Volunteer in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a wonderful destination for both first-time and seasoned travelers. It's home to beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and some of the friendliest people on earth, while also being incredibly safe.

But for those who want to see another side of Costa Rica, volunteering in education, animal rescue, or sea turtle conservancy could be just the way to see Costa Rica from outside the tourist lens. Volunteering in this tropical country offers the experience of a lifetime by immersing you in local culture and customs and learning the true meaning of Pura Vida.

Photo Credit: Gabi Schiller

Costa Rica offers an excellent introduction to Latin America while also providing a diversity of places to visit for a nature lover with a strong democratic tradition. After Costa Rica's civil war, the army was abolished by the president in 1948. While Costa Rica is often considered one of the wealthier countries in the region, there are still numerous development problems such as deforestation, economic and gender inequalities and youth development issues as increasing numbers of undocumented immigrants from Nicaragua and other neighboring countries now call Costa Rica home.

Environmental Conservation & Working with Wildlife

While Costa Rica is famous for conserving vast parts of the country as national parks, there is a constant need for volunteers to get involved in their wildlife and conservation efforts. The most popular project in this field is working with the numerous sea turtle conservancy projects on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Volunteers work to protect sea turtle eggs from poachers and environmental threats.

Other projects involve preserving and researching other areas of Costa Rica's wildlife -- especially in Costa Rica's rainforests.

Youth Development

Volunteer with youth development in Costa Rica -- both in San Jose and smaller cities -- by assisting with after-school programs, community centers, and sports coaching. Most projects will require you have a functional level of Spanish in this area.

Gender Equality

Unknown to many, sex trade has dramatically increased in Costa Rica. Victims need your help in recovering their lives.

Teaching English

Costa Ricans value English as a second language and native teachers are in high demand. Teaching positions vary and no experience is necessary, but previous experience and qualifications are always helpful.

Health and Safety in Costa Rica

No immunizations are required to go to Costa Rica. It is also safe to drink the water, one of the few Latin American countries where this is the case. Costa Rica is known to be one of the safer countries in Central America but you should never let your guard down, always secure your belongings and be aware of surroundings, especially in bus stations and in markets. Remember, as a foreigner you always stand out.


Costa Rican tourist visas are not required for citizens of the United States for a stay of up to 90 days. For more information visit Visa HQ. All travelers to Costa Rica will have to pay a fee upon exiting.

Contributed by Eliza Wethey

Showing 192 results

Costa Rica
Wilderness Adventures
Come with us to explore the magic of Costa Rica. Partake in daily Spanish instruction, taught by native Costa Rican professor...
Costa Rica
Greenheart Travel
Based on a private ecological reserve in the rainforests of northern Costa Rica, this Eco-Reserve and Animal Rescue Center wa...
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Outward Bound Costa Rica
Catching Waves is the surf and service adventure of a lifetime! For ten days, experience a variety of water and beach-based a...
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Outward Bound Costa Rica
Combine service projects and unforgettable adventure with true cultural immersion in the jungles of Costa Rica. Whether you’r...
Costa Rica
Located in Central America, Costa Rica is nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is home to over 500,000...
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Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)
Five unique ecosystems, one adventure. Come join us in Costa Rica to volunteer and learn first hand about conservation. GLA o...
Costa Rica
Discover Corps
Dive into Costa Rica's animal kingdom, and get up-close and personal with rare and endangered species including howler monkey...
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Discover Corps
Renowned for its world class abundance of wildlife and being the "happiest country on earth", Costa Rica is unrivaled in it's...
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With 300 projects worldwide and 25 years experience providing volunteering and adventure travel placements, Frontier can find...
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Nestled between its tropical Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Costa Rica is one of the most breath-taking countries in the world...
Combine exciting adventure travel with a project placement and experience the best of Central America on an unforgettable adv...
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Putney Student Travel
Experience Costa Rica, a leader in conservation and biodiversity, and find out why this small country is home to some of the...
Do you want to volunteer to help an amazing variety of rescued animals or work at a conservation project? Make a real differe...
Outreach International
Ecuador and Costa Rica provide a wealth of opportunity for volunteers wanting to get involved in conservation of the rainfore...