Volunteer Work, Nature Protection
Torres del Paine National Park
flexible start and end dates, between September and March
30 days or 60 days
This volunteer project is about the protection and preservation of the original flora and fauna in and around the Torres del Paine National Park. On around 4,400 hectares of land at the starting point of the day hikes to the famous three towers ("Las Torres") and the popular five-day W-Trek, hard work is being done to keep the human footprint in nature as small as possible, even though the number of tourists increases every year.
Furthermore, the project is responsible for the extensive and nature-friendly infrastructure in the park and offers lectures and information on the subject of environmental education and sensitization of tourists on the topic of nature conservation.
In this project, you can learn in one of the most beautiful, but also wildest places in the world, how tourism and nature conservation can work even in sensitive ecosystems. The project is suitable for volunteers who like to be outdoors in any weather and work physically.
Year after year, especially in the summer months (December to February), thousands of tourists from all over the world come to the Torres del Paine National Park to admire its natural beauties.
A lot of work has to be done to ensure that tourism does no harm to nature and that everything runs smoothly. Tourists have to be informed in the visitor center about the strict rules they have to follow, and the infrastructure has to be maintained.
Unfortunately, the protection of the park did not always work that well, there were several devastating forest fires in the past, the last and largest one in 2012. The area that was destroyed at the time is still being afforested. A lot, but not every task in the part is hard physical work with a shovel and hoe, helpers are also sought in administration and marketing.
Tasks may include:
- Marketing und Arbeit in der Verwaltung
- Mithilfe bei Kampagnen und wissenschaftlichen Studien
- Hilfe bei landwirtschaftlichen Aufgaben
- Maintenance of the hiking trails
- Assistance in the visitor center
- Environmental education
- Marketing and administration work
- Help with campaigns and scientific studies
- Help in agriculture
Working hours are 8 hours a day on 11 consecutive days, then volunteers get 4 days off. (Important: The project must be left on the days off. Accommodation and meals on the days off are not included, nor is transport to and from the project).
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
You will live in a place that others dream of as a travel destination for years. The accommodations for our volunteers are shared rooms in the staff/volunteer house directly at the Torres del Paine National Park. They are simple and functional, but offer a cozy retreat in the wild, rugged landscape.
Internet is not available or only to a very limited extent.
The house is located at one of the central points of the park. On site you will be told how to get to the respective location of the day.
The staff house is your home during your shift, but not on the days off. During these days, many volunteers take the bus to Puerto Natales and stay there on their own in one of the many convenient accommodations or take a trip to Argentina.
Puerto Natales is an ideal starting point for many tours, by horse, by kayak or boat, but also a nice little town to relax, eat well and catch up on the internet from the days in the park.
Punta Arenas and the surrounding area, as well as Tierra del Fuego are also worth a visit and can be explored well in 4 days off. In Punta Arenas you will not only find a duty-free shopping area, but you can also walk in the footsteps of the Patagonian pioneers or take tours to penguin colonies.
If you are an outdoor fan and would like to explore the Torres del Paine Park yourself on a trekking tour, you can also use the days off - you will be amazed!
(Important: The project must be left on the days off. Accommodation and meals on these days off are not included, nor is transport to and from the project).
The famous Torres del Paine National Park is located in the deep south of Chile, in southern Patagonia. Punta Arenas Airport can be reached from Santiago in just over three hours by plane and from there it is approximately a 4-hour drive to the park. The nearest town is Puerto Natales, about an hour or two drive away, depending on the park entrance.
The park is the figurehead for trips to Chile and is with good reason one of the most popular national parks in the world. The Torres del Paine National Park is at the top of the travel wish list for many people, especially outdoor and trekking fans. And once there, everyone will be captivated by the majestic beauty of this place.
From a distance, the Paine massif seems to grow out of the flat pampas, as if a giant had left it there. Surrounded by turquoise and blue glacial lakes, huge ice fields, pampas and Patagonian forest, this jewel made of rock and ice has been polished by gusts of wind for thousands of years. The wind is so strong in some places, that water rises from the lakes, so that you can permanently observe rainbows from some hiking trails - a wonderful panorama! Those who go hiking here may not find loneliness in high season, but they will definitely have unforgettable experiences in nature - the glaciers creak, the wind howls, the trees bend and the water rushes - and you become aware of how small and insignificant a person is compared to all of that.
Although the Torres del Paine National Park welcomes many tourists and has a good tourist infrastructure with hiking trails, hotels of all price ranges and campsites, it remains a remote, wild area without any urban distraction, luxury and shopping opportunities.
The climate is harsh and changeable. Locals say that if you don't like the weather in Patagonia, you should just wait half an hour... You can actually experience all weather conditions from bright sunshine to rain, storm and snow in a few hours and should therefore bring several layers of clothing, as well as rain- and wind gear and sun protection. Temperatures fluctuate between 5 and 15 degrees in Patagonian summer, with most hours of sunshine in December and January.
Spanish at communication level, so that you can communicate with the staff in you volunteer project, understand work instructions and get actively involved.
For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Chile, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
You can book your Spanish course in Chile directly with us!
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office in Santiago de Chile you will be supported by an on-site volunteer coordinator.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in a national park in Chilean Patagonia includes:
- Shared room in volunteer house
- Full board
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application document
- Volunteer Work Placement in Chile
- English-speaking in-country support
- Country handbook Chile
- Intercultural guideline
- Insider Tips Chile
- 24/7 Emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Application fee: US$ 120
Placement fee: US$ 340 ( minimum duration 30 days)
Placement fee: US$ 400 (maximum duration 60 days)
Important: Working hours are 8 hours a day on 11 consecutive days, then volunteers get 4 days off. (Important: The project must be left on the days off. Accommodation and meals on the days off are not included, nor is transport to and from the project).
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.