• Costa Rica
    • San José
4 to 10 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Hostel Tent
Small Group (1-15)


Starting Price
Price Details
4 week Expedition $2,900
6 week Expedition $3,995
7 week Expedition $4,400
10 week Expedition $4,900

As a charity we talk about fundraising rather than costs, and encourage everyone to do some fundraising for their Expedition. We offer lots of ways to help with fundraising and we have supported thousands of young people to reach their target.

All our projects are driven by the needs of the communities we work in, and more than 80% of our income goes directly to the projects, so you can be sure that you're having a lasting, positive impact.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Accommodation Activities Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Some Meals Transportation Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare SIM cards Visa Wifi
Jun 21, 2022
Sep 02, 2022
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Joining a Raleigh Expedition in Costa Rica is a truly unique experience that allows you to take part in different projects, equip yourself with new skills, create lasting change with the communities we work with and take urgent action on environmental issues.

Work with innovative young people of Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, to preserve its natural resources. You will improve access to national parks by working with park rangers on the environmental project. On the Community project you will work with local indigenous communities to improve access to education for some of Costa Rica’s most marginalised children by improving educational infrastructure.

Lastly, build your skills on the adventure leadership project. Challenge yourself on the trek and help lead your team through a variety of stunning routes that tourists don’t get access to.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Our programs run for 4, 6, 7, and 10 weeks throughout the year, so you can join during your gap year or in the summer.
  • Be with people your age: Apart from team leaders and staff, you will be grouped with people aged 17-24 and share the experience with the same group from beginning to end. This is unique to Raleigh.
  • Develop essential teamwork, leadership, intercultural learning, and active citizenship skills and knowledge – the foundation for young people to become future leaders.
  • Diverse and inclusive: Volunteers join diverse teams of young people from across the globe as well as volunteers from the country you are based in.
  • Real adventure: Raleigh Expedition is an exciting and fun experience that will push you out of your comfort zone (in a safe environment!).

Program Impact

Become part of a global community dedicated to supporting youth-led action. Young people are continuing to take action in their own communities once they return, from creating sustainable start-ups, to challenging gender inequality and calling for action on the climate emergency and human rights.

If we are going to finally defeat poverty and injustice, find sustainable ways to protect our planet and achieve the UN Global Goals, young people must be the ones taking the lead and driving the solutions.

Program Reviews

4.73 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 84.62%
  • 4 rating 11.54%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 3.85%
  • Impact 4.6
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 4.45
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A truly once in a lifetime experience!

Highly recommend the experience for gap year students. I spent 3 weeks in an indigenous community learning from and supporting them. The community was a 2hr bus then a 5hr trek into the mountains but so worth it. Everyone had the overcome personal challenges whether it was fear of insects or no phone signal for 3 weeks. As a group we came away so close after being there through the highs and the lows. The trek was amazing as well, tough mentally and physically, but such an achievement! Came away with so many friends, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience!

20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I will never forget

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with amazing landscapes and a wide variety of animals. I loved that I was able to join an indigenous community I would have never been able to meet otherwise and prove myself to be capable of anything after completing the Adventure Leadership Trek. The people I did the projects with were all very hard-working, supportive and kind, which made the projects much more fun and easier. The challenging bit of my Raleigh expedition was having barely any personal space, which made me feel overwhelmed and drained from time to time. As an introvert, I need some time to recharge every now and then, but because I was always around other people I did not always feel like I could fully recharge. This, however, did also help me with opening up to other people and communicating my needs to them.

  • Good safety measures
  • Amazing people to work with
  • Beautiful surroundings
  • Lack of personal space + not much space to have some alone time and fully recharge
  • Chaotic/stressful atmosphere on Fieldbase (the place all volunteers meet before Expedition and in between projects)
37 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica

I’ve always been a very quiet and introverted type of person so taking part in Raleigh was a really big thing for me. I knew no one before I arrived and was completely out of my comfort zone! Being surrounded by positive and likeminded individuals helped me to come out of my shell and just be myself. Working in indigenous communities and in wildlife parks was so worthwhile as you can see the positive difference that you make which was so special. Trekking 256km through the heart of Costa Rica was both physically and mentally challenging but also so fun and rewarding as it makes you realise how much you’re really capable of. I have made some of my best memories on Raleigh and was probably THE best thing I have ever done in my life! I have grown so much as an individual and made friends for life. If you’re not quite sure whether or not to take part in Raleigh just take the leap of faith because you will most certainly not regret it!

35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica - February to April 2022

For my gap year before university, I spent 10 weeks volunteering with Raleigh International in Costa Rica from February to April 2022. I didn’t have many expectations before heading out, only that I would be doing a community project, environmental project and a trek. Within 3 days of arriving, I felt really settled and had made friends I’d felt I’d known be years. First, I did the indigenous community project which I absolutely loved. We were so isolated, with no service and connection to the outer world which I loved! It was easy to connect as a group and mix in with the children. We helped repair a turmite-infested building, build a guard house, and then we taught some classes to the children about the environment, English and maths. We also did a few sports days which was really fun, and being able to speak Spanish, I could communicate with the children (who’s second language was Spanish too). We did an action day, in which we taught the community about the importance about keeping the water source clean, and then took part in a football match! The locals gave us a few Cabecar lessons (their language) and taught us about their culture, which was such a privilege! For my second project, I volunteered in a national park. We helped clear the paths of leaves and rocks, dig holes for new fence posts and make a new hot spring. It was a lot harder work, and we often only found out what we were doing that morning which could be frustrating. However, we were camping within a national park, where nobody else could stay and woke up to monkeys in the trees above us, and surrounded by amazing wildlife. It was honestly an amazing experience. Finally, I took part on a 19 day trek. It was a challenging experience, but one I can say that is very doable! We bonded so well as a group, and were always so supportive of each other. The VM’s and Field Base team helped us with any issues we had and made sure to cater for what we needed and when, even if it wasn’t the plan, which really helped when some of our team were ill. The views we had, and the towns we passed through was such an amazing experience, and one I would love to do again! I would so recommend Raleigh to anybody. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, where you make likeminded best friends which you will keep for the rest of your life.

34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica

I had the most amazing 10 weeks volunteering in Costa Rica for Raleigh. It had allowed me to explore a new country in a completely unique way, whilst at the same time having a genuine and positive impact on the people and the environment. I had the opportunity to camp in a national park; live inside a remote indigenous community and trek 260km across the breadth of the country, experiences that most people will never have access to. Raleigh has also helped me grow in confidence as a leader, and develop my communication skills in social situations. I have met so many amazing people, many of which I will stay in touch with for a long time.

  • Super safe and organised way to travel
  • Opportunity to see remote parts of a country
  • You will meet loads of new friends
  • Sometimes the structure can feel slightly restraining
38 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh expedition in Costa Rica

I spent 10 weeks in Costa Rica with Raleigh international. My first project, a 3 week trek was incredible. The team was amazing and I definitely learnt more about leadership roles and improved my confidence. My next phase was spent in an indigenous Comunity, helping to build a dining room for a school. This will improve access to education and definitely felt like we were making lasting change. The final environmental phase was so good seeing all the wildlife and helping the rangers. My experience in Raleigh has been so rewarding and made a lasting difference on my life.

  • Meet amazing people
  • Make a lasting change in communities
  • Visit places that are off the track
  • Very quick change overs
37 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional experience developing myself and others

I volunteered as a Project Manager with Raleigh Feb-Apr 2019, it was quite simply the most rewarding, exciting and fun 3 months of my life! I had the opportunity to work on all three different 'stages' from a trek across the country building the confidence of international youth, to digging trails in a National Park to bring tourism to a new remote area, to building a school in an indigenous community.
As a project manager you co-lead a group of 15-20 international volunteers aged 18-25 so your impact is not only on the local communities of Costa Rica but of also on the development of youth from all around the world.
I met friends for life and really came away feeling like a made a different to so many lives, I am proud to continue to support Raleigh as an Alumni and love continuing to watch their impact grow over seas, I couldn't recommend it more.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You will worry about things before you go like; where will I wash? where will I sleep? what will I eat? however, this all becomes a new normal and you do not even think about them when you're there. Don't sweat the small stuff!
Your challenges become; how to I engage 15 18 year olds? which way do I turn on this dirt track? how can I build a new classroom for these children? Put your concerns into perspective and enjoy it.
65 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best experiences ever!

I had such an incredible time on Raleigh. I met people I didn’t think I’d ever meet and did things I never thought I’d get the chance to do! Honestly, couldn’t recommend enough! Working in an NRM project was so beautiful and trekking across Costa Rica was challenging but so rewarding! Working with indigenous communities was so eye opening and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to go there. I have made incredible friends that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life and I really hope that many more people will get to have the experience that I have had! The support and learning you receive throughout your Raleigh experience is invaluable. I feel I have developed so many different hard and soft skills, few of which I would ever have had the chance to develop had it not been for Raleigh. Thank you all so much!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
How much I learned in three months! I now know more about who I am and what I want to achieve in life! The most surprising thing was really how much you can be pushed to your limit and still succeed.
69 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers