a partire da 2.191€

Eccellente 4.8rating (853)

Real South America Encounter

6 - 12 settimane  ·  Età 18 - 50+

rating  Eccellente 4.8  · 
  Verificato da Volunteer World
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Punti Salienti

  • 80% of PMGY volunteers are 18-22 years old
  • Take in the best of South America in one trip
  • Exciting weekend travel opportunities available across each country
  • Embrace new cultures, adventures and communities with new friends
  • Visit Arenal Volcano, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in your free time

Particolarmente adatto per

Età 18+

Sul programma

Embark on this stunning trip across Costa Rica, Ecuador & Peru where you are guaranteed to experience all aspects of South American lifestyle and culture.

PMGY’s Real South America Encounter takes you to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of mysterious, picturesque and charming countries to volunteer in, over a mind blowing 6-12 weeks. In South America, you will encounter countless views of the ...

Sul programma

PMGY’s Real South America Encounter takes you to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of mysterious, picturesque and charming countries to volunteer in, over a mind blowing 6-12 weeks. In South America, you will encounter countless views of the Sierra Madre and Andes mountains, wildlife species including leatherback sea turtles, 2-toed sloths and spider monkeys along with lasting tastes of the delicious Peruvian Ceviche or Costa Rican Dados de Queso! South America’s various climates and infinite sights will leave you wishing you never had to leave.

Your first stop will be in beautiful Costa Rica which has been an explorer’s dream for decades. In the ‘world’s happiest country’ you will be sure to feel those cheek muscles becoming sore from the infinite amount of smiles you receive and give! Its landscape is diverse with crystal blue waters, dense rainforest and over 60 volcanoes waiting for you to explore. Be sure to get comfortable with a bit of close interaction because each person you greet will be up for a kiss on the cheek. You will no doubt remember the blissful memories of Costa Rica after your time visiting this amazing country.

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-do’s’ on Costa Rica’s list. You will spend your first-week learning or enhancing the beautiful Spanish language with the remainder of your time in Costa Rica volunteering in either a childcare setting or teaching English to children of all ages. While Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, the use of English isn’t as often as one would think. Many of the local people are still unable to communicate properly in English and with your time interacting with them, we are sure they will improve!

Your next stop is Ecuador. Get ready for another adventure because your next 2-4 weeks will be spent in the mesmerising city of Quito. Considered the “middle of the world,” Quito, Ecuador, offers travellers a unique opportunity to walk the equatorial line and immerse themselves in amazing cultures while reaching staggering heights. The capital’s historic district, considered the largest and best preserved in South America, was declared a World Heritage site. Across the city, you’ll find spots such as La Compañía de Jesús, the Baroque masterpiece of America and La Plaza Grande, the centre of Quito’s historic achievements, which narrates the history of the city. From this well-cultured city, you will find yourself in the prime location to visit the Galapagos Islands to witness unique wildlife, Mindo for a bit of rafting, Salinas if you like surf or Otavalo home to one of the most colourful markets in the Andes.

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties; teach English to help children reach their full potential within an indigenous setting; gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programmes; provide encouragement and compassion to children whom suffered from domestic violence and abandonment.

Your last stop will be Peru – the home of Machu Picchu, the empire of the Incans. The ancient Inca ruins are considered to be some of the most beautiful and mysterious sites in the world and you won’t just encounter visiting this glorious city; they are all over Peru! The real gem of your time in this country will be the people. Peruvians are an interesting bunch of extremely polite, hardworking, peaceful and cultured. Be sure to ask of their Quechua roots, they may even teach you a phrase or two! Be ready for bright colours, warm smiles, stone streets, snow-capped mountains, unexplained Nazca symbols, temple ruins and meals that will leave your taste buds pleased.

You will spend time in the heart of Peru, meeting breath-taking views and delectable cuisine as well as make a positive difference volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Cusco runs throughout the year and you will have a choice at teaching indigenous children the English language, enhance your medical knowledge by being advise by clinical nurses & physicians and provide insight to the world at the feet of the less fortunate in the childcare programmes provided for the working street children, domestically abused and abandoned.

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some project options.

Spanish Lessons

All PMGY volunteers in Costa Rica will participate on the Language Immersion Programme for the first week of their experience. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons and a number of different social activities. The aim of this week it to try and improve your level of Spanish before you start volunteering in week 2.

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. These are priced at $225 for 20-hours and this provides you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

Itinerary (for 6 weeks)

Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrival

Day 2 (Monday) – Orientation

Day 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) – Language Immersion Week

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) – Weekend

Day 9-14 (Monday-Saturday) – Volunteering

Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Costa Rica – Hello Ecuador!

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation

Day 17-28 (Tuesday-Saturday) Volunteering

Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye Ecuador – Hello Peru!

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation

Day 31-41 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

Day 42 (Saturday) Your Last Day

Giornata tipica

The typical day of a volunteer varies and depends on the programs they choose to participate in. Here are a few examples:

English Teaching in Costa Rica:
Volunteers can plan to join the programme from 8am to 2pm assisting the teachers, engagement in physical education, helping with homework and ...

Giornata tipica

The typical day of a volunteer varies and depends on the programs they choose to participate in. Here are a few examples:

English Teaching in Costa Rica:
Volunteers can plan to join the programme from 8am to 2pm assisting the teachers, engagement in physical education, helping with homework and preparing lessons for English classes. Class sizes are 20-30 students meaning that volunteer assistance is greatly appreciated! If you have creative ideas whether working in a nursery, primary or secondary education PMGY Costa Rica would love to have you!

Medical Program in Ecuador:
Volunteers will join the programme Monday – Friday. The project will begin at 7:30am each day to ensure you get a busy morning. The average time on the project will be 5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time of requested completion. An example of a day on the paediatric ward could be as follows:

7:30am – 8:30am Report to paediatric ward. Observe inpatient rounds with a nurse for medication, consultation and viewing
9am – 9:30am Observe injections for children in need of updated vaccine charting
9:30am – 10:30am Assist care provider by engaging children in games or play while they provide necessary treatment for external wounds, infections or therapy due to disabilities.
10:30am – 11am Break time
11am – 12pm Shadow doctor during rounds providing consultation and admission to the hospital
12pm – 12:30pm Assist care providers with counsel and care planning with family for patient discharge plan

Childcare in Peru:

The children are 3 to 5 years old in one combined class. The working hours for this project are 9am to 12:30 pm assisting the ‘mother’ with different tasks including lesson planning, playing with the children, organising workshops for the network of teachers to improve care of children in this programme across Cusco and assisting in areas such as nutrition by preparing meals and hygiene like brushing teeth, washing hands and bathing. This programme provides volunteers with the ability to create their own day on the project getting involved in whichever areas they find interest with the children.

Attività del tempo libero

Attività del tempo libero



Età minima: 18 anni

Per partecipare al programma è necessario avere almeno 18 anni alla data di inizio del programma. Potrebbero esserci delle esenzioni se si è in grado di fornire il permesso del proprio tutore legale o se si è accompagnati dai propri genitori.

Competenze linguistiche

È necessario parlare di Inglese (livello base) o Spagnolo (livello base)

Controllo dei precedenti penali


Restrizioni sulla nazionalità

Nessuna restrizione. Gli aiuti da tutto il mondo sono benvenuti.

Altre competenze

You should be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application. While the programmes only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish, we find that the ability to speak a good level of Spanish will greatly enhance your overall experience.

Impegno di tempo

Il vostro aiuto sarà richiesto lunedì, martedì, mercoledì, giovedì e venerdì da 09:00 - 14:00

Servizi inclusi

Servizi inclusi

Servizi per Plan My Gap Year

  • One Week of Spanish Lessons
  • Accommodation 
  • Peru Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick Ups
  • Ecuador Airport Drop Off
  • In-Country Orientation
  • 24 Hour Support

Prelievo dall'aeroporto a Juan Santamaria International Airport

You should arrive into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (airport code SJO) on the Sunday. The airport pickup is available 24 hours. 

You will be met at the airport by a representative of the local team. The team will meet you at the exit area of the arrivals hall after customs and then drive you to the accommodation in Coronado. This journey takes around 45 minutes, depending on traffic. 


Costa Rica

During your time with PMGY in Costa Rica you will live in our Volunteer Residence located in Coronado, a suburb of San Jose. 

You will find restaurants, convenience stores, cafés, pubs and ATMs all within walking distance. This accommodation setup offers volunteers the unique experience of living with lots of other volunteers as well as an independent environment in this Latin American country.

The accommodation is comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has single beds with up to 3 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with cupboard space and bed linens. Bathrooms are shared, but have a hot shower and western style toilet. The house/apartment has a communal area for volunteers to hang out. Meals are not provided in the programme so there are fully equipped kitchens to prepare all of your food. Both locations have fridge space available. The house /apartment block will have a security guard on-site to ensure that volunteers are safe.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Ecuador and Peru

During your time in Ecuador and Peru, you will live in our homestay family accommodation. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You’ll be living with local families who will guide you in Quito adn Cusco. It is important to note that the homestay families will usually speak no English at all.


They are all within 30 minutes bus of your volunteer work. In ecuador, each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled; just ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance.

Cibo e Bevande

Meals are only provided in Peru.
Volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day during their time with PMGY Peru. Breakfast and dinner are served at the homestay, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch (upon request). With notice, the local team can even precook a meal for you and you can venture to the local team school headquarters and warm the meal up if you wish for your lunch.

Boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.

Most meals are traditional Peruvian dishes that can be carb heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and vegetables compared to the UK so please be open-minded around this! Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body and at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to this as well.

The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10-minute drive from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

In Costa Rica, there is a full kitchen in the house you are free to use and plenty of supermarkets around the area, cuisine nights in the Spanish school on some evenings (around $4 for ingredients), and local restaurants ($7.50 per meal).

During your volunteer trip to Ecuador, meals are not included within your Program Fee. There is a very popular option to pay 70 USD per week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your host family will provide you with three freshly prepared meals per day (Mon-Sun). Most meals are traditional Ecuadorian dishes and vegetarian options are always available. The payments are made locally, upon arrival for the duration of your stay.

Please note this is a one off cost and it is not possible for volunteers to arrange on a “per meal basis”. It is also important to stress that this fee does not included additional snacks or drinks outside of meals times.

If you would prefer to arrange your own meals then the homestay will be equipped with a kitchen including all the appliances and items needed. You will need to purchase all your own ingredients in order to prepare your meals. This is a less popular option as it ends up costing you more and its often a hassle to arrange a meal just for you.

The homestay is located in a great area. This hip spot has small food markets and large convenience stores. If you have any questions about the kitchen or where to buy items the local team is always on hand to help.

Accesso a Internet

Buon accesso al sito del progetto

Cosa NON è incluso?

Cosa NON è incluso?

Biglietti aerei

L'aeroporto più vicino è Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) a San Jose. Vi aiutiamo a trovare voli economici per Costa Rica. TROVARE VOLI ECONOMICI

Assicurazione di viaggio

Andare all'estero è un'avventura ed è sempre meglio essere preparati. Malattia o infortunio improvviso, annullamento o furto: un'assicurazione di viaggio per Costa Rica offre sicurezza ed è un vantaggio da avere. OTTENERE UN PREZZO


Se avete intenzione di fare volontariato a Costa Rica dovete chiedere un parere medico prima di iniziare il vostro viaggio sociale. Controllare le vaccinazioni richieste per Costa Rica. CHECKER PER I VACCINI

Dettagli all'arrivo

This program starts on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month

gen feb mar apr mag giu lug ago set ott nov dic

Tariffe del programma

6 settimane (soggiorno min.) 2.191€
9 settimane 2.686€
12 settimane (soggiorno max.) 3.181€
Tariffe medie 314€/settimana

Tariffe del programma

314€ tariffe settimanali 6 - 12 settimane Età 18 - 50+

Modalità di pagamento

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



6 - 12 settimane


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Pagamento Finale

Il pagamento finale sarà concordato con Plan My Gap Year durante il processo di candidatura. Le soluzioni più comuni sono il bonifico bancario o il pagamento in contanti presso la sede del progetto.

Incontra il tuo ospite

Plan My Gap Year

Eccellente 4.8 rating (853 recensioni)

Agenzia - fondata nel 2011

Verificato da Volunteer World

  Tasso di risposta eccellente

Ospitato da


Lingue parlate: Inglese

Sul progetto

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK.

Incontra il tuo ospite

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK. We provide safe, affordable, need-driven volunteer programmes from 1 to 24 weeks in 11 countries worldwide.


Founded by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Year works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact on the world.

We work extremely hard to ensure that our opportunities are affordable for everyone who wants to make a difference. So fees are 100% transparent, something our volunteers really appreciate.

Plan My Gap Year structured programmes create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in our host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with us. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure our set up is safe and that our volunteers are making a positive impact.

There is also a great social element to our programmes. Plan My Gap Year puts you in touch with all your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way. Plus you’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel the country with your newfound travel buddies – it’s all part of the PMGY experience!

So if you’re thinking of doing something a bit different on your next trip abroad, then why not drop us a line and find out what extraordinary things you could be doing.


Our aim is to make our programmes accessible to motivated travellers irrespective of their financial capacity. Plan My Gap Year focuses on providing the core requirements of a volunteer programme: safety, structure and sustainability.

We are 100% transparent with our fees. That way you know exactly how much of your money goes towards the local community.

Compared to the large majority of volunteer organisations out there, even most charities and not-for-profits, PMGY’s opportunities are significantly cheaper. Furthermore, as our reviews will testify, our support service and structured programmes are second to none.


Your safety is our top priority. All of Plan My Gap Years' programmes have been personally inspected and vetted by the PMGY team – which is not an industry standard by any means. We carry out independent risk assessments on an annual basis and our local teams constantly review the safety precautions we implement. This includes regular staff and safety appraisals.

 Our local teams are made up of highly experienced volunteer coordinators. They have hosted international volunteers for many years and are prepared to react in the unlikely event of an emergency. Whatever the problem, big or small, our local teams are available around the clock.

As part of our commitment to your safety, we keep in constant communication with local embassies and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure we can identify potentially dangerous situations and act upon them immediately. Our UK team are available 24/7 to assist volunteers and their families.


We support our volunteers every step of the way. Before you go we will provide you with a detailed Volunteer Handbook, which will guide you through how to prepare for your trip. This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides.

Our experienced UK team are always available to provide assistance. Plan My Gap Year is always available to answer our questions and support you in anyway we can. 

On arrival, a member of our in-country team will collect you from the airport and help you settle in. Your orientation course will teach you everything you need to know about the country, how to stay safe and what to expect from your upcoming volunteer experience. 

Our local team are on-call 24/7. Whether you’ve lost your passport or just want some help in planning a weekend trip, our friendly in-country coordinators provide that safety net to ensure you are well looked after.


Plan My Gap Years' responsibility is not limited to our travellers but also the projects we support. That is why all our volunteers must provide a Criminal Background Check before they travel.

It is essential that our projects are need-driven and sustainable. We work closely with our local partners to ensure that our volunteers are contributing to bring about long-term development.


We really know our programmes. Our UK team have stayed in the accommodation, volunteered at the projects and met the volunteers. We carefully assess each application we receive so that your personality and skills are suited to the project. Whatever your query, you can feel assured that you will be speaking to someone who can tell you exactly what to expect.


One of the best aspects of volunteering is meeting some amazing like-minded people. We place over 2,000 volunteers every year so wherever and whenever you go, you have the peace of mind in knowing you will be living and working alongside other PMGY volunteers. In many of our destinations, we run our own Volunteer House accommodation, which ensures all volunteers live together, and therefore guaranteeing a strong social element. In addition, our local team are always there to help you plan any independent travel or give you some tips for what to do at the weekend.

853 recensioni · rating4.8

Tilly Thompson rating5

2023 at Real South America Encounter

I had a fantastic time on the 12-week South America Encounter with PMGY. Spending 4 weeks in each country (Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru) gave me plenty of time to explore. I volunteered at different projects (childcare, English teaching and wildlife rescue), so was able to experience many new ...
Olivia Murden rating4.8

2022 at Real South America Encounter

I spent 3 months with PMGY with the South America encounter. I loved every second of it. You make amazing friends, great memories and the volunteering is very awarding. However, some of the information online was incorrect. Including the type of accommodation in Ecuador, was actually a home stay. ..
Emily Bray rating5

2022 at Real South America Encounter

I spent seven weeks in South America with PMGY: 4 weeks in Ecuador and 3 weeks in Peru. The entire experience was absolutely amazing from start to finish- in fact I would say it changed me as a person entirely! I met some incredible people from around the world, learnt Spanish, travelled, and had ...
Mylène Chabot rating5

2022 at Real South America Encounter

I liked that there was pre-departure support and volunteer handbooks for each location. In-country support varied in each location. It would have been helpful to have had PMGY representatives in Costa Rica and Peru. The accommodations were good. In Costa Rica I helped teach English at a local ...
éloïse CANIZARES rating4.6

2021 at Real South America Encounter

The experience for 6 weeks is one which I will never forget. There is not a day that goes by which I don't think about my time and I would recommend this trip to anyone. I chose the travel programme through 3 countries: Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. In each country I participated in a childcare ...
Catherine Vaughan rating5

2019 at Real South America Encounter

I had the most incredible 3 months in Central and South American through Plan My Gap Year from the start of March to the end of May 2019. Being a 19 year old student on a gap year before University, I was very nervous about undertaking such a long and challenging adventure away from home, but PMGY ...


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