Ecuador Conservation Experience

Conservation In South America. Four Locations To Choose From.


Whether David Attenborough is your hero, you have an interest in conservation or you just love the idea of really getting involved in the places you visit and giving something back, then you´ll want to read on!

We have some brand new conservation opportunities in various locations around Ecuador that will give you the chance to get stuck in right at the heart of some of the most important environmental projects in the country ” this is a unique and rewarding experience which not only gives you a chance to learn new skills (great for that CV!) but also to make loads of new friends with like-minded people.


You can choose your duration, from two to twelve weeks, which can be spent in one or more of the following locations, doing the activities mentioned, and more! Every two weeks you can rotate your placement to head out to a different reserve.




  • North eastern Ecuador – Tropical wet forest location, 450m above sea level
  • Help preserve important plants in the botanical garden
  • Get your hands dirty at the organic farm
  • Teach English to school pupils


  • North western Ecuador ” Mountainous coastal forest, up to 800m above sea level
  • One of the last remaining cloud forests in the world
  • Study bird species and record sightings
  • Help out in the medicinal plant garden or banana plantation
  • Hike the trails and spot howler monkeys and armadillos


  • Northern Ecuador – Mountain location in the Andes, up to 3,600m above sea level
  • Work amongst the surroundings of a lush cloud forest
  • Collect and record plants and herbs from the area


  • Western Ecuador ” Tropical wet forest, mangroves and beaches
  • Get involved in aquaculture
  • Patrol the beach to monitor turtles
  • Work with the local community in farming or harvesting

Ecuador Conservation Experience: Trip Highlights

  • Visiting cloud forests, coastal mountains, mangroves and beaches
  • Helping conserve the indigenous trees and plants of areas such as the Amazon basin
  • Interacting with the local communities   by demonstrating organic farming methods or making handicrafts
  • Watching the fascinating range of reptiles, birds and mammals in the nature reserves
  • Hike to Andean villages and take in the breathtaking scenery

Ecuador Conservation Experience Photos



The trip starts on the first Tuesday of the month. We advise you arrive one day early into Quito. You will need to cover the cost of the extra night on Monday, but we can help you arrange accommodation.

The itinerary is flexible in that it can range from two weeks to eight weeks, depending on how many of the locations you´d like to include in your trip.   There are descriptions of each place below, which gives you info on where they are and what you can get involved in, so whichever you like the sound of just get in touch and we´ll put your trip together.

You could even combine volunteering with one of our other Ecuador adventures so that you get that perfect balance of work and play.   Rest assured though, you´ll have plenty of spare time at the reserves to enjoy the surrounding areas and get to know your fellow travellers.

Please note if you’re looking for a wildlife conservation project, with lots of interaction with animals then this is not the trip to you. The main focus of this project is on land-based conservation. If you are looking for more animal orientated wildlife conservation projects, just drop us an e-mail as we have plenty of options for you.


During your stay you will be housed at the different reserves in basic shared accommodation, don ´t expect 5 star luxury as could be staying in the Amazon or up in the cloud forests of the Andes, but the accommodations are comfortable and secure. Here is an out line of the facilities in the different centers


Bilsa is available for use by researchers, eco-tourists, leaders of education groups, university students, volunteers, interns, natural history visitors and tour groups. Mattresses, sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, and candles are provided. All meals are provided and guaranteed cooked under optimal conditions. There is also boiled water available for everyone´s consumption. The climate is warm and humid, but al night it often gets cool. In order to communicate with members of the community, it helps to speak basic conversational Spanish.
The cabins are surrounded by gardens, fruit trees and secondary forest. The gardens and fruit trees atract a great diversity of bird species, amongst which the Long Wattle Umbrella bird, various Toucans, Trogons and Tanagers.

Howler monkeys and Capuchin monkeys are frequently sighted close to the cabins, as are Agouties, Armadillos, Sloth and Kinkajous (nocturnal). The surroundings are also excellent for night hikes.


The biological station can sleep up to 20 visitors in four dormitory-style rooms. The house features a full kitchen and indoor bathrooms with hot-water showers. Although the Station has electricity access, we recommend bringing a headlight to walk anywhere at night. Staff includes the reserve administrator, one park guard/guide, one cook/housekeepers and auxiliary personnel who work in the tree nursery, botanical gardens, community extension, and educational outreach. In addition, from two to eight volunteer interns are normally on site.
The climate at Guandera is relatively cold and humid. It often drops to 4C at night and raises to 22C during the day. The average temperature is 12C. The living situation is basic but comfortable.


The forest reserve and facilities are available for use by scientists carrying out research projects in the rainforest, volunteers, by university and school groups conducting field courses, and by natural history tour groups.
The field station can accommodate groups of up to 50 visitors at a time. Sleeping facilities consist of bunk beds in wood cabins. Mosquito nets are also provided, although mosquitoes are generally not a problem at Jatun Sacha. There is also a dining/meeting hall, kitchen, office, storage room, showers and bathrooms. For visitors and researchers there is a laboratory, with a few equipment, microscopes, a computer, a video and nature films, available for the volunteers, diskettes and other material are not supplied.
The dining room can fee 50 visitors. There is boiled water in a tank and coffee available for everybody at all times. Although it’s open all day, it can be kept open after supper time upon request.
We have electric power 24 hours a day, but you should expect power failures. You can also have your clothes washed for a minimum price in the stations washing machine.


2 Week - 

USD 620

3 Week - 

USD 880

4 Week - 

USD 1200

6 Week - 

USD 1600

What's Included?

  • Orientation meeting in Quito
  • All accommodation
  • Food on the reserves (three meals a day)
  • Local guides and conservation leaders in each reserve
  • Full on daily activities and conservation tasks

What's Excluded?

  • Airport Transfers
  • Transport between stations (you will be advised how to do this and this is done on local transport)
  • Flights
  • Accommodation when not at the reserves

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Transportation expenses from Quito to each reserve are  not included, however transfers are not expensive with $100 easily covering the cost of 4 transfers to the different reserves. We do not include these because they are local payments to bus companies and the the company used differs when you want to head to each station.

    You will be briefed on   how to get to each station at the initial orientation meeting, and our co-ordinators are on hand to assist you through out the programme.

    All transfers go through Quito so you will want to spend a couple of extra nights in Quito when you transfer between reserves. This breaks up the journey and gets you back to civilisation everyonce in a while. Accommodation during thr Quito stop overs are not included, but hostels are inexpensive at about £10 per night.


    • Quito ” Jatun Sacha amazon around 200 km   (6 hours) Napo province
    • Quito ” Guandera around 220 km (6 :30 hours) Carchi province
    • Quito ” congal around 380 km (8 hours) Esmeraldas province
    • Quito ” Bilsa around 260 km ( 2 days travelling in, because you need to ride a mule) Esmeraldas province

  • The minimum time limit for volunteers /internships is 2 weeks at each reserve. That means if you opt for a 2 week trip you can stay in one reserve, 4 weeks 2 reserves, 6 weeks 3 reserves and 8 weeks you can experience all of the reserves. Volunteers will need a visa if staying in Ecuador more than 90 days.

  • You will need travel and health insurance and need to sign a waiver to release our partners from responsibility from any illness or injury incurred in Ecuador.

    There exists a small risk of malaria at our biological stations located in the Esmeraldas provinces on the Ecuadorian coast (specifically at the following reserves: Bilsa, and Congal). Therefore volunteers must supply their own malaria prophylaxis while volunteering at any of these three sites.

  • Saving the rainforests is not an easy task, you will be expected to get your hands dirty and can be volunteering for up to 8 hours a day, with 2 days off a week.

  • While at the reserves, volunteers need approximately $20 USD per week for additional costs (beverages, community visits, postcards, etc). However, please take along small bills to the reserves ($5 USD denominations or less).

Ecuador Conservation Experience Trip Dates

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Ecuador Conservation Experience
2 Week

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