Restoring Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

founded in 1999
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Coordinator | Eduardo
Coordinator | Eduardo
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Discover for yourself the challenges and rewards of working to protect the rainforest
Live and work with people of different backgrounds, different ages and different experiences – all united in wanting to save the world!
Support our Forest for Water Project and help us to plant as many trees as possible.
Help nurture new trees in our beautiful nursery and learn about different species of trees!
Hike in the forest, swim in the crystal clear water of the rivers, and get to know a traditional rural community
Join us in one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots: Brazil's Atlantic Forest, to gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainability! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

We warmly invite you to join us at the Iracambi Rainforest Center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, where you'll gain firsthand experience in reforestation, medicinal plants, community outreach and environmental educational.

For over twenty years we’ve planted over 140,000 native forest trees, founded the first program of environmental education in the region, set up the first web-based GIS, created thousands of acres of protected areas, hosted 2000 international students and volunteers from 70 countries, and impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Serra do Brigadeiro mountains.  

Iracambi alumni (we call them Iracambistas) can be found across the world and all manner of activities directed at making the world a better place. Whether you spend a week with us or six months, you will leave us enriched, and you will enrich your surroundings wherever they may be.

Together, volunteers, students, supporters and communities, we are willing to plant trees and create a new scenario for the Atlantic Forest biome in Brazil. We're Saving Forests and Changing Lives and we'd love you to be part of it!

The Forest For Water Program helps local farmers whereby together we plant native and productive tree species in order to increase farm incomes, restore degraded soils, protect water sources and increase habitat for biodiversity.  

Iracambi is in charge of preparing and caring for the seedlings, for planting activities and monitoring the planted trees. The help of volunteers is essential in all the different stages and practices involved in this process, starting with the favorite place on our campus: the nursery. Creating and maintaining healthy seedlings requires a lot of work: from collecting seeds to caring for the seedlings, ensuring they are healthy for planting.

The seedlings are planted on a specific time of the year, with the beginning of summer rains, which increases the chances of their survival. 

Planting trees requires visiting farmers at different times of this process (before, during and after planting) to choose the area for planting, prepare the soil and to maintain the trees during a two years period. This way we offer guidance to achieve the best results!

By volunteering you gain experience in reforestation, plant biodiversity, getting to know properties, rural producers and their way of life, knowing and applying techniques for collecting, identifying seeds and plants, planting and monitoring, and many more!

That's all about saving forests - so what about changing lives? Here's where we work with local farmers, school kids, volunteers and visitors, hosting visits, running workshops and outreach programs designed to raise awareness of the important issues of how to live sustainably, and how to encourage more and more people to join us in the exciting task of protecting one of the most important forests in the world. 

We invite you to participate in our ongoing projects and encourage you to take responsibility for your own work, experience, lifestyle, and for your fellow Iracambistas. Besides, if you have your own study project or particular passion, that’s great, and we’ll give you the space and support that you need for that too. If you have a brilliant idea for something we could or ought to do, let’s see if we can do it! 

Typical day

Studying, interning, volunteering or visiting Iracambi provides you with a fantastic opportunity to be part of a lifestyle that is likely very different from what you are used to. You will be sharing the campus space with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, skills, ages and interests - not to mention a few bugs! 

The Research Center is located on a working farm, located 12 km (dirty road) from the city Rosário da Limeira. So despite you won’t have the bright lights of a big city you will have the chance to work and live in a large area of native forest. 

Each day will likely be different! The rainforest is not a cookie cutter experience. 

The activities list is endless! Better of all make friends for life as you all together work in the nursery, maintain the forest trails, visit local farms at tree planting times, and get involved in school kids group experiences or teaching English, forest monitoring, construction projects, graphic design, photography, video making, help with marketing and fundraising  or explore free time weekend at the forest, swim in rivers, climb mountains, hike in trails and experience a welcoming local community! 

If it's raining you'll be inside, writing up a research, editing pictures, organising intern spaces or even enjoying a quick siesta at a hammock! 

You’ll be living on our rainforest campus, and eating delicious local food cooked by Larissa – who is more than happy to supply vegetarian or vegan options on request. The Research Center has one central dorm, five four-bed cabins, a Medicinal Plant lab, a nursery, an office/classroom, a visitor center (Forest House), a system of forest trails, and the forest with mountains, rivers, creeks and waterfalls around us .

We have 24-hour access to the internet – except during thunderstorms, when we power down in order to protect the equipment! 

You may be lucky enough to spot one, particularly if you hang out with locals or even the staff members who live around the mountain! 

At certain times of year, you can be involved in harvesting coffee, process a local version of the superfruit acai jussara, as well join a task force at an agroforestry or bioconstruction experience.

Despite that we are currently involved at Workshops (bioconstruction, medicinal plants and yoga) that can be happening along your time here!

Free-time activities

On weekends you can swim in the rivers, hike in the forest, climb local mountains – no rock climbing involved and you will be rewarded by amazing views. You can interact with the local community and attend local parties and festivals, particularly in June and July during the winter festivals. You can also organize dinners, bonfires, barbecues or social events to be enjoyed with a glass of wine, a beer or a caipirinha! 

Our staff will be more than happy to help you plan weekends trips to explore the surrounding areas. Weekend excursions might include quad biking round local communities, kayaking on the rivers, horseback riding and getting a taste of local farm life. On three day weekends you could visit Brazil’s famous historic towns Ouro Preto and Mariana, or Caraça Sanctuary -where you can stay in a former monastery and meet the local wildlife- or sun yourself on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state. You could even attempt to climb the 9000 foot Pico da Bandeira (once considered to be Brazil’s highest mountain before another was discovered in the Amazon!) We don't have a zoo in Iracambi, but that's just because we don't need one. We have lots of wild animals living all around, even big ones like the puma. (But we should warn you, they are mostly nocturnal.) We are an official release center for captive species and occasionally the forest police appear with animals and birds to be released after acclimatizing. 

And if you’re up for gentler pastimes, where better to hang out in a hammock and read a book, or find a quiet spot to practice yoga or meditation? 

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
CV and Getting to Know You Form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Sense of adventure, sense of humor and a strong desire to leave the world a better place than you found it.
Desirable skill in handling various tools, including cutting (not including electric), willingness to handle soil and organic compounds, ability to withstand moderate to difficult effort and resistance to different climatic conditions (sometimes all in one day!)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Iracambi Research Center
  • Food (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Lodging
  • Wi-Fi
  • All on site activities 

Volunteers will stay either in on of our five cabins (which have two bedrooms each on with bunk beds, hot shower and study space,) or in the main building, called "The Center" (old farm house with 4 double bedrooms, common room, kitchen and hot showers.) 

We have good WIFI connection and a Library (no television). 

Other facilities include our dining hall, a forest nursery, a visitor center (Forest House), an office/classroom,  a medicinal plant lab, a system of forest trails and a forest reserve. 

Three km from the Center we have the Pico da Graminha Reserve where you can find our Mountain House which can be used as a base for hikers, birders and researchers. Don’t forget to bring your hammock!

And if you love camping, you're welcome to camp - either on the grounds of the research center, or farther a field in the forest!

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

A delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided by Larissa, who is happy to accommodate special requests, and will always have a vegetarian option, and vegan food on request.  Please, let us know in advance if you have any kind of food restrictions.

 There is always fresh water, milk, coffee and fresh juices depending on the season. 

Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and delicious chocolate truffles are also for sale in the restaurant.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio De Janeiro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Brazil.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Brazil provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You are welcome to join us at any time of year, and we ask for a minimum of two weeks - although we're confident that you'll find that isn't nearly enough! We have two seasons - the rainy season and the dry (less rainy) season.  Normally the rains come in October November and last through May. Daytime temperatures will be in the range 25C - 35C with cooler nights (22C - 26C). The rainforest is alive with activity during this time. Tree planting activity normally takes place between November and January.  Mornings are usually clear and if there's rain on the way it will cloud over as the day goes on, with rain and sometimes thunder in the afternoon. After a short sharp storm, the sun will often reappear, and although you may get wet you won't get too cold! Don’t forget you waterproof jacket!  

The rainy season is the time to visit local farms and plant trees alongside the farm families, local schoolkids and volunteers, and anyone who is within reach. By contrast the dry season is cooler - temperatures can drop to around 10C at night and you'll need a fleece. Day time temperatures are normally around 23C-28C and this is the season to monitor last year's plantings, hop on the school bus and visit local schools to share your language and culture, help in the forest nursery and on the agroecology plots, harvest (and sample) our delicious coffee, and get involved in year round projects such as maintaining the forest trails, updating the photo library, making videos and helping out with NGO tasks such as marketing and fundraising, and hosting school visits and workshops. 

Once you contact us we'll be happy to send you more details of how to get here and what to expect when you arrive! 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
8 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$241 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Iracambi Research Center will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Iracambi Research Center during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Iracambi Research Center cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Iracambi Research Center.

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Restoring Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

Join us in one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots: Brazil's Atlantic Forest, to gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainability!


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