Top 10 Things To Do While Volunteering Abroad In Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. If you’re volunteering in Cusco, there are plenty of things to do and see in your free time. Here are 10 things to do in Cusco, Peru while volunteering:

1. Visit Machu Picchu:

No trip to Cusco would be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel that’s one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

machu picchu

2. Explore the historic city centre:

Cusco’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many historic landmarks and buildings, including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, and the Temple of the Sun.

3. Enjoy local restaurants:

Peruvian cuisine is delicious and unique, and exploring the restaurants that Cusco has to offer is a must if you are a foodie. Do some research about local restaurants that look appealing to you and maybe even make a list before you go.

cusco peru cuisine

4. Hike to Rainbow Mountain:

Rainbow Mountain is a stunning natural wonder with colorful stripes of minerals that make up the mountain. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike that’s well worth the effort.

rainbow mountain peru

5. Visit the Sacred Valley:

The Sacred Valley is a beautiful region just outside of Cusco that’s home to many important Incan ruins, including Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

sacred valley

6. Learn Spanish:

Volunteering in Peru is a great opportunity to improve your Spanish skills. There are many language schools in Cusco that offer classes for all levels, but it can be even better to practice in person with the locals.

7. Try the local street food:

Cusco has a vibrant street food scene, with vendors selling everything from empanadas to churros. Be sure to try some of the local specialties like anticuchos (grilled beef heart) and cuy (guinea pig).

8. Attend a traditional dance performance:

Cusco is home to many traditional dance troupes that perform in colorful costumes and masks. You can catch a performance at one of the many theaters around the city.

peru traditional dance

9. Take a day trip to the Maras Salt Mines:

The Maras Salt Mines are a series of salt pools that have been in use since Incan times. They’re located in a beautiful valley and make for a great day trip from Cusco.

maras salt mines

10. Volunteer with a local organization:

Finally, don’t forget that you’re in Cusco to volunteer! There are many local organizations that could use your help, and MEDLIFE is one of them. If you are passionate about poverty reduction, aiding access to quality healthcare, and creating sustainable change, MEDLIFE’s Service Learning Trips might be for you. To learn more, visit our website today!


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.