Volunteer Work, Nature Protection, Animal Welfare
National Parks are spread throughout the country
flexible start and end dates, year round
This volunteer work in Costa Rica takes place in one of the country’s national parks. Although Costa Rica is a very small country, the vegetation and wildlife are extremely diverse. The national parks system was established to protect the country's unique nature and biodiversity since the beginning of the environmental conservation movement. Costa Rica is known for its extensive eco-tourism industry, making the country's national parks world-famous travel destinations. The parks are dispersed throughout the country and offer a huge range of attractions, such as beautiful beaches, volcanoes, mountain ranges, rain and cloud forests, lagoons, rivers, waterfalls, and many different exotic animals.
Most parks have a very diverse eco-system and unique flora and fauna. They are important refuges for endangered species and offer outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, canopying, and more. The species that make up Costa Rica's wildlife include a variety of mammals, beautiful birds, fish, and reptiles. Among the wild animals there are howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, pumas, deer, squirrels, coati, peccary, marvellous butterflies, frogs, iguanas, toucans, and parrots.
Furthermore, you can find a vast variety of water birds and about 70 different types of reptiles, like snakes and lizards. Sea turtles are the main attraction of many of the coastal national parks. A lot of parks focus on the protection of these amazing reptiles that are in danger of extinction. The beaches of Costa Rica on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coast rank among the most important areas for sea turtles to lay their eggs worldwide. Thousands of sea turtles, reaching up to 700 kg (1,650 lbs.), come every year to lay eggs. Although much is known about these beautiful creatures, there are still many unexplainable myths about them.
This volunteer work position is full time and takes place at a national park in Costa Rica. An 11% of the country's total surface is protected by National Parks. The parks house an estimated 75% of all Costa Rican species of flora and fauna.
Your tasks as volunteer will depend on the park you choose to work in, which will be defined once you arrive in Costa Rica. The exact work hours and responsibilities depend on the total workload, number of volunteers, and your personal abilities, skills, and knowledge. Usually, you will work 5-6 days per week from 8 am to 5 pm with one hour for lunch. You will have at least one day off per week, sometimes two, which allows you to explore the area around you, catch up with other volunteers, or just have a relaxing day. You will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the country's natural beauty!
Upon arrival, you will learn about the different volunteer projects in the national parks in Costa Rica, some of which are designated UNESCO World Biosphere Heritage Sites. Each park, its infrastructure, and volunteer tasks will be explained to you using photos, maps, and detailed explanations. You will get to know each park's characteristics, flora and fauna, locations, and the best time of the year to visit. Afterward, it's up to you to choose one of the parks for your volunteer experience in Costa Rica (subject to availability). During your stay in beautiful Costa Rica, you will have the chance to experience many new things. Through this program, you will even have the unique opportunity to work in different national parks at no additional fee. If you volunteer longer than 4 weeks, you can experience more than one national park, allowing you to explore the nature of different regions of this diverse country! The minimum stay in each park is 2 weeks.
The tasks volunteers usually carry out in different national parks include:
- Supporting services for visitors
- Clearing and maintaining hiking trails
- Cleaning beaches
- Maintaining parks' installations and facilities
- Protecting the local environment
- Protecting and taking care of local wildlife
- Supervising and surveying animal populations
- Working in administration at the parks' office
- Organizing projects with local communities
- Educating on environmental issues
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
The accommodation in the national parks in Costa Rica is set in shared dormitories in the so-called volunteer house. There are shared bathrooms available and a kitchen and common area. Full board (3 meals per day) is always provided.
Note: In Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer projects take place, the cellular or internet connection is not always reliable and fast.
Your project position will be one of the many national parks in Costa Rica. Although it is one of the smallest countries in Latin America, it has an immense biodiversity and absolutely fascinating landscapes. Costa Rica really has everything you need for a dream vacation: Both on the Pacific and the Caribbean coast, dream beaches with great surf spots and dense rainforest in the hinterland wait for you, plus lovely landscapes with volcanoes, mountains, large and small rivers. Watch out animal lovers since you can observe local wildlife like sloths, macaws, turtles, monkeys and ocelots from up close. Large parts of this fascinating world are actively protected in more than 20 national parks and many private protected areas.
Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in the region and tourism is a very important economic sector. In order to promote tourism with environmental protection in equal measure, Costa Rica was one of the first countries to introduce ecotourism extensively in the early 1970s.
The people in Costa Rica are friendly and relaxed, and live according to the motto "Pura Vida" - "pure life" what in Costa Rica you can learn to enjoy life to the fullest! In addition, the "Ticos" speak a clear and slow Spanish, so that it is easy to understand them.
The climate in Costa Rica can easily be divided into two seasons: the rainy season (around May to November) and the dry season (around December to April). Even in the rainy season, it doesn't rain all the time, but about three hours a day.
In our Wildlife & Nature projects, our volunteers get along well with English language skills.
For optimal program preparation and cultural integration in the destination country, we recommend participating in a Spanish course in Costa Rica (optional).
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us in case of emergency on 7 days a week around the clock.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our partner organization in Costa Rica located in San José as well as the volunteer coordinator on-site.
Depending on the day of arrival in Costa Rica, the program includes one to three nights in San José in a single room with a host family (including breakfast).
Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our colleagues in San José.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in a National Park in Costa Rica includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Full board
- Airport pick-up in San José with 2 overnight stays in San José
- Transfer from San José accommodation to bus terminal for journey to project site *
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Costa Rica
- English-speaking in-country support
- Welcome meeting in San José
- Handbook Costa Rica
- Intercultural guideline
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
*the costs for the bus ticket to the project site are not included.
Application fee: US$ 150
Program fee: US$ 795 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 265
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.