Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation

From: $2,950

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jun-Nov - see all dates

Total Days: 10

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation

Price:

2014

$2,950

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $750

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jun 6–15
  • Nov 6–15

Or, book a
private departure.


More great trips like this:
Torres del Paine Volunteer Vacation

Group Size: 6-18

Larger groups will be divided into smaller work groups of generally no more than 10 volunteers. Each of these work groups will be accompanied by an experienced team leader.

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Trail Maintenance
  • Archeological Restoration
  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Hotels, 9 nights.

Trip Highlights

  • Volunteer at Machu Picchu, one of the world's premier archaeological sites
  • Perform trail maintenance and archaeological restoration alongside park rangers
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu and visit other Peruvian sites
  • No trail maintenance experience needed; all training provided

Towering 1500' above the raging Urubamba River in Peru's Andean highlands, the royal retreat and sacred center of Machu Picchu—now considered one of the Seven New Wonders of the World – is spectacular by any measure. Abandoned in the 1530's and rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu has become one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world.

Today, Machu Picchu stands at a crossroads. The thousands of visitors who travel here every year have taken their toll. The Machu Picchu Sanctuary needs volunteers to help with conservation efforts, including archaeological restoration and Inca Trail repairs.

Volunteer trips are focused on helping Machu Picchu, while also providing rewarding and memorable experiences for volunteers. Working alongside park rangers to preserve this archeological treasure brings a terrific sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. REI is pleased to offer this exciting opportunity in partnership with Conservation Volunteers International Program.

Our adventure begins and ends in Cusco, Peru and includes most meals and all hotel lodging throughout.

Want to make the most of your stay in Peru? Check out our Lima, Paracas & Nazca Lines; Lake Titicaca; Northern Peru; Peruvian Amazon – Sandoval Lake Lodge; Peruvian Amazon – Heath River Wildlife Center and Peruvian Amazon – Tahuayo Lodge extensions.

Itinerary Summary

  • Route Variation - Please note – Specific work locations may vary with each volunteer expedition.
  • Day 1 - Begin in Cusco, historic capital of the Inca Empire, with a city tour.
  • Day 2 - Visit Sacsayhuaman, a masterpiece of Inca stoneworkers.
  • Day 3 - Visit Chinchero and take a scenic train ride to Machu Picchu Pueblo.
  • Days 4-8 - Perform archeological and trail restoration; guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Day 9 - Return to Cusco, stopping at the ruins of Ollantaytambo en route.
  • Day 10 - Depart Cusco for home or extend your stay in this marvelous country.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Route Variation - Please note – Specific work locations may vary with each volunteer expedition.

    Work locations may vary according to the needs of park rangers at the time the expedition takes place. Every Volunteer Trip departure is unique because, as volunteers successfully complete conservation and restoration activities, new activities or areas can be targeted on subsequent departures. Volunteer Trips offer the opportunity to experience the Park in a unique way not available to the average tourist. This trip is a good fit for adventurous travelers who are comfortable with a flexible itinerary and truly want to make a difference.

  • Day 1 - Begin in Cusco, historic capital of the Inca Empire, with a city tour.

    Our volunteer expedition begins in Cusco, the capital of the New World's "Roman Empire". We meet in our hotel in the early afternoon for an orientation session. Our centrally-located hotel is near the central Plaza de Armas. Here, churches dating from 1539 overlook the plaza. Nearby are the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, The Sun Temple, numerous art galleries, the central market and scores of craft stores. The afternoon will include a guided city tour including a visit to the Cathedral and to Qorikancha, and some time for self-guided exploration, shopping, and to further acclimatize to the 11,200' elevation. In the evening we will enjoy our welcome dinner together. Dinner and hotel included.

  • Day 2 - Visit Sacsayhuaman, a masterpiece of Inca stoneworkers.

    After a morning tour of the Machu Picchu Museum, we board a private bus to continue our orientation and training for our volunteer work. We spend the afternoon at 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. All meals included.

  • Day 3 - Visit Chinchero and take a scenic train ride to Machu Picchu Pueblo.

    On the way to Machu Picchu Pueblo, we visit Chinchero, a high Andean village known for its weavers and textile cooperatives. Here, we watch some of the local weavers demonstrating their skills before boarding the train to Machu Picchu Sanctuary and Machu Picchu Pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes). Rural Andean scenery fills our train window as we pass by ancient agricultural terraces and remote villages built along the Urubamba River. In the afternoon, we receive an orientation and safety instruction before beginning our volunteer work together with park rangers. All meals included.

  • Days 4-8 - Perform archeological and trail restoration; guided tour of Machu Picchu.

    For these five days, volunteers will start with breakfast at the hotel and then set out to begin our work. We expect to participate in a variety of tasks assigned to us by park rangers in the protected areas surrounding the Machu Picchu ruins. These tasks may include: restoration of archeological features by removing exotic or unwanted vegetation from along the trails or the stone walls of buildings and agricultural terraces, maintenance of Inca trails, restoration of areas impacted by visitor use or fire, planting trees, collecting native plant seeds to be used in restoration projects, or monitoring restoration study plots. On one of these days a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins will be provided, followed by time for volunteers to discover the ruins of Machu Picchu at their own pace. All meals included.

  • Day 9 - Return to Cusco, stopping at the ruins of Ollantaytambo en route.

    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. During our guided tour of Ollantaytambo, we will explore the buildings and temples considered by many to be the best preserved and finest examples of Inca stone craftsmanship after Machu Picchu. Upon our return to Cusco, we'll enjoy a farewell celebration dinner together, toasting newfound friends and our accomplishments during the past week. All meals included.

  • Day 10 - Depart Cusco for home or extend your stay in this marvelous country.

    The Machu Picchu Volunteer Expedition ends with breakfast this morning. Volunteers can transfer to the Cusco airport independently for homeward-bound flights (via Lima) or can opt to extend their stay in Peru. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10; hotel accommodations; guide leadership and support staff; group tools; all bus and train transportation as noted on the itinerary; all orientation and training excursions as noted on the itinerary; park entrance fees.

Not Included

International airfare to/from Cusco, Peru; lunch on Day 1; cost of medical immunizations; insurance of any kind (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for these expeditions and can usually be purchased for less than $75 through REI Adventures); excess baggage charges; airport taxes; alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Payment and Special Cancellation Policy

In order to ensure that hotel reservations and additional support services for our volunteer expeditions are confirmed well in advance of each departure, we do make non-refundable financial commitments to local service providers. By making these commitments, we are taking a step towards ensuring the highest level of customer service and organizational efficiency possible so that you can enjoy your travel experience to the fullest. In conjunction with these practices, your initial $400 deposit is completely non-refundable at time of sign up. All other standard cancellation/transfer fees will apply as noted in our booking guidelines. Please take note of this special policy when planning your trip and feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3], in a large part due to visiting areas located at 8,000-11,000' in elevation. Trip members may be novice volunteers in good physical condition. Volunteers should be comfortable hiking up to 2 miles each day on steep, uneven stairs or on mountainous terrain with some steep ascents and uneven trails. To assess your fitness, you should comfortably be able to hike stairs with a day pack weighing approximately 10-15 pounds or work in your yard all day moving plants, shoveling soil and pruning trees. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least three months prior to departure. No previous trail maintenance or restoration experience is required.

Accommodations

Our lodging in Cusco is at a centrally-located hotel in the city's historic district. Our lodging at Machu Picchu is centrally located in the village of Aguas Calientes just a short shuttle bus ride from the ruins of Machu Picchu. Hotel rooms feature private bathrooms, television and Internet access. Laundry services are available in both properties.

Food

On this expedition, meals are included beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10. Many travelers agree that Peruvian food is some of the best in the world. We have selected restaurant locations known for excellent fare and healthy foods. Meals are available with a variety of fresh meat and fish as well as vegetarian/vegan selections. Breakfasts at the hotels will all be served buffet-style and consist of eggs, cheese, toast, fresh fruit, cereal and safe beverages of fresh fruit juices and coffee/tea. Lunches will include both restaurant meals and box lunches on days we are working or traveling. In Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), we enjoy dinners selected from a menu each evening at a restaurant close to our hotel. During our nights in Cusco, we are scheduled to eat at some of the city's most popular authentic Peruvian restaurants.

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in and around Machu Picchu and Cusco generally range from 55-75° F with Andean evenings cooling down into the 40s and 50s. The itinerary takes place in the mountains where weather can change very quickly. Days are generally clear and pleasant, with clouds occasionally building up and leading to small amounts of precipitation. All day rain is unusual. Volunteers work every day except in unusually severe weather conditions. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear.

Mandatory Travel Insurance

Our host country requires that all volunteers have medical ($50,000) and emergency evacuation ($500,000) insurance valid in Peru. If you do not already have this coverage, reasonably priced (generally under $75 per volunteer) short-term travel insurance is readily available through REI Adventures.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation Gear List

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. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in and around Machu Picchu and Cusco generally range from 55-75° F with Andean evenings cooling down into the 40s and 50s. The itinerary takes place in the mountains where weather can change very quickly. Days are generally clear and pleasant, with clouds occasionally building up and leading to small amounts of precipitation. All day rain is unusual. Volunteers work every day except in unusually severe weather conditions. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good raingear.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
  • Proof of emergency medical and evacuation insurance
Luggage
  • Suitcase, duffle bag or backpack. Best to have two medium-sized pieces of luggage for more even weight distribution or for leaving extra personal items behind in Cusco.
  • Daypack (approx. 2,000-2,500 cu. in.) to carry your lunch, camera, water bottles, extra clothing
  • Luggage tags
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable, side-zip pants are highly recommended
Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and eveningwear during nights spent in hotels
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Synthetic fleece pants
  • Midweight thermal underwear tops and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants, lightweight, synthetic and loose-fitting
  • Hiking shorts, lightweight and synthetic
  • Long-sleeve shirt(s)
  • T-shirts, synthetic
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks, synthetic
  • Casual socks
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Wool or fleece gloves for warmth
  • Leather gloves for work, two pair
  • Safety goggles (or similar eye protection)
  • Kneepads
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for travel and eveningwear
Travel Accessories
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Flashlight and spare batteries/bulb or headlamp and spare batteries/bulb
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit with biodegradable soaps
  • Personal prescription medication
  • Small, non-breakable/reusable containers (e.g. Tupperware) to pack daily lunches in
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, film and spare batteries
  • Small binoculars
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Travel pillow
  • Whistle
  • Small thermos
  • Insect repellent
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Baby Wipes or hand sanitizer gel
  • Water purification tablets or filter
  • Rain cover or large plastic bag for your daypack
  • Earplugs
  • Reading and writing materials

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures can be relatively warm, but when the wind is constant you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind/raingear is very important.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresMachu Picchu Volunteer Vacation
 
5.0

(based on 13 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (13)
  • Exceeded expectations (12)
  • Group camaraderie (12)
  • Food (11)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (5), Avid adventurer (4), Casual/ recreational (4)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (10), Commitment to sustainability (9), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (9), I liked the itinerary (6), Active adventures (5)

      Reviewed by 13 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fabulous!

      By Tre

      from Wilmington, Delaware

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

          The REI trip exceeded my expectations.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I am interested in volunteer vacations. This was a beautiful spot, well organized, wonderful engaging group.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • I loved the amount of education we received along with the other places we visited. It's obvious that much care, thought and concern went into planning this trip
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Absolutely go! I tacked on a visit to Lima prior, then to Lake Titicaca. I then spent a week in Arequipa and did a wonderful hike in Colca Canyon. The Machu Picchu trip was a true delight.
           
          5.0

          Wonderful experience

          By Richard M

          from Sherman oaks, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

            Visits to Machu Picchu with guided commentary

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Commitment to Sustainability, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Wanted to see Machu Picchu and Andean culture and at the same time offer some meaningful accomplishments for the Peruvians and visitors
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • Machu Picchu with expert guidance and information from tour leaders and expertise from archaeologist and local tour guide
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • read reviews, ask questions, plan and prepare
             
            5.0

            Fantastic Trip

            By yelmtraveler

            from Yelm, Washington

            About Me First-Time Adventurer

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                We added a few days on the front end to get acclimated and that was a very good thing, coming as we did from sea level. During that time we toured the Sacred Valley with another guide (also booked through REI) and that allowed us to spend more time exploring and learning about the history there.

                The Conservation VIP trip was fantastic; really knowledgeable leaders and great people - I highly recommend their trips to anyone who wants to go a little deeper. The work was a lot of fun and made me feel connected in a way I probably wouldn't have otherwise.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • I've wanted to see Peru, especially Machu Picchu, since I was a kid. This trip was a great way to do that while being active, learning a lot, and contributing something to the country.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Geez, where do I start? Seeing the incredible remnants of Inca culture first hand, learning from knowledgeable leaders and guides, meeting lovely fellow travelers, not just observing but doing. Oh, and the food was amazing.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Do it - book through REI because the service is excellent, and go somewhere with Conservation Volunteers International because you will learn so much while doing something that makes a difference in the world. Plan to get to Cusco a few days early to get used to the altitude.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Machu Picchu In Depth

                By jwpotter

                from Louisville,Ky

                About Me Casual Adventurer, Senior

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                    Truly exceptional! The combination of extended time at the ruins and the leaders made you think about what went on there and how little we know.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I have always wanted to see Machu Picchu, and I enjoy service trips.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Machu Picchu obviously. But what was really exceptional was slowing down and spending five days at Machu Picchu Pueblo (the small town at the base of the mountain next to Machu Picchu) including two days at the actual site. I got immersed in MP in a way that no ordinary trip could provide. Also the leaders from ConservationVIP, as well as the local guide, were exceptional.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Spend a few extra days in Cusco either before or after the trip, but before gives you time to acclimate. There is a lot to see in Cusco, and if you go on the June trip, the city has festivals in June (Corpus Christi, Inti Raymi and the lead up to each) that enliven the town.
                     
                    5.0

                    Incas' stonework fitting getting to you

                    By purzelbaum

                    from Morton Grove, Illinois

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    See all my reviews

                    Site Member

                    Pros

                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Sense Of Awe
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                        I must say that John Hollinrake, Santiago Carrasco Bellota and Dr. Bill Sapp were not bored drone. They gave me an insight and an understanding of the surroundings. I enjoyed their company and their advice which can surprise and delight you. They also knew to leave you in peace.
                        Exercise an open mind !

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • To delve into the mysterious world of Incas and getting up close to the stonework to only begin to wonder at the technical skills and ecosystems.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Lecture given on Incas' Empire at Museo Casa Concha by a colleague of Dr. Bill Sapp. And of course volunteering at a UNESCO World Heritage site is always rewarding for giving time and energy as well as receiving it.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Train, arrive some day(s) earlier to acclimate and tour the Sacred Valley.

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Best Trip Ever

                        By MoteViolence

                        from Portland, OR

                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                        See all my reviews

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Quality Equipment Provided
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                            Every day on this trip brought new experiences and a chance to learn. John, Dr. Bill, and Santiago were so informative and interesting to listen to. I just wanted to suck up all of the knowledge they were giving us!

                            Seriously, everything was great on this trip. The amount of adventures and volunteering, the people we met along the way, the experiences....wow. I want to do this trip again because it may be different every time in what the volunteers need to do!!

                            Also, the food was the best ever. EVER. I am not picky at all and some of the restaurant food was fancier than other times, but it was all delicious. I don't care about fancy. I was happy with our little lunches we packed every morning at Machu Picchu Pueblo so that we could adventure all day!

                            I can't even think of anything negative about the trip. I'm serious. I had that good of a time.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I chose this trip because I am a gal who likes to think about others. The fact that I could both be a tourist AND help take care of such an important location was a win-win situation.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Seriously, what WASN'T a highlight of my trip? This was one of the best things I have ever done in my life ever. EVER. I had so much fun it was ridiculous. Meeting everyone in our group and having it be such a great group was just amazing. I truly think that our group was the best part of my trip because I got to hang out with nine people that were so interesting and funny and great for ten days!
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Keep an open mind! Just as in all steps of life there are bound to be unscheduled, surprising moments. This is when true adventure begins!

                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Must-do trip, did not want it to end!

                            By cateyesrsk

                            from Robbinsville, NJ

                            About Me First-Time Adventurer

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                                This trip was for me an experience of a lifetime and FAR EXCEEDED my expectations. This being my first time I went not knowing what to expect and came back with memories that I will cherish forever. The guides Rich, John, Santiago and Dr. Bill went out of their way to make sure we were safe and comfortable. It was well organized. We were briefed on the next days activities the previous night and that was very useful. For me there was nothing about the trip that was not great!!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • I have dreamed of going to MachuPicchu ever since I saw a documentary on NG channel 20 years ago....and when the opportunity arose to not only visit there but also give back to one of the most wonderful places on earth, I could not pass it up!!
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • What can I say, every single moment was a highlight. Volunteering and doing my small part in conserving this World heritage site was very rewarding. The hike up to the top of Waynapicchu and the Inca trail hike from Km 104 to the Sun Gate were my personal best achievements. It pushed me to my limits and was well worth the effort!
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Train well if you have not hiked before. Make sure you buy all the equipment they have listed. One thing I would do different the next time is to carry a smaller capacity daypack than was mentioned in the gear list for the hikes. Keep an open mind and you will not be disappointed.
                                 
                                5.0

                                Wonderful in every way.

                                By For the Birds Babs

                                from Santa Barbara, CA

                                About Me First-Time Adventurer

                                Pros

                                • Accommodations
                                • Activity Level
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Learn A Lot
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Sense of accomplishment
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                                    The leaders are experts in their fields and are also enthusiastic, personable, and organized. We learned a lot about the people, customs, history and natural history of Peru. The days often began very early and ended late, crammed with experiences. The members of the group were a great bunch---I loved every minute!

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Recommended by a Friend
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • The opportunity to volunteer at a World Heritage sight, the itinerary, the location.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • I learned so much! It was so much fun to work together to make a visible difference in magical places. We got to work with local people. We went on unforgetable hikes. Peru is so beautiful, and the people are so lovely.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Consider arriving a day early so you have more time to adjust to the altitude, and staying a day later so you have a little more time to explore Cusco.

                                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Not just a tourist on this trip

                                    By Viajera

                                    from Denver, CO

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                                    Pros

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Connecting w environment
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Interaction with locals
                                    • Learning new things
                                    • Sense of accomplishment

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                                        A great travel experience in an incredible location - PLUS the opportunity to work w/local people, take care of the environment & learn new skills (e. g., trail bldg/maintenance, Spanish), all in the beautiful outdoors. You're not just a tourist. You're a voluntario(a)!

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • Because it included a volunteer work component in a terrific location that I'd wanted to visit for a long time.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • 1.Climbing into local people's backyards on the hillside in Aguas Calientes to clean & paint "itos" (stone markers showing the borders of Machu Picchu Nat'l Pk). 2. Hiking the last 11 incredible km of the Inca Trail through the Sun Gate into the Sacred City.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • Do some exercise, try to get in better shape & catch up on your sleep b/f the trip. It's not really strenuous, but the altitude makes it harder & makes you more tired than normal.

                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        AMAZING!

                                        By flagler girl

                                        from Michigan

                                        About Me First-Time Adventurer

                                        Site Member

                                        Pros

                                        • Activity Level
                                        • Exceeded Expectations
                                        • Food
                                        • Group Camaraderie
                                        • Guides
                                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                        • Quality Equipment Provided

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation:

                                            The guides are amazing and the people were fantastic! I would recommend this trip to anyone!

                                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary

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