Peru Fact File

The Location
The project is based in Cusco, Peru. Cusco is undisputed archaeological capital of South America and the closest city to the lost Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

Full of beautiful plazas, cobbled streets, massive Inca walls, colonial architecture and surrounded by the amazing Andes, Cusco is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Machu Picchu was once voted the best place in the world to visit by a survey of worldwide travellers.

Due to the number of tourists visiting each year, Cusco caters to all tastes and has everything a foreign traveller may need. There are many restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs as well as museums, plazas and ancient ruins.
Accommodation
Included in your placement fee for this project is a choice of the following standard types of accommodation: backpacker hostel, 2* hotel or homestay. Occasionally self-catering apartments are available for groups and if you need some more home comforts you can pay to upgrade to a 3* city centre hotel.
Hostel - Shared Dormitory
Volunteers who are looking to meet lots of fellow travellers and have easy access to the great social life that Cusco has to offer, there is probably no better option than a shared dorm in one of Cusco's best hostels.

The hostel that Globalteer has teamed up with is very central, but in a peaceful location near one of Cusco' s most beautiful smaller squares and just two blocks from Cusco's world famous Plaza de Armas. It is close to all the popular bars, restaurants and clubs that Cusco has to offer as well as its magnificent colonial and Inca monuments.

As well as comfortable beds in shared dorm with all your bed linens, the hostel offers 24 hour hot water, towel rental and lockers (bring your own padlock). There are a bar and restaurant on site, pool table, satellite TV, free Wi-fi zones and computers with high speed internet. Continental breakfast is also included.
Hotel - private ensuite room
Volunteers can also stay in a comfortable 2* hotel. The hotel is well situated about a 5 minute walk from the main square of Cusco, close to the many great restaurants, bars and attractions of Cusco.

All rooms are single occupancy or can be shared if volunteers are travelling together. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, each with a private bathroom. The facilities include hot water, cable TV, free basic breakfast and Wi-Fi.
Homestay
If you choose to stay at a homestay, you will live with and be part of a Peruvian family. The homestays are in safe areas with middle class families that are screened by Globalteer. Your room will be private with a shared bathroom. This is a wonderful experience to immerse yourself in Peruvian culture and a great way to practice your Spanish skills. Volunteers eat with the family when not volunteering at the project.
Upgrade accommodation
Upgrade volunteer rooms are available in a hotel located in the centre of historical Cusco and around a 10 minute walk to the Globalteer office. These rooms offer a higher standard of comfort and more facilities for volunteers who don’t mind paying a little extra. 
Getting to the project
The nearest airport to this project is Cusco Peru (Airport code CUZ).

To help you find the best air fares Globalteer has formed a partnership with a division of The Flight Centre Group who will tailor make your travel arrangements for you at a competitive price.
 
You can contact them for a free, no obligation travel quote by calling 0844 560 9944 from within the UK, or if you are outside the UK you can call +44(0)203 056 1146. Make sure you mention Globalteer when you call and if you do purchase your travel through them, Globalteer will receive a small donation. However, don’t forget that it’s up to you to make sure your travel arrangements are right for you and your project.
Cusco Facts
Cusco is the tourist capital of Peru due to the magnificent lost city of Machu Picchu. This means that the town has many bars, restaurants, ATMs, internet cafes and hotels catering to foreigners needs. Cusco blends pre Inca, Inca and colonial architecture. Massive Inca built walls line the streets and even form the foundations for the newer colonial buildings.

The centre of town revolves around a magnificent plaza which was once flanked by Inca palaces, the palaces have since been replaced by impressive Cathedrals and Churches. Taking a walk around the cobbled streets you will hear Quechua speaking descendants of the Incas still wearing their traditional costumes.
The area around the central plaza provides many restaurants, shops, bars and a lively night life. Cusco provides for all tastes, with worldwide cuisine from Thai, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Italian as well as menus catering to western tastes. Cusco has plenty of markets, stores and street vendors selling souvenirs, textiles, clothes, food, appliances and just about anything you will need.

There are many heath clinics with doctors and pharmacies around the town for minor ailments. There are also a few hospitals which provide a decent level of emergency care. Cusco has a dedicated tourist police service for visiting foreigners and all although international embassies are located in the capital Lima although a number of countries have consulates in Cusco.
Climate

Peru varies from tropical in the east, dry desert in the west and temperate to frigid in the Andes. Cusco is at an altitude of 3300 metres (10,800 feet) in the Andes and volunteers should be aware that some could be affected by altitude sickness.

Cusco is sunny and warm during the day but cold at night, with a mean temperature of 15°C (59°F) the temperature drops at night in winter (June to September) to around 6°C (43°F) . The rainy season is from November to March, however, it usually rains for only a couple of hours during the day.

Local Expenses

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol.
10 Soles ~ US$2.70 ~ UK£1.70

Local transport:
Bus = 1 Sol for a half hour journey.
Taxi = 3 Soles for a journey up to 10 minutes.

Food:
Meal at market = s/ 3
Meal in restaurant = s/ 5 to s/ 35
Bottle of soft drink = s/1.50
Cappuccino = s/.8
Domestic bottle of beer (0.5 litre) = s/4

Keeping in touch:
Internet cafes = less than 3 Soles per hour for fast connection.
Telephone calls = approximately 1 Sol per minute to Western countries. If you are spending a long time in Peru then many people bring their own mobile cellular phone and purchase a sim card locally for around US$5 making text messages a very affordable and versatile option for  communicating.
Sending Mail = 6 soles per letter. The post office is located near the centre of town.

Money:
ATM, there are numerous ATMs in town.
Travellers cheques are also a good option in Peru.
Money transfer facilities are also available in town.
Remember that your bank may well charge you a fee for withdrawing cash in a foreign country so you may want to check with your bank about fees before you go.

Laundry:
Laundry services are all over town and charge approximately 4 Soles per kilo.

Spanish Classes
You don't need to speak Spanish to be an effective volunteer at all of our Peru projects, but we know that many volunteers like to take advantage of being in a Spanish-speaking country to learn Spanish or to brush up on those rusty language skills.

All our volunteers in Cusco have the option of taking free Spanish classes in their first week, and discounted classes thereafter.

Classes are tailor-made to suit each volunteer's level of Spanish so it doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or just need to brush up a bit.
Extra activities in Peru and South America
To say that every person visiting Peru has Machu Picchu on their mind would not be an exaggeration given its reputation amongst travellers of being one of the best places to visit in the world.

The wonder of Machu Picchu is easily accessible from Cusco. You can go there by train, trek the amazing Inca trail high in the Andes or take any other number of routes all ending with lost city itself.

Built, but never completed by the Incas around 1450 the Inca capital was only re-discovered in 1911. The breath-taking lost city of the Incas is now discovered by hundreds of enthralled visitors every day.

There are many Incan ruins scattered around Cusco that are worth a visit. The Sacred valley of the Incas is a magnificent drive from Cusco and has many small villages with bustling indigenous markets as well as rafting and paragliding for the adrenaline junkies.
For long weekends or those travelling before or after their placement with us, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world is under 5 hours from Cusco by car or 7-8 hours by bus.

For a truly unique experience you can also visit the Amazon Rainforest. The small rainforest city of Puerto Maldonado in the amazing Madre de Dios Region of the southern Amazon basin is only 10 hours from Cusco by bus and under an hour by air with low cost (and reliable) carrier Star Peru.

Globalteer works closely with a well respected agency in Cusco which can arrange services such as visits to Machu Picchu, Amazon trips, Lake Titicaca as well as many other amazing trips in Peru and South America.

Southern Crossings, South American Adventures
General facts about Peru
Country name:    Republic of Peru
Area:    Total: 1,285,220 sq km 
Terrain:    Western coastal plain, high and rugged Andes in centre, eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin
Population:    28 million
Age structure:    0-14 years: 30%, 15-64 years: 64%, 65 years and over: 6%
Life expectancy at birth:    70 years
Ethnic groups:    Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, other 3%
Religions:    Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3%
Literacy:    Male: 93.5%, Female: 82.1%
Capital:    Lima
Languages:    Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Government type:  Constitutional republic
Major International airports:   Lima & Cusco
Currency:     Nuevo sol
The Globalteer Difference
These days there are a great many opportunities to volunteer overseas, but not all organisations are the same.

Watch our short video presentation to see what makes Globalteer different from your average volunteering organisation!




Find out what previous volunteers have to say about volunteering with our Peru Community Project.
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