“I would gladly visit again”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    10 / 10

My visit at the Cloud Forest was unforgettable! I had an amazing time volunteering and helping the nature preserve with their farm maintenance, rainforest preservation and learning Spanish. Juan and Alex from the preserve were very welcoming and provided a ton of knowledge to me about the area and the preserve. Farm work is hard and laborious but very rewarding. I would gladly visit again if I had the chance. The stay is much more enjoyable when there are multiple volunteers, because then you have the chance to share experiences and stories.


Ecuador is a beautiful country. There is so much nature all around. The culture is very interesting and very different than what I am used to here in America. Majority of the population does not speak english so it is best to understand at least some Spanish.

Project & Staff

The work we did on the nature preserve included farm work, rebuilding fences, feeding chickens, fixing chicken coops, planting trees, and maintaining hiking trails.
Juan and Alex were absolutely amazing. They were very polite and respective when speaking. They were welcoming and very eager to explain the preserve's history and areas of assistance they need.


The volunteer house is pretty amazing, rooms are big and you have access to a bathroom and kitchen easily.

Some tips:
Bring bug spray, preferably 40% deet or higher. There are mosquitos everywhere. There are also sand fleas which mostly show up during the day in the sun/shade. Long sleeve shirts and long pants help the most. Make sure you have high socks as well so that you don't get bug bites on your ankles.
Bring garden gloves, you will be doing a lot of construction, soil and machete work so its helpful to protect your hands.
Bring a headlamp for night bathroom visits. There are tons of other bugs in the volunteer house. Even bats around the area at night. So make sure your headlamp has red light to reduce bugs flying into your face at night.
The shower has warm water. It is heated at the shower head by electricity with a heating element. You can't turn the water speed to maximum or else the heating element can't keep up, so about medium water flow is good to get a good hot stream of water.
You have to wash dishes after each meal.
Food is mostly cooked by the onsite assistance El Sita, but you may be asked to help with certain meals. She cooks very well and accommodates vegetarians. Bring some emergency food like bars and snacks just in case you are not full with the meals served.
You will get the most enjoyment if there are other volunteers onsite. I was lucky enough to have two other people there who understood English and Spanish and were able to help translate Spanish for me.
There is wifi and some 4G signal at the volunteer house.
Water is unsafe to drink there but the assistant El Sita does a really good job boiling water and making sure it is always stocked in the kitchen. So make sure you fill a bottle with that water and then use it for brushing your teeth as well. I did not get sick at all during my trip because I was very cautious of using clean/boiled water.
Make sure you have Spanish to English and vise versa downloaded as an offline language in Google translate. The conversation mode saved me so much here and in Ecuador in general.
You will be hiking and walking a lot! Make sure you have good hiking boots. They have rain boots which you can use as well but my feet were too small and they didn't have a good size for me. So glad I brought my hiking boots. Make sure you exercise a week or 2 before and to get your body into walking mode. We hiked 5 miles on one day restoring a hiking trail.
Bring a small day pack backpack with a water bladder so that you can stay hydrated during the day when you're out and about working.
There are tons of books in the "Office" room of the volunteer house, but it's always good to bring some pass time activity with you while you rest between activities.