"Make a positive ecological impact in the most biodiverse area in the world on this educational, once-in-a-lifetime Amazonian adventure!"
The Amazon Rainforest encompasses a swathe of South America, including Peru, where this project will take place. The Amazon is best known for being the most bio-diverse rainforest on Earth, home to 16,000 species of trees and one-tenth of all known animal species! This once in a lifetime trip will take you from the dizzying heights of the Andes Mountains in Cusco, Peru, through the dream-like beauty of the 'Cloud Forest' to the spectacular Manu National Park. Expect to engage with nature at its most exciting, as you learn from professionals about conservation efforts and community development in the Amazon.
You'll start your adventure in Cusco, which rests in the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range before journeying into the 'Cloud Forest', whose misty grounds are home to a diverse range of wildlife. Next up, venture to the lowland Amazon and catch a boat to the Manu Learning Centre, before you move on to Salvacion to learn how the project is creating a sustainable community initiative there. After that, relax in the natural hot springs of Shintuya. The remaining bulk of the trip will see you getting your hands dirty, as you support sustainable activities 'in the field' before having a welcome rest day in marvellous Manu!
The Crees Foundation is a dedicated organisation that works in conjunction with a number of partners, including international universities, Manu National Park Authorities, local government and education institutions. They are thoroughly committed to having a positive environmental impact on the Amazonian rainforest, maintaining its extraordinary bio-diversity and having genuinely helpful community outreach. To this end, they have created 50 family bio-gardens and six institutional bio-gardens, which provide healthy meals to over 360 children at local schools. They have helped create over 50 hectares of agroforestry plots, planted over 10,000 banana trees and 3,000 hardwood and softwood trees.
Crees has created the first ever program in Peru to commercialise carbon credits on behalf of a community. All of their activities have resulted in an annual average annual increase in income in this region of 35.28% since 2009! As a project member you are affecting important change, participating in sustainable community development programmes and conservation efforts. These include necessary practical work such as data collection, surveying and monitoring wildlife. Volunteering for Crees is truly an eye-opening experience that will give you a profound understanding of the most bio-diverse area on the planet and the efforts needed to protect it.
Arrival in Cusco: Fly over the magnificent Andes mountain range before you touch down in Cusco, Peru and are transferred to your accommodation for the first day.
Programme Introduction – Cusco: Today you'll register into the programme before exploring the ancient Inca capital of Cusco. Here you'll get to grips with this city's fascinating history as you contemplate life under Inca rule, as well as learn about the impact of the Spanish conquistadors incursion in the 16th century. The city includes architectural marvels such as the Plaza de Armas and the theatrically grand Cathedral of Cusco, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and religious significance.
Journey to the Cloud Forest: Cross over the heights of the Andes into the Amazon lowland and the 'Cloud Forest'. Shrouded in a low-hanging fog, this magical forest is brimming with fruit plantations, water formations and a wonderful diversity of wildlife, including quetzals, mormots, golden eared tanagers and the fiery red Andean 'Cock-of-the-Rock!'.
Arrival in lowland Amazon: Trek through the sweltering rainforest to the ancient port of Atalaya, Here you'll hop on a boat which will take you to the next stage of your Amazonian adventure: the Manu Learning Centre and the beautiful Park in which it resides.
Training Day: Conservation Research: Meet with field staff at the Manu Learning Centre and gain the knowledge that will make you a useful and pro-active project member. What you learn here will enable you to constructively contribute to the ongoing ecological projects in the Amazon.
Training Day: Community Development: Depart for the nearby community of Salavacion where you can study the Crees sustainable community initiative taking place there. In the afternoon you'll have a one-to-one session with your supervisor that will determine the projects and activities most suited to your abilities and interests. Remember no matter who you are, as long as you have the enthusiasm and desire you can make a real difference here!
Day trip to Shintuya hot springs: Head further downstream along the Manu river to visit the local community of Shintuya and learn about their way of life. Here you can also enjoy the natural hot springs and waterfalls, relaxing your muscles if they are sore from all that trekking! This day also offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the bio-diversity and culture of the Manu region.
Active Project Involvement: Now comes the time to put all your recent ecological education into practical use! You'll actively support field research activity and community development work, contributing to data collection on wildlife, survey work and monitoring activities.
Rest Day: After a solid fortnight of adventure, exploring, learning and work you'll have a chance to put your feet up at the Manu Learning Centre and take it all in! This is also a wonderful chance to further explore the region at a leisurely pace and spot some of the magnificent wildlife that resides there.
Return to Cusco: After a hearty breakfast, bid a fond farewell to Manu, and travel a full day overland back to Cusco, arriving in the evening.
Sign out: The trip has come full circle and from here you will sign out and depart with an airport drop-off if requested. You'll leave with wild stories of adventure to reflect upon and a wealth of experiential learning about sustainable practices.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this project's availability, departure dates and costs
- Please note that longer stays are available (up to 12 weeks) - click 'Ask a Question' for more information
- All accommodation
- In-country transport
- International flights
- Any other services or activities not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator!