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Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica!

Have you always dreamed of rescuing and rehabilitating animals in the rainforest? Would you like to explore Costa Rican splendors while making a difference? Join wildlife volunteer in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica is a natural wonder with more species of unique animals than almost anywhere else in the world. Amidst the verdant green that blankets the varied landscapes, you’ll find prowling wild cats like pumas, jaguars, and ocelots, hear the loud, whooping calls of howler monkeys, and see flashes of color as macaws, toucans, and hummingbirds fly overhead.

Tragically, the amazing animals of Costa Rica are in danger. Their rainforests homes are cleared for farmland and new developments, and they face injury and death as they try to navigate our busy human world strung with high-powered electrical lines and crisscrossed with busy roads. Some are even captured and forced into cages for the illegal pet trade.

Volunteer with wildlife in Costa Rica and make a difference! With Global Crossroad’s exciting volunteer abroad programs, you can help rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife, join important scientific research and conservation projects being carried out in the rainforest, or help save endangered sea turtles from poachers!

Contact Global Crossroad today to learn more about helping wildlife in Costa Rica!

Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica:

Global Crossroad offers a variety of exciting wildlife volunteer projects in Costa Rica that will help you really make a difference with wildlife in need. Keep reading to find the perfect project for you!

Travel to a remote beach on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica only accessible by boat. Join fellow volunteers and the local community helping protect three species of endangered nesting sea turtles from poachers who would otherwise steal the eggs as soon as they were laid! Patrol the beach at night, help out in the hatchery, and release hatchlings out to sea!

This exciting Costa Rica sea turtle volunteering opportunity is available during turtle season, which at this location runs from March-October. Each nest you protect from poachers has up to 150 eggs, so you’ll be making a real difference in helping increase the dwindling population of endangered sea turtles. Have a great time helping and live your dream!

Are you interested to save endangered sea turtle? Visit the project page for complete information.

If you’ve always wanted to help rescue and rehabilitate wildlife that has been injured, orphaned, or confiscated from the pet trade, this is the project for you! You’ll help care for many amazing animals in the sanctuary like sloths, monkeys, and Scarlet Macaws. You’ll also help rescue and rehabilitate wildlife, plant trees, educate the public, and more!

Volunteering in Costa Rica in wildlife program makes a profound impact on the lives of the animals in your care. Those who can’t be released will have a better quality of life, and you’ll help those that can on their journey back out into the wild. You’ll gain valuable experience working with wildlife and feel great knowing you are giving back!

Are you an animal lover who wants to create a better life for abused and exploited wildlife? Visit the project page to find pricing and complete information.

If you want hands-on experience in groundbreaking research helping save endangered sea turtles, this project is calling your name! A team of scientists and volunteers are carrying out much needed in-water research on a colony of sea turtles foraging in the sea grass meadows of the Golfo Dulce, off the wild and wonderful Osa Peninsula.

This Costa Rica sea turtle volunteer program, available year-round, is totally unique. Instead of focusing only on nesting mothers, this project seeks to gain a broader scope of how sea turtles live in the water, the threats they face, and how best to conserve these endangered species. Learn scientific techniques and do your part to help sea turtles!

Do you have a passion for science and helping animals who are on the verge of extinction? Visit the project page to find pricing and complete information.

In addition to the above projects, we also offer family Volunteering, alternative spring break, high school volunteering, college/university volunteering and many other programs. Contact Global Crossroad for further information.

Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica: Dates and Prices

Dates: Volunteer in Costa Rica

All volunteer programs in Costa Rica start every Monday of each month. However, if there is travel constrains, you can start any project on any day.

Fees: Volunteer In Costa Rica

Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality volunteering programs in Costa Rica. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.

Global Crossroad's volunteer program in Costa Rica application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).

In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to the country coordinator, who in turn will allocate it to your host family, project and other in-country support we offer to our volunteers. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.

    Duration Caribbean Coast, Pacuare) Osa Peninsula (Pacific) Wildlife Conservation(natuwa) Wildlife Volunteer(Tortuga Beach, Puntarenas)
  1 Week   $385   $435   $294   $372
  2 Weeks   $770   $870   $462   $520
  3 Weeks   $1155   $1305   $693   $780
  4 Weeks   $1540   $1740   $924   $1040
  5 Weeks   $1925   $2175   $1155   $1300
  6 Weeks   $2310   $2610   $1386   $1560
  7 Weeks   $2695   $3045   $1617   $1820
  8 Weeks   $3080   $3480   $1848   $2080
  9 Weeks   $3465   $3915   $2079   $2340
  10 Weeks   $3850   $4350   $2310   $2600
  11 Weeks   $4235   $4785   $2541   $2860
  12 Weeks   $4620   $5220   $2772   $3120

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »
No Spanish Language Program with the Turtle Conservation Project
Wildlife Conservation Program - Transportation from Airport Juan Santamaria $80/one way
How your fee is allocated?

Program fees cover:
  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (local food 3 times a day)
  • Airport Pick up/Transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers
Program fees exclude:
  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

Osa Peninsula (Airport Pick up and Transportation)

The Osa Turtle Conservation site is 100 miles from San Jose. Here are the details of the airport pick up and transfer fee.

  • Airport Pick, first night at a hotel in San Jose $45
  • Sanjose to Punterenas by bus $8
  • Punterenas to Osa by bus $6

You will pay your airport pick up/transfer cost directly to staff in Costa Rica

Pacuare (Airport Pick Up and Transportation)

Pacuare Turtle Conservation site is 80 miles from San Jose. There are two options for you to choose from.

Option one- organized by IFRE Volunteers

  • Airport Pick, spend the first night in a hotel in San Jose $45

(If you arrive before 2 p.m. you can go directly to the project by taxi without staying in a hotel.)

  • San Jose to Pecaure in a private taxi $150
  • The boat transportation cost is 35$

Option two- travel by yourself to the project

If your flight arrives early in the morning, or before 10 a.m., you can choose to go to the project directly by public bus

  • San Jose to Siquirres $6
  • Siquirres to Las Vegas de Imperio $3
  • The boat transportation cost is 35$

Bus Departure time from San Jose: 11 a.m.

Directions - traveling to your project

  • From the Gran Terminal del Caribe of San José, take the 11:00 a.m. bus to Siquirres. You will arrive at Siquirres around 1:15 p.m.
  • From the terminal at Siquirres walk to La Estación Intercantonal, also called Parada de los Calvos, (300m). (If you are not sure, just ask people where you can get on a bus to Las Vegas de Imperio).
  • Take the 2:30 p.m. bus to Las Vegas de Imperio, getting off at the last stop.
  • A staff member will be waiting for you there. The boat transportation cost is 35$ per person, both trips.

You will pay your airport pick up/transfer fee directly to staff in Costa Rica: Map

Gran Terminal del Caribe of San Jose: Map

Terminal of Siquirres: Map

Las Vegas de Imperio: Map

Project location: Map

The volunteering overseas in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

Accommodations and Meals

While volunteering in Costa Rica with wildlife, Global Crossroad's weekly fees will cover your safe, clean, and comfortable accommodations, along with three healthy meals served per day.

At all of the wildlife projects, you will have the chance to live at the project site itself. Accommodations will vary based on your final placement, but in general you can expect basic rooms you will share with other volunteers of the same gender. Keep in mind you’ll be living in the jungle, so bring along a mosquito net, lightweight clothing, and bug-spray.

The full details on accommodations and meals are available on the individual project pages. Take a look at the project you are interested in joining to learn more.

Free Time Options

You’ll have plenty of free time to explore beautiful Costa Rica while you’re not volunteering. The wildlife projects are a bit different than Global Crossroad’s other programs, and each one has its own schedule and policy regarding free time.

Sea turtle projects may have you working at night and sleeping during the day with afternoons free. Costa Rica wildlife volunteers take Sundays off together to explore the beautiful region, and work 6 days a week. Since each project is unique in this regard, so be sure to review the individual project pages to find out what to expect.

What you’ll do in your free time will also depend on which project you select and where it’s located. Most wildlife projects are fairly remote, so you may spend a lot of your free time enjoying and exploring the beautiful natural surroundings and bonding with fellow like-minded volunteers from all over the world.

If you have the chance to go on excursions while you’re not volunteering with wildlife in Costa Rica, this destination is chock full of exciting and fun things to do. You can go on bird or whale watching tours, hike in the rainforest, go ziplining, cool off in a waterfall, visit a volcano and soak in relaxing hot springs, go whitewater rafting, and a whole lot more!

Learn more about the exciting places you can see and visit while volunteering in Costa Rica.

Safety and Field Support

Safety is a big concern when traveling abroad, all the more reason to partner with a trusted and experienced organization like Global Crossroad. We ensure that you are fully insured, place you with fully vetted projects we routinely visit, offer safe housing and healthy food, and you can always count on the support and guidance of our in-country team.

Learn more about Global Crossroad’s safety and field support.

Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica - FAQs

Do you have a list of questions about the ins and outs of volunteering in Costa Rica with wildlife? We have all the answers you’re looking for right here:

Book your flight ticket to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica, and provide your flight details to Global Crossroad so an airport pickup can be arranged for you. A local representative will be waiting with your name on a sign right when you land, and they’ll take you safely to your accommodations.

(For some projects, there is an additional charge for airport pickup.)
Departure transport is not included in your volunteer fee.

You will need a tourist visa to volunteering in wildlife program in Costa Rica. Visas are generally quite easy to obtain in Costa Rica, but impossible to extend. Many nationalities can just apply as they pass through immigration in the SJO airport but do your research to be sure you’re eligible. Learn more about Costa Rica visas here:

The last thing you want during your big Costa Rica wildlife volunteer trip is not to get sick. The best way to prevent this from happening is by making an appointment well in advance with a knowledgeable doctor and getting up to date on your vaccines. The CDC recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid for visitors to Costa Rica. You can learn more here.

Since you’ll be working with wildlife, discuss with your doctor if the Rabies vaccine is right for you. Although the virus is not a big risk in Costa Rica, you will be at a higher risk of being bitten by a wild animal than most, given the nature of your volunteer work. If you do decide to get the vaccine, be aware it takes three boosters and can be quite costly.

For more readings
Health and Safety

Ready to volunteer with wildlife in Costa Rica? Contact Global Crossroad to start planning your trip today!

Page updated: 30th August, 2019