volunteers can also visit the Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, and the Seven Lagoons of Ausangate.

For those looking for things to do in the city, Cusco has many bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife for volunteers to enjoy. Additionally, the city center is filled with beautiful architecture and volunteers can also visit museums in the area.

Finally, there are many markets around Cusco, including the San Pedro and San Blas markets. Here, visitors can purchase anything from food to souvenirs for themselves or loved ones.

Visiting Rainbow Mountain"
Volunteers visiting Machu Picchu"

We at Globalteer look forward to welcoming you to one of our volunteer programmes.