Volunteering with Wild Animals at La Senda Verde

Type: Volunteering 
Activities: Downhill biking the world’s most dangerous road • Feeding and taking care of wild animals • Taking care of wildlife sanctuary  • Visit to Waterfalls • Visit to Coroico village, coca plantations.
Ecosystem: Tropical Andes – Low Mountain forest
Culture: Yungas Aymara, Yungas Afro-descendant
Duration: 10 days 
Weather: Hot & Humid • Sun
Season: Year round 
Guides: Julián Katari
Depart from: La Paz
Download: Journey Portfolio   



Supporting rescued wildlife by volunteering can be one of the most enriching experiences ever

La Senda Verde Wildlife Sanctuary

La Senda Verde, by short “LSV” is a privately owned wildlife refuge founded in 2005 by Vicky Ossio and Marcelo Levy located next to the Coroico River in Yolosa, close to the town of Coroico, in the Tropical Andes of La Paz. Their mission is to provide a forever home, love, health care and needs for the more than 700 animals of 60 species that live there, all rescued victims of animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking. LSV receives no funding from the government, and depends totally on visitors, donors and volunteers to support itself.

Taking care of wild animals – Rotational program

Volunteers are given the responsibility to prepare food and feed the animals at La Senda Verde. The rotational program allows volunteers to interact with most of the 65 different species that live at the sanctuary. Work is fun and done in groups. In the evening, volunteers can relax and enjoy the facilities and their company. The facilities include El Arca recreational room, where a pool table, videos, sofas, board games and a bar are available.

Staying at LSV

La Senda Verde is a beautiful place to be in and to share with people that care about animals and the environment. You may choose to stay in the regular volunteer headquarters, with bunk-beds, or in private eco-cabins, for an extra cost. There is a main dining room where we will be having all of our meals along with other volunteers, staff and guests.

Biking the world’s most dangerous road

We highly recommend doing this activity to get to La Senda Verde, as it allows you to feel and experience the transition between the high Andes and the tropical lowlands. The scenic views are unsurpassable anywhere in the world. The adventure is exhilarating but is not difficult, anyone can do it. The following is a description of the Biking tour.

Road Climb to the Summit
This part of the journey is not to be missed. We depart from our meeting point were we have breakfast at 7:30am. We climb to the highest houses in the city of La Paz, at 4,200mts. and continue climbing, arriving an hour later at the summit, 4,750mts, 15,100 High!. Llamas hearding, possible snow cover and glaciated peaks are must-see scenery enjoyable from our spacious transport.

Bikes Ready
Bikes, equipment, mind and soul ready. Gravity’s experts will ease any possible discomfort, fear or doubt about what you will be doing and will prep you with the most complete safety talk ever. The support vehicle is always there of you want to jump in.

Speeding in the top
An hour of sealed tarmac allows for awesome speeds. Stop to take breathtaking photos of the high andean summits, and be ready for snow, sun and high altitude!

Drug Check Point
Fear not, they are looking for components to manufacture cocaine. Just avoid taking pictures of them. We use the stops to check brakes and to debrief about the road sections coming ahead.

Tourist Check Point
Near the small town of Unduavi. Here the scenery starts to become green. We stop for a bathroom break, and to pay a tourist tax. This tax is very important since they use the money to build tourist installations and repair the death road, since now it is no longer used by local traffic, it’s all yours! Fee is 50BS, you need to bring exact change and will receive an official receipt, souvenir.

The Old Road
11:00am. The old road section begins. We check bikes and brakes and have a snack. Gravity always has a guide in front through this section, checking for incoming cars and trucks. Just call them truck bait!

Cloud Forest, Post Card Corner
You will stop at different, beautiful scenic points, ride below waterfalls and enjoy increased temperature and oxygen. Guides provide entertaining information and history snippets about this road, which was built in the 60’s with hammers and chisels by war prisoners who were hanged from the mountain top! This road has taken more than 6,000 lives since it was built!

Jungle Heat
Near the bottom, the road becomes dry and dust becomes a problem. We recommend you bring good sun glasses or use our provided goggles. This section is broader and allows for greater speed!

Yolosa – The Bottom
You survived! Celebrate the excitement with a free beer, included with your ride. Return your gear in exchange for a free Gravity t-shirt. Chat with fellow survivors and relax before going to La Senda Verde.




Options and Costs

Per person

Downhill Biking the Death Road (6 hours): $120
Trekking El Choro Inca Trail (3 days): $260
Private Direct Transport: $15

10 day volunteering in volunteer rooms (shared rooms).
Cost: $390
Includes: Lodging in shared volunteer bunk beds • 3 meals a day, refreshments • Support to Senda Verde
Does not Include: Other drinks, desserts • Transport in and out •

10 day volunteering in private eco-cabin
Cost: $450
Includes: Lodging in private eco-cabin (bathroom is outside) • 3 meals a day, refreshments • Support to Senda Verde
Does not Include: Other drinks, desserts • Transport in and out •

Download Journey Portfolio PDF»

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