Amazon Wildlife Rescue
Head to the edge of the Amazon and help care for wildlife!
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Group Size: Max 16
Trip code: ECAWR
Duration: 2 - 4 weeks
Calling all animal lovers! Want to care for wonderful wildlife and have an adventure in the awesome Amazon rainforest? Then don’t miss this must-do wildlife volunteering experience in incredible Ecuador! Make a difference to the quality of life of native rescued wildlife, such as sloths, ocelots, monkeys, exotic birds and many more. Help out with the daily care of animals and the running of the rescue centre and have a unique wildlife experience staying in the amazing Amazon jungle.
- Help care for animals at an amazing wildlife rescue centre in the Amazon jungle
- Experience life off the beaten track in the Amazon rainforest in incredible Ecuador
- Assist with the day-to-day feeding of the wildlife, including sloths, ocelots, monkeys and birds – a must for any animal lover!
- Get stuck in assisting with the running and upkeep of the rescue centre and provide a safe, caring living environment for the wildlife
- Bond with other volunteers as you share this unique experience and enjoy free weekends to explore Ecuador, including the party and adventure town of Banos!
Help care for amazing animals and support the day-to-day running of this rescue centre on this rewarding volunteer adventure in the Amazon.
About the Wildlife Rescue Centre
The wildlife rescue centre is located on the edge of the mighty Amazon rainforest, around 10 minutes drive from the jungle town of Puyo in Ecuador. This vital wildlife rescue centre was set up to rescue animals that have been abandoned or have suffered abuse or neglect. The centre currently houses at least 35 different species of animals, including sloths, ocelots and monkeys and is also home to some wonderful birdlife.
Arrival & Orientation
Arrival day is Saturday and you will be met at Quito airport and taken to your hostel accommodation in the modern, lively Mariscal area of Quito. You will be visited by the local volunteer co-ordinator for an initial orientation. After an inclusive breakfast on Sunday, you will be transferred by private transport directly to the Animal Rescue Centre in the Amazon. The journey takes approximately 5 hours and travels through stunning jungle landscape. Once you arrive at the centre you can settle in to your new jungle home and get ready to meet the wildlife!
Your volunteer duties will include day to day care of the animals, feeding, helping new arrivals adjust, general maintenance of the rescue centre, construction of new enclosures, enriching current enlosures, assisting the vet and gardening, among other duties. The role is not one in which you get hands-on with the wildlife, but you will interact with the animals and birds, help provide a safe and secure environment for them to live and get close to some incredible wildlife during your stay. There will be a regular weekly, Wednesday volunteer meeting.
Volunteers will be expected to work between 8am - 12pm and 2.30pm - 5pm, Monday to Friday. Although your weekends are mainly free time, the animals will still need feeding and caring for, so volunteers will be on a rota to help out for a few hours in the morning but are then free for the rest of the weekend.
Your evenings and weekends are free time to relax, apart from a rota of wildlife feeding duties in the mornings. There is a swimming pool at your accommodation and hammocks to relax in. You may wish to bring books, music, DVDs, cards or games with you to pass away your leisure time. The rescue centre is located only 10 minutes drive away from the small jungle town of Puyo, and a taxi can easily be arranged into the town (for a cost of around USD3).
The most popular place for volunteers to spend their free time at the weekends is in the beautiful adventure and party town of Banos, which can be reached from the reserve by a 2-hour public bus journey. Famous for its thermal springs, Banos has it all, from awesome adventure activities such as go-karting, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and hiking to brilliant bars and nightlife, making this the ideal fun, party spot to spend your weekends off!
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You should arrange your flight to arrive into Quito, Ecuador for a Saturday start date. You will be met at Quito airport by a driver holding a sign bearing your name, plus our Gap 360 logo and our partner’s logo. You will be taken to your hostel accommodation in the modern, lively Mariscal area of Quito, where you will spend your first night. You will meet a volunteer co-ordinator here for an initial orientation.
On Sunday you will be transferred directly to the Amazon Rescue Centre by a private transfer. The journey takes approximately 5 hours and travels through some spectacular jungle scenery, with stop offs when required.
A return transfer is not included but is easy to arrange. A bus from the local town to Quito costs around £5-10. The journey, which lasts approximately 4/5 hours, travels along some incredibly beautiful routes, passing by waterfalls and lush forests as it meanders north to the capital. When you arrive back in Quito we advise you book an extra night of accommodation and fly out the next day. A transfer to the airport costs approx. £20-25.
First Night’s Accommodation & Breakfast in Quito
When you arrive in Quito you will be met at the airport and taken to spend your first night in a hostel in the modern, lively Mariscal area of Quito. This busy, central city location is a great place to get out and enjoy the nightlife the area is famous for. During this first night, due to the lively location, we recommend you bring earplugs for when you want to get some sleep! A breakfast of toast and eggs is included the following morning, before you are picked up for the 5-hour private transfer through stunning scenery to the Amazon Wildlife Rescue Centre.
Amazon Wildlife Rescue Centre Accommodation
The volunteer accommodation is located in a safe location on private family property near the rescue centre. There is a swimming pool on site and hammocks to relax in after your day’s volunteering duties. Due to the rural location of the centre, there are not many activities on site so you may wish to bring books, music, DVDs, cards or games with you to pass away your leisure time. There is a TV and DVD player at the accommodation.
You will sleep in shared dorms (maximum of 6 people per room) in basic, rustic wooden buildings. Rooms are shared sex dorms, although single sex dorm rooms may be available on request, subject to availability.
The shared bathroom is situated in a separate building and is clean and basic, with hot water usually available. However, as this is the Amazon rainforest, do be aware that at times the hot water supply can be unreliable, but don’t worry, you’ll be glad to cool off in the warm weather!
Bedding is provided, but please note that mosquito nets are not provided (although there are sometimes some left there by previous volunteers). If you want to guarantee use of a mosquito net we recommend that you bring your own. Lockers are provided in the dorms, but please bring your own padlock.
Please note: Volunteers are expected to help out with the upkeep and cleaning of their accommodation, and rotas will be drawn up to share cleaning of the kitchen and bathroom.
There is a good mobile phone signal at the accommodation. Wi-Fi is available at your accommodation, but use is limited to 4 hours per day; 2 hours after lunch and 2 hours after dinner.
Laundry can be done in Puyo town for a small cost (around USD2).
The rescue centre is located only 10 minutes drive away from the small jungle town of Puyo, and a taxi can easily be arranged into the town (for a cost of around USD3). Puyo has a few shops and restaurants as well as practicalities such as ATMs and medical centres.
All meals are included on weekdays, Monday-Friday. Most meals will be prepared for you, although you may be asked to assist with meal preparation at times. Breakfast is usually cereal, with lunch being the main meal of the day, consisting of typical Ecuadorian meals such as rice, beans and meat dishes. Dinner will be a lighter meal, either a small, warm dish or a cold snack. Filtered water is provided. Volunteers are expected to do their own washing up and this will be arranged on a rota system.
We can cater for vegetarians or vegans but due to the remote location we are unfortunately unable to cater for gluten-free diets.
Meals at the weekends are at your own cost. You can travel in to Puyo town to eat at the restaurants or stock up on supplies (you will have the use of a fridge at your accommodation to store snacks). You may wish to travel to the adventure and party town of Banos at the weekends, and there are plenty of great restaurants and bars to choose from there!
The minimum age to join this volunteer experience is 18.
British nationals will be granted access to Ecuador for 90 days without a visa. If you arrive into the country across a border with Peru or Colombia, you should ensure that you obtain a border entry stamp, showing the date of entry, on your passport. Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.
It is also a legal requirement in Ecuador that you carry a form of photographic identification at all times. A photocopy of your passport page and visa stamp should suffice.
Rabies and tetanus shots are a mandatory requirement. Before travelling to Ecuador you should also check with your GP to obtain any vaccinations or medication you may need for your trip.
Please note that you should have a good level of physical fitness in order to participate in this volunteer programme.
To get the most out of your time volunteering a basic understanding of Spanish is recommended. Why not join our Learn to Speak Spanish in Ecuador programme before your volunteering begins?
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.