Peru Service and Philanthropic Extensions

Over the years, Adventure Life's travelers have supported the ecological and cultural conservation programs with the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, the Mantay Shelter and Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, and the original Helping Hands (providing donations to the San Vicente de Paul Orphanage in Ecuador). Travelers want to give back to the communities and regions that they visit, and the enthusiasm and generosity to donate materials and funds for these organizations is a great way to say "Thank you for your hospitality and for giving me such great memories of my trip."

Based on our travelers' feedback and interests, Adventure Life would like to provide an opportunity for our guests to Peru to give their time and energy in the spirit of travel philanthropy, volunteerism (a new catch-word is "voluntourism"), and most importantly, cross-cultural exchange. We have collaborated with our guides, affiliates, and most importantly, the families and local associations in the village of Cachiccata to carefully choose projects that address the community's needs. Cachiccata is a small Andean community with no more than fifty families. Its economy is primarily based on agriculture and ranching with projects to promote tourism with its location on the alternative "Inca Trail Less Traveled" (see Cachiccata Trek for details).

Below are our traveler-inspired service activities that will allow you to work alongside local families and our guides to benefit a village that has been hospitable to Adventure Life's travelers over the years. These activities are perfect extensions for any of our Adventure Life trips in the Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu region and can be arranged at the beginning or end of any itinerary.

Ten percent of all of the service extension tour costs goes toward a fund administered by Adventure Life to ensure sustainability and promote long-term growth for these projects and provide necessary funds for new initiatives in the Cachiccata community. We recognize that economic and environmental change takes time and commitment, and more than anything, these extensions provide a cross-cultural experience for our travelers to interact with and work alongside local families. It is a learning opportunity for both the host community and the guest, and we hope our travelers return home with a renewed volunteer spirit.

Native Tree Planting

Full day trip (approx. 7 hours)

Deforestation is a significant problem in the Andes due to commercial logging, clear-cutting for agricultural use, as well as household uses of wood for cooking and home-building. We are now working on a reforestation project that involves tourist participation as part of the " Plant for the Planet" program of the United Nations Environment Program (Click here for information on Plant for the Planet). Transfer to Cachiccata with your guide and meet a representative of the community who will take you to the project site where you will help plant new, native Queuna, Tara, Aliso, and Huaranguay trees, water existing trees, and providing other maintenance at the project facility. Travelers, alongside community members and the guide, will improve the irrigation system, construct fencing for the site and the water storage pool, and develop a windmill water pump. You will learn about the history of the project, its sustainability due to the inclusion of the local youth association, and get your hands dirty. The trip will include a tour of the community and lunch at a local restaurant in Cachiccata that is located near the project site. In the evening, transfer back to your hotel in Ollantaytambo.

Includes: Roundtrip transfers from Ollantaytambo, bilingual English-speaking guide, lunch
Estimated local donation: $50 total for project supplies and $40 per person for trees

US$185 /person: 2 travelers or more
US$325 /person: 1 traveler

Healthy Breakfast

Half day trip (approx. 4 hours)

Breakfast is normally the first meal of the day, but it is vital for students at the Cachiccata school as many of them have to walk for over an hour to get to school. This is often after they have had to help their parents feed the animals and look after their younger siblings. A nourishing, well-balanced breakfast is so important for everyone, especially for these children for energy and focus during a full day of school. This morning you are picked up from your hotel and visit the Ollantaytambo market with your guide. Here you will purchase ingredients for a well-balanced breakfast: Fruits, oatmeal, sugar, milk, cheese, bread, and eggs. The estimated cost is $50 total for the whole breakfast and is purchased locally by the guests. Transfer to the Cachiccata School where you are met by the staff and begin preparing breakfast. The teachers will gather the appreciative students, and together you will serve the students. Take some time and relish in the smiles, laughter, and youthful energy!

There is the option to bring school supplies at this time. Our guests have enjoyed shopping for items in Ollantaytambo or purchasing packaged school kits (3 pencils, 2 writing books, set of crayons, and pencil sharpener; $200 for 30 kits) and bringing them to the school . This helps the economy by buying locally. Alternatively, travelers enjoy involving friends and family and bring donated supplies from home. Please contact us prior to the trip to let us know your preference to coordinate the details in advance.

Roundtrip transfers from Ollantaytambo, bilingual English-speaking guide, box lunch
Estimated local donation: $50 total for breakfast supplies (add approximately $200 if providing school supplies)

US$185 /person: 2 travelers or more
US$325 /person: 1 traveler

Door-to-Door Hygiene

Full day trip (approx. 7 hours)

The families in Cachiccata are rich in love and culture, but they are poor economically. For many households, hygiene items are a true luxury. This morning, transfer to Cachiccata with your guide and meet a community leader who will help us today. Hygiene kits are purchased in advance in Ollantaytambo and assembled to include 5 toothbrushes, 2 tubes of toothpaste, soaps and bottles of shampoo ($10 per kit). Visit various homes, meeting the families, and providing them with their kits. On average a group of two travelers can deliver 12-15 kits; 4 travelers deliver 20 kits. Please note that some hiking will be involved as some of the most distant and needy families live as far as 30 minutes from the village center.

Includes: Roundtrip transfers from Ollantaytambo, bilingual English-speaking guide, box lunch, hygiene kits *

US$185 /person: 2 travelers or more *
US$325 /person: 1 traveler *

* Please add $10 per hygiene kit to be distributed to each family. On average a group of two travelers can deliver 30 kits during the day. Payment for kits is done locally.