Machu Picchu Volunteer Trip

A unique opportunity to volunteer in Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu – Be Inspired!

Guided by our local Peruvian guide and experienced American trip leaders and working under the supervision of local park rangers, volunteers learn about the Inca culture and its impact while helping to preserve the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. ConservationVIP® is pleased to offer this unique and exciting opportunity to one of the world’s most astounding archaeological treasures! Volunteer project sites vary in altitude from 8,000 to 11,000 feet, making this challenging for some, though past volunteers included a wide range of ages and abilities. The rewards far surpass any challenge from working at this elevation!


Machu Picchu Volunteer Trip Details

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project activities | itinerary | price | trip reviews | prior trip reports | safety

Help protect Peru’s famous Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Each trip varies, depending on the current needs of local authorities. Past trips included:

  • helping the National Institute of Culture
  • helping archaeologists restore cultural sites
  • helping the National Service for Protected Natural Areas, by
    • removing moss and plants from walls, windows, niches at Incan ruins
    • removing encroaching invasive species
    • planting native trees in areas prone to slides
    • collecting seeds for replanting
    • repairing Incan trails
    • interviewing travelers about their experiences in order to improve visitor management.

You must be able to hike with a day pack, move soil or rock with a shovel, pull unwanted vegetation, or carry stones.


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. 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. As volunteers successfully complete conservation and restoration activities, new activities or areas can be targeted on subsequent departures, which may result in a modified itinerary.

Although we do our very best to adhere to the itinerary, it is 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 early afternoon for orientation. The afternoon includes a guided tour of the cathedral, 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: After a morning tour of the Machu Picchu Museum and the Qorikancha, we board a private bus to 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.

Day 3: We depart for the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and Machu Picchu Pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes) via train. On the way, we visit Chinchero, a village where local weavers demonstrate their skills and textiles. We pass by ancient agricultural terraces and remote villages along the Urubamba River. Once in Machu Picchu Pueblo, we check into our hotel.

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. During our initial visit, we receive an orientation and safety instruction. On one of these days, volunteers will enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu, followed by time to discover the ruins at their own pace.

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. Upon our return to Cusco, we will enjoy a farewell celebration dinner together, toasting newfound friends and our accomplishments during the past week.

Day 10: The Machu Picchu Volunteer Trip ends with breakfast. You may transfer to the Cusco airport for homeward-bound flights (via Lima), or opt to extend your stay in Peru.

$3,495 for ten days; single room supplement $800 (subject to availability)

(Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax advisor for details.)

Price includes:

  • Leadership and support staff for volunteer activities
  • guide leadership on tours
  • all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10
  • hotel accommodations
  • all bus and train transportation as noted on the itinerary
  • group tools
  • all orientation and training excursions as noted on the itinerary
  • park entrance fees

Price does not include:

Deposit and Cancellation
A deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of signup; final payment is due at 90 days prior to departure. The payment and refund policy can be found here.

Group Size: 8 – 18 plus trip leaders

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Average rating:  
 61 reviews
 by Dan Winfree
Class of May2022(Millie named us)

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words! I have to agree. One trip to Peru and a visit to Machu Picchu mountain, you will agree also. The beauty, energy, simplicity, and the effectiveness of the will power of a mass of people will overwhelm you when visiting this region. I’ve been here twice already and planning a third trip in September to hike the Inca Trail.
Thanks to ConservationVIP, the trip leaders, our guide, and the members of Class of May 2022, we pulled together to achieve a common goal. There is power and safety in numbers!

 by Liz Holmes
A Wonderful Experience

This was my first trip with ConservationVIP, and I was so impressed. It was well organized down to the last detail, the leadership was superb, and our guide was incredibly knowledgeable, thoughtful, and eager to share this beautiful place with us. To experience Machu Picchu over several days, contributing to its preservation by removing invasive plants, was intensely rewarding. I can’t imagine a better way to see it, and I hope to join another ConservationVIP trip in the near future.

 by Connie Kintner
Magical place

As a returning ConservationVIP volunteer, I felt even more connected to this magical place the second time around. Santiago, our Peruvian guide/troubleshooter and the ConservationVIP leaders worked tirelessly to make sure we were helping the sanctuary accomplish its goals while having a great time. These trips, as Santiago says, make you feel stronger, mentally, physically and spiritually day by day. It’s a privilege to work with such wonderful people in a magical place.

 by Todd
Machu Picchu

Absolutely amazing and breath taking.

The Inca and Peruvian culture is so fascinating about how they did things back in 1400 and 1500. The engineering of the Ruins was absolutely amazing and the pride of the amazing people of Peru. They believe in family values and ceremonies there.  Roots run deep.
All the group leaders did amazing job of taking us to so many other Ruins that are breath taking.

Words and pictures don’t give it justice

You have to come see it just to believe it.

Food was excellent. Very nice respectful Santiago was our guide and was so well educated about that Incan culture.

So if you are thinking about going next……just go and you won’t be disappointed. ConservationVIP does an outstanding job. It is one of 7 wonders of the world

 by Mike K
Simply Magical & Breathtaking!

Until You experience being immersed in Peruvian culture and Incan history, it cannot be described fairly enough. The people and architecture of Cusco are unique and genuine, along with some of the finest cuisine imaginable.

And then there is Machu Picchu experienced intimately as an insider-volunteer-co-worker for several days: Beyond words!

 by Dave16
Fabulous Experience!!

We went on this trip in November 2019. The trip exceeded all expectations!!

Why did you choose this trip?
This location was a bucket list item.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Do this trip!

What was the highlight of your trip?
Impossible to select a highlight as the whole trip was truly amazing! (tours, guides, food, volunteer experience, etc.)

About Me
Avid Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip

 by Tatterbug

This trip is truly amazing! Not only is there beautiful sights, but you get immersed in the local culture/customs. Santiago "makes" the trip. His knowledge of the history, customs, people, food is excellent. Speaking of food, be prepared to eat some excellent food and be stuffed each day. Please be aware, this is a very very physically challenging trip. You will be walking continually on uneven surfaces and continually climbing up or going down steps. The altitude (regardless of what you think your physical condition is) is going to have an effect on your endurance/ability (even if you don't have altitude sickness). The amazing part of the trip is to get to spend the amount of time in Machu Picchu that you do so you are able to see it under a variety of weather conditions (clouds, sun, mist, rain).

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Drink the coca tea non stop and stay hydrated. You literally need to drink on average 2 liters of water per day.

What was the highlight of your trip?
Meeting Santiago

About Me
Avid Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by jujud
Prepare to fall in love

I fell in love with Peru, its people, culture, and traditions through an REI adventure with Conservation Volunteer International Program. After a month of returning from Machu Picchu I am still basking in the experience. The trip fulfilled two of my dreams. One of seeing the ancient Inca ruins and two of participating in a volunteer vacation. Upon reflection, my initial dreams were not as big as what I experienced. Not only did CVIP choreograph a superb itinerary but the people I was honored to experience the trip with elevated it to a whole new level. The group was fun, interesting, thoughtful and caring. Together we were immersed and educated by our knowledgeable leaders in the history and beliefs of this part of the world. This allowed us a greater appreciation for the work we’d be doing and a greater reverence for where we’d be doing it. We formed community as we learned and worked, side by side. If anyone is considering an REI adventure through ConservationVIP, there is no need to hesitate. If you follow the trip guidelines, you’ll be ready for an adventure that will go beyond your expectations. If you go, I hope to join you.

Why did you choose this trip?
I went with a dear friend who suggested the trip.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
REI suggests you be able to walk several miles with a 10 pound backpack. A few months before the trip, I began walking long distances with a weighted backpack. It helped tremendously.

What was the highlight of your trip?
Our visit to the women's co-op where we learned how their textiles are made. Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time. I was breathless.

About Me
Casual Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

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The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. The gear list has been created to help you choose your equipment for the trip. View the Gear List PDF.


ConservationVIP has always focused on our volunteers’ safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened that focus. Traveling with COVID-19 safety concerns requires some extra planning and flexibility both for trip leaders and trip participants!

Because of COVID concerns, we restricted participation on the 2023 trip to people who received their COVID-19 vaccinations. Participants will also have to comply with any restrictions imposed by Peru and your country of origin at the time of travel. While we expect that the restrictions can change between now and the time of travel, we cannot predict what those changes will be. Here is a link to the current COVID-19 information page on the U.S. Embassy in Peru website

While on the trip, participants will also have to follow procedures such as mask wearing and social distancing. More specific COVID related safety instructions will be provided to those registered for the trip.





About Machu Picchu

In 1911, Yale University Professor Hiram Bingham paid a Peruvian guide to lead him to a nearby ruin. The guide took him up a precipitous slope, straight into the city of Machu Picchu. Conservation Volunteers International Program is the first volunteer organization ever allowed to work within the Sacred City.

One of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Towering 1500 feet above the raging Urubamba River in Peru’s Andean highlands, the royal retreat and sacred center of Machu Picchu is spectacular by any measure. The Inca ruler Pachacuti began the site in mid-1400 and the site was still under construction when abandoned after the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire circa 1530. For nearly 400 years the jungle reclaimed this mountain citadel and Machu Picchu slowly disappeared.

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