For your next vacation, why not disconnect from your daily routine, and relax unencumbered in an incredible location in Latin America? If you’re also the type of person who would love to volunteer their spare time to care for the environment, or help with conservation efforts, why not combine these two activities! Below is a list of places where you can both rest, and be inspired to make a valuable contribution.
Monitor whales sharks in Baja California, Mexico
Love the sea? Passionate about animal conservation? Know how to swim? Headed by the Whale Shark Research Project in Baja California, Mexico, this initiative aims to protect the largest fish in our oceans. You’ll find yourself collaborating in the photographic identification of these magnificent creatures, as well as able to participate in other activities such as monitoring the state of their environment, as well as conveying the importance of the species and its ecosystem to the community. No experience required, only a passion for the cause!
Support the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
For periods of three months or longer, the Charles Darwin Foundation offers volunteering opportunities in the natural paradise of the Galapagos Islands. Amongst the most fun activities you’ll find the monitoring of birds & invertebrates, as well as the conservation of natural areas. If you’re looking for a bit more depth, you can immerse yourself in programs whose focus is on environmental education, scientific investigation, as well as administration. Since 1959, the Foundation has worked tirelessly to preserve the island and its unique species – they accept applications all year round. May-June and November-December are the ideal times to experience the breeding seasons of the marine birds.
Help with sea turtle conservation in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
If you want to vacation in one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful natural reserves whilst volunteering, this is the initiative for you. You’ll be able to deduct a portion of your expenses from your taxes, all the while supporting the Tortuguero reserve with their conservation of various species of sea turtles – the Tortuguero reserve has some of the most important nesting beaches in the entire western hemisphere. For one to three weeks, you’ll receive training in the care of the species. In addition, you will have accommodation, three meals a day, and boat trips amongst much more!
See the sunset in Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Straddling the border between Peru & Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is a highly recommended visit amongst the various suggested South American tours. Allow yourself to be seduced by the indigenous ruins and stunning nature, and the tour can continue until you reach Isla del Sol where you’ll find the mythical cradle of Inca culture on the Bolivian side of the lake. From Copacabana, La Paz, you can take a boat ride to the island. Upon arriving, give your body time to adjust to the altitude, and relax on one of many terraces or beaches – before you know it, you’ll be delighted by the most beautiful sight of all – the spectacular sunset.
Visit the Lost City, Colombia
Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (the world’s tallest coastal range), you will find the archeological site known as The Lost City. Birthplace of the Tayrona civilization, from which the region’s indigenous communities descend from: the Kogui, Kankuamo, Wiwa and Arhuaco. The Sierra is the world’s mother and its heart according to the Kogui people, and as you explore it, you too will find its ancestral and natural riches contagious. Prepare for the best of both worlds – bring clothes suitable for walking, as well as a bathing suit!