• Costa Rica
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round
Guesthouse Host Family
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
IFRE is a 501(c)3 organization, so your program fee will be tax deductible. IFRE Volunteers is proud to offer the world’s best fee.
Our programs are now more affordable than ever. We are proud to focus on the humanitarian aspect of our business, not on profit. We work very hard and smart to keep our costs down, especially for the volunteers because we know the value of your donated time and efforts.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Transportation Visa
Jul 02, 2019
Sep 05, 2023
8 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Are the tropics calling your name? Do you want to explore a magical country while helping to improve life there for the locals? Costa Rica is a tropical delight and the jewel in the crown of Central America; however, it is a developing country with much-needed aid for the country’s real problems, such as social imbalance and healthcare.

We offer countless volunteer projects in Costa Rica including teaching English, working with orphans, environmental conservation and more – If you can dream it, we have a volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica that can fullfil it. Not only will you be giving back to the people of Costa Rica, but you will be taking in the immense beauty of the gorgeous beaches and flourishing jungles while doing so.

Grab your keyboard and write us an email right now, while you’re thinking about how fantastic this could be.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • The world’s most affordable volunteer programs – starting at $ 140.
  • Low Fees are paid directly to host families and projects with absolutely no middlemen!
  • Experience the personal satisfaction of improving the lives of those in need who desperately need assistance.
  • Your one-time low fee cover accommodations, food, project costs, and support by expert and trustworthy local staffs.
  • Your safety is our utmost priority. We fully understand it can feel intimidating to be far from home in an unfamiliar country. But you’ll never feel alone with our 24/7 expert support staff and services.

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Program Reviews

4.86 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 85.71%
  • 4 rating 14.29%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Experience!

Overall, our experience in Costa Rica was incredible. My friend Erika and I went together seeking to volunteer as Physical Therapists. We ended up having a wonderful host family and placement, with plenty of free time to explore Costa Rica on the side as well. The program directors ensured we had everything we needed to feel safe and comfortable throughout. I would say our only complaint was not receiving many details about our home stay and placement until we got in the country. We weren't given any specifics and were not guaranteed to be doing Physical Therapy before we actually stepped foot into the country, and this originally made us uneasy. The coordinators we spoke with kept repeating the same things regarding how they can't tell us more due to privacy reasons, and all responses to our questions felt vague. It felt a little sketchy and like we could be scammed, but we weren't at all and everything ended up being amazing once we got there. We felt safe within the country too as we always stayed together and followed basic safety precautions like not carrying valuables, walking alone or at night, taking Ubers instead of Taxis, etc. Despite our initial hesitations throughout the sign up process, we ended up loving every second of the week long trip!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open-minded and ready for an adventure!
  • Convenient and affordable transportation within country
  • Lots to explore in Costa Rica
  • Good, clear communication when in the country regarding the program
  • Lack of specific details before arrival in country (housing, program placement)
38 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jose Carlos
Yes, I recommend this program

My life in Costa Rica

I am a 17 year-old Guatemalan teenager, who had a unique and extraordinary experience in Costa Rica. The kiddos were amazing, and very eager to learn. The host family was very attentive and friendly.
After finishing my classes, I had to opportunity to visit some museums and shopping malls. During the weekend I booked some tours through Tropical Tours (awarded by TripAdvisor), and have a wonderful time with the wildlife of Costa Rica.
I plan to retour to Costa Rica in a near future. Highly recommended.

84 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Jose,

Thank you for taking out the time to write us a feedback. We really appreciate your work with the children and are happy that you enjoyed your experiences in Costa Rica.

We wish you all the best for your future endeavours and hope we can see you in the future again!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer Osa Peninsula Sea Turtle

Had a really nice time at Latin American Sea Turtle Project. The staff and service was excellent. I learnd a lot more about those lovely animals and about nature in general. I can‘t say that mich because I only had time to stay for 5 days. So I tecommend you should definitely stay a longer time. I was there in October so it’s the rain season. But the weather was actually very good always sunny in the morning and later on it rained or sometimes also just a little so really perfect, because it wasn’t to crazy hot. The cabin I stayed in was also good and the food they served me everyday. The host family was super cute and friendly and tried to communicate with me as good as possible, because I couldn’t speak Spanish at all. All in one, an amazing experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Practice your Spanish or bring a dictionary to make sure you can communicate better with the people you stay with
78 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Corinna,

Thank you for taking out the time to volunteer with us and also for the wonderful feedback. We are very happy to know that you enjoyed at the Turtle Project. We hope that we can see you in the future someday. We wish you all the best.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience!

My daughter and I volunteered for 2 weeks at the NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary. We were looking for a true hands on experience that was affordable and educational. It was all that and more!
The staff were knowledgeable, extremely friendly and loved to joke around! They also took their work very seriously. We felt welcome for the moment we arrived and learned so much from them! The kitchen staff were very accommodating to vegetarian and gluten free diets. You will not go hungry!
The theme was, “work hard, play hard” while we were there. Every day was different. Besides preparing food and feeding the animals twice a day, we worked on many projects throughout the sanctuary. It was very satisfying work. At the end of the day there was time to relax in a hammock, play games or go into town. We often walked to the local store and hung out by the soccer field. We even joined in a soccer game with the locals... so fun!!! We felt welcome wherever we went.
We also got one day off a week to go on a day trip. We organized a trip with 8 of us and hired a tour company to take us snorkeling and go swimming on a beautiful island. Along the way, they took us to an island where we got to see spider monkeys swinging around. They also took us past a rocky area where there were may birds. Along the way we saw lots of dolphins and a whale! We ended the trip with a visit to the bioluminescent water, where we could go swimming!
Although I went with my 17 year old daughter, I didn’t see much of her during the work day. She was busy giving tours of the sanctuary and working on different projects. There were 4 feeding routes, too, that we rotated during our stay. This allowed us to get to know all the animals at the sanctuary. There were many young people volunteering, as well as a family and people of different ages. We all made new friends and are in touch through WhatsApp!
We will definitely volunteer through IFRE again!!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
We fell in love with the baby anteater! It was so cool to watch it climb and search for food... adorable!!!
77 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Michelle ,

Thank you for your feedback. We are very happy to know that both you and your daughter enjoyed our wildlife project. Thank you so much for taking out the time to volunteer with us. We wish you both all the best in your future endeavours!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful Country, Great Project

It was really fun to be in an international camp like this, with people coming from around the world. It was great to discover turtle’s life and learn about how we can protect them. The staffs were always present to help, support and were very kind. The schedule was different each day. Costa Rica is a safe, beautiful country with lots of natural beauty. The accommodation was also fine. I’m very grateful to IFRE and to ASVPA for organizing such an amazing mission in Matapalo.

What would you improve about this program?
Volunteers can be offered some sort of sports activities when they are not in charge with hatchery. Increasing the night shifts could be very exciting for volunteers. Finally, informing local people and tourists about why is it important to protect turtles and nature will improve this program even more.
79 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wildlife Program (Natuwa)

My volunteering experience with my friend at the Wildlife Sanctuary was amazing. The Program surpassed our expectations. People of Costa Rica are very friendly and welcoming. IFRE and its country support staff were very good, always caring for us and making sure everything thing was done as planned.

Weather, people, animals were all amazing in Costa Rica. It is hard for me to explain in words the beauty of Costa Rica and it’s wonderful animals. One must come and explore from themselves. The conservation project was very helpful, I learned a lot and finally I also got a chance to meet new friends from all over the world.

I would recommend the trip to anyone who loves wildlife and wants to experience Costa Rica. We will definitely come back to Costa Rica and volunteer with IFRE again in the near future. Thank you!!!

What would you improve about this program?
The site could be made more environmentally sustainable using recycling and solar options.
85 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Turtle Conservation Program in Costa Rica

I enjoyed the program very much right from inception to the end. I arrived at the airport and Yeal was waiting for me outside with my name on the Ply board. I was then taken to my host family, who were very nice, accommodating and friendly. The next day I started the program. The first day activities included watching the turtles, analyzing their behavior. Measuring their size and weight, helping and feeding the injured turtles and releasing them once they are recover.

It was definitely a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Increasing the number of turtles in the off season.
84 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers