Latin America Experience

– Duration: 3 months – 

Can’t decide which of our Latin American destinations to visit? You don’t have to. Explore Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru on this 3 month adventure which will take you from unspoilt Costa Rican rainforest to the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, vibrant beach towns to Inca ruins and the magnificent Andean mountains of Peru.

This varied programme offers the perfect balance of environmental conservation and community development projects, giving you the chance to get involved in varied initiatives that will give you a deeper understanding of the places you visit and create a positive, lasting impact. You’ll be living and working alongside rural communities, far away from the tourist trail, becoming immersed in the rich and vibrant local culture. Support local non-profits on wildlife monitoring and data collection, help improve community infrastructure and facilities and protect important rainforest environments through reforestation.

There will be plenty of time for adventure too – trek through the Amazon and experience off-grid living in our jungle camps, explore the buzzing historical cities of Quito and Cusco and embark on the continent’s ultimate trekking experience through the Andean mountains to Machu Picchu.

Best for: 

Culture Community Adventure Environment

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

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Dates & Prices>>>

Latin America Experience

Latin America Experience

$7,730 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.

06

Community Infrastructure Improvements (Costa)

Community Devlopment (Costa

 

The community around Camp Costa is in need of development. You’ll be working on a number of projects that will help the community, such as, building a community and children’s centre, or helping out in the communities organic garden.

07

Community Development (Colca)

peru expedition

 

The small community near Camp Colca sits on the edge of the mighty Colca Canyon at 3,600 metres above sea level. Due to its remoteness and relatively harsh environmental conditions, the community here is very poor. We have a number of ongoing project initiatives within this community and you could be helping with anything from primary school development to building guinea pig houses.

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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

Camp Costa

Camp Costa is a wonderful camp set within a sleepy fishing village along the Ecuadorian coast. Only a short walk away (300m) you’ll find a quiet golden sand beach overlooking the warm and sunny Pacific Ocean. Here you can kick back, look out to sea and you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, sea lions and even humpback whales cruising past.

The camp is located within the village where the locals are so friendly and welcoming that it will become your home away from home in no time. The football pitch is next door so you can challenge some of the locals to a friendly game after a hard day’s project work.

Location: 160 km (4 hours drive) from Guayaquil International Airport

Accommodation: Rooms in a converted community centre & tents with comfy mattresses & bedding. Flushing toilets & long drops, cold showers & sinks

Power: Mains electricity. US standard plug.

Signature dish: Ecuadorian ceviche, breaded prawns & patacones (fried plantain)

Social: Open sided chill out space with hammocks, volleyball court & football pitch. Bamboo gazebo and fire pit on the beach

camp costa

Camp Colca

Camp Colca is a wonderful camp set in the heart of a humble and friendly community on the edge of the great Colca Canyon, the world’s second deepest canyon (and only second by a couple of metres!).

This very special location is peaceful and offers you a feeling of space and remoteness. The camp’s elevated position (3,600m) offers spectacular views and encompass some big sweeping landscapes, from the surrounding alto plano desert, to Inca terracing and huge jaw-dropping mountain ranges.

The village is very charming, with little adobe buildings everywhere and donkeys strolling along the dirt roads. Camp Colca is sure to transport you to another world making you feel like part of the community in no time.

Location: 200 km (5 hours drive) from Arequipa Airport

Accommodation: Rooms within a converted building  with comfy mattresses & bedding (including thick blankets!). Flushing toilets, cold showers & sinks

Power: Mains electricity. US standard plug / European round 2-pin plug

Signature dish: Alpaca en jugo – Alpaca cooked in fruit juice

Social: Chill out zone with fireplace

camp colca

camp legends

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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 you 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

Chau Costa Rica

Say your final farewells to the local community before we take you back to the airport in time for your flight to Quito to start the next part of your adventure.

Day 29

Welcome to Ecuador!

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 for your first night’s stay.

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 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 Chili 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 56-57

Relax in Mindo

Today we’ll travel from Kuri Kucho to Mindo where you will meet some new volunteers who will be joining the group. Mindo is a charming pueblo (small town) which is well known for its many bird species. You will have some free time to explore here before we head to our next camp tomorrow.

Day 58

Head to Camp Costa

We travel down the coast to our awesome Camp Costa. You’ll be welcomed by the Camp Manager who will show you around the projects, community and camp.

Day 59-61

Community projects start

Over the next few days you’ll get stuck into projects in the local area. You could be involved in a number of community development initiatives such as the building of a Children’s Centre or a Village Community Centre. You could also be involved in planting native plants in the Organic Garden or contributing to Marine Conservation by clearing the coastline of plastic and debris.

Day 62-63

Chill out in Puerto Lopez

This weekend you’ll have the chance to explore more of your amazing surroundings. We’ll head up the coast to the small beach town of Puerto Lopez – from here you are able to book a boat tour of Isla de la Plata, home to blue footed boobies, turtles and the Frigate bird.  Depending on the time of year you may also be able to spot whales, or you might just want to relax on the beach and enjoy a few days off. We’ll head back to Camp Costa in the late afternoon giving you some time in the morning to explore the town before we head off.

Day 64-69

Back to community projects

Your final few days at Camp Costa will be spent finishing off your project work here before handing this back to the local community.

Day 70

Bye Ecuador… Hello Peru

Say your goodbyes to Ecuador as we transfer you to Guayaquil airport in time for your flight to Peru.

Day 71

Welcome to Peru

You will arrive into the ancient beautiful white city of Arequipa, where you will be met by a member of our Camp Peru team and taken to your accommodation in the city. You will have a day to relax, acclimatise to the altitude and explore the bustling city. Arequipa has some great bars and restaurants and is a very popular stop for backpackers from around the globe.

Day 72

Travel to Camp Colca

Today we embark on the epic 4 hour road trip to Camp Colca. The journey ascending into the Andes is wonderful. You’ll be sure to see Alpacas and Vicuñas on the way, as well as climbing to almost 5000m above sea level before dropping down onto the sides of the canyon. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening settling into your new home at Camp Colca.

Day 73-77

School improvement projects

We have a number of ongoing project initiatives within this community and you could be involved in anything from primary school development to building greenhouses and creating an environmental cycle from guinea pigs!

We are building and repairing guinea pig houses which allow us to collect guinea pig waste to add to our compost bins. We will eventually use the compost to harvest vegetables in our volunteer built greenhouses, securing a vital and nutritious food source for the community.

Day 78

Condor trek

Today we’ll embark on a 3-4 hour Condor Trek with breath-taking views across the canyon and a chance to view the magnificent condor bird. There are few places in the world that offer the chance to see these birds at such close quarters.

Day 79

Cusco

Today we head to Cusco, a fascinating city of great historical significance, once the capital of the Inca empire. You’ll spend the day getting ready for your Machu Picchu trek. We will deliver a briefing to let you know exactly what to expect from your upcoming five-day adventure.

Day 80-83

Machu Picchu Trek

Embark on your trek to the iconic Inca city of Machu Picchu. You’ll take the Salkantay Trek route, journeying through the spectacular Andes mountains, with breathtaking views at every turn, before arriving at Machu Picchu. You may have seen hundreds of pictures of this famous site but nothing will prepare you for the magic of seeing it in real life – and the challenging trek of the last few days will make the experience even more rewarding.

Day 84

Chau Latin America

Today is your final day in Latin America! 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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