Quest Overseas - Gap Year in Bolivia

Video and Photos

with Vanesso, an ocelot
Building an enclosure for a jaguar, Ru, at Ambue Ari.
Me with a puma i was looking after, Carlos, at Ambue Ari.


Have a passion for animals, environmental conservation projects, or good old fashioned outdoorsy adventure? Then check out Quest Overseas' Gap Year program in Bolivia!

The global organization Quest Overseas is looking for all the language lovers, the eco-conscious, and the world travelling thrill seekers to join their team! The Gap Year program in Bolivia is 13 weeks long and exposes its participants to a number of new and exciting experiences!

You will spend 3 weeks learning Spanish in the Bolivian city of Sucre, help provide a better quality of life for wild animals rescued from the black market in the Amazon, and embark on a South American adventure unlike any other!

The conservation project as well as the expedition are offered in the summer, so don't miss out! Learn more on the Quest Overseas website and spend your Gap Year doing some amazing things in Bolivia!

Questions & Answers


10 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Yes, I recommend this program

Bolivia Gap

I was part of the Bolivia Gap team in 2014, and I am so glad I made the decision to travel with quest. The trip was challenging at times, and required hard work during the treks and volunteering periods. But looking back on it now the tough times seem so insignificant, considering that this trip took me to the most beautiful places I have ever been to and gave me incredible memories, as well as a group of friends to share them with. I climbed to 5,000m, came face to face with a rescued jaguar and watched the sunrise come up over the salt flats - moments that will stick with me forever.
I thought that our 3 months were well organised - we fitted an amazing amount of activities into such a small time and i felt fully immersed into the countries we visited. Our leader Matty was fun and always tried to make our time enjoyable and safe, as well as taking into account what we wanted to do and being patient enough to put up with the 5 of us for 3 months!
I've since returned to the wildlife park we volunteered at twice, and this never would have happened without Quest introducing me to it, and giving me the confidence to continue on my own once our trip had finished.

Quest's commitment to ethical volunteering and tourism was the main reason I initially chose to travel with them and I think this is a very important part of what they do. We were also able to visit the Peruvian project in Villa Maria and I was impressed at the work that goes on there.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I went to bolivia with quest over the summer and I really enjoyed it and gain a lot of experience. The construction was a lot of work but it was good to see the progress we made. I also loved work with the animals and spent many days cuddling and playing with the biton the howler monkey. I would recommend it to anyone. It was my first trip outside the UK and I had such a good time I am going somewhere else with quest this year.

What would you improve about this program?
The plan was changed a lot before we arrived and we didn't know what was happening.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best thing that will ever happen to me

Quest overseas is a company that takes you to the most amazing, deprived and special places on earth; it gives you a chance to help and experience their way of living and what it is like away from home.

You are taken to some of the most shocking and poor countries in the world where you can see that they value your help; wether you are helping people, animals or both. You gain so much: too much to write and the program will change your view and realisation of what life is like for the better.

It is the most amazing and hardest thing I have ever done.

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Yes, I recommend this program

100% Recommend

I did the Bolivia summer trip and the mini expedition in Bolivia and Peru, and it was an absolutely incredible experience - so well organised and our trip leader Matty was awesome!

We spent three weeks building an enclosure in an animal refuge called Ambue Ari in Bolivia, then another three weeks feeding, walking and bonding with a variety of animals, including pumas, jaguars, tapirs, monkeys and birds. I had the most amazing time here - there's a real sense of community and you forget about luxuries quickly and adapt to a simple lifestyle. It's in a totally gorgeous part of the jungle, and waking up every day to birds singing and howler monkeys roaring is really something you can't experience anywhere else.

The next part of our trip was the expedition - we cycled down Death Road, visited an island on Lake Titicaca, went white water rafting amongst other activities and finally ended our trip with a 4 day trek across the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu - probably the hardest thing I've ever done but easily the most rewarding.

Seeing Bolivia and Peru is something i've always wanted to do and I'm so glad I did it with Quest. I was a bit wary at first as it seems expensive but it's really not compared to other gap year companies, and also you're told exactly where your money is going. I also think Quest are an especially ethical company - including a donation to the park in the mandatory payment and making sure that the work being done is actually helping, and also having a 'training' day beforehand where we learned about the culture of the countries we were going to as well as political debates that affect the populations.

I felt safe and comfortable (even out of my comfort zone) every step of the way - our trip leader really knew what he was doing and made sure we had the best time (even on 24 hour bus journeys). I also think the rest of the Quest team are amazing - the whole time before the trip they were only an email away and made sure every question was answered to put my mind at ease.

I'd 100% recommend this company, any trip you do with them will be a life-changing experience and I'm sure will ignite your love for travel and volunteering!

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Yes, I recommend this program

A correct way to spend your summer vacation

I joined the Quest Bolivia project this summer after a year at university. The project is for six weeks and you also have an option of travelling to places in Bolivia and Peru afterwards. I am glad about this decision I made because I did things I have never done before and had experience which I won’t get from travelling, since I will still be consuming when I travel, whereas volunteering is about creating good. I was surprised by how many things I can do at the end of the project, such as carrying lots of sand through a swamp, digging a one-meter-deep hole in three hours and walking an ocelot in the jungle on my own. This summer we stayed at an animal sanctuary called Parque Ambue Ari. For two weeks and a half we helped with the construction of a cage for a puma and I cared for three baby howler monkeys and an ocelot for the last three weeks. Before the journey I always consider myself as a travel addict but I changed my mind after I met many volunteers who were experienced travellers at the park, and you also have a chance to work with Bolivian people and pick up some Spanish. I never have a pet in my life and before I came to the park I was even a bit afraid of animals and I appreciated that I have a chance to understand animals and become close to them. It was interesting to experience a completely different lifestyle at the park without the internet and we didn’t have a problem with that at all because of the friendship we developed at the park and our busy daily routines. All of us were sad about leaving and the jungle has frequently been the theme of my dreams after I came back. Joining Quest could be the best decision you will ever make. It’s going to be hard work but you’ll definitely get a strong sense of fulfilment!

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Yes, I recommend this program

La Familia

After graduating high school I took a gap year with Quest; I wasn't completing sure why, but I knew I needed to do something different. For years I kept telling myself I loved learning, but truthfully I felt like a robot on an academic treadmill. I yearned for the type of learning that embraced creativity, pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and forced me to engage fully. I gained a new level of self awareness on my gap year that allowed me to become a global citizen. Many of my experiences were challenging but they made me feel grounded, present, and alive. We need an education reform that allows the next generation to breathe and realize their great potential. The type of education I got on my gap year, traveling and living with people from around the world, working next to inspired people, illuminated the kind of environment I want to create, and created a space that evoked my authentic self. Don't be fooled, It was not just a luxury vacation- I battled giant jungle mosquitos and rainstorms, ran from possibly rabid stray dogs, ate only rice and eggs for weeks (as a vegetarian in a meat eating continent), and struggled with South American time (ie: sitting on a bus for thirty hours, without any more books, waiting for a mudslide to be cleared). The fact is I cant even begin to talk about my time with Quest because there are just too many moments that will stick with me forever. I became best friends with my Quest family and although we live on different continents, we have managed to do the long distance thing- still talking and seeing each other when possible- because these are the people you never want to live without. When the academic persona is stripped away where would I be? What makes me come alive? I asked and answered those questions on my gap year. When I started university, I knew who I was and what I wanted to accomplish. I took classes that I found interesting and focused on building meaningful relationships.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I went to South America with Quest Overseas in 2012. Taking a gap year was one of the best decision I ever made and that's because I chose to go with Quest Overseas. First of all it was the perfect combination of of language study, volunteering, and outdoor adventure. It's difficult to find a program that has it all, but Quest really does. I loved everything I did and I was really able to push myself. If I had gone traveling by myself I would never have enrolled in a Spanish class or gotten the courage to try rock climbing and surfing. I had incredible experiences and truly was a different person upon my return. I was able to work on my Spanish, do some really rewarding volunteer work, including getting up close and personal with a puma who I walked and fed, and pushed myself, trying new things for the entire 6 weeks of expedition. I made life long friendships with the people I traveled with, and because they come from all over, going to visit them is just another chance for me to get on a plane and go somewhere. Quest Overseas changed my perspective on everything, and changed me as a person. I can't wait to get back to South America, and now I have the confidence I needed to travel alone. I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone!!

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly nothing. There were definitely mishaps along the way be it struggling to find a place to sleep for the night in a small town or our bus breaking down multiple times. But those mishaps only added to the experience and realistically showed me what traveling is really like. All those little bumps on the road just made me more prepared for when I go traveling on my own.