Costa Rica & Ecuador Rainforest Conservation Experience

– Duration: 2 months – 

Our 2 month Latin America trip is the ultimate programme for nature lovers and budding conservationists. Based in some of the most remote and unspoilt regions of Costa Rica and Ecuador, you’ll get stuck into environmental conservation projects to help protect the amazing biodiversity in these countries.

Experience true off-grid living in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, sleeping in hammocks under the rainforest canopy. Learn about sustainable conservation efforts as you support local non-profit organisations in the Costa Rican rainforest which hosts 2.5% of the entire world’s biodiversity.

You’ll also support indigenous communities, working in partnership with local people to develop much-needed community facilities and gaining a deeper understanding of the traditional way of life in rural areas.

After an unforgettable couple of months in Latin America we guarantee you won’t want to leave.

Best for: 

Environment Community Adventure

This programme is designed to impact the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: 

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Costa Rica & Ecuador Rainforest Conservation Experience

Costa Rica & Ecuador Rainforest Conservation Experience

$5,370 per traveller


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The impact that you'll make

01

Environment Conservation (Osa)

Environment Conservation (Osa)

The Osa Peninsula is a stunning part of Costa Rica but has suffered from extensive deforestation during the middle of the 20th century. As part of our partnership with Osa Conservation, we have pledged our support to their projects meaning you could be involved in anything from making bat and bird boxes, path building, data collection and animal tracking – all to help with the reforestation of this incredible environment.

02

Community Improvements (Terraba)

Community Project (Terraba)

 

The indigenous communities of Central America have missed out on much of the economic development of the region. Terraba is the only local community not to have a communal area for families to gather and prepare food in a hygenic environment. You will be assisting in the building of a community kitchen which will be used by numerous community groups.

03

Reforestation (DonBiki)

Reforestation (Don Biki)

 

As the community develops, they cut down more trees to sell the wood and have spaces for crops. The Shiwa palm (native to the community and especially important as fast-growing contacuro trees grown within this palm) has suffered the most from this deforestation and we aim to replant more of these. As well as reforesting with Shiwa, we will be reforesting with medicinal plants, and aiming to engage the younger generations in learning about these and the other plants that surround them.

04

Water Collection (Chilli Urku)

Water Collection (Chilli Urku)

 

The community at Camp Chilli Urku lies on a ridge which runs through the jungle and therefore doesn’t have much running water. However, there is a perfectly good source of water: rain  (it is the rainforest after all). We are working to build rainwater harvesting tanks with toilets, showers, and a washing area for clothes in each of the houses. We also plan to build a reservoir above the village to provide a central communal supply of water.

05

Water Security & Developing Community Ammenities (Kuri Kucho)

Water Security (Kuri Kucho)

 

Lack of water and sanitation is an ongoing problem for the community of Kuri Kucho. Their water source is diverted to commercial farms and areas with a larger population leaving the local community without a reliable source of fresh water for themselves and their livestock. You’ll help by building reliable water systems and toilet systems that will help tackle the poor sanitation and lack of water.

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Camp Osa

A biodiversity hotspot, Camp Osa is located on the edge of the Osa peninsula – a remote part corner of Costa Rica holding 2.5% of the worlds biodiversity. It shelters the largest remaining population of jaguars and tapiers. The Camp itself is based in secondary forest that is decades old – it really is true, unspoilt Costa Rica!

Location: 6 1/2 hours form San José. Camp Osa is located in the Osa Peninsula
Accommodation style: Hammocks, flushing toilets and bucket showers
Power: Will need a universal adapter/converter
Social areas in camp are like: Open sided dining room looking out on to the forest

Camp Osa

Camp Terraba

Immerse yourself in the local community – formed by the indigenous Teribe people – who are proud of their distinct culture and have autonomous control over more than 900 hectares of forested land.

Camp Terraba is based in a converted school and has spectacular views across the surrounding forests. You will be sharing the camp with your fellow volunteers and some local toucans!

Location: Terraba is located in Buenos Aires, Puntarenas Province. 5 hours from San José.

Accommodation style: Rooms with bunk beds.

Power: Will need a universal adapter/converter

Signature dish: Rice and chicken.

Social areas: An outside chill out area close to the local football pitch

Camp Terraba 3

Camp Donbiki

The incredible Camp Donbiki offers a unique jungle experience. Situated in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest, its located next to a wonderful river, so you can be lulled by its peaceful sound as you go to sleep.

You’ll be welcomed by the friendly community here as they teach you their local customs and knowledge of the rainforest, including the traditional use of medicinal plants. You’ll work alongside them to help protect and restore the indigenous trees and improve the community facilities.

Location: In the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province

Accommodation style: Jungle lodge with bunk beds

Power: American two pin plug sockets in the communal spaces

Social area: The end of each cabin has a chill out space with cushions and there is a small dining room. Lots of open space in camp to enjoy your jungle surroundings.

Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice.

 

Camp Don Biki 1

Camp Chilli Urku

Experience true off-grid lifestyle in Camp Chilli Urku. Situated in a remote area of the rainforest, to arrive at the camp you’ll trek for a couple of hours through the jungle – the journey is well worth it. Surrounded by endless green, you will truly feel at one with nature as you fall asleep in your hammock listening to the sounds of the rainforest.

Location: In the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province

Accommodation style: Hammocks under grassed roofed open sided buildings

Power: There is no power in the camp but we have solar lights charging every morning

Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice.

Social area: Big dining room and open space to enjoy incredible views of the rainforest

Camp Chilli Urku 1

Camp Kuri Kucho

Kuri Kucho is our highest altitude camp in Ecuador, sitting 3,300 metres above sea level. Its elevated hillside position offers you the most jaw-dropping views of the dramatic highland surroundings. The views across the valley to the glaciated Cayambe (5,790m) are not to be missed and on a clear day you may also catch a glimpse of Antisana (5703m) in the distance.

The camp itself is situated in the heart of this widespread community and it’s not uncommon to see children passing by the camp on horseback on the way to school. Accommodation is made out of ecological materials where possible, making this a very unique and environmentally friendly camp full of rustic charm.

You are also only 40 minutes drive from Otavalo, Ecuador’s most famous indigenous market where you can grab all sorts of handicraft bargains.

Location: 75 km (2 hours drive) from Quito International Airport
Accommodation style: Eco houses with comfy mattresses & bedding. Modern toilets, hot water bucket showers & sinks
Power: Mains electricity only in social area. US standard plug
Social area: Camp fire, volleyball pitch, Otavalo visit
Signature dish: Cuy – guinea pig

camp kuri kucho

Day to Day

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica

Arrive into San Jose airport where you’ll be greeted by a member of our awesome Camps crew and transferred to your accommodation in the city for your first night. You’ll have some free time to explore San Jose and rest after your flight.

Day 2-7

Environmental conservation at Camp Osa

Today we’ll take the 5 hour journey to Camp Osa, situated on the edge of the Osa Peninsula, a remote corner of Costa Rica which is home to 2.5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet. This beautiful rainforest will become your home for the next couple of weeks as you enjoy getting off the grid in true, unspoilt Costa Rica.

Over the next few days you’ll be working alongside Osa Conservation, a local non-profit organisation, on vital environmental projects designed to protect the globally significant biodiversity within this important strip of forest. Your project work could include reforestation, data collection, animal tracking, making bat and bird boxes to encourage important species to return.

Day 8

Jungle trek

Embark on an adventurous trek through the Osa rainforest. Your knowledgeable guides will teach you about the area, with an opportunity to spot an abundance of wildlife such as Howler Monkeys, White Faced Monkeys, toucans and parrots. We will take a break by a beautiful jungle river and waterfall along the way.

Day 9-13

Complete environmental projects

Spend the next few days continuing your environmental conservation work and enjoying your last few days at Camp Osa.

 

Day 14-15

Weekend trip to Manuel Antonio

You have free time for two days to explore the tropical paradise of Manuel Antonio and the nearby town of Quepos, located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. We highly recommend a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park where you can explore its spectacular beaches and enjoy some down time with your group.

Day 16

Head to Camp Terraba

Today we’ll hit the road and transfer to your next location at Camp Terraba, located in the heart of an indigenous community with a rich cultural heritage. Once you’re settled into your accommodation, we’ll have a brief orientation where we’ll introduce you to the community project work you’ll be undertaking here.

Day 17-21

Community projects at Camp Terraba

Over the next few days you’ll get involved in community development projects such as building communal structures for community events and helping to develop infrastructure within the village.

Day 22

Day trek to waterfall

Explore more of your incredible surroundings on a full day guided trek to a nearby waterfall – the perfect way to unwind after your hard work on projects and soak up the beauty of Costa Rica’s natural world.

Day 23-27

Complete community projects at Camp Terraba

Your final few days will be spent finishing off the projects at Camp Terraba before handing over to the local community. There will be some proud moments as you reflect on all that you have achieved during your time in Costa Rica.

Day 28

Goodbye Costa Rica… Hello Ecuador

Say your final farewells to the local community before we take you back to the airport in time for your flight to Ecuador to start the next phase of your trip.

Day 29

Quito

Arrive into Quito airport where you will be greeted by a member of our Camps crew who will take you to your accommodation in the city where you’ll stay the night.

Day 30

Head to the Amazon

Get ready for an exciting road trip today as we head to our first camp right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Camp Donbiki is located next to the Arajuno river, so you’ll be lulled by its sound as you fall asleep tonight.

Day 31-35

Project work

Our work at in the Amazon focuses on reforestation and environmental protection. You’ll be getting involved in projects such as seed collection, forest restoration, and learning about forest types and ethnobotany.

Day 36

Jungle trek to Camp Chilli Urku

Head off on an adventurous trek through the jungle, spotting monkeys in the trees along the way, to get to Camp Chilli Urku (usually takes around 4 hours). The community here is formed by indigenous Kichwa families that have lots of history. This amazing jungle camp offers a real off-grid experience as you spend the next few nights sleeping in hammocks right in the heart of the jungle.

Day 37-41

Project work at Chilli Urku

Over the next few days, you’ll work alongside the community to build rainwater harvesting tanks with toilets, showers and a washing area in each of the houses. You will also have the opportunity to help build a community reservoir above the village to provide a sustainable supply of water.

Day 42-43

Explore Quito

In the morning, you will head back to the buzzing capital city of Quito. You have a chance to explore the city, visit the old town on a City Tour and go to the artisanal market to buy handicrafts.

Day 44

Camp Kuri Kucho

Hit the road and take the 2 hour journey from Quito to Camp Kuri Kucho, situated in the Andes region of Ecuador. On a clear day you can see the mighty volcanoes that surround the camp, including Catambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi and Imbabura.

Day 45-55

Project work

Lack of water is a huge issue within the Kuri Kucho region. Without a reliable source of water, communities are unable to benefit from agriculture. It also means that sanitation is an ongoing challenge. You will work on further rainwater harvesting and toilet initiatives within the community.

Day 56

Last day in Quito

We will transfer you back to Quito for a final overnight stay and farewell meal with your group.

Day 57

Chau Ecuador

Today is your final day in Ecuador – say your farewells to the team before we take you back to the airport in time for your flight home.

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Top up your trip

If you’d like to add in some extra adventure, we offer the opportunity to book some exciting add-ons which can be included within your trip duration or added on to the start or end of your journey. Speak to our team to find out more about how to add these awesome adventures to your programme.

What's included

Food
Drinking water
Accommodation
Pre-travel support from dedicated UK team
In-country support from dedicated local team
In-country airport & activity transfers
All project costs & materials
Orientation & language lessons
24-hour emergency support
Camps t-shirt
Internal flights

 

Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.

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