Introduction: Listed below you will find a general description of activities you can expect on the trip. Please note, however, that every trip is unique. As volunteers successfully complete conservation and restoration activities, new activities or areas can be targeted on subsequent departures. Because local conditions and the Park’s needs continually evolve, detailed plans are often finalized or revised after the group arrives and the trip leaders review the conditions at the site in light of the capabilities and special interests of the volunteers.
Just prior to each trip, volunteers will be given updated information that includes details about where their specific group will be based, and an outline of the activities which are planned. Although we do our very best to adhere to that schedule, the itinerary is also subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather. A detailed discussion of specific daily activities will take place on the trip.
Day 1: We begin in Cusco, the capital of the New World’s “Roman Empire.” We meet at our hotel in the afternoon for orientation. The afternoon includes a guided tour of the city, as well as free time to explore on your own, while acclimatizing to the 11,200 foot elevation.
In the evening we enjoy the fine dining of a traditional Peruvian dinner while enjoying the camaraderie of the volunteer group.
Day 2: Today we board a private bus to visit Sacsayhuaman, a hilltop stone fortress overlooking Cusco. The largest of the stones used in the construction of Sacsayhuaman weighs over 360 tons and stands more than 20 feet tall. We then travel south of Cusco to Tipon, one of the most elaborate and well-preserved examples of Incan agricultural terracing. Water still runs from Pachatusan Mountain, the “cross beam of the universe” in Quechua language.
Day 3: We depart for the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and Machu Picchu Pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes) via train. We pass by ancient agricultural terraces and remote villages along the Urubamba River. Once in Machu Picchu Pueblo, we check into our hotel and enjoy lunch. We then board a bus for our first visit up the zigzag path to the citadel of Machu Picchu. During our initial visit, we receive an orientation and safety instruction before allowing ourselves time for self-exploration of this World Heritage Site.
Days 4-8: Each day starts with breakfast at the hotel, and then on to work. Projects vary, depending on the tasks assigned to us by Peru’s National Institute of Culture and the National Service for Protected Area Management. On the last work day, volunteers may rise early in the morning to visit the Sun Gate (the point along the Inca Trail from where Machu Picchu can first be viewed) or climb Huayna Picchu, the imposing stone monolith rising behind the Sacred City.
Day 9: In the morning, volunteers will board the train for Ollantaytambo. Dating back over 500 years, the Inca city is complete with its narrow alleys, street water canals and trapezoidal doorways. The nearby temples are considered by many to be the best preserved and finest examples of Inca stone craftsmanship after Machu Picchu. In the afternoon, we will visit the traditional Thursday market day in Pisac. Upon our return to Cusco, we will enjoy a farewell celebration dinner together, toasting newfound friends and our accomplishments during the past week. All meals included.
Day 10: The Machu Picchu Volunteer Expedition ends with breakfast. You may transfer to the Cusco airport for homeward-bound flights (via Lima), or opt to extend your stay in Peru.
June 10 – 19, 2013 or November 4 – 13, 2013
Book your trip now by visiting our partner REI Adventures or call (800) 622-2236.
Trip Report: June 2012
Trip Report: November 2011
Trip Report: November 2010
Trip Report: June 2010
Trip Report: November 2009
Trip Report: April 2009
Trip Report: November 2008