1. Variety and Diversity of Volunteer Projects Peru is home to hundreds of amazing and inspirational non-profit organizations in
countless fields and locations throughout the country. These organizations are as
varied and unique as the people and culture of this country.
Organizations include those that use surf camps to reach children and community
development, child-led reforestation, community recycling projects, eco-lodge and
biodiversity projects, hospitals in the most remote of areas, and much more.
This wide selection of social projects offers a wealth of opportunities for
volunteers, as well as future employment and internship opportunities. Be inspired
and inspire others.
2. Peruvian food
Food in Peru is a knock-the-socks-off-your-taste-buds treat. It is among the most
diverse in the world, with over 491 dishes, combining the culinary influences of Spain,
China, Italy, Africa, and Japan with traditional recipes and ingredients. Food in each
region drastically varies and features plates like fresh seafood ceviche, lomo saltado
(steak stir fry), rocoto relleno (stuffed peppers), stewed alpaca, and many more. There
is something to satisfy every single taste bud and best of all you don´t need a lot of
cash to eat like a king. But don’t just take our word for it, try it yourself!
3. Machu Picchu
The majesty and mystery of the Incan Empire wrapped around a beautiful Andean mountaintop,
Machu Picchu deserves its reputation as a top destination for travelers around the world.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2007 was named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Take the train through the Sacred Valley or trace the footsteps of the ancient past on the
Inca Trail to reach the beauty and wonder at this historical site.
4. Beach and surf
Peru is loaded with amazing beach and surf along its vast coast, from just south of Lima to
the northern border with Ecuador. These beaches cater to every taste and lifestyle, offering
world-class resorts, nautical clubs, backpacker hang-outs, entertainment, and countless fresh
seafood delicacies. Surfers can find world-class waves along these beaches, featuring the town
of Chicama with the world’s longest left-hand wave and the sleepy surf town and international
surf-destination of Lobitos. Peru boasts several surf champions, including Peruvian Sofia
Mulánovich - the female world champ in 2004 - and is home every year to world surf competitions
such as the recent 2010 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games (of which Peru won the Team Gold).
So relax on the sand with a pisco sour (see #7) or grab a board and enjoy the
blazing sun and crashing waves of Peru’s coast.
5. The Amazon
More than 60% of Peru is covered by the Amazon Rainforest, an area of jungle bested in
size only by Brazil. This region is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth,
with new species frequently being discovered. Peru’s jungle, la selva, offers a variety
of exotic plants and animals, regional delicacies like cecina con tacacho (mashed plantain
with smoked pork) and the tantalizing suri (grilled or live large worms), and indigenous
communities that continue traditional hunting and shamanic rituals, often in voluntary
isolation. This region is a gateway to new cultures, perspectives, and worlds.
6. Learn Spanish
Volunteering is a great opportunity to learn or develop Spanish skills while helping out
a worthy cause. Whether you’re anywhere from a novice to an expert, volunteering thrusts
you into the heart of the language and culture forcing you to absorb. Volunteers often
work closely with locals who do not speak English, allowing you to practice more and learn
at a quicker pace. Remember, the best way to learn or master a new language is through immersion.
7. Pisco sours
The pisco sour, Peru’s national drink, is a tangy yet sweet drink topped with a light froth. It consists of Pisco
(a liquor from grapes), lime, sugar, and egg whites (for the foam). This drink is a popular treat for all - locals and
visitors - and a must try. Be sure to try variations with maracuya (passion fruit), strawberry, mango, and other local
fruits. Remember that one is not enough and three is too many!
8. Countless travel opportunities
Peru holds treasures to visit and admire for all of its visitors around every corner. These range from relaxing
get-aways, luxury tours, mountain treks, jungle excursions and countless adventure sports. Float across the famous
Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake and home of the floating inhabited islands; traverse the area of
Huaraz and the ominous glacier peaked Cordillera Blanca Mountains and Huascaran National Park; hike the Colca and
Cotahuasi Canyons, the world’s deepest canyons lined by local communities and natural treasures; explore the sand dunes
of Huacachina, a small oasis town and home of Peru’s sand boarding and local wineries; visit the Sacred Valley,
with the archaeological treasures of the Incan Civilization and white-water rafting throughout this beautiful valley;
and much more. The toughest time you will have is picking which trips to take.
9. Local perspective
Volunteering is a unique experience: it opens the door to people, cultures, sights, and services that you would not
normally see, or know exist, as a tourist. Volunteering throws individuals into worlds and lives, providing a local’s
perspectives. It places you inside a village sharing meals with local families, washing clothes while laughing with
grandmother, dancing to traditional beats during a local festival, visiting hidden waterfalls, and watching local
bullfights. This is one of the best ways to see how people really live.
10. Peru is affordable
Peru is a country that is easy to visit and live on practically any budget. Peru can accommodate any traveler and
offers a variety of comforts for affordable prices. In the cities, one can find hotels for as little as $5 to as much
as $600 a night. Volunteers can live comfortably without putting a strain on their wallets as everyday living is
significantly cheaper than most places in the US and Europe. 11. Experience a changing Peru
This country is on an upward shift, and it can be felt everywhere within the country. Peru has a resurgent national
pride spurred by its economic growth, world-recognition in culinary achievement, a boom in tourism, and pulling
itself out of years of violence and instability. Culture, art, and music are flourishing. More and more Peru is
becoming a world player, being noticed globally, and appearing in the news (all in the best possible ways). Peru is
a hot place to be.
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