Peru – Amazon Wildlife Rescue & Release Sanctuary

Help rescue wild animals from the Amazon rainforest! The Amazon Wildlife Sanctuary heals animals affected by the illegal wildlife trade, hunting, and habitat loss. As a volunteer, you will help feed and care for the animals, as well as maintain and improve the center. The primary goal is to release most of the animals into protected reserves.


  • Join a true grassroots and leading wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in Peru
  • Learn from professionals and volunteer closely with indigenous wild animals
  • Live and work in the enchanting Amazon jungle.
  • Help prepare animals for release
  • Help to care for baby animals
  • Ethical wildlife volunteering and interactions
  • Learn about the local ecosystem and help educate people on conservation


Your Schedule at a Glance:

Arrival Day, SUN: Taxi collection from the airport or bus station, followed by volunteer orientation. You will learn about the animals at the center and have an educational tour.

Day 2-5, MON-FRI: As a volunteer, you will begin the day from 7am breakfast until about 5pm, with breaks in between and lunch at 12:30pm. During the day, volunteers will feed the animals twice a day, assist with animal care, maintenance and other projects. The accommodation is located inside the sanctuary grounds.

Day 6-7, SUN-SAT: Volunteers usually have the day off! You are free to go into the local town and explore, go on tours, or enjoy the Tambopata River, where you can go canoeing and have a relaxing swim! Any volunteers staying just one week will prepare for departure on Saturday.

The remaining weeks usually follow this schedule with a day off once a week (depending on the volunteer rotation).


Location icon Location of the Project: Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Project length Project length: Min 1 weeks – Max 12 weeks (minimum of 2 weeks is recommended)

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Padre Aldamiz International Airport (PEM)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Animal care, feeding and maintenance

Age Age: Minimum age of 18

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: A minimum of 1 volunteer, with a maximum of 15 at a time.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms at the local Amazon Sanctuary in Puerto Maldonado, up to 4 per room.

Food Food: Three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup and drop off via local taxi is provided

Orientation Orientation: The local team provides orientation on the first day once you settle in

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses.

This project takes place in Tambopata, Peru. A remote jungle area on the banks of an Amazon tributary, nature will surround you in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world! Don’t worry, 30 minutes away is the local town of Puerto Maldonado, where volunteers can enjoy their days off and explore the area. There is a tour called Lago Sandoval, which you ride on the amazon river and will no doubt spot a variety of wildlife unique to the area!

Any volunteer who signs up for the program won’t regret it. The animal sanctuary is one of the few in the Madre de Dios region that releases animals back into their natural habitat. As a volunteer, you will help rehabilitate animals that have suffered from destructive human activities, such as logging, mining, farming, road building, and illegal wildlife trafficking.

The Amazon Shelter was founded in 2005 by Magali Salinas, who still runs it today and is a dedicated wildlife rehabilitator. She single-handedly built the Amazon sanctuary from a single enclosure, caring for a handful of animals. Today, the shelter cares for over 80 animals at one time and releases dozens into the forest every year! As the shelter continues to grow, volunteers play a key role in daily activities and the goal of releasing the animals back into the wild.


Volunteer work will include:

  • Preparing animal meals
  • Evaluation projects assessing the animals’ diets
  • Cleaning animal enclosures
  • Support in maintenance and repair of animal environments
  • Assist with enclosure enrichment, including toys, perches, as well as other things to stimulate mental and physical activity of the animals. Thus reducing the stress of captivity.
  • Assisting with educational tours
  • Assist our full-time vet with a variety of exercises
  • Recognition and identification of various species
  • Work on personal project/area of focus for the duration of the stay



Typical volunteer day:

  • Volunteers will receive breakfast at 7:00 AM, before preparing the animals’ meals at 8:00 AM.
  • Volunteers will feed the animals from 8:00-9:00 AM and collect leaves for the Howler Monkeys at 9:30.
  • From 11:00 AM–1:00 PM, volunteers will select a personal project to work on for the duration of their stay.
  • Lunch is at around 1:00 PM.
  • At 2:00 PM, volunteers will prepare food and feed the animals.
  • At 3:30 PM, volunteers will help to clean the animal enclosures.
  • The day concludes at 5:00 PM, and volunteers have time off to relax and shower.
  • Dinner is at 7:00 PM, the rest of the evening is for relaxing, bonfires, films, and night walks with fellow volunteers.

*this volunteer schedule is subject to change


Volunteers can choose an area they prefer to work in – either primates (monkeys), terrestrial mammals (Tapir, deer, agouti), sloths, or birds (Macaws and parakeets). Once you select an area, you can help improve and enrich the enclosures.

Upon request, you can work with our full-time vet to learn about animal care and help administer medicine to animals.

You may also be asked to assist with any educational tours taking place.

Internet icon Internet: No Wi-Fi is available onsite, but volunteers can buy a sim card with internet from town.

Laundry icon Laundry: Station for hand washing clothes is available on site or laundry services in Town (for an extra fee).

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in double rooms in a comfortable wooden bungalow on site. Facilities include a shared bathroom with showers (cold water), toilets, and electricity. You’ll be sharing rooms, but only 4 per room. If you are traveling as a couple, please mention this during the application interview to discuss the potential of a private room.

Food icon Food: Three meals a day provided to all volunteers. The onsite chef provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Should you have any dietary requests such as vegan or gluten-free, just mention it in your application form, so they can make preparations.


  • Passionate about wildlife
  • Able to conduct physical tasks in a tropical climate
  • Basic level of English
  • Police clearance
  • Minimum age 18
  • The program requests volunteers to have up-to-date hepatitis and tetanus shots

Volunteers have afternoons and one day a week free to explore!

A lodge situated only a hundred meters away offers kayaking and boat tours to spot Macaws in the morning, as well as nighttime caiman watching.

The town of Puerto Maldonado is a 20-minute taxi away. It is an excellent base to visit Lake Sandoval – where they have giant river otters. Other tours include canopy walks, zip lining and monkey island (where they have released domesticated monkeys to live a ‘wild’ life.). The local team can assist with organizing extra activities. For example, a whole day tour that includes these activities costs around $50 per person.

Puerto Maldonado also has a jungle market and a central square with lots of pleasant restaurants and bars.

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?