Volunteer in Whale Research Project in Ecuador



The Humpback Whales Project - Ecuador, focuses on knowing the demographics, population, behavior, social grouping of humpback whales that migrate each year to the Machalilla National Park, off the coast of Puerto López

Acquiring experience in field research with cetaceans is not easy. In general, whales and dolphins are difficult to study in their natural and wild state

The research is done in whale watching boats that are used for research and in research boats, for sampling and recording whale songs.

All the researchers will take photographs and identify the whales observed in our research center located in Puerto López, Manabí, Ecuador.

This volunteering has a scheduled week, however it can be extended. It starts in June and ends in the month of October. No previous experience, or any university degree, is necessary to participate in volunteering. You just need love for the sea, whales and nature


DAY 1: Arrive to Puerto Lopez. Meeting with the research team. Accommodation Puerto López. Orientation and methodology. Dinner

DAY 2: Research / Whales / Pacific Ocean. 

DAY 3: Research /Whales /Isla De Plata / snorkel/Training session about analyzing data.

DAY 4: Research /Whales /Isla De Plata / snorkel/Training session.


DAY 6:  Research / Whales / Pacific Ocean. Analizing data. 

DAY 7:  Analizing data. Comparate with other catalogues. Training session. Dinner.

DAY 8: Research / Whales / Pacific Ocean. Check out. 

The activities are the same one for week (five days field, one day analizing data, one day off). Only could change the boats routs. Depends of the number of interns, sea state, weather between others. 

Interns are accommodated in a 3-floor house located in the outer side of Puerto Lopez, and only 10-minute walk into town, where you board the whale-watching vessels.

All bedrooms (a maximum number of 4 people per bedroom, one for bed, depends of the capacity) count with a private bathroom a basic kitchen or refrigerator, and also a single bed for each intern. Sheets, blankets, mosquite nets and pillows are provided. Wifi and tv cable free in all rooms.  Pool, hamacas and gardens are part of our whale research center. 


This fee includes:

Full internship Program for week. Basic accommodation in small suites in Puerto Lopez with kitchen and individual bathroom.

Wifi free and basic equipment for analyzing data. Boat-based humpback whale photo-identification and behavioural data collection trips

In the field trips, we have snacks, box lunch and beverage. Training sessions in cetacean research techniques and software’s

Analyzing data with scientific supervision. A farewell dinner (2 times * week). Entrance and tour Isla de La Plata (one day)

Snorkeling trips. Spanish lessons (optional for extra fee). Certificate of attendance.

Not Included

This fee does not include flights to and from Ecuador, transportation from and to Puerto Lopez, breakfast, lunch or dinner, drinks, compulsory health and travel insurance, tips and personal expenses.

What to bring?

Personal laptop or tablet (optional). We have computers in our whale research center. Rainproof jacket. Small backpack to take to the field trips. Hat, sunscreen, towels, flip-flops / sandals, swimming costume, towel, sunglasses, repellent, personal/ prescription medicines.  Do take in consideration that although there are pharmacies in town, you must bring your personal medication (to last the duration of your stay) if you need any

*Although not mandatory, it is preferable that you bring a professional camera with a 300mm lens and a memory card. 



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