Local Peru Experience

founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Josh
Coordinator | Josh
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Punti Salienti

Hiking through the iconic lost city of Machu Picchu
Spanish lessons included building your conversation skills with locals
Learn about the history of Cusco during an afternoon city tour
Take in the spectacular views of rainbow mountain
Visiting the heart of the south American Inca empire at the sacred valley
Take 3 weeks to immerse yourself in one of South America's top destinations. Improve your Spanish, indulge in Machu Picchu, Peru is your oyster! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Real Peru Experience offers ambitious individuals the opportunity to join together and embark on a thrilling adventure across Peru. Our local team provides a structured, face-paced and thrilling group itinerary across a number of amazing sites around the country. Your group will also dedicate time to volunteering projects to give back to local communities, developing and showcasing your skills.

On the gap year Peru experience, you will arrive in Peru on a set date, joining your group before travelling and volunteering across a 3 week period. This makes the PMGY Experience trips ideal for anyone who wishes to explore and engage in new experiences in the company of others.

Individuals on this experience trip have the unique chance to explore different aspects of this vibrant country, from exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu to cruising across Titicaca Lake. Your adventure will pan across the best sites in the entire country, before dedicating your time to meaningful volunteer projects. Across this 21-day itinerary, be prepared for breathtaking sites, friends for life and complete cultural immersion. The gap year Peru experience is perfect for anyone looking to travel within a safe, structured and social environment.

From one destination to the next, you won’t need to worry about a thing. All your in-country transport and accommodation will be arranged by our local teams on the gap year Peru experience. This helps to ensure that your experience abroad is as smooth as possible. Our team will arrange numerous activities for you to enjoy and engage in during your trip. For any spare time, our local experts will be able to help you discover the impressive range of activities you can get involved in during your trip to Peru. A portion of your time will also be dedicated to making a difference within a community in Peru. This will allow you to put your skills and enthusiasm into practice to make a meaningful difference to local communities overseas.

The trip’s group set-up makes the gap year Peru experience an exceptional social occasion. You have the chance to meet individuals from across the globe, forming friendships that will last a lifetime. You will stay together for your entire adventure, sharing moments and memories that will stay with you forever. You will also have the chance to immerse yourself with members of the local community, making your time in Peru even more special.

The ruins of Machu Picchu is often regarded as Peru’s main attraction that draws in thousands of travellers each year. This contributes to making Peru one of South America’s most visited countries. However, it is not just this famous site that sees the travellers flock to Peru. Additionally, the floating islands dotted around Lake Titicaca and the soaring mountains of the Andes are both big attractions. Furthermore, the ancient capital of Cusco and the history of the Sacred Valley represent just a few more reasons. Ultimately, Peru has many draws as to why people immerse themselves in this iconic South American country.

The real Peru lies within its warm, proud inhabitants and the thousands of years of history they leave behind them. Moreover, such history can be traced back to the Incas and the bloodshed that came with it. Peru was inhabited by various tribal people throughout most of its ancient history with the Inca Empire being the most notable.

The Empire originated in the small city-state of Cusco in the 12th century. Thereafter, the Incas went on to conquer the rest of Peru and parts of neighbouring countries. Therefore, Cusco represents a great base for your gap year Peru experience. For instance, you will get to learn all about ancient history and Inca influence. 

Get ready for iconic sites, spectacular mountains, picturesque lakes and plenty of history! Your group will travel together across a mix of public and private transport. This will enable you to visit some of the best destinations and hidden gems that Peru has to offer.

You will spend your first two weeks as a volunteer in Peru. PMGY’s volunteer program in Cusco runs throughout the year, so you will be working alongside existing PMGY volunteers. You will have an opportunity to join one of our community-based childcare projects in Cusco. This will be in a kindergarten setting working with younger children of the Cusco community.


The majestic city of the Incas, whilst tourist-based and thriving, is a city of the poor. People will travel from hungry villages hoping to sell their crafts and clothes just to make enough to eat. In this indigenous culture, many children are subject to troubling home environments due to low income, addiction, violence and neglect. We work with local organisations to provide assistance to children that have great need.

The kindergarten projects and those for working children are essential in restoring families. Furthermore, they are essential in providing necessary assistance to ensure children are not abandoned. By completing volunteer work in Peru on these projects you are contributing so that children can be fed and educated. Ultimately, this will help children become positive citizens in their local communities.

The working hours for the volunteer project are typically morning based and lasting between 3-4 hours. As you volunteer with children in Peru, your role involves supporting local staff with daily chores. Examples include providing volunteer support at mealtimes and with cleaning tasks. This extends to more creative support in arts and crafts, teaching English and improving hygiene skills. Volunteers should also assist with homework tasks and support local staff with planned activities.

We highly recommend that as a volunteer in Peru, you use free time outside of the project to prepare activities in advance. Ultimately, the more proactive and enthusiastic you are will result in the most productive project experience.

Volunteer opportunities in Peru provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in Peru, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Peru can bring. To volunteer with children in Peru, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

Peru is one of twenty-one Spanish speaking countries in the world. This sacred country his home to nearly 32 million residents! It's therefore important to ensure you know a few phrases to help you get by across your 3 weeks in Peru. During your first week on your Real Peru Experience, you will spend 3 hours of each afternoon enjoying informal Spanish lessons with the rest of the participants on the trip.


You will have a teacher that is personalised to your level of Spanish. This teacher will instruct you in a classroom setting and from time to time will also venture out into the city of Cusco to markets, museums and popular areas where locals hang out. This time in Cusco is to help you gain confidence in communicating with native speakers and also introduce you into a side of the country you may not see as a tourist.

Typical day

Almost every day you will be doing something different on this adventure, but here is an example of what a day on this trip will look like:

You will be met at Cusco airport by your host family who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take around 15 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

Your orientation will begin on Monday at the Spanish School which is also where our local team’s offices are based. Our local team will teach you about life in Peru, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system and general safety advice. Moreover, you will receive a briefing about your 2 week volunteer project with us in Cusco.

You will also learn about the history of the Spanish school. In the same vein, you will receive details about the upcoming week of Spanish lessons included in your program. Your first 3 hour group Spanish class will begin on Monday. The rest of the evening will be yours to rest and relax as a busy itinerary lies ahead!

It’s now time for some adventure travel as we explore beyond Cusco. The first stop will be Sacred Valley (known locally as Valle Sagrado)! The Sacred Valley, or Vilcamayo to the Incas, traces its astonishingly beautiful course originating in Pisac. This then extends down towards Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and eventually Machu Picchu.

Located about 30km from Cusco, it is a steep-sided river valley. Furthermore, the valley opens out into a very fertile but narrow alluvial plain. The river itself starts in the high Andes south of Cusco and is called the Vilcanota. To clarify, this is the same name as the mountain where the river emerges from. As the river flows down into the jungle, it becomes known as the ‘Río Urubamba’.

Your afternoon will be spent exploring the Maras Salt Mines and the Sacred Site of the Moray. You will be introduced to some of Cusco’s most interesting Inca sites. Your day will begin with a visit to the Colonial town of Maras and its infamous church. After that, we will continue on to the nearby Inca site of Moray. This site represents a magnificent series of terrace circles. More specifically, they are established in the ground that was once used by the Incas for experimentation with crops.

The last point of call for the day is the salt mines which have been in use since pre-Inca times. Water from a subterranean stream is channelled through pools where it evaporates. Subsequently, pure salt crystals are left behind and stunning views of stark white pools to match. You will return to your accommodation in the late evening.

Many tours in Peru require a ‘Boleto Turistico’ (Tourist Ticket). The ticket costs 30 GBP and can only be purchased at the first tour location by each trip participant individually. Therefore, you will need to budget additionally for this. Our local team guide will be on hand to help with the logistics of this process on the day. Please keep this ticket receipt with you for the remainder of your time in Peru.

Free-time activities

  •  Hiking through the iconic lost city of Machu Picchu
  •  Learn about the history of Cusco during an afternoon city tour
  •  Take in the spectacular views of rainbow mountain
  •  Visiting the heart of the south American Inca empire at the sacred valley
  •  Enjoy cultural evening activities with pisco sour & salsa classes
  •  Relaxing in hot springs and rehydrating with a local coffee tour


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
- be physically fit
- medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas must be declared to us during your online application
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on lunedì, martedì, mercoledì, giovedì and venerdì

Servizi inclusi

Services by Plan My Gap Year

Your programme fee includes

  • accommodation 
  • meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • airport pickup 
  • in-country orientation
  • Spanish lessons
  • transport across Peru
  • entrance fees
  • Cusco city tour
  • Macchu Picchu
  • Rainbow Mountain Tour
  • Taquile Island and Puno
  • 24 hour in-country support.
Your registration fee includes; 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection
  • international certificate of completion.

Airport Pickup at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport
For your volunteer trip to Peru, you should book your flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco on the selected Sunday. The airport code is CUZ. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.



During your time in Peru, you will predominantly live in our homestay(s). Across the itinerary volunteers will also stay with a local host family on the Uros islands for one night, sleep on overnight secure buses for two nights and guest house accommodation provided for the overnight stay part of the Machu Picchu trip. The accommodation is basic but comfortable.


The main HQ accommodation for your three week Real Peru Experience will be our homestay format within Cusco. You’ll be living with local families who will guide you in Cusco and help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! The homestay families will usually speak no English at all.


The homestays are located just outside of central Cusco all within 30 minutes bus of your community volunteer project and usually walking distance from the local team's offices where you will complete your Spanish lessons. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.


Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is usually warm (although can be a victim to power cuts) to ensure you keep warm in the chilly nights of Cusco! The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled; just ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance, The host families will prepare all meals across your time on the project with us (including a packed lunch if you wish).


The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, but they love to interact with volunteers and hear about your days. This ensures you have round the clock support and security along with the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.


Your host family location is usually linked to your project location for ease of logistics to get to and from the project. You will be placed with other participants on the Real Peru Experience. Should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on the special requirements of your online application.

Guest Family Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will be provided with three meals per day across most of the three weeks of the Real Experience. Volunteers will only need to budget a small amount for breakfast on day 14 and dinner on day 15 of the itinerary; all other meals are included in the fees. Most meals will either be provided at the homestay (lunch usually being provided in a packed lunch format) or included during the tour package when travelling further afield of Cusco.


Boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.


Most meals are traditional Peruvian dishes that can be carb-heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and vegetables compared to the UK so please be open-minded around this! Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body and at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to this as well.


The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10 minute drive from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in Cuzco. We assist you to find cheap flights to Perù.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Perù provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Perù you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Perù.

Date e Prezzi


Details on arrival

For your volunteer trip to Peru, you should book your flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco on the selected Sunday. The airport code is CUZ. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.


gen feb mar apr maggio giu lug ago set ott nov dic
3 - 3 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
3 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$458 /week

Si prega di notare che le tariffe sopra indicate sono stimate. Plan My Gap Year vi informerà sul prezzo finale durante il processo di candidatura.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Local Peru Experience

Take 3 weeks to immerse yourself in one of South America's top destinations. Improve your Spanish, indulge in Machu Picchu, Peru is your oyster!


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