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IPBio - Reserva Betary

Forest Inventory (Eco-Supporter)

Iporanga, Brazil show on map

Conduct a tree inventory of the reserve to understand the species and check the well-being of our forest. Support in other activites as an Eco-Volunteer.


Tree Inventory: we study the biodiversity in different areas of the reserve to assess forest well-being. In the process we can understand the distribution of fruit tree species which is particularly important for our partners at Celine Release Center. Why? Imagine you are releasing a parrot which only eats a certain fruit and it only grows between June and July. Therefore you should only release this parrot during these months to ensure it has available food which will increase the chances of a successful release. Moreover, these birds are tagged and monitored after their reintroduction to the wild to ensure they are adapting well and therefore identifying fruit trees in the area will increase the likelihood of finding the bird to monitor their progress.

The tree inventory is part of a larger role named "Eco-Volunteer". The Eco-Volunteer role contains a range of activities which are conducted in a group. The majority of these tasks are field activities so this is for volunteers who like to be outside and enjoy physical activity. Not all these projects occur at the same time as various projects are seasonal. Tasks of an eco-volunteer are not limited to the roles below but we have listed the main areas that the eco-volunteer will participate in: Gardening/Reserve Maintenance; Mushroom Inventory; Tadpole Research; Bird Inventory; Mammal Monitoring using Cameratraps; Fish Inventory; Literature Research; Communications Support; Creative/Arts & Crafts projects and much more.

Living at IPBio

During the weekend volunteers can visit the State Parks to explore the caves, hike into the dense forest surrounding them or visit the waterfalls. Visit the islands of Cananeia were there are dolphins all year long. At the reserve we have a deck where you can swim as well as use our tubes (big circular water balloons) to drift down the river along with the current. Volunteers can also organize dinners, movie nights or social events which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or two. You can use the internet at the Center to Skype loved ones.


The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7% remains. In the Ribeira Valley, our region of the Atlantic Forest, we are at the footsteps of 21% of the 7% that is left, it being largest contiguous section of the Atlantic Forest. Despite the forests diminished state it still ranks as a global conservation priority. Although it is now just a small fraction of the size of the Amazon rainforest, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a range of biological diversity similar to that of the Amazon. The Atlantic Forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else. The Betary Reserve is located next to one of the most famous Brazilian State Parks named PETAR. The region is called the Cave Capital as it known for containing over 300 spectacular caves, some which are accessible to tourists.  

Typical day

A typical working day will range from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm including the tasks of:

  • Hiking around our trails, marking, photographing, measuring and identifying our trees
  • Collecting flowers, leafs and other parts of unknown species to identify them
  • Uploading all field data onto our database
  • Researching

Free-time activities

- Caves: Iporanga is called “The Cave Capital of Brazil” with over 400 caves in the town. Below are just the highlights.

•Casa da Pedra is the world’s largest cave entrance of 215 meters. The trip involves a 2-hour hike to the opening where there is a place to sit down and have a picnic and swim and then a hike back.

•Temimina Cave has a large opening in the ceiling illuminating its oddly shaped diagonal garden. Then you enter into a dark cave where at the end you find a natural shower hole.

•Nucleo Santana is a group of caves and is the most commonly visited as it has a wide range of different types of caves. In some caves you can swim.

- Tubing/Boia Cross: is a sport where by you get on a big balloon and float down the river. There are various waterways you can do in Iporanga, some more radical and some in the big river which is very relaxing and can last 3 hours.

- Cananeia: has various islands with dolphins swimming in between which are very easy to visualize. It is also known for its stunning beaches, awesome boat tours, great restaurants and the mangrove reserve where there are many crabs.

- Waterfalls: Iporanga has many waterfalls. “Sem Fim” is a small waterfall walking distance from the reserve. “Vale das Ostras” has 12 large waterfalls in a row.

- Quilombos: during the era of slavery many slaves would run away from the plantations and create settlements hidden in the forest. These communities live in relative isolation and you can visit their small towns. For some of the Quilombos the tours include travelling their by boat and having a traditional lunch at one of the families homes.

- Social Events:

•Dinners: there are many nice restaurants were volunteers can have dinner, some more classy like Casarao and some with traditional Brazilian food. There is also a great fish restaurant. Often volunteer will eat out on the weekends.

•Town Parties: the are a couple of bars in town, some have pool tables and some have dancing areas. On holidays, there are usually town festivals on the streets.

•BBQ: it is very common to have a BBQ on the weekend which is often accompanied with the traditional Brazilian drink called Caipirinha.

Water Sports

Program Requirements

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 (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
There is no formal skill requirement except speaking peak either English or Portuguese well.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

Suitable for


Included Services

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We refund your fees if IPBio - Reserva Betary cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by IPBio - Reserva Betary.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
IPBio - Reserva Betary (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by IPBio - Reserva Betary

This covers your accommodation, full access to the reserve, internet access, project costs and the use of any equipment we have. Volunteers will pay for their own food and cook for themselves. Volunteers are also responsible for paying for any extra costs such as travel costs, visa costs etc. Volunteers are also responsible for covering their extra activities costs such as dinner out (without drinks) which ranges from 15 to 30 reais or PETAR State Park tour of caves (including a guide, equipment and entrance fee) which costs around 100 to 250 reais depending on how many volunteers go.


Volunteers will stay at the Darwin Guest House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 14 people in 8 rooms. Two rooms are collective rooms and 6 rooms are single rooms. All rooms have air conditioning, closet space and electricity outlets. Individual rooms have a desk with a chair. The house has 4 bathrooms with hot showers, a washing machine and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook. A cleaning lady provides basic cleaning services for public areas and will provide fresh bed linen once a week. However, it is also the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain and clean the house; we take this very seriously. Shops are located in the town of Iporanga 6km away from the reserve, which you can walk to or get a taxi, where there are various shops where you can by all the supplies you will need from groceries to toiletries. There is an organic small herb and vegetable patch volunteers can use in the gardens.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Bedroom (Double)
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. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
24 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Iporanga/Brazil between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. IPBio - Reserva Betary will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Brazil.
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 IPBio - Reserva Betary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Brazil  Iporanga, Estrada Iporanga

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