How would you rate
"They sufficed, as an organising company"
"I had a great trip with great people and great activities, I would definitely do it again if I had the funds!! :D"
"I had a great time at Camp Borneo! Camps International is very good organized. Everything went well and we had a lot of fun! Thank you for the great experience:)"
"I have just come back from the 3 months combined Peru and Ecuador gap year programme with the Galapagos add on. Overall excellent trip! Ecuador was amazing, it has been established for some time and the leader for the gap year programme, Paola was incredible. She was kind, empathetic, motivating and wasn't afraid to get stuck in when it came to project work. It didn't feel like it was her job, leading was her way of life and and she loved it. She always recommended the best places to eat on our weekends away (so no one ever got food poisoning, which was great!). She always was quick to help if you had a problem or when illnesses occurred (one girl got an ear infection, she was quick to take her to the hospital and get treatment promptly.) She ensured we had fun but kept safe, and always listened to our ideas on making volunteer work varied and enjoyable.
Project work in Ecuador consisted of:
-Making environmentally friendly rotating bins out of bamboo, which we made from scratch and inserted into set locations around the beach and town, chosen by the local community.
-Mural painting at the school and at a local nursery.
-Beach clean up
-Turtle awareness day: competition with the local kids from the surrounding communities, making turtles out of sand, face painting and teaching kids at the school about the turtle life cycle, awareness and how they can help.
-Building at a church in the neighbouring town.
Most of the projects were very physical, but our group was extremely hard working and proactive on all the tasks which meant we often finished projects days ahead of schedule. Paola was excellent at encouraging the momentum and finding new tasks for us.
Project work felt very fulfilling and you really felt like you were making a difference to the local community. The locals were lovely, and the mums often helped out and brought us snacks and home made lemonade during the day (which was amazing!)
The maestros (especially Habico) were fun to work with and could have a good laugh, even with the language barrier. They also pushed us hard to work efficiently but accurately. If something wasn't quite right they would let you know which was great! We were maestros ourselves by the end of it!
We had some amazing experiences in Ecuador, from whale watching, bridge jumping, rafting and canyoning! I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Oh and Maritsa the lady who cooks at camp Costa is fantastic, lovely and an amazing cook!
Peru was a very different experience, it has only been running for a year and still has some improvements to go. At camp Titticaca and Colca, there wasn't enough tools for everyone during building work and we had a leader (Lilly) who was nice one -on -one but not great with groups and didn't get involved in the project work which didn't help with motivation levels. The project work was also mostly building work and at very similar stages at each camp which often got very repetitive. However, later we had an excellent leader Percy, who was amazing and really tried his best for the group, to make work more interesting and varied. He came up with games afternoons, cultural evenings and craft sessions. Contrasting to Lilly he was always hands on and set a great example during project work. He also a addressed the issues of maestros that were difficult to work with and took on ideas and suggestions.
In Peru we trekked Machu Picchu with Richard (I think he is head of operations). He was really good laugh and light hearted and fitted well with the group and did his best to listen to and take on any suggestions from the group.
Project work in Peru:
Rendering outside ad inside walls with cement at a nursery- Camp Colca
Painting and Mural artwork on wall - Camp Colca
Building, teaching and cleaning up of green house - Camp Colca
Barrel painting, teaching and building- Lake Titticaca
Teaching, building work on a new school kitchen and planting seeds in a school vegetable patch- camp Muray
The accommodation overall for Peru and Ecuador is quite basic and consists of hostels, camps and tented camps, and often toilets don't flush and buckets are required, but it kind of adds to the fun of the simple life. The views are incredible and the mountains in Peru were breathtaking, especially in camp Moray and Colca.
The cook Sonya in Peru was lovely and all the kitchen staff really fun and helpful and loved to encourage our Spanish (following lessons taught by Percy and Paola).
Overall, if your thinking if this is for you, if you like hard work, getting deep into the real culture and life of a country, then I would not hesitate, do it! You won't regret it! You gain new skills, meet amazing people and learn that you can live happily with only the basics.
Just go with an open mind and be flexible, some times good things come from spontaneity..."
"I've been on two trips with Camps and the first one to Borneo with my school would without a doubt get a 5 star rating despite a difficult team leader to work with. The more recent trip was the gap year programme where I did a month in Ecuador and ended up going to the galapagos last minute which Camps were really good at organising. I decided to go to the Galapagos because we did have an issue where we felt that Camps falsely advertised our trip to stay in the Amazon rainforest as the second Camp Amazonia we were sent too was a 5 minute drive from a large town and although the people there needed a playground (the project). Once we left we saw the locals pull out power tools which obviously we couldn't use and it felt like we were just hindering them.
Camps did recognise that there was an error with this and did offer compensation as we lost 4 days from this and we did not return to the Amazon but instead went to a camp on the beach. On a positive note, all the staff and volunteers were so enthusiastic about camps which really motivated us to work. Having free time at the weekends also gave us a really good chance to see different sides to the country."
"I had a phenomenal time at Camp Ecuador this summer. For me it was the reputation of Camps that made me book the trip, and the team really delivered.
What stands out for me is Camps responsiveness to difficult situations. Of course, things don't always go to plan whilst travelling, but Camps were great at solving my issues.
Would recommend to friends/family"
"Those two months i've been there where just amazing. Met some awesome people from Camps and a few locals. I'm glad i had the change to do something usefull for those wo need it.
"Camps International was by far a brilliant experience. I took part in the Borneo programme which was unforgettable. The service is brilliant and the places you get to see are just breathtaking. I wish that I was there again, the staff are so knowledgeable and friendly that you soon see them as your family. I have made life long friends whilst taking part in this as well as life changing experiences. I will hold this in my memory forever so join up!!!!!!"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 week expedition. I had so many expectations of how it was going to be - hot, adventurous, exciting and full of experiences. Not only did the trip fulfil these expectations but it beat it. I gained so many new experiences from being Emergency Evacuated off the jungle to being entertained by little kids and a truck tyre. The whole experience is one I hope I will never forget and I cannot wait to hopefully return to Borneo someday."