Volunteer in Costa Rica for an inexpensive trip of a lifetime

volunteers in Costa RicaDo you dream of exploring a tropical rainforest, sunbathing on a pristine beach, or witnessing some of the abundantly diverse populations of wildlife?

Do you also want to make a positive impact on the lives of others and our planet? Are you on a budget though and worried that such an incredible experience is going to cost an arm and a leg?

Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. It has also earned and kept the reputation as being one of the happiest places on the planet too.

It is no wonder why everyone wants to visit Costa Rica at least once in their lifetime.

While Costa Rica might be full of natural wonders, exquisite beauty, friendly faces, and exciting adventure tours, it is still a developing country and there is a constant demand for volunteers in Costa Rica.

There are volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica for all different interests and volunteer goals, including teaching English, working with a sea turtle conservation program, and assisting the elderly.

Regardless of which volunteer project in Costa that you choose to join, you will have ample time to explore this magical country all while staying within your budget.

Jessica Mills

It was all worth it. I treasured the intimate moments travelling and experiencing together

Jessica Mills


Roberta Quis

I was not ready to leave when my two months were up. It was an unforgettable experience.

Roberta Quis

- Australia

Kenneth Janes

This was an amazing trip. I was immersed in new experiences, cultures, languages and people.

Kenneth Janes

- Canada

Lindsay Scott

This experience was both exceptional and valuable. Project was extremely enlightening.

Lindsay Scott

- Germany

Please read more reviews of our volunteers' on gooverseas.com

What volunteer in Costa Rica programs are available to me?

Global Crossroad has several amazing, affordable, and life altering volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica.

Volunteer in an Orphanage in Costa Rica Summary

volunteers in Costa Rica orphanageThere are thousands of children in Costa Rica who have been left as orphans for one unfortunate reason or another. Many of the orphanages do not receive adequate funding or do not have sufficient help and resources.

As an orphanage volunteer in Costa Rica, you have the power to help improve the lives of dozens of children during your volunteer abroad in Costa Rica commitment.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

There are no specific skills or qualifications required in order to volunteer in an orphanage in Costa Rica. You should however love working with children. You should also be flexible, open-minded, and compassionate.

The ability to communicate in Spanish is a major bonus, but not entirely necessary. If you don’t speak Spanish or want to improve your Spanish, Global Crossroad offers a Spanish language course as part of your volunteer in an orphanage program in Costa Rica.

Volunteer Responsibilities

When you join an orphanage volunteering project in Costa Rica, you will play multiple roles including caregiver, mentor, friend, and educator. You will help with the daily tasks and routines that take place at the orphanage, as well as help the children with their homework, teach them English, and engage them in fun games and activities.

Volunteer Teaching English in Costa Rica Summary

volunteers in Costa Rica TeachingTourism is a major industry and source of income for many people in Costa Rica. Most of the tourists visiting Costa Rica speak English.

As a Costa Rican, the ability to communicate proficiently in English is a highly prized and valuable skill set.

Unfortunately, students who don’t have parents that can afford to send them to private schools, do not often have the opportunity to learn English in school.

As a volunteer English teacher in Costa Rica, you will help teach English to these students who deserve a chance to learn just as much as the students at the costly private schools.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

There are no specific skills and qualifications required in order to join the volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica program. The ability to speak at least some Spanish is very helpful though. You should be patient, flexible, enthusiastic, and passionate about helping others, especially children and teenagers.

Volunteer Responsibilities

As a volunteer teacher in Costa Rica, you will work at a rural school where funds, resources, and staff are limited. You will teach English at an elementary, middle, and or high school level. You also have the opportunity to help teach physical education, art classes, math, and other languages, if that is something that interests you.  

Volunteer in Healthcare in Costa Rica Summary

volunteers in Costa Rica Medical While the healthcare system in Costa Rica is actually really good, there is still a need for medical volunteers in a number of clinics and health centers in rural and remote parts of Costa Rica.

The volunteer in healthcare program in Costa Rica is perfect for both healthcare professionals and students. It is an opportunity to gain hands-on medical experience in a new country.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

Volunteers interested in volunteering in healthcare in Costa Rica must have a healthcare certification or a medical student ID.

All types of healthcare professionals and students are accepted for this amazing opportunity to help the less fortunate people of Costa Rica who might not be able to receive the care that they need otherwise.

You will be required to present a resume and proof of your qualifications. It is also very helpful if you can communicate in Spanish, as most of your patients will only speak Spanish.

Global Crossroad offers a Spanish language course to those who want to brush up on their Spanish communication skills.

Volunteer Responsibilities

When you join the medical volunteer project in Costa Rica, you will have a variety of responsibilities.

Your responsibilities will depend on your specific interests, qualifications, and needs at the clinic or hospital in which you volunteer at. You will work alongside medical professionals in local clinics, hospitals, elderly care homes, and or in special healthcare projects.

Volunteer with the Elderly in Costa Rica Summary

volunteers in Costa Rica NursingThere is a great need for kind, loving, sympathetic, and compassionate individuals to join the elderly volunteer project in Costa Rica.

The residents of the elderly home in which you will volunteer at have been relocated there because they were living in poor situations where either they were alone or not being properly cared for.

These aging citizens cannot live alone and need your help with their day-to-day routines. It is also very beneficial for them to have visitors and feel that they are loved and supported.

Skills and Qualifications Required

There are no specific skills and qualifications required in order to volunteer with the elderly care program in Costa Rica. Beginner to intermediate Spanish is preferred, but not required.

Global Crossroad offers a Spanish language course to help you be able to better communicate with the residents of the elderly home. All that is asked though is that you are flexible, open-minded, patient, and kind. The time you spend with these individuals will make a world of a difference in their lives.

Volunteer Responsibilities

When you volunteer with the elderly project in Costa Rica, you will help take care of the individuals who reside at the home. Your tasks will depend on your interests and the needs of the home and the residents.

Sometimes just visiting with the people who live here is enough to make a grand difference. You might help with meals, physical assistance, emotional and physical therapy, and engaging and entertaining activities.

Volunteer with Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica Summary

volunteers in Costa Rica Turtle Conservation Costa Rica is home to four main species of sea turtles.

All four species, the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, the green sea turtle, and the Olive Ridley sea turtle return to Costa Rica every year to nest on both the Caribbean and Pacific coast.

The turtles return at different times of the year and only to a few very special beaches.

Unfortunately, due to illegal poaching, the turtle eggs are in grave danger from the moment they are laid. The baby sea turtles also face innumerable threats when they hatch and make their way back to the sea.

Turtle conservation volunteers in Costa Rica are greatly needed for both the Osa Peninsula sea turtle conservation project and the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica sea turtle conservation project. 

Skills and Qualifications Needed

There are no specific skills and qualifications require in order to join this amazing turtle conservation opportunity in Costa Rica, either on the Osa Peninsula or the Caribbean coast.

You should however enjoy working outdoors, especially in a hot tropical environment, be flexible and a team player, and be enthusiastic about helping save the sea turtles of Costa Rica. You should also be in good physical condition.

Volunteer Responsibilities

As a sea turtle conservation volunteer in Costa Rica, you will perform a number of valuable duties in an effort to help protect and learn more about these vulnerable sea creatures.

You will work to tag turtles and collect information on individual turtles for on-going research, you will help collect and relocate eggs to safer areas, you will help rehabilitate sick or injured sea turtles, and you will help with reforestation and beach clean-up efforts.

Volunteer Program Fees & Dates

Global Crossroad prides itself on being able to provide new and returning volunteers with the most affordable and quality volunteer experiences in Costa Rica. You will be required to pay a one-time registration fee of $299 and a low weekly program fee.

Your weekly program fee is directly allocated to your chosen volunteer project in Costa Rica and includes three meals a day, in-country support, and your accommodations. The idea is to make international volunteering in Costa Rica budget-friendly so that nearly anyone who wants to help make a difference in Costa Rica can.

You are responsible for the cost of your flights, visa (if required), and personal expenses. Global Crossroad is very transparent about their fees and what exactly they go toward. The cost of volunteering abroad in Costa Rica might be low, but the experience itself is truly priceless.

Puntarenas Fees

  Duration   Children, English Teaching   Physical Therapy & Sport Medicine
  1 Week $325 N/A
  2 Weeks $500 N/A
  3 Weeks $675 N/A
  4 Weeks $850 $875
  5 Weeks $1050 $1050
  6 Weeks $1225 $1225
  7 Weeks $1400 $1400
  8 Weeks $1575 $1600
  9 Weeks $1775 $1775
  10 Weeks $1950 $1950
  11 Weeks $2125 $2125
  12 Weeks $2300 $2300
  • Comprehensive Traveler Insurance $3.49/day (for all locations)
  • Airport Pickup in Private car from San Jose airport to Puntarenas – 3 hours $110
  • Transportation by bus from airport to Puntarenas $40: volunteer will travel unaccompanied to Puntarens and picked up at the local bus station
  • Spanish Lesson (8hrs per week) $110/week

San Jose Fees

  Duration   Orphanage, Teaching, Conservation   Medical, Construction
  1 Week   $420   $470
  2 Weeks   $695   $795
  3 Weeks   $970   $1,120
  4 Weeks   $1,180   $1,380
  5 Weeks   $1,345   $1,595
  6 Weeks   $1,510   $1,810
  7 Weeks   $1,675   $2,025
  8 Weeks   $1,840   $2,240
  9 Weeks   $2,005   $2,455
  10 Weeks   $2,170   $2,670
  11 Weeks   $2,335   $2,885
  12 Weeks   $2,500   $3,100
  • Comprehensive Traveler Insurance $3.49/day (for all locations)

Turtle Conservation Program Fees

Duration Matapolo (Pacific) Osa Peninsula (Pacific) Pecaure, Caribbean
  1 Week   $140   $385   $140
  2 Weeks   $280   $770   $280
  3 Weeks   $420   $1155   $420
  4 Weeks   $560   $1540   $560
  5 Weeks   $700   $1925   $700
  6 Weeks   $840   $2310   $840
  7 Weeks   $980   $2695   $980
  8 Weeks   $1120   $3080   $1120
  9 Weeks   $1260   $3465   $1260
  10 Weeks   $1400   $3850   $1400
  11 Weeks   $1540   $4235   $1540
  12 Weeks   $1680   $4620   $1680

Wildlife Conservation (Natuwa)

Duration Wildlife Conservation (Natuwa)
  1 Week   $140
  2 Weeks   $280
  3 Weeks   $420
  4 Weeks   $560
  5 Weeks   $700
  6 Weeks   $840
  7 Weeks   $980
  8 Weeks   $1120
  9 Weeks   $1260
  10 Weeks   $1400
  11 Weeks   $1540
  12 Weeks   $1680

Arrangement of Room, Food, and Supervision

When you volunteer in Costa Rica, you will reside at either a hostel or with a host family. Both types of accommodations will be in safe areas and will provide you with basic comforts and amenities.

In both living situations, you will have your own bed, but will likely share a room with at least one other same-sex volunteer. Bathrooms, kitchen, and living spaces will be communal.

If you stay with a host family, you will dine with them. In both living situations though you will receive three locally sourced and inspired meals. To-go lunches can be arranged if you are not going to be back at your home base during lunchtime. This is a great opportunity to experience the amazing local food of Costa Rica.

You will always be able to get in contact with your in-country coordinator during your volunteer project in Costa Rica. He or she will be checking in with you in person every two weeks to ensure your complete happiness and satisfaction with your volunteer program in Costa Rica.

You will never be truly alone while volunteering abroad in Costa Rica. Your host family or hostel staff will also be able to help you should you need anything.