Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Amazon Ecology and Wildlife Rehabilitation Programme, Peru

1+ Weeks from

minimum age

  • Gain experience in tropical ecology, wildlife research and rehabilitation
  • Have an impact on a long-term conservation project in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Learn several vital skills and abilities for a career in conservation and wildlife management
  • Immerse yourself in primary rainforest at a state-of-the-art research facility

Food, Lodging & Travel

Our centre is one of the only state-of-the-art facilities located deep in pristine rainforest, purpose-built for research and wildlife rehabilitation, creating a unique opportunity – this is separate to the new high end more luxurious ecology internship centre where all ecology research internships take place.

Our integrative and sustainable approach to construction means that you will truly be immersed in the rainforest habitat, with opportunities to see wildlife without even leaving base camp. It also means that you will be in a fully sustainable facility, incorporating innovative practices for sustainability such as naturally filtered solar wells, rainwater collection and filtration, upcycled timber, solar electricity, composting toilets, phytoremediation greywater systems, and more.

Sleeping arrangements consist of bunk beds in shared dorms of 4 – 10 people. We try to separate by gender where possible, but when we are full it is not always possible depending on percentages. All linens (sheets, blankets, pillows, mosquito nets) are provided excluding towels.   Sleeping infrastructure is basic (‘platform’ building with wooden open-air structures and tin roofs) but comfortable and rustic. All buildings have 24hr electricity powered by our solar energy system. Running water on site is supplied by a 30m ground water well, which provides perfectly clean and drinkable water to all sinks and showers (cold water only!)

In terms of food,  3 meals a day and snacks are provided. The site is fully vegetarian, and we cater to all diets (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free), though given our remote location it can be hard to come by specialty replacement items (e.x. it is certainly possible to eat vegan or dairy-free, however it will consist of eating whole foods rather than having replacements such as vegan meats or lactose-free dairy products). Where possible, we make preparations for speciality diets to get whatever replacements we can. Cooking and cleaning is shared between everyone on site, with a rotating schedule of people cooking for the group in teams of two.

There is no phone signal, but there is limited wifi. It is limited occasionally due to the weather (i.e. it cuts out in storms), but primarily due to the fact that we keep it off at most times so interns are engaged in their projects rather than their phones. It is generally available in the evenings, and anytime someone needs it either for project purposes or important communications it can be made available outside of established times.

boat team on the amazonHow to get there

Volunteers need to arrive in Puerto Maldonado (PEM) either by flight or bus. These are usually leaving from other larger cities such as Lima or Cusco. The bus from Lima can take more than 30 hours. Therefore it would therefore be recommended to leave from Cusco, if you prefer to take the bus, as the journey is only about 10 hours. A staff member from the project will come pick you up in either the airport or bus station in Puerto Maldonado.  Generally it is best to arrive in Puerto Maldonado on the earliest flight (roughly 11:30am) so as to ensure enough time to get to the centre before dark. The transfer is roughly 3.5 hours, with all logistics after from the airport to the centre handled by the team. The trip consists of a roughly 2.5 hour car journey, a 30 min boat ride, and a 30 min hike to reach the centre. Then when you depart, it is best if you aim to leave Puerto Maldonado on the latest flight (roughly 4:30pm) so that you may leave the centre on the same day. If you arrive outside these times (i.e. later flight on date of arrival or early flight on date of departure) you will need to spend the night in Puerto Maldonado to ensure smooth travel. In these cases, we arrange for and cover the cost of your stay in town at a hotel called Tambopata Hostel (safe, comfortable, reliable, and located in the centre). It is also worth noting that in the wet season travel to and from the field is subject to delays given that when it is raining very heavily the road is occasionally closed. This is not an issue for leaving as we are always able to get people out, but occasionally the car can’t get in on arrival and volunteers must wait until the next day. A final note is that occasionally when we have two movements on consecutive days, we will occasionally consolidate them to the same day if possible to promote sustainability.

team buildingIntern requirements for the Amazon Ecology Internship

Applicants should be at least 18 years of age, be in good health and have a good level of physical fitness. Trekking and wilderness experience is an advantage, but not required. Training and/or experience in biology and ecological research is helpful, but not required. Most of our staff speak both Spanish and English, but we recommend people to pick up a little Spanish before joining our team.

Intern requirements for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship

Applicants should be at least 18 years of age, be in good health and have a good level of physical fitness. Given the specialised nature of this internship, we accept a limited number of applicants throughout the year and only offer opportunities to individuals who are pursuing a career in wildlife rehabilitation. The main requirements are: Either currently enrolled in a university programme related to wildlife rehabilitation/management, graduated, or with entry-level career experience in the field; Willing to stay for minimum 2 months;  Principles of ethical wildlife management; Strong work-ethic and ability to work as part of a diverse team;  Basic Spanish.

Visa to enter Peru

Depending on your nationality, most interns are able to arrive in Peru without a pre-arranged visa and can pick up a free tourist visa on arrival which is valid for up to 3 months (can be extended to 6 months for some nationalities). You will need to request the number of days you are planning to stay in the country upon arrival at Customs at the Lima Airport. Anyone staying longer than the stated visa expiry date granted on arrival in Peru will accumulate a daily penalty fine – this is not recommended. It is required that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months when entering Peru.

team camp fire

Health Information

The area we work in is within a low-risk malaria zone, and we have had no cases of malaria within the team. Rare cases of Leishmaniasis at the field site are known, as well as Dengue in Puerto Maldonado. Therefore it is important for interns to bring long-sleeved clothes and insect spray to prevent insect bites.

We require all interns to bring their own water containers to take on the trails because dehydration is very common due to the high humidity and heat.

Yellow Fever vaccination is required when entering Peru, and Typhoid vaccination is recommended. However, it is best to consult your own travel doctor to find out about any currently required and recommended vaccinations.

Amazon Ecology and Wildlife Rehabilitation Programme, Peru

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