Peru Amazon Fact File
The Location of the Project
The Peru Amazon Rainforest Project is based in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the world’s most biodiverse hotspots and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The project is located in an idyllic setting deep in the Amazon rainforest of Peru where you will work to protect the forest that still harbours endangered jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, sloths, anacondas, river otters, caiman and a myriad other species.
Approximately eight hours by boat and vehicle from Cusco (split over two days to visit other local ecosystems), it means you get to explore not only the stunning rainforest of the Amazon River Basin, but it is also easy for you to visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley before or after your placement.
Volunteers spend a busy first two days in Cusco, where they receive their project orientation, meet the staff and other volunteers, go on a Cusco town tour, complete registration and get ready for their trip of a lifetime! On the way to Manu, volunteers will be to visit a range of different eco systems on the drive the reserve, and will stay one night in a beautiful cloud forest before arriving into Manu the next morning for the 45 minute boat ride to the research centre and volunteer accommodation.
The project is located in the Amazon rainforest, with volunteer accommodation in keeping with this unique environment.
Accommodation is comfortable and airy, with rooms being either twin or triple share. Mosquito nets, a plastic storage box, and bedding are provided. There is limited electricity at the project site. However, there is solar powered internet, gravity fed water pumps and a range of other initiatives to minimise any impact on the local environment and reduce the project’s carbon footprint. There are hot showers, although these might be cold in hot weather. Basic laundry facilities are also available.
Internet is available for at an hourly rate, but being based in such a remote location can mean that the connection can be sporadic and unreliable.
Volunteers are asked to bring environmentally friendly and bio-degradable toiletries if possible.
All our volunteers are provided with three nutritious and delicious meals per day. Meals will be typical local food, including rice with beans, eggs, vegetables, soups and occasional meat. Dietary restrictions can be catered for, so please inform us if you have any allergies or food restrictions. Volunteers assist the chefs in preparing meals, which is a great opportunity to learn some traditional Peruvian recipes and practice Spanish!
Getting to the project
You should arrive at Cusco airport, where you will be met and transferred to the hostel where you will spend your first two days for your orientation, registration, meet and great, induction and city tour.
To help you find the best air fares Globalteer has formed a partnership with a division of The Flight Centre Group who will tailor make your travel arrangements for you at a competitive price.
You can contact them for a free, no obligation travel quote by calling 0844 560 9944 from within the UK, or if you are outside the UK you can call +44(0)203 056 1146. Make sure you mention Globalteer when you call and if you do purchase your travel through them, Globalteer will receive a small donation. However, don’t forget that it’s up to you to make sure your travel arrangements are right for you and your project.
There are two distinct seasons in Manu; wet between December and April and dry, between May to November. Some 1,200 millimeters/67 inches of rain fall during the wet season, during which there is typically heavy rain, lasting an hour or so. Daytime temperatures are high throughout the year, but are more extreme during the dry season. During the dry season temperatures can reach 40°C/104ºF. Cold fronts may occur for two days to a week during the dry season months, especially from May to July; temperatures during these fronts may feel very cold at night.
Daily Volunteer ScheduleDuring your first few days at the project, volunteers undergo a rigorous training and induction schedule to ensure you know how to live in the rainforest and effectively work on the project, before being taken out to the rainforest and introduced to the vital work you will be taking part in.
You will receive training in tropical ecology, species identification (auditory calls, foot prints, visual markers and flight patterns), compass and GPS use, emergency first response procedures, data recording, processing findings, and a range of other conservation methods.
There are also regular talks and debates held by staff members, where you will be able to learn more about different local species, plants, eco systems, indigenous groups, and everything else in between!
Volunteering at this project is physically demanding, and can include walks of up to 10 kilometres over uneven and muddy terrain in a hot and humid environment. We therefore require that all volunteers have a high level of physical and mental fitness, and also enjoy being outdoors all day. If you are unsure about the requirements of this project, and your health, age or fitness, please contact us and we can talk in more detail about where this project is suitable for you!
Example of a typical day activities at the project (please note that this does depend on seasons, project focuses during your placement etc.) Some days have an early morning start and some days volunteers work into the evenings:
5.30 am Visit the clay lick, and monitor the Blue Headed Macaws
7 am Breakfast
7.30 am Trek into the forest to check camera traps
1-3 pm Rest
3-5 pm Work in the MLC biogarden
5 pm Spanglish lessons whilst helping with dinner in kitchen
6.30 pm Dinner
7.15 pm Night transect for amphibians
10.30 pm Return to lodge with amphibian bounty. Shower, hot chocolate then bed (Note there would be no early start the following day due to the late night).
Extra ActivitiesVolunteers are expected to work six days per week. Sundays are rest days for volunteers to play games, hang out with your fellow volunteers, go for a swim, build a camp fire, or kick back with a cold drink. The other six days are work days and will involve early starts and some late nights, but the variety and excitement is mind-blowing!
Before or after your time in the jungle you may wish to visit other parts of Peru such as Lake Titicaca or Machu Picchu. You can get to Machu Picchu from Cusco by train, trek the amazing Inca trail high in the Andes or take any other number of routes all ending at the lost city itself.
Globalteer works closely with several well respected agencies in Cusco which can arrange services such as visits to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca as well as many other amazing trips in Peru before or after your time volunteering.
General facts about PeruCountry name: Republic of Peru
Area: Total: 1,285,220 sq km
Terrain: Western coastal plain, high and rugged Andes in centre, eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin
Population: 28 million
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30%, 15-64 years: 64%, 65 years and over: 6%
Life expectancy at birth: 70 years
Ethnic groups: Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, other 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3%
Literacy: Male: 93.5%, Female: 82.1%
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Government type: Constitutional republic
Major International airports: Lima & Cusco
Currency: Nuevo sol
The Globalteer DifferenceThese days there are a great many opportunities to volunteer overseas, but not all organisations are the same.
Watch our short video presentation to see what makes Globalteer different from your average volunteering organisation!
Click the links below to read more about volunteering in Peru: