Customizable Service Expeditions - Bringing empowerment to Rural Peruvian Villages
Service Expeditions > Ascend Customizable Service Expedition 5d/4n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Duration: Customizable, but typically 5d/4n for the Service Portion

  • Service projects in the areas of education, simple technology, health and microenterprise
  • Rural homestays in impoverished, yet culturally rich Andean villages
  • Unmatched intercultural exchange with Peru's indigenous peoples
  • Group airfare arrangements
  • All transportation/transfers
  • Bilingual Program Coordinators
  • All meals and water during project days
  • Rural lodging accommodations
  • Expedition Briefing Manual
  • Preparation Meetings
  • Project materials
  • Much more!
Not Included:
  • Optional cultural tours (2-day Machu Picchu visit is the most popular)
  • Meals during non-project days
Packing List:
  • Backpack
  • Five or six changes of clothes and warm clothing
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hiking or sports shoes
  • Work clothes that you aren't afraid to get dirty!
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper (for emergencies)
  • Snacks: Candy or energy bars
  • Water bottle
  • Cash in Peruvian Soles or $US
  • Original passport
  • Walking stick or poles (Suggested)
  • More... (More detailed packing list is included in the Expedition Briefing Manual)
Possible Extensions/Upgrades:
  • Lodging upgrades are available for those not wanting to stay in rural homestays
Available Discounts:
  • Discounts are available for groups who fundraise their humanitarian project costs apart from normal expedition fees

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Travel Resources

Customizable Service Expedition 5d/4n

At Ascend Travel, we offer customizable service expeditions based on our project solution areas and our current projects. Expeditions are typically 5 days in length and start on Monday and end on Friday or Saturday. Anyone over the age of 10 can participate and past participants have included individuals, families, couples, organizations and companies. In-country staff will work alongside trip leaders to plan and carry out all transportation, food, lodging and humanitarian activities - so all of the organization is taken care of! We are always looking for trip leaders to help with expedition leadership and recruitment - and a trip leader can fundraise for their own trip!

The typical service expedition costs between $1200 and $1800 (excluding airfare and touring) depending on the length of the trip and the cost of the humanitarian project. Let us know what type of project you would like to participate in! Also, check out a few of the available service options in the tour browser menu if you are interested in organizing a personal service trip with between 2 and 10 people.

Sample Itinerary

Day 0
Arrival in Cusco

Sunday’s main focus will be acclimating to the altitude and getting to know a little bit about Cuzco.  After pickup at the airport, the group will be shuttled to the beautiful Rumi Punku hotel where they will drop off their luggage.  Breakfast will be provided at the nearby Yajúú breakfast bar, and then expedition members will head back to the hotel for check-in and naptime (to compensate for the overnight in the Lima airport).  At 1:00 PM, the group will meet up for lunch, and then head out for the City Tour where we will get to know the main plaza, the cathedrals, and the artisan goods market.  After the market, the group will proceed to the Qoricancha Palace and take a guided tour.  At 6:00 PM, we will have a group dinner in the plaza, and then we will head back to the hotel for an early bedtime.

Day 1
Community Reception and Reforestation

Today, expedition members will wake up at 7:00 AM and eat breakfast at the hotel Rumi Punku.  At 8:00 AM, Ascend staff will arrive with tourist vans to begin loading for the trip to Amaru in the Sacred Valley.  Amaru is located above the famous archeological site of Pisaq, and during the 1 hour 45 minute journey to Amaru, expedition members will appreciate amazing views of the Sacred Valley, Incan archaeological ruins, and breathtaking green scenery.  At 10:00 AM, we will arrive in at the Soccer Field in Amaru for an amazing community reception with the Primary school and the families in the rural tourism association.  After this, we will check-in with the rural tourism families and expedition members will get to know their host family.  At 12:30 PM we will meet up at the central cafeteria where we will enjoy our first authentic meal in the community.  After lunch, we will do a teambuilding activity with our group and members of the community to “break the ice.”  Later, we will take a short hike to the area where we will be reforesting 300 native trees (6 different types with various uses and benefits).   At night, we will join up in the main cafeteria once again and talk about our day and enjoy more local food prepared by local people with native ingredients.

Day 2
School Visit and Latrine Construction

Expedition Members will wake up at 7:00 AM and be to breakfast by 7:45 AM.  At 8:30 AM, projects will begin.  The first activity is a visit to the local primary school (Approximately 125 students, ages 5 through 12) where we will spend the morning with the students teaching and playing.  One group will teach English, another will do arts and crafts activities, and another will teach about health and hygiene with Ascend’s amazing puppet collection.  At noon, we will take a break to play games with the children during their recess.  At 12:30, we will break for lunch at the upper cafeteria and at 1:30 PM we will split up into 4 groups that will each be in charge of constructing 1 eco-latrine for poor families that currently have only outhouses.  The eco-latrines allow for environmental protection, and water conservation.  Each eco-latrine will include a urinal, a waterless toilet, a shower, and a sink.  The first day of construction will be dedicated to chopping wood for the roof, hauling adobe bricks, laying the first layer of brick, digging latrine pits, and laying cement foundations (Each latrine will be in various stages of completion before arrival from starting from scratch on two, and starting from the pit dug, and foundation laid on the other 2).  At 5:00 PM, we will finish for the day and let people get cleaned up at their room before dinner at 6:00 PM.   Be sure to check out the amazing views of the stars at night!

Day 3
Latrines, Soccer and CHORES

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner schedules will be repeated over the next two days. At 8:30 AM, we will head to our 4 latrines and we will spend four hours continuing the construction.  At 1:30 PM, we will start our “Community Soccer Tournament,” in which the winner gets bragging rights and chocolate! Teams will be chosen with both expedition members and community members (and even the women play in their long skirts and braids!).  At 3:30, after crowning the champions, we will have the opportunity to chose between cooking lessons, weaving lessons or doing chores with our family (these can be harvesting grains, making mud bricks, working the land, or chopping wood – Fun!).

Day 4
Eco-Latrines and Nature Hike

At 8:30 we will once again head to our latrines for a four-hour work session, which will conclude our work on the eco-latrines.  After breaking for lunch, expedition members will have the choice of taking a hike to the nearby lake (hike is moderate difficulty).  Along the way, you will see llamas, fields, cemeteries, and beautiful views of the communities below; culminated by the arrival at the breathtaking lagoon above the community.  For those not in the mood for hiking, activities such as teaching typing, teaching English, and playing games with children in the community at the Primary school will be organized.  During dinner, a slideshow will be presented using Ascend’s projector in which the best photos taken over the week will be displayed for the community and the expedition group to appreciate.  This will be our last night in the community!

Day 5
Health Fair and Farewell

At 9:00 AM, we will conduct our health fair at the local school, in which community members and primary school students will teach the locals about disease prevention, the importance of good hygiene, dental hygiene, protection against the sun, and more.  Health kits and skincare kits will be distributed to those who participate.  After lunch, we will proceed to the central cafeteria where we will load up the vans and participate in a farewell ceremony with the community.  Over these 5 days, expeditioners will develop incredible friendships with the community members, you will not want to leave!  From the community, we will take a stop in the famous Pisaq market for one hour of shopping and a demonstration on Andean jewelry making.  After Pisaq, we will take an 1-½ bus ride to Ollantaytambo, a small town with amazing ruins that also serves as the embarkation point for the train that takes tourists to Machu Picchu.  We will enjoy a nice dinner at the Hotel Munay Tika (modest, but comfortable and clean accommodations), and go to bed early to catch the first train to Machu Picchu the next morning!


Accommodations are provided in 2-star hotels in the City of Cusco and rural tourism in the village of Amaru. Accommodations are not luxiours, however they are clean, comfortable and hot showers are provided.







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