Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica with IVHQ

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Trusted by 113,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Costa Rica and 50+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 12 volunteer project options in Costa Rica and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a homestay or volunteer house, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Costa Rica, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

  • IVHQ’s Costa Rica program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $380 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 40 and 80 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Costa Rica each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 113,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Book With Confidence: Added Flexibility & Free Changes

IVHQ makes it easy to change your travel plans should you need to – or if you simply change your mind. As long as you cancel or reschedule at least 15 days before your program start date this year, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination.

Popular Programs

Childcare Project

As a Childcare volunteer in Costa Rica, you will be supporting a project where the focus is on improving outcomes for children from difficult backgrounds in San Jose. You will be working alongside local staff and playing a hands-on role in providing much-needed support within local community centers, daycares, schools, soup kitchens and kindergartens.

Working with Children

The aim of the Working with Children project in Manuel Antonio is to provide additional care, attention and most importantly, companionship to children within local childcare facilities. This project is well suited to energetic and creative volunteers who are passionate about working with children. You will be encouraged to use your creativity, be open-minded and ready to pitch in and help out wherever possible.

Turtle Conservation Project

When volunteering in Costa Rica on the Sea Turtle Conservation project, you will work alongside a local biologist to assist with sea turtle studies, focus on marine-conservation volunteer activities and support sustainable egg protection programs. There are four sea turtle species in Costa Rica - Leatherbacks, Greens, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill. This project is well suited to hard-working individuals who love nature, the marine environment and being part of rewarding volunteer work.

Healthcare Project

As a volunteer on the Healthcare project in Costa Rica, you may work in a range of community care facilities in San Jose, including clinics for disabled children, nursing homes, HIV/AIDS assisted living homes and ambulance services. The healthcare system in Costa Rica is relatively well developed, however the placements we work with always appreciate the extra assistance that volunteers provide through supporting local nurses, doctors and caregivers.

Construction and Renovation Project

As a Construction and Renovation volunteer in Costa Rica, you will be working to support underfunded projects in San Jose that are rundown and in need of a refresh. Your support will help to breathe new life into communities and enable initiatives to carry out their work in healthy, vibrant spaces. You will take the lead from a local construction worker, who will provide you with direction and guidance throughout your project.

Questions & Answers

You can see a lot of reviews here: There are 12 different projects in 50+ locations, so there are lots of options! :)

I'm not sure how big your group is but my sister and I went as a pair and so did some room mates we had at our host families place. Now 3 would probably be reasonable, 4 might be safe but I would say anything above that would be pushing it for sure. The host family we stayed at held 5 of us at one time so I know its possible but it would depend on how many people the host family can hold and how...

You can apply, but you must apply with someone else that is over 18 so that you don't go alone. Hope that helps!

I'm not sure there is an age restriction, but for most of the programs you have to get a background check and in my state you must be 18 to acquire one. I would recommend the program only to people 18+ anyways.


9.54 Rating
based on 52 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 52
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

This is an amazing one of a kind experience. The staff is amazing and passionate about conservation and do a wonderful job of educating volunteers on there purpose and issues with marine life and corals. They are inspiring and empowering, I would definitely go back. Being a party of there crew was just amazing. You will feel like a family at day 1. The food was great, the staff was very knowledgeable on corals and the issues at hand when it comes to saving the reef. Glad I could be a part of a bigger cause.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing (unless you can find a way to control the weather ;) ) they were just perfect.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

I have completed two IVHQ programs, one in Kenya and one in South America. Both programs were well orchestrated and ended up being amazing experiences. IVHQ is affordable and worth every penny. I had never traveled before when I did my first volunteer and program, and it was a fantastic first experience overseas. The local employees help you settle in and I never felt unsafe. I would recommend this program to anyone wanting to travel and help out while you do. It's great for solo travelers as well as friends.

What was your funniest moment?
Meeting people from all over the world was probably the greatest part of my experience. I now have friendships with people from all over the globe.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My amazing experience in Costa Rica

I had an amazing time here in Costa Rica and mostly thanks to the local staff that helps us in any situation.
I managed to achieve my goals here: To spend time with kids and learn a lot from them
My stay with the host family was also very nice, the host-mom treated us like her own kids and cooked very good food for us while telling us a lot of interesting stories (which helped us to improve our spanish!
People in Costa Rica are incredible and had a big impact on my experience here
Finally, the are so many beautiful places to visit: La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Poas Volcano, Isla Tortuguero, National Park of Manuel Antonio ...

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe that a bunch of organized activities during the afternoons (in addition to the pre-existent) would be amazing for all those who stay in the city during the free time
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Program

the most amazing group of kids! never felt so much love and excitement walking through the door. truly a life changing expierence. the staff at the program was so great an helpful with the volunteers and the kids. The host mom was so accomadating and always prepared meals she knew i would eat since i am such a picky eater. The country was amazing with so many helpful and nice people. There was so much to see and do, there was never a dull moment. my favorite part was playing with the kids each day and watching the smiles light up on their face with how much fun they were having.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Campaign

This experience was astonishingly impacting to my overall goals in life and where my journey can go from here. One of my favorite moments from the entire trip was the level of enjoyment that was seen from every child that we came into contact with. At every day care we went to, children came up to us and did not worry about the language barrier because it seemingly didn't matter. Our trip organizer, Makayla, was a tremendous help in anything that we needed whether it be a translator, an instructor, or even just a friend.

What was your funniest moment?
I became a human jungle gym for the children of one of the daycares.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Medical campaign

I met so many people on this trip that I will never forget. The team at maximo and the translators were very helpful throughout this process. Our host mom, Marlene was very welcoming and provided us with great accommodations. I had a great time emerging myself in a new culture and feeling safe while doing so. I learned more about medicine than I ever would have back at home. Going to daycares and helping kids was one of my favorite parts. Communication barriers did not matter, which made the day.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Costa Rica

I am a pre med student with basic medical knowledge being a sophomore in college. I don't have much experience besides other volunteering and shadowing doctors for my interest in my future occupation. I have Spanish experience from high school and language was never a barrier or problem. The translators were kind and amzing all the way to the doctors, nurses, managers, staff, etc. I feel I have made a significant impact on Costa Rican communities and would do it all over again if I could. :) :) .

What was your funniest moment?
Funniest moment was playing with the kids at day cares we helped at and having them correct my imperfect Spanish.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Gotta love it

This experience equipped me with the opportunity to undergo experiential and hands on learning in the field of medicine and healthcare and allowed me to directly create an impact on others' lives beneficially. I was able to form valuable relationships, interact with others with backgrounds and opinions different from mine, practice and hone my medical skills, and helped solidify my want and goal to pursue a career in medicine. If nothing else, this trip was a lot of fun and rewarding! Got to make new friends and channel my passion to help others!