Volunteering at Los Cedros

Andreas y PhilippLos Cedros Biological Reserve is a non-profit organisation that depends on the hard work and contributions of volunteers for its continued survival. Volunteers muck-in where they are needed and typical day-to-day tasks can include

The Los Cedros volunteer experience is, paradoxically, both hard working and relaxed. The length of the working day varies with the projects at hand. Volunteers can count on breaking an occasional sweat and earning their appetites. However, they can also count on plenty of time to relax, chat, read, eat, hike, drink tea, swing in hammocks, admire the views, and generally enjoy a well-earned sense of accomplishment from the day’s labours.

See the Visiting section for more ideas about off-hours activities.

Long-term volunteers are particularly valuable since they have more time to get to know the reserve and to develop their own initiatives. However, shorter-term volunteers are also a necessary source of energy, ideas and labor. A minimum commitment of two weeks is required for volunteers, although a month or more is preferred. Most people who come here end up wanting to stay for longer anyway and many have.

in the woodshopThe biotic landscape of the cloud forest is constantly evolving, as are the conservation goals of the surrounding community, and steady effort is required to adapt the reserve to those changes. Depending on what scientific research projects are active, there are frequently opportunities for volunteers to participate in field research. For up-to-date information on current volunteer priorities, please contact the reserve.


Many volunteers arrive at Los Cedros thanks to the encouragement of friends who have come before. For those without a personal reference, check out the Testimonials Page to read some other peoples’ reflections.


Accommodation for volunteers ranges from simple-slash-functional to grandly eccentric. Rooms are divvied up according to taste and availability. Most rooms are single occupancy. During periods of high traffic volunteers may be asked to share a dorm room. Most rooms (like everything else at Los Cedros) have a phenomenal view.

Longer-term volunteers may consider reclaiming one of the several outbuildings on the trails around the central compound.


To apply to volunteer at Los Cedros simply contact the reserve with some basic information about yourself and we will get back to you soon, usually within a couple of days. Useful info for us is your name, where you are coming from, why you’re interested in volunteering, when you would arrive and how long you would like to stay. A short email is usually sufficient. We can also answer any questions you have and provide additional travel information in response.


international volunteers: $300 for two weeks
$500 per month
Ecuadorean volunteers: $150 for two weeks
$250 per month

lunchAll prices are in US dollars. Fees include all accommodation, bedding and food. Vegetarian cooking is available. Food is plentiful and good.

Mule transport is provided for bringing you and your gear up the mountain to the reserve at no additional charge. Some volunteers prefer to hike the journey themselves for the extra challenge and experience.

Los Cedros is a non-profit reserve. All fees go to maintenance, staff wages, and the development of projects which are part of the reserve’s goals of conservation and education.