20 Things To Do In Peru While Volunteering
Peru has its own unique charm. From the colonial Spanish heritage to the Incas and the even more ancient – Norte Chico Civilization, the one which was built roughly 5,000 years ago – the landscapes, culture, and history of Peru are truly enticing.
Take a look at some of the best things to do while volunteering in Peru.
1. Revere the Inca Might at Sacsayhuamán, Cusco
Yes, the Spanish made plenty-a-attempts to decimate this historic capital but they didn’t quite succeed. Even after thousands of year, it remains just as spellbinding. Visit Sacsayhuamán to discover what the Incas truly were!
2. Witness the collision of history at Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
One of the most important monuments for the Incas, the Koricancha is the ‘Temple of Sun’ which was stormed into by the imperial Spanish empire and then the Convent of Santo Domingo was formed.
3. Visit Plaza De Armas in Cusco
A visual treat right in the center of the ancient city of Cusco, head for a photo walk at the Plaza De Armas and get a gallery full of instagrammable photos. Plaza De Armas can be your starting point for an all-day city tour.
4. Also, drop by the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Cusco
Right next to the Plaza De Armas are two major cathedrals of Cusco standing tall depicting Colonial Christian heritage of Peru. Visit THE Cathedral of Cusco, Santo Domingo, to see the intricate architecture of red granites inside of which also exists large blocks of gold plating which will surely leave you awestruck.
5. Don’t forget the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
The list of Christian monuments is not over yet, not even close. Witness the magnificent Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, often touted as the most wonderful baroque-style church in the Americas.
6. Measure the angles of The Twelve Angled Stone
Considered a national heritage, The Twelve Angled Stone is an architectural marvel of the Inca heritage and hosts an intricate 12-angled border. The epitome of the perfectionist Incan architecture, head to the Twelve Angled Stone while you are in Cusco.
7. Visit The Museo Inka
The pleasantly low key Museo Inka, a steep block northeast of the Plaza de Armas, is one of the most interesting museums in town for people who are interested to explore the history of the Incas.
8. Do Some Shopping in Barrio de San Blas
While you heading to Sacsayhuamán, do make it a point to check out San Blas. Blessed with cobblestone streets and locally crafted souvenirs, head to this artisan Mecca for a visual and a collectible delight.
9. Good News for Rainforest Lovers! Explore the Amazons
Peru too is blessed with lush greenery as more than 50 percent of the area is under the Amazon Rainforests. You could either fly to Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos and plan a road trip as well if you’re staying for longer.
10. Get a glimpse of the Andes’ Beauty at the Rainbow Mountains
Right on the outskirts of Cusco, the Rainbow mountains are a visually thrilling treat. One of the most popular Peruvian delights, you could either take a day trip to see the mountains or start a multi-day trek across the Ausangate circuit.
11. Witness the water garden of Tipon
Formerly an Incan water ritual garden, the Tipon is one of the best-kept secrets of Cusco and is out and out for history, culture and nature buffs. The beautiful verdant garden is a treat visually and also architecturally.
12. Witness the Wildlife Ballestas Islands
One of the least known Peruvian destinations, the Ballestas Islands are a small group of islands. Hosting a variety of wildlife in its lap, lots of penguins, sea lions, fur seals, and seabirds are found in the area.
13. Visit the Paracas National Reserve
Blessed with desert and oceanic views, gaze into the wide variety of wildlife at the Paracas National Reserve. Hosting one of the largest concentration of birds, this is one of the oldest marine coastal reserves of the Americas.
14. Catch the Colca Canyon
The Latin American version of the Grand Canyon, Head to the Colca Canyon if the trek to Machu Picchu has invoked the trekker’s zeal in you.
15. Discover the secrets of Taquile Islands
Underexplored and a hidden secret, uncover the beauty of Taquile Islands but with no luxury or even basics here. Experience what stone age was like as there’ s no electricity, no running water, and no cars on the entire Islands
16. Take a train from Cusco to Puno
To view the jaw-dropping beauty of the Andean Land, take a train trip from Cusco to Puno on a luxury train. Definitely a breather from the boxed flights, this is an unmissable train fans!
17. Meet the Uros at Lake Titicaca
The Uros live sustainably and away from the cacophony of the modern world. Made of reeds, almost like an artificial island, witness one of the highest navigable lakes in the world at 3.812 meters above sea level, bordering Bolivia.
18. How about some beach time?
Away from Cusco, towards the capital of Peru – Lima – head to the Mancora beach that will give you ample surfing and sea kayaking options.
19. Visit the 6th Century City of Kuelap
City of the Chayopalas Culture of the 6th Century, head to the North of Peru for this underexplored historical site. There are several hundred buildings surrounded by a stone wall that goes up to 20 meters.
20. End with another Incan UNESCO World Heritage Site – Chan Chan
Find the perfect end to your trip as you witness Chan Chan, one of the most ancient pre-Columbian site in Peru. An architectural marvel, get your walking shoes on for 20 sq. km to explore every bit of the gem.
We’ll take the liberty to not include a visit to the majestic Machu Picchu in the list of “Things to Do” because we realize that it’s more often than not a purpose for people than just being a thing to do. So make sure to explore as much as you can, during your volunteering journey in Peru and experience the best that the country has in store for you!
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