Amazon Adventure



Amazon Adventure

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  • Jump on a relaxing boat ride down some of the most important waterways of the world, leading directly into the Amazon River. This incredible journey takes you past local villages to the largest city in the world not accessible by road.
  • Work alongside local indigenous organizations that are working tirelessly to defend indigenous rights, keep their cultural practices alive, and strengthen their communities.
  • Learn about how the effects of oil company operations stir up controversy among the Peruvian people while also delving into the issues of LGBT rights in the jungle.
  • Play on the beaches of Paracas and camp under the stars in the coastal desert!

Program Dates

July 15 – August 23

May 27 – July 5
Applications Closed!

Fees + Community Contribution  

$2,990 + $615
$3,280 + $750

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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

Orientation – Lima
Our program starts in Lima, the capital of Peru and the gateway to the colonial Spanish empire of South America. Following pickups from Jorge Chavez Airport, the group will have an in-country orientation: Spanish classes, a crash course in Peruvian culture and politics, and, of course, our first taste of Peruvian cuisine!

While staying in the coastal district of Miraflores at a backpacker’s hostel, our lovely hosts quickly make it everyone’s home away from home. We will explore the city in unconventional ways, greet the grand ocean that runs along the city district, and even embark on a bike tour which will help our team understand the complexity of Peru’s tragic colonial history. We will also hit the streets learning how to bargain hard in local markets and how to navigate local transportation all while experiencing true Latino hospitality!

San Roque de Cumbaza and Ecoaldeas

From Lima, the group will undertake an incredibly long (but rewarding!) journey from the coast, over the Andes, and into the Amazon! Our 32-hour bus ride follows the winding road to Tarapoto, where we’ll begin our journey into the upper Amazon to work alongside Ecoaldeas in their mission to support more environmentally and socially sustainable initiatives in rural Amazonia. A short combi ride will take us into the jungle town of San Roque de Cumbaza, where we will settle in for a few days before hitting the road on our 2-3 day trek with Ecoaldeas, where we will explore the incredible biodiversity of the region. It’s a tough trek, but we are continually rewarded by the incredible views and the comforting food our amazing guides prepare for us. Be prepared for late night sing-alongs and storytelling time!

To the Amazon!

After our week with Ecoaldeas, we’ll head to the port town of Yurimaguas where we board a 2-3-day ferry ride into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, a boat ride which varies in length depending on water levels and river traffic! Interspersed with interesting jungle meals and some incredibly fun activities, the trip is spent getting to know each other, sleeping in hammocks, and enjoying the amazing view of the river and jungle shoreline. Expect jaw-dropping sunset and sunrise views on this unforgettable journey!

Nauta & Puerto Miguel

We’ll disembark in Nauta, where we’ll continue our journey in low jungle. We’ll meet with several organizations working to challenge the discrimination, threats to culture and language, and the growing threat to the environment that affect the Kukama peoples living in this part of the Amazon. We’ll be immersing ourselves in a variety of forms of resistance through public radio, education and art. Get ready to swat away those bugs, share meals, and tell stories with the local people living in the small town of Puerto Miguel.

Community Connections in the Northern Amazon

We’ll be living in Iquitos, the largest city (400,000 people) in the world not accessible by road, or El Estrecho, another city deep in the jungle! We’ll visit local markets, learn about issues of mining, conservation, and human rights while engaging with community-requested projects in the city or out in the jungle. We will work with multiple organizations that fight in defense of indigenous rights, strive to keep their cultural practices alive, and work to strengthen their communities.

In the past we’ve helped build community centres with youth groups, lugging wood out of the jungle, and learning the 29 ways to use a machete around our work site from our new local friends. Always prioritizing community-requested projects, our work this year will depend on the needs of the communities when we arrive in the summer!

Apart from this, we’ll also have the opportunity to meet with Tsanwa, a youth LGBT group, to learn about their work and speak with our Peruvian counterparts about issues that affect all of us! Combined with all of this, there will also be day trips where we’ll actively be exploring the wildlife in the Amazon jungle. It’s sure to be an unrivalled experience!

Independent Travel Time

Our crew will also have Independent Travel Time (ITT) – a staple of all Operation Groundswell programs. You can travel independently if you desire but we encourage everyone to travel in pairs or small groups. ITT is the ideal time for you to learn more about your specific interests: visiting our other partners in Peru, hiking the glaciers outside Huaraz, or heading over to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu! Be it volunteering, traveling, or just relaxing, there are options for all.

**Please note that you are not under the auspices of the organized program during ITT. Team members will be given the emergency contact number of program leaders during ITT for any advice.


Prior to flying home, our group will reconvene for a program debrief known as ‘disorientation’. After our independent explorations, we will meet up in Peru’s third unique geographic region: the coastal desert in Paracas! We will camp under the stars, discuss our accomplishments, how we can stay in touch, and what future projects we can collaborate on before everyone heads off to the airport for some tearful goodbyes!

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What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it


Independent Travel Time is your opportunity to go out there and explore on your own terms!

  • Kick back or catch a wave on the beaches of coastal Peru in Huanchaco.
  • Climb an epic glacier at Huaraz or hike up to the famous ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • Swim in the highest elevated lake in the world: Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian or Bolivian shore.


With OG, you live like the locals.

Traveling as much as we do on the Peru program, there will be a number of different styles of accommodation. In cities, we’ll usually be sleeping at clean, safe, and secure guesthouses that will feel like a second home in no time. When we’re trekking or in rural communities, we’ll generally be sleeping under the stars or in the community centre of the town we are staying in. Cold bucket showers are common while continuous electricity can’t always be guaranteed – so come prepared! Though Western comforts should not be assumed, you can expect to better connect with locals and their culture. 

Meet Our Regional Director

Emilie lives for creating and seizing opportunities; opportunities to meet people, to challenge herself, to laugh (loudly), and to learn. From Haiti to the Philippines, she early on found travel as way to fulfill all of the above. After a mechanical engineering degree, she quickly figured out that she had a magnetic attraction to engineering experience and connections rather than things, although things would be way easier! She now loves to get her different gears turning, with social and environmental change as the motor. Wherever Emilie is, you’ll find her breaking into a dance, trying to cook something new, and spending time outdoors as much as possible accompanied by endless evenings of music and board games.

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