Set off on an adventure as an ecovolunteer in Patagonia, in a 3,000-hectare nature reserve. Discover a mythical region with grandiose landscapes! All volunteer programs here
Developing ecotourism in Patagonia
The nature reserve is a 3,000-hectare protected area set in a breathtaking, virtually unexplored landscape. The terrain is characterized by temperate rainforests, deep lakes, clear rivers and mountains, at the foot of the Chilean Andes. The natural park is home to a variety of fauna, birds and thousand-year-old trees. It's an ideal volunteering project for adventurers and nature lovers.
Leave as few traces as possible
Tourism is currently expanding in this region. However, the only way to make this magical reserve accessible to the public in complete safety is to develop ethical and sustainable ecotourism. Visitors are welcome, but nature comes first! Indeed, only a certain number of visitors are allowed at any one time, to ensure that the flora and fauna are not disturbed. In a center, tourists receive information on the park's biodiversity and on how to leave no trace during their stay. 18 km of hiking trails allow hikers to explore the park. Hikers can stay either in a luxurious lodge on the edge of the park, or in rudimentary mountain huts in the middle of the park. Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore this little paradise, as it borders Lake Tagua-Tagua, which is linked to the Reloncavi fjord by a river.
Volunteers can be guides or trail workers
It's important for ecovolunteers to be motivated and active! You could be assigned to a number of different positions, such as tour guide, volunteer hut and hiking trail maintainer, information center volunteer, forestry volunteer, and so on. There are no regular working hours, as is the case with outdoor and mountain jobs. The number of working days and the workload in Patagonia are determined by weather conditions. People generally work more hours in good weather and fewer hours in bad. However, no one is obliged to work more than they are capable of!
An experience in a remote wilderness location
You need to be aware of the project's unique character and its remoteness from any activity. The location is very quiet and isolated. The nearest towns, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, are both around three hours away and can only be visited on days off. The nearest village is 11 kilometers away.
Depending on the weather and the time of year, this project has different needs. There's a lot of service-related work in the lodge, in the restaurant and as a tour guide during the austral summer, when tourists visit the site. Out of season, the job is to prepare for the arrival of tourists so that there are no accidents or inconveniences. We have to maintain hiking trails, bridges, footbridges and huts. At the end of the season, it's time to take inventory, plan for the winter and the following season, and carry out any work that may be required.
Volunteers are expected to perform the following tasks
- Assistance at the welcome center
- Welcoming and informing park visitors
- Help in organizing guided tours
- Development and maintenance of hiking trails
- Maintenance/cleaning of mountain refuges
- Cutting and stacking wood
- Support for park rangers
- Other tasks in the field of nature and species protection
- Cleaning and maintenance work in the lodge
Nota Bene: tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time, season, current project needs and personal motivation. Each volunteer may not be fully involved in all tasks.
- Minimum 4 weeks. Between early October and end of March
Application fee: €150
Program cost: €330 (for a minimum stay of 4 weeks)
Additional week: €15
Included in fees
- Shared room in the volunteer house
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Professional advice in English
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer internship in Chile
- English-speaking support in the country
- Chile manual
- Intercultural guide
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information on suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Not included in fees
You'll work and live where others go on vacation. Depending on the season and activity, you'll stay either in a shared room at the lodge, or in one of the park's mountain huts. In both cases, breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
The program is located in one of Chile's most stunning and unspoilt regions, over 1,000 km south of Santiago de Chile. Only boats are allowed into the park, which is located on the southern shore of Lake Tagua Tagua. A three-hour drive and a boat ride is all it takes to reach the nearest major cities, Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas.
Because of its location and relatively rudimentary infrastructure, the region is known throughout Chile for its beauty, yet remains a secret. There are no five-star hotels in the region, nor are there any tourist destinations accessible by car.
You'll be in a remote but unspoilt region. So you can enjoy the magnificent Patagonian scenery in your spare time. What visitors appreciate most about this park is its remoteness and the fact that it can only be reached by boat. You'll have to forgo many of the conveniences of "civilization", but when you wake up, you'll see a turquoise-green lake and enjoy the peace and quiet. The natural scenery is breathtaking, and whether you're staying in a mountain hut or at the lodge, you're in the heart of an exceptional landscape.
Hiking or horse riding
You can go hiking (on foot or horseback) or kayaking to reach the most magical places. Anyone who makes the effort will be rewarded with unrivalled natural beauty. The environment, home to a variety of flora and fauna, is characterized by crystal-clear rivers, waterfalls in the old-growth forest, small lagoons inviting you to swim and craggy rocks.
Le partenaire is an intercultural agency founded in 2003 by Marion, a German living in Chile. Marion specializes in organizing solidarity and participatory trips, ecovolunteer programs, language stays and educational programs throughout Latin America. This agency offers missions in Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador... Whether you're a student, professional or retired, its trips are designed for those who want to experience Latin America in a different way from that of a simple tourist. All stays with South America Inside