Amazon Conservation Project Peru

Volunteer in Peru and have a lasting impact on Amazon conservation efforts, in the Manu National park – one of the most diverse environments on earth.

From £1,395.00

  • Up to 12 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 15 - 88 Nights
  • Monkeys
  • Set dates - enquire for details
  • Minimum Age 18

Project Details

Activities

All volunteers on this project are required to complete a training programme prior to commencing project work. This consists of presentations, field work, educational forest walks, species recognition tasks and a first-aid course. Project work comes in the form of a few different, smaller initiatives, which alter depending on the time of year and needs of certain species. Some examples of these can be seen below.

Amphibians and reptile monitoring in different stages of forest regeneration
Amphibians and reptile monitoring in different stages of forest regeneration
Amphibians are excellent indicator species as they are extremely vulnerable to changes in their environment. They have very thin skin used for gas exchange which makes them very sensitive to chemical pollutants and also to changes in climate (e.g. temperature and humidity). Amphibians are incredibly vulnerable and are threatened by human activity the world over. Studying the way they use regenerating forest is useful for assessing its conservation value. Reptiles are greatly understudied, so we are keen to contribute as much as we can towards the understanding of these animals. Our herpetological surveys include visual encounter surveys where small groups of volunteers walk along a 100m trail at night looking for amphibians and reptiles. Another survey we conduct is pitfall trapping where four buckets are dug into the ground, separated by a plastic wall. We bring the animals back to the centre to be identified, weighed and measured before being returned to the habitat they were found in the next day.<br />
Avian monitoring
Avian monitoring
The field site location is one of the best places for bird watching in the world. As bird species composition and diversity can signify many different things about the forest, such as forest type, structure, age, health, and level and type of human impact you will conduct early morning transects along the reserve to listen and look for birds. This is important as not only is the ecology of many of these tropical foothill species poorly known, but the true value of regenerating forest for birds is understudied.
Mammal monitoring in different stages of forest regeneration
Mammal monitoring in different stages of forest regeneration
In order to understand the importance of regenerating rainforest for mammal species, the project has used a series of camera traps set up around the reserve to capture images of mammals in all three forest types. So far more than 40 large mammal species have been recorded at the project site, including 13 individual jaguar. Due to the elusive nature of many mammal species, the rest of the research is more ad-hoc. You may find yourself unexpectedly tracking puma prints for half an hour, or trying to frantically count the number of peccaries that just crossed your path. These encounters are vital to the understanding of the way mammals use regenerating forest. We have made some fascinating discoveries whilst researching amphibians and reptiles and our efforts since 2013 have already found some species we believe may be new to science.
Forest Regeneration Project
Forest Regeneration Project
The history of the MLC reserve makes it a natural research lab for investigating the effects of different land uses on regenerating forest. There are three parts to our forest regeneration project: leaf litter collection where fallen organic matter is sorted, dried and weighed, tree phenology and canopy photos. This is part of an ongoing project in partnership with Oxford University. Monitoring changes in the biomass levels within the MLC will allow us to gather information about the regeneration rate of the forest and determine whether the reserves of carbon in the forest are changing. This is an extremely important aspect of the project that you will be involved in and contributes to global research regarding forest regeneration.
Biogardens
Biogardens
The project works specifically with local mothers to combat malnutrition, by providing resources and knowledge to build biogardens that produce nutritious, fresh food for families, and extra income through surplus crops. So far volunteers and local mothers have created over 50 family biogardens, and have helped build six institutional biogardens. These activities have resulted in an annual increase in income of 35.28% since 2009 for the direct beneficiaries of biogardens, and an increase in child nutrition and health. There is also a biogarden at the Manu Learning Centre (MLC). Here we run a research project to obtain data about the optimal conditions for planting and of the economic impact of local community-owned biogardens.
Reforestation
Reforestation
Help to create, plant, monitor and map reforestation plots. Volunteers have helped turn 17 hectares of degraded land into agroforestry plots which has enabled the planting of 10,000 plantains and 3,000 trees which has created the first program in Peru to ever commercialize carbon credits on behalf of a local community.

Itinerary

Please note itineraries are subject to change and the below is simply a rough guideline. This itinerary is based on a stay of four weeks. If you are staying for less than four weeks, the training period will not be as long and the volunteer work not as involved. If you are joining the project for longer than 4 weeks, the period of project work will be longer.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
Arrive at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Cusco and transfer to temporary accommodation at a hostel in Cusco. You will spend the day acclimatising to the altitude and can explore the city. In the early evening there is a briefing where you will meet your fellow volunteers and learn more about the project itself.
Day 2 - Explore Cusco:
After a brief registration in the morning you will be able to explore Cusco and experience Andean culture. Today is also a great opportunity to ensure you have everything you need for the project and if not pick it up in Cusco. In the evening you will be back at the hotel for a good night's sleep before travelling into the jungle the following morning.
Day 3 - Transfer to the Cloud Forest Lodge:
Today you will begin your trip to the Manu Biosphere over the Andes, through the cloud forest and into lowland Amazon. Upon arrival into the cloud forest you will have the opportunity to learn about the local eco systems and hopefully meet the national bird of Peru, the Cock of the Rock. You will stay in lodge accommodation for the night.
Day 4 - Transfer to Manu National Park:
This is your final transfer to the project site which is a 3 hour journey through the foothills of the Andes and includes a visit to a cocoa plantation on the way. The final part of this journey is a 45 minute boat ride on the meandering Amazonas river. Upon arrival you will settle into your accommodation before heading out into the jungle for your first taste of Amazonian living.
Day 5-8 - Training Period:
On these days you will learn about the aims of the project and the conservation tasks that take place, as well as learn how to live in the amazon jungle safely. Education will also centre on indigenous species and how to recognise them. Training will be mainly field-based, but will also involve regular presentations.
Day 9 - Final Day of Training:
This will be your last day of training and will consist of field work and workshops assisting the conservation research team.
Day 10-31 - Project Days:
Activities during these days will vary according to which of the smaller projects volunteers are assigned to day by day. There are usually morning and afternoon work sessions, interspersed with meals and breaks with Sunday being a rest day.
Day 32 - Transfer back to Cusco:
After breakfast you will transfer back to Cusco and spend the night in a city hostel.
Day 33 - Final Day:
This will be your final day and you will check out before midday. At this time you can be transferred to the airport for your return flight, or commence any independent travel plans. Please note this is not included and will incur a small additional fee.

Dates, Availability & Price

To secure a place on this project a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.

Select a duration below to see the available start dates. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!

Duration Price
Please choose a trip using the select menus to the left.
Price:

*Rates other than GBP are estimates based on today's exchange rates. All payments are made in GBP.

Updates & Outcomes

This project is at the forefront of conservation and research in one of the most ecologically important ecosystems in the world. The work undertaken here consists mainly of garnering data and honing techniques, which are vitally important to the future of not just Manu National Park but also the entire Amazon rainforest ecosystem. The project works towards:

Conservation Research: The project explores and supports the value of the Amazon rainforest through scientific research of its biodiversity and complex ecosystems. By studying endangered species and discovering new ones, the project is able to inform government decision making and help protect the rainforest from irreversible destruction.

Community Initiatives: Manu currently supports four native ethnic groups: the Machiguenga, the Mascho-Piro, the Yaminahua and the Amahuaca. These peoples are considered part of Manu's ecosystem and are left to use the area as they please. Manu provide local communities with the finance and training needed to develop sustainable enterprises as well as education. This empowers people to create a positive future and diverts labour and resources away from damaging practices (such as logging and mining).

Wildlife Conservation Is EVERYBODY'S Concern - 50% Of All Species Could Be Endangered By Mid Century

Wildlife Conservation Is EVERYBODY'S Concern - 50% Of All Species Could Be Endangered By Mid Century

Sadly, there are so many endangered species all over the world, and the responsibility is upon everyone to change these circumatnces. We shouldn't just leave it up to wildlife conservationists, as they can't do it all themselves. The Great Projects aim to spread awareness of the shared responsibility of humans, to care and preserve the animals we are slowly destroying.

Read More
Huge Boa Constrictor Sighting In The Amazon!

Huge Boa Constrictor Sighting In The Amazon!

The team at the Amazon Conservation Project in Peru have spotted a huge boa constrictor, and she was the largest to be recorded in over 5 years! Witnessing one of these majestic snakes in the wild is something all conservation workers can hope for, as it is one of the symbols of a healthy ecosystem which is teeming with biodiversity!

Read More

Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

For the first two nights and last night in Cusco, you will stay in a comfortable hostel within the city centre in a twin room with en-suite bathroom and breakfast provided. The third night will be spent in a beautiful lodge within the cloud forest.

Accommodation whilst on the project at Manu National Park consists of comfortable and airy pods, which each feature two beds, bed linen, mosquito net and a magnificent view of the rainforest. There are toilets, solar-powered showers and a solar-powered internet connection.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

Food and snack packages are provided three times a day, and will consist of local style meals. This will include rice, vegetables, meat and fish and potatoes.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

This project involves a fair amount of manual work, mainly involved in construction tasks. There are also many treks involved in the programme, and so a fairly high level of fitness is advised. No specific tasks or qualifications are required to partake in this project, simply a positive attitude, ability to work in a team and commitment to the cause and its aims.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history. We recommend that you consult your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.

Project Details

When Is The Best Time To Volunteer?

There are no real seasonal issues relating to volunteering on this project and due to this it runs all year round. The only slight consideration is regarding weather. The dry season is from May to September which makes this a very popular time to volunteer, and whilst during the rest of the year it can rain more, it very rarely affects the visibility of wildlife.

Getting There

You will need to arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco on the start date of your project between 7am - 5pm where you will be picked up by a project representative and transferred to your hostel in Cusco. From here you will be transferred to every stage of the project.

If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.

Visa Requirements

If you are from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia or most of the EU you do not require a visa to come to Peru as a tourist as a stay of around 6 months is granted on arrival for tourism purposes.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The Peruvian currency is the Neuvo Sol. The conversion rate is around 1 PEN to 0.2 GBP, 0.3 EUR and 0.4 USD. For up-to-date conversion information click here.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Cusco airport collection
  • 2 nights lodging in a hostel in Cusco at programme start
  • Transfers between Cusco and Manu National Park
  • An overnight stay in the cloud forest
  • Full training & orientation programme
  • Accommodation at the MLC in Manu National Park
  • Three meals per day
  • An additional night's lodging in Cusco at the programme's end
What's not included?
  • Cusco airport drop-off
  • Passport & visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Alcoholic or other beverages and snacks not detailed
  • Travel & health insurance
  • International and domestic airfare

Speak To A Travel Expert

Enquire and receive this project's Guide for Free!

Give Us A Call

Harriet

+44 208 885 4987

If you have any questions about this project or would like help finding the perfect project for you then please feel free to give us a call or send us through your enquiry and we will be happy to help.

Nikita & team.

Project Reviews

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987