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Amazon cloud forest conservation expedition in Peru

Help protect the Amazon cloud forest in Peru.

Program Code: PEOX0905E

Program Information

Join us in the Amazon cloud forest to conserve and research its unique biodiversity. Help to protect one of the rarest habitats on earth, whilst working with real conservationists to carry out important citizen science projects such as reforestation, wildlife conservation and research, and habitat preservation.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Remote-Working Friendly
Reliable WIFI
Part-Time Options


Travel to the forest of Oxapampa, just 1km away from Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park, a remote and rarely visited protected area of the Amazon, known for its abundance of rare cloud forest habitat and wealth of biodiversity. You’ll be living in the heart of the cloud forest in a remote solar, wind and hydroelectric-powered research base, whilst contributing directly to conservation and sustainable development efforts.

You’ll be assisting a local conservation organisation with protecting the forest by carrying out research and projects that’ll influence the increase of conservation efforts in Oxapampa. Some of your work will revolve around collecting data on specific species by identifying elusive species through animal tracking and camera trapping. Other tasks will revolve around determining the health of the surrounding cloud forest, and supporting the preservation and reforestation of degraded areas. In addition, you could also spend time developing education efforts to improve the community's knowledge of the area’s overall biodiversity. You may also be involved in surveying sites for specific plants including orchids and fungi, learning to identify and record them.


  • Contribute to Amazon cloud forest conservation efforts.

  • Live in a remote research base, powered by renewable energy, surrounded by rare cloud forest habitat.

  • Research some of the local flora and fauna species.

  • See what life as a conservationist is actually like.

  • Gain real conservation skills from experts in the field.

Program Details

Change your location and dates free of charge.
Payment Plans
Flexible payment plans available.
Cancellation Waiver
Cancel anytime and receive a full refund minus your deposit.

Select a Start Date

  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Life On Base

Live in the Peruvian cloud forest while contributing directly to conservation and sustainable development efforts. Wake up with the forest, as you overlook the canopy listening to the morning bird songs as you get ready for the day. A cup of locally grown Peruvian coffee will spur on your energy as you develop your skills in wildlife conservation, habitat preservation, public health, terrestrial conservation and research techniques. Share a home with like-minded people from all over the world with the Amazon cloud forest. On the weekends, hike the trails of the nearby national park, spend time in Oxapampa town among the locals, or relax on base around the freshwater plunge pool in the day, and around the fire pit at night.

Base Tour


24-hour in-country support
Forest side living
Meals while on project
Wildlife sightings

Lodgings for this program are dormitories sleeping up to eight people with each room equipped with electricity. A separate block provides hot water showers and a mixture of Western-style and dry toilets.


We provide day transfers from the airport in Jauja (JAU) to our
base in Oxapampa. If night transfers, a Movil Bus is availablewhich typically takes 10-12 hours. For travel on weekends, rent a bicycle to get around the province.


Local SIM cards and pay-as-you-go credit can be bought affordably in Peru, however, bear in mind that it might not be as fast or reliable as you might be used to in your home country. Our project sites are mainly rural which means that wifi and telephone signals here are limited.


Breakfast, lunch and dinners will be served at the accommodation with participants cooking meals together. On weekends off there are a number of restaurants to explore in Oxapampa town where you can sample some traditional Peruvian cuisine.


Peru is famous for its unique and dramatic climate and Oxapampa, where our projects are based, is no exception.


Oxapampa is at 1800 meters above sea level so it is important to give your body time to adjust to the high altitude and follow our staff instructions while acclimating. There are medical clinics and a hospital in Oxapampa. If there were to be a medical issue, GVI staff will ensure that affected participants are transported to the relevant facility depending on the nature and severity of the illness or injury.


COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.

The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Live Updates

Follow GVI Volunteer-In-Oxapampa-Wildlife's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.


When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


COVID-19 Safety

Please note that the above images were taken pre COVID-19. All airport pick-ups and program operations now run with enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.


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As GVI is providing this portal as a service we are not responsible for the accuracy of this site.

We are also not responsible for any loss, damage (including loss of profits or consequential damages), injury, illness, harm or death in relation to your flight and travel arrangements.

Meet the team - Senior Field Management

Karol Hermoza

Program Manager
Meet Karol our Program Manager for GVI Cusco. She is from the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. Karol has done her studies in tourism and got her master's degree from Durham University.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Peru is one of the most biodiverse places in the world boasting over 25,000 species of plant, 500 species of mammals, 300 species of reptiles and 1,800 species of birds. With the Amazon, often referred to as ‘the lungs of the world’ covering 2/3rds of the country, the environmental protection of this area is crucial.

GVI works in collaboration with our partner the Center for Sustainable Development (CDS), to focus on three pillars of conservation, sustainable development and research. CDS is a non-profit organisation that has been working in the cloud forest in the region of Oxapampa since 2011. The team are experts in their fields and are excited to share their knowledge and expertise with you.

The main UN Sustainable Development Goals include #4 Quality Education, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, #13 Climate Action and #15 Life on Land.

Our Partners In Oxapampa Wildlife

Project Objectives

GVI Peru Long-term Objectives:

1. Promote native forest sustainable management and improve habitat restoration.

2. Establish a biodiversity baseline and monitoring of native fauna and flora.

3. Promote sustainable examples and prototypes that the community can replicate.

4. Increase awareness and education about sustainable development, climate change and habitat conservation within the community and at a national and international level.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Program Ethics



We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos


We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases


When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.


We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.


We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.


We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.


A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.

For All GVI Participants

Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing


Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically


Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals


Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact


For All Participants at Oxapampa Wildlife

Conservation: Survey Techniques and Logistics


Conservation: Biodiversity & Target Species Identification


Work Site Training



References and Recommendations

Free time

Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.

Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.

Weekend Trips

Villa Rica and Laguna El Oconal

Spend the weekend at Villa Rica in a beautiful part of Pasco, located just 2 hours from base. Here you can take a boat across the Laguna El Oconal, taking in the breathtaking views. There's also the opportunity to see the waterfall of Catarata Velo de la Novia.

Pozuzo and La Poza de Agua y Sal

Vist Pozuzo, a village about 3 hours from the base. Here you can explore La Poza de Agua y Sal, a pool of crystal clear waters where you can swim and watch the wildlife. On route you can stop off at Estación Huampal, the other entrance to Yanachaga Chemillén National Park, where you might have the chance to see the national bird of Peru, the Andean cock-of-the-rock.

El Tigre Waterfall

Take in the cascading waters of El Tigre Waterfall, also known as Catarata Rio Tigre. Viewed from a pedestrian suspension bridge over the river, this waterfall is located just 14 kilometres from the Oxapampa city centre.

Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park

Located to the north of Oxapampa you can find the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, known for its diverse flora and fauna species and rare cloud forest biome.

Further Travels

Machu Picchu

Travel to the city of Cusco, known as the gateway to Machu Picchu. Here there are many trails available for hikers of differing fitness levels. This is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Peru, therefore we recommend booking far ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Nazca lines

View the massive geoglyphs, symbols made using only rocks and the top layer of soil, make by the Nazca culture. The best views are afforded from the air, so be sure to rent a flight over Paracas National Reserve.

Huacachina desert oasis

A great day trip from Lima, is a visit to Huacachina, an oasis in the middle of the desert. Swim in the lake, relax on its shores, or sandboard the surrounding dunes.


Visit Peru’s capital, stroll the promenade sampling the city’s famous street eats or join the local surf cult hanging ten just off the edge of the capital’s limestone cliffs.


Visit the three city set between three volcanoes. The city has a unique culture different to any other throughout Peru. Hike nearby Colca Canyon to see the great condor in flight.

The Reed Islands

Travel to Puno to learn how the local people make their own islands using reeds that float on one of the highest lakes in the world, Titicaca.

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Surrounded by beautiful high jungle scenery and located just 500 kilometres northeast of Lima, the small town of Oxapampa boasts many interesting cultural aspects. Rolling hills blanketed in the cloud serve as a backdrop to the charming wooden houses of the town, where the Peruvian, German and Austrian cultural influences can most obviously be seen. Oxapampa's close proximity to Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park is another one of the things that make this town a popular spot for tourists to the region.


January: The Adoration of the Kings, or honouring of the birth of the Christ child by the three kings, is celebrated with great fanfare.
April: Easter is often celebrated for an entire week and the local plaza fills up with celebrants.
May: Taking place in late May and early June, Quyllurit'i, celebrates the beginning of harvest season. Thousands of pilgrims arrive to watch the sun rise.
June: The Selvamonos Music and Art Festival is celebrated in Oxapampa in June. Also celebrated in June is the traditional Incan festival of Inti Raymi in honour of the sun god Inti.
July: The festival of the Virgin of Carmen, is celebrated for four day with traditional costumes and dances in mid July. Late July is when Peru celebrates their independence from the Spanish government.
August: The first day of August is Andean New Year, and is celebrated by building and burning altars of traditional foods.
September: In early September Catholics celebrate the birth of the mother of Jesus with Peru. The festival of Lord Huanca honours a local saint and a local Andean ceremony acts as an initiation ceremony for boys from the local community.
November: On the first few days of November, Catholics celebrate the Day of the Dead to honour their ancestors.

Spirituality and Religion

Peru has a mostly Catholic population. However, communities still hold certain beliefs of the Inca religion. They honour the earth mother as well as local spirits.


Locally the most important agricultural pursuits are coffee and the farming of cattle using methods that date back to the time of the Inca. Here you can learn about how crops, like coffee, potatoes and corn, are grown and used for food, medicine, and as a dye for textiles. Learn about the process of planting, harvesting, and preparing food as well as how alpaca wool is gathered and dyed.


There will be plenty of opportunities to learn and practice your Spanish language skills by engaging with people in the local community.

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures are in place throughout each GVI program. Learn more.


Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.

Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov


It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.

1 Nov


As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.

6 Nov


The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.

5 Nov


Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.

What's Included


24-hour emergency desk

24-hour in-country support

Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)

All project equipment

Food (except on long-term internship placements)

Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)

Pre-Program Training

Group introductory call

Welcome presentation

Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Endorsed Leadership Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond
Project Work

Sustainable project work

Leadership responsibilities

Remote Support

Remote Internship Supervisor


Preferential recruitment on GVI positions

Job portal access

Endorsed Careers Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Career coaching sessions

Certificates & Achievements

PDF reference - upon request