Amazon Conservation

Peru

The Amazon Conservation project is based in the heart of jungle and researches the ecosystem to help conserve the rainforest through sustainable community projects.

The rainforest is under threat from deforestation so volunteers can support the scientific research team to collect data on the tropical ecology to help protect the environment. The team collect data on mammals, birds, amphibians and insects on treks and boat rides from the centre which is a great opportunity for unique wildlife watching.

Live at a research centre where there is an abundance of local wildlife which includes sloths, endangered blue-headed macaws and monkeys.

Join the Amazon Conservation team and help save the rainforest.

Apply

Key Info

key info
  • Location: South Eastern Peru
  • Start dates: Throughout the year - see role section
  • Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (groups also welcome)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £1495 / €1750 / $1915 - see fees table below *Special £150 discount for Nov & Dec 2017 start dates*

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

The goal of the Amazon Conservation project is to help protect the Amazon rainforest through research and community work in the Manu region. The volunteer role changes day to day and will be a combination of some of the following projects depending on what is required at the time:

  • Documenting rare blue-headed macaws by the river bank
  • Capturing footage of mammals, which may include jaguars, tapirs or peccary through camera traps
  • Monitoring bird species through mist netting
  • Surveying amphibians and reptiles on transect surveys, pitfall surveys, leaf litter plots and bamboo traps
  • Butterfly data
  • Collecting data for the Forest Regeneration Project via canopy photos and leaf litter traps
  • Researching specific bio indicators
  • Supporting the community by building new sustainable bio-gardens, agroforestry and capacity building

All the data which is collected needs to be collated and inputted into the project’s database. Volunteers help to maintain the equipment, make survey apparatus and are scheduled onto data entry sessions.

If you would like more information on what’s involved in each of these roles read our amazon research blog here: www.podvolunteer.org/blog/rainforest-research-in-the-amazon

Working days and hours

Volunteers work 6 days per week for an average of 6 hours per day. Volunteers should expect a mix of early mornings and late days according to what surveys they are assisting with. Generally birding surveys start early around 5am whereas surveys for amphibians and reptiles may not finish until 10.30pm, but volunteers are not expected to do a late finish followed by an early morning. You can spend your free time relaxing around the research centre.

Other volunteers

There are normally 4-12 volunteers with a maximum of 20 and around 10 full time local staff and scientists.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award, including a minimum number of other participants.

Multimedia Intern

The team are currently also looking for volunteers to join a 12 week multimedia internship, a special opportunity to produce a portfolio of published multimedia work whilst working alongside the conservation research project. Interns will be supported by the team through media workshops and field training. If you would like more details about this internship please email [email protected]

Volunteer reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Peru Amazon Conservation reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

Volunteers make a direct contribution to helping preserve the Amazon rainforest in Peru through supporting the conservation research and sustainable community development projects.

Volunteers assist in collecting data on the flora and fauna in the rainforest which is very time consuming so additional resources are essential. With the assistance of volunteers helping to collect additional specific data, the senior scientific team has been able to publish their findings in scientific publications.

The volunteer team has helped turn 17 hectares of abandoned land into agroforestry plots leading to an increase in biodiversity, planted over 19,000 trees and created the first project in Peru to commercialise carbon credits on behalf of a local community.

“Volunteers are absolutely vital in helping us to achieve our project objectives, and without your help we simply would not be able to achieve the goals we set ourselves. We know about the challenges and solutions facing the Amazon, and volunteers are vital in helping us to make our dream a reality; a sustainable Amazon for everyone.”
Alex, Project Manager

Start dates

2017: 16 Oct, 13 Nov, 11 Dec

2018: 8 Jan, 5 Feb, 5 Mar, 2 Apr, 30 Apr, 28 May, 25 Jun, 12 Jul, 23 Jul, 9 Aug, 20 Aug, 17 Sep, 15 Oct, 12 Nov, 10 Dec

Location, free time and accommodation

Peru

Peru is famous for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, however there is so much more to this truly diverse South American country from the snow-capped Andes Mountains to giant sand dunes in Huacachina.

Popular things to do in Peru include:

  • Hiking the Colca Canyon or Sacred Valley
  • Exploring the colonial cities of Lima and Cusco
  • Reconnecting with nature in the Amazon rainforest

To find out more see: Lonely Planet Peru

Local area and free time

The research centre is based at the furthest tip of the Upper Amazon River in a remote region, which is the largest tropical rainforest biosphere reserve on earth. This project is a real immersion into remoteness and the Amazon, it is a 45 minute boat ride and walk to the nearest jungle town!

Many volunteers choose to spend their free time relaxing in the hammock area which is perfect for watching the sunset and enjoying the view over the rainforest. You can go in small groups to the wetlands area which has a hide and is a great, quiet place for spotting birdlife and wildlife. Small groups can also visit the river lookout area, which has a bench and covered area overlooking the river and low level jungle below.

At the centre you can play board games in the communal lounge or relax and read books (there is a book swap). There is also a football match most Sundays between the staff and volunteers and any ball games are popular. We would recommend bringing books and cards for the evenings.

Accommodation

You will be based at the research centre which is within one of the world’s most biodiverse hotspots, the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Volunteers live at a verified Rainforest Alliance research centre.

Volunteers share open-air rooms with views into the rainforest, there are generally two volunteers per room and shared bathrooms. There is limited solar powered internet connection.

Read volunteer reviews from the Amazon Conservation project

Brooklyn

“It was an experience I’ll never forget. I got to be involved in pitfall, butterfly, bat, avian point counts, leaf litter, and clay lick surveys. On a typical day we would go out on one to two surveys, and in the evenings there were often presentations from the researchers. The team at the centre is awesome. Everyone is passionate about conservation and has interesting stories to tell. When you’re not busy working or learning, it’s great to sit back and talk to people.

I had such an incredible time, and can’t say enough good things about the project. Most rewarding was knowing that I was helping to collect data that would hopefully have a positive impact on Amazon conservation. It was amazing to be in the jungle and see so much life everywhere. There’s nothing like eating your lunch by a stream while the butterflies flutter around!”

Cat

“I always thought the Amazon sounded like such an amazing place, eventually I decided to just go for it and I’m so glad I did. The whole experience was fantastic, definitely challenging, but ultimately it was so rewarding, seeing such amazing scenery and wildlife, feeling like you were really helping to make a difference, the rota was pretty full on but I’m grateful for that as I got to be part of so many different projects.

The staff and interns were all so friendly and helpful, I felt they pushed you to do the best you could and overcome anything you found challenging but at the same time would help you if you were really struggling. The other volunteers were brilliant. The Centre is a really gorgeous place, listening to the Ora Pendula every day was so cool as they sound nothing like anything we have back in the UK, and I loved watching the humming birds and lizards around camp.”

Hayley

“This was a truly fantastic experience and would recommend it to anyone. It’s hard work but what you put in you really get out of it and the learning experience is one that will most definitely stay with me. Every day was a new project and a new experience. At the end of the day, dinner would be served and you’d relax, talk or play games! That is unless you were set on a night project where you’d be off into the jungle again to survey the night creatures!

Every aspect of this project is rewarding. It really tests your limits but understanding the delicate balance of the world we live in was probably the most rewarding thing. This project gives you a great appreciation of our impact on the world and by being at the centre you feel like you’re giving something back, even if you’re only there for two weeks.”

Jack

“An amazing experience that left me yearning to come back for a longer stay! The amazon is unlike anywhere else and packed full of wildlife. The lodge is a wonderful place with great accommodation and food and you will meet some awesome people there. The surveys are very worthwhile with many discoveries being made all the time so it feels like you are involved in something rather important.

Most rewarding was being with so many inspiring people and surrounded by nature, living so close to it and with so few creature comforts. Don’t hesitate and just do it!”

Read more reviews

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Gemma is your dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • In-depth volunteering and planning your trip guides
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Conservation volunteering placement
  • Airport pick up (Cusco) and return transfers
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Cusco on arrival and 1 night in Cusco on departure
  • A mountain road trip through the Andes into the rainforest
  • An overnight stay in the cloud forest and visit a cocoa plantation
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Food - all main meals at the research centre
  • Induction and training
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance and food in Cusco. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
2 weeks (15 nights) £1495 GB Pounds
4 weeks (32 nights) £1995 GB Pounds
6 weeks (43 nights) £2595 GB Pounds
8 weeks (60 nights) £3395 GB Pounds
10 weeks (71 nights) £4095 GB Pounds
12 weeks (88 nights) £4795 GB Pounds
Apply

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

* SPECIAL OFFER £150 discount when joining the project in November or December 2017 *

30%

increase in family income through biogarden community scheme

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Gemma

Pod UK Specialist

Gemma has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Peru Amazon Conservation volunteer - Eleanor

    "From setting up butterfly traps, clearing the wetlands, to chasing woolly monkeys. I got to learn about everything out there from the mammals; tapirs, jaguars and armidillos, to the reptiles and amphibians, including all the species of poison dart frogs."

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Peru Amazon Conservation volunteer - Hannah

    "The Amazon conservation project was my first experience of travelling alone. It's going to be a tough one to follow! I have learned so much more than I expected. It feels like I've actually contributed towards something great."

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Peru Amazon Conservation volunteer - Lewis

    "I found my time volunteering to be a truly valuable and rewarding. From it I have gained new various cultural insights and interests, as well as a knowledge of Amazonian ecology and species."

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal