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Archaeology Volunteer Program in Peru - Cusco

Archaeology Volunteer Program in Peru - Cusco

Preserve natural history
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Choose from 2-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Volunteers aged 18+
Local homestay
Program fees
From AU$1299 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who have a keen interest in history and the cultural preservation of ancient sites.

Project details

Unearth and discover ancient treasures as you involve yourself in cultural heritage preservation efforts. Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of the Sacred Valley of Peru, this program offers an unparalleled opportunity to dig deep into the mysteries of ancient Incan civilization.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

As a volunteer, you’ll play a vital role in maintaining and exploring significant historical sites. You will always work alongside seasoned archaeologists who will guide you through the intricate layers of the Inca and Pre-Inca ruins.

Assisting with site maintenance and upkeep will be your primary role. However, there may be opportunities to participate in new excavation projects within the historical sites of the Sacred Valley. Alongside the archaeological preservation team, you can expect to dedicate your valuable time to tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Assisting in the conservation and upkeep of national heritage sites through mapping, cleaning, and maintenance of sites
  • Exploring areas for new excavation sites
  • Classifying artifacts
  • Attending lectures to expand your knowledge of the ancient Incan civilization
  • Engaging in community events to support the local population.

Activities are determined based on field conditions and the archaeological sites’ specific needs, so you must be open and flexible in your assigned tasks.

Important to note: This project demands a significant level of focus and commitment. It’s essential to approach the work with the gravity it deserves, ensuring that each task is handled with the utmost care and dedication

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Archaeology volunteering in Cusco with IVHQ?

As a volunteer for archaeological digs, you get the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the oldest and most historic cultural sites in the world. Support preservation efforts for historical artifacts while developing your personal and professional expertise by:

  • Gain on-field experience in archaeological digs and artifact preservation
  • Enhance your communication skills in Spanish
  • Get an authentic experience of life in the rural Andes
  • Immerse yourself in Peruvian culture
  • Discover the country’s abundant natural resources, such as precious metals and stones

Volunteer requirements

  • All volunteers must be at least 18 years old to join this project
  • All volunteers must provide a criminal background check prior to departure
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.

Please note that while Spanish knowledge is not required for this project, it is strongly recommended to aid your placement work and homestay experience.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Alyssa Akhtar
05 Jun 2024

IVHQ is always responsive with any questions or concerns, and the pre-departure checklists and guides are extremely helpful. The local team was also AMAZING. The people, accommodations, transportation, and homestay were so welcoming and knowledgeable. I loved staying with other volunteers in Cusco. I learned a lot from living in the culture. I would recommend this program to anyone.

Christy Czworkowski
23 May 2024

We had the most amazing time in Cusco. My husband and I loved our projects (he did construction and I did childcare). Working until 12:30-1pm and having off the weekends gave us plenty of time to sign up for weekend trips as well as 1/2 day trips. Our entire experience in Cusco, Peru was one we will never forget.

The information we received pre-departure was outstanding. It was all very helpful, informative and valuable. Everyone in Peru was very quick to respond to texts, emails and phone calls. This was the most beautiful, amazing and humbling experience of our lives.

Delaney Pavell
02 May 2024

I gained a lot of perspective through volunteering. I went in very lost and confused about what profession I wanted to pursue and I came out with clarity. Thanks to volunteering with IVHQ I now know I want to continue to teach and make a difference.

Ralph Villamin
02 Apr 2024

It is an eye opening experience to see the difference in healthcare and the patient population. They may not have a lot especially when it comes to resources, but the simplicity of life makes them content. Work on this project was such a special learning experience for me. For those that really wanted to do, just go for it. It will be challenging at times during your stay but it will be fulfilling.

Glynn Case
18 Mar 2024

When I arrived I was very overwhelmed and was not sure what I had gotten myself into. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and as time went on I made friends, got more comfortable with my assignments, and the culture there. By the third day I was so thankful to be there and very comfortable in my own skin with many new friends. I was able to learn and adapt to the Peruvian healthcare ways and actually ended up learning many new skills that are helpful back home. Overall I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in Peru. It taught me many new things, one of the most important is being able to adapt to a situation based off of the circumstances culturally and physically.

Cindy Fall
04 Mar 2024

I greatly appreciate the support that my IVHQ Program Manager provided prior to my trip and how quickly she responded to my questions. The online resources were also very helpful. I also found the local team to be gracious, supportive and just wonderful people to be around.

I received so many gifts from this trip. It was a complete disruption from my normal life. I was in a different country, speaking a different language, eating different foods, experiencing a different culture and geography, and doing volunteer work completely different from my work at home. The combination of all of these things left me with inspiration, creativity, and space in my body and soul to reaffirm what is important in life and how I want to proceed.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Archaeology volunteer abroad project in Peru, Cusco with IVHQ


You will spend your first night in Cusco, and following orientation on Monday, you will travel with the local team to the project site. You will be based in a small farming village in the Sacred Valley, set on the Urubamba River just south of Cusco.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday. Volunteers must arrive in Cusco on the Sunday before orientation. Orientation will be held within 24 hours of your arrival.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in Cusco. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, and you will be greeted by a member of the local team.

If you are traveling in Peru before your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Cusco the day before your program orientation.

Our local team will host the orientation at their offices in Cusco. Orientation begins on Monday morning and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cusco, such as:

  • Introduction to Peru
  • Overview of Peruvian customs
  • Language lesson details
  • Rules and expectations
  • Health and Safety
  • Travel opportunities in Cusco
  • Introduction to your project and placement

The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

On arrival, you will be transported to your accommodation and introduced to your host family for your first night in Cusco. You will complete orientation and transfer to the Archaeology Project site the following day.

Volunteer schedule example

A typical schedule for the Archaeology project might be as follows:


Volunteers on this project work Monday to Saturday and relax on Sundays. A typical schedule might be as follows:

8:00 AM Breakfast at your accommodation.
9:00 AM Volunteer work begins.
1:00 PM Return to your homestay for lunch.
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM You can rest, explore independently, or participate in various cultural immersion activities around the house/farm, such as processing cacao, learning to cook with local ingredients, or other immersion activities alongside your hosts.
6:00 PM Dinner at your accommodation.

In the evenings, you can relax, play traditional games like Sapo, and converse with other volunteers and hosts.


Because of the remote location, volunteers tend to stay at the placement during the weekends and keep enjoying the immersive experience of living with a local family. We recommend bringing books, games, or other activities. Volunteers can return to Cusco at their own expense.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers stay in a nearby farming village hosted by a local family. Volunteers can expect to share a room with others of the same gender. Living is rustic but comfortable. There is cold running water, electricity, and no internet.

Please note that homes in Peru are not typically heated, but your hosts can provide additional blankets upon request. We also advise wearing layered clothing. Due to the altitude, temperatures can drop at night.


While in Cusco (Sunday and Monday when you first arrive), volunteers receive breakfast and dinner, and are required to purchase their own lunch.

Once you’ve transferred to the project location you will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.

A typical Peruvian breakfast consists of bread, spreads, fruit, and eggs accompanied by tea or coffee. Lunch and dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pasta, starches, and vegetables.

Please advise us in advance regarding any dietary requirements so that we make special arrangements for you. However, it’s important to be somewhat flexible due to the limited resources at this location.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$521) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks $820 Equivalent to $59/day
3 weeks $1,107 Equivalent to $53/day
4 weeks $1,378 Equivalent to $49/day
5 weeks $1,668 Equivalent to $48/day
6 weeks $1,958 Equivalent to $47/day
8 weeks $2,538 Equivalent to $45/day
10 weeks $3,118 Equivalent to $45/day
12 weeks $3,698 Equivalent to $44/day
16 weeks $4,858 Equivalent to $43/day
20 weeks $6,018 Equivalent to $43/day
24 weeks $7,178 Equivalent to $43/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$521) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cusco generally find US$100 - $150 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such lunches, public transportation, personal spending money, etc..
  • Breakfast and dinner while in Cusco when you first arrive
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner while at your project site
  • Airport pick-up
  • Round-trip transfer from Cusco to project site
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Airport drop off after program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Cusco

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Cusco! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Cusco program.

Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)

Prepare to be in awe of this unique landscape and surroundings on this overnight tour!

Machu Picchu Overnight Tour  - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)
Machu Picchu Overnight Tour - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)

Explore Machu Picchu on an exhilarating 2-day & 1-night tour.

Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)
Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)

Experience the awe-inspiring wonders of Machu Picchu in just one day without stretching your budget!


Check what's required to visit Peru

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Lima
Population 32 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone UTC-05:00

Weather and climate: Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. In the mountains, rain is frequent during summer and temperatures and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The jungle has heavy rainfal​l​ and high temperatures, with the exception of its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.

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