I really enjoyed my time volunteering at IPBio and thought that it was incredibly well organised. I was nervous because it was my first time volunteering abroad, but I was given so much useful information before I arrived (including detailed instructions of how to get there, what to bring etc) which was reassuring. During my time there, communication from the volunteer coordinator was also great as we had a morning meeting every day and he kept us updated on any ongoing news about the area.
The accommodation at the reserve is surprisingly nice, considering you're living in the middle of a rainforest! There are proper beds, with sheets provided and aircon or fans in the bedrooms. I shared a room with one other girl which was a really nice experience but I know some of the longer term volunteers also got their own rooms, which is definitely a luxury for volunteering experiences! There is a fully-equipped kitchen with lots of crockery and cutlery and two big fridges so plenty of space for food. It is nice to still be able to have some of the basic comforts from home available when volunteering and this place definitely goes above and beyond. The only thing to get used to is the regular creepy crawly visitors in the house and making sure you shut windows etc - though I must mention that there are mosquito nets across all of the windows which means you don't really need a mosquito net for your bed.
All of the other volunteers were really welcoming and friendly, despite the fact I arrived when they had all been volunteering together for a month or two. I felt like I was able to fit into the group after a couple of days quite easily and all of the staff helped to make you feel welcome and at home too. There is some really awesome research going on at IPBio and they have a wide variety of resources available and also seem keen to welcome volunteers' ideas regarding projects, which is really refreshing!
An obvious thing about staying at IPBio is how beautiful the setting is and how much cool wildlife you will see whilst you're there. I was super excited to see a number of different hummingbirds visiting the feeding stations at the reserve every day. There are always vultures flying around high above the reserve and mountains too, which is a great sight. I was a tad disappointed that I didn't see any monkeys but I was only there for 2 weeks in the end and the capuchin monkeys are pretty elusive and uncommon. I know some of the other volunteers had caught a glimpse though!
If you're happy to get hot, sweaty and a bit muddy whilst carrying out a variety of different surveys in the beautiful rainforest, and don't mind the occasional (or frequent!) mosquito bite, then I would highly recommend you volunteer here. It's has a great community spirit and allows you to learn a lot about the local area and wildlife. I think it also encourages you to come out of your shell and comfort zone, which gives you a great sense of achievement!