Volunteering with monkeys in Ecuador

“Monkey rehabilitation, Ecuadorian and Amazonian rainforest. What’s not to love if primates are your primary love? Stay on site in shared volunteer accommodation. All food included. ”


Volunteer with established monkey sanctuary | Amazon rainforest | Quito | Spider monkeys | Capuchin monkeys | Woolly monkeys | Squirrel monkeys | Tamarins

Description of Volunteering with monkeys in Ecuador

Help to look after over 60 monkeys and other Amazonian creatures by volunteering in a monkey sanctuary in Ecuador, based on the beautiful edges of the Amazon rainforest.

This animal haven provides a loving home to a wide variety of rescued primates, including spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, woolly monkeys, squirrel monkeys and tamarins. Many of these creatures were previously kept as pets or were being trafficked in the illegal pet trade. Sadly, due their familiarity with humans these monkeys cannot be released back to the wild. Instead, this jungle sanctuary has been created for them to roam free and live a life as close to the wild as possible.

This project is an inspiring conservation initiative, aiming to give these mistreated animals a natural retirement home. The sanctuary could not exist without the volunteers, and so you will be put to good use and expected to work hard. Prepare to get mucky and stuck in – and to do everything under the watchful eye of your primate friends.

This project is largely hands-off, in order to encourage these monkeys here to become more wild. Sadly this is not possible for all of them and there are a few who have been so humanised that they are lonely without human presence. They are encouraged to live in nature during the day, but there are times when they come to interact and play with the volunteers when necessary. Occasionally orphaned baby monkeys come in to the sanctuary, and these require around the clock care such as bottle feeding and simply allowing them to sleep on you for warmth.

Accommodation and food
At the heart of the sanctuary is the volunteer house, where you will be sharing a dorm room with 4 - 6 others. There are two bathrooms with western toilets and hot and cold showers. There is a large living and dining area, and a kitchen where meals are prepared. All food is provided however volunteers take it in turns to rustle up something for the group at lunch and dinner time. This is a real highlight as you can taste cuisines from around the world.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival day to Quito is usually a Sunday. You will be transferred from the airport to your first night accommodation
Day 2:Monday. You will be transferred by group taxi to the sanctuary
Day 3-7:Volunteering at the monkey sanctuary with one day off per week
Day 7+:Onward travel if only staying for 1 week. You can stay up to 12 weeks

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This project is all about conserving animals and enabling them to live with protection in their natural environment. Everything that is done at the sanctuary is done to maintain the environment for these rescued primates. Without this sanctuary there would not be a suitable environment for these rescued and abused monkeys to go.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

The Impacts of this Trip

Meeting local needs:
In addition to helping to protect primates and other abused animals, this sanctuary plays an important role in protecting the local economy. This rural area relies on conservation and wildlife for tourism as there are no big cities nearby. The sanctuary brings volunteers to the area and has created jobs for local people, both directly at the sanctuary and indirectly through using taxi companies, supermarkets, markets and restaurants. By helping at the sanctuary our volunteers are ensuring its survival and allowing it to expand the number of animals it can help.

Cultural sensitivity:
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural South Africa. Our policy is to send people overseas in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community. We really emphasise the value of learning some Spanish before departure.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation.


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