Want to get the most out of your vacation?
Discover volunteer opportunities that range from teaching English to rescuing wild animals, explore various options for ecotours, learn about eco-friendly places to stay—and make a difference.
Amy E. Robertson shares how volunteer vacations convert the tourist into the traveler, allowing you to experience a destination and connect with locals in a new way.
Identifying the right experience depends greatly on knowing yourself and your own expectations. Here are a few questions to consider when looking to volunteer.
Learn more about the many options for your international volunteer experience with projects ranging from community development to agriculture to wildlife protection.
Ecotourism in Brazil
- Cruise the Amazon on a Riverboat Trip An alternative to staying put in a jungle lodge is to choose a riverboat as your headquarters, which will allow you to cover far more territory. Michael Sommers shares the various options for cruising the Amazon, from luxury ships with plasma TVs and champagne to local boats that are geared more for transport than tourism.
- From Manaus into the Amazon Rain Forest From Manaus, you can get a taste of the rain forest with day trips, but a longer tour or excursion is better if you want to get away from civilization, experience “virgin” forest, and see some wildlife.
- Ilha de Marajó in Para, Brazil This Switzerland-size island, some 90km northwest of Belém, boasts deserted beaches and mangrove swamps teeming with exotic cranes, herons, ibises, and thousands and thousands of water buffalo.
Other Ecotourism and Volunteering Articles
- Boating, Sailing & Fishing Off Ambergris Caye Explore the Caribbean the way it was meant to be traveled: by sea. Here are the top boat tours and operators for those seeking to fish, snorkel, dive, or simply enjoy being out on the ocean.
- Volunteer Opportunities and NGOs in Ollantaytambo Want a different sort of vacation? Learn more about several NGOs in Ollantaytambo that are worth contacting if you’re looking for volunteer and homestay opportunities.
- Sea Turtles of the Yucatán Four sea turtle species nest on the shores of the Yucatán Peninsula. Learn about volunteering and about changing attitudes toward protection and preservation in the area.
- Three Volunteer Opportunities in Todos Santos Those traveling with some extra time and/or the desire to integrate themselves into the Todos Santos community might consider volunteering with one of the well-organized nonprofits in the area. Here are three great options if you’re looking to volunteer.
- Belize’s Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary A 33-mile drive from Belize City, or a little over an hour by bus, the island village and wildlife sanctuary of Crooked Tree are primary destinations for serious bird-watchers. Lily Girma provides an overview of Crooked Tree, including information on hiking, lagoons, and the annual cashew festival.
- From Bus to Horseback to ATV, Take a Guided Land Tour of Aruba Aruba has a wealth of both large and small tours, allowing visitors to tour exactly as they please, whether that’s on horseback, on an off-road vehicle, or in the comfort of an air-conditioned coach.
- Take a Guided Tour of Savannah, Georgia Savannah’s tourist boom has resulted in a similar explosion of more than 50 separate tour services, ranging from guided trolley journeys to carriage rides to ecotourism adventures. Author Jim Morekis lists the most notable offerings to choose from when planning your trip.
- Coming Full-Circle: How Volunteer Vacations Impacted My Life Good volunteer vacations give travelers the opportunity to insert themselves into the local reality and meet locals on their own terms. Moon author Amy E. Robertson shares her own personal experiences with volunteer vacations, from building homes in Honduras to monitoring political elections in Ecuador to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in the United States.
- Volunteer Opportunities in Belize From conservation efforts to community outreach to opportunities to work with women and children, there are many opportunities for volunteering in Belize. Victoria Day-Wilson shares a sampling of a few well-known organizations.
- Off the Beaten Path: Eco-Adventures in Costa Rica Looking to get environmentally involved on your next vacation? Escape the touristy crowds and experience the real Costa Rica that many visitors often miss. Author Christopher P. Baker suggests some fascinating places and experiences.