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Wildlife Conservation in Costa Rica

Have fun with wildlife in stunning Costa Rica!

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Wildlife Conservation in Costa Rica

Group Size: Varies

Trip code: CRWR

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Volunteer with rescued animals
Experience Costa Rican culture
Make a difference in National Parks

Get involved as a volunteer at amazing wildlife conservation projects in Costa Rica. Help rehabilitate and care for wildlife in centres and National Parks. A high level of Spanish is required: Beginners can add in our Learn to Speak Spanish in Costa Rica programme.

Trip highlights

  • Volunteer in wildlife centres, national parks, zoos protecting Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife
  • Work with a wide variety of amazing animals: Rehabilitate and rescue animals affected by deforestation, the illegal pet trade, poaching and habitat destruction
  • Help support understaffed and underfunded projects, working to raise community awareness over environmental issues
  • Live in a home-stay or volunteer house for an immersion in Costa Rican culture
  • Enjoy a detailed orientation in San José before you begin volunteering and explore the amazing country of Costa Rica in your time off!
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What's included
  • Airport transfer from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
  • 2 night’s accommodation in a local family home stay in San José
  • Wildlife conservation volunteer placement
  • Accommodation in either a home-stay or in a volunteer house at your project
  • Three meals a day on your project
  • Orientation at our partner language school on the Monday
  • Help with travel arrangements and bus ticket purchase
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport from San José to your volunteer placement on the Tuesday (We will help you to arrange this)
  • Snacks and other meals not at your project
  • Spanish lessons at our local partner Spanish School. Beginners can book our 4-week Learn to Speak Spanish in Costa Rica programme for an extra cost
  • Donations for your project
Further trip information

Help to conserve native Costa Rican wildlife and protect endangered species at these wonderful wildlife projects across Costa Rica. Volunteering in National Parks, protected areas or in zoos you will help with wildlife rehabilitation and care in amazing Costa Rica.


Arriving on a Sunday you’ll spend your first two nights in San José, staying in a home stay with a local family in the city, with all meals provided. You will have an orientation session on the Monday, which is designed to provide you with all the details you’ll need to know about the wildlife conservation programme and answer any questions you may have about your placement.

On the Tuesday you will travel to your allocated wildlife conservation project. Transportation to and from the projects is independent and is at your own expense. You will be given a map and detailed transport instructions during the orientation to help you transfer to your project easily.  You will then begin volunteering on the Wednesday.


Your itinerary will vary from day to day and will change depending on the wildlife placement you choose to volunteer at.  Most placements are reasonably flexible and allow you to work either full or part time - all they ask is that you are proactive, motivated, enthusiastic and creative!

You can expect to volunteer from Monday and Friday between the hours of 7:30am / 8:30am - 15:30pm. Regular volunteer duties include:

  • Preparing food and feeding the animals
  • Cleaning and bathing the animals
  • Cleaning wildlife cages and enclosures
  • Building and repairing enclosures and feeding platforms
  • Maintaining fences
  • Providing tourist information to visitors

If you wish to leave the project premises, you can do so during your free time as long as you inform the project coordinators and have their permission. One day a week is allocated in order for you to leave the project site and explore some of the local area and attractions.

Volunteer placements end on a Friday and you will then need to make your own way back to San José on the Saturday - the local team can help you arrange this. You will then spend one final night in Costa Rica (included in the programme) before departing on Sunday.

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Booking options

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Please note: The project is closed over Easter, Christmas & New Year.

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Call us on: +44 1892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

You should arrange your arrival into San José (Juan Santamaria International Airport) on a Sunday, where you’ll be met by our team and taken to your homestay accommodation in San José.

After orientation on the Monday you’ll be heading out to your wildlife conservation placement on a Tuesday.  You’ll be allocated a specific volunteer placement during your orientation. To reach your project, you’ll need to pay for your own bus transportation, though we’ll give you the help and advice you’ll need to arrange it.

Volunteer placements end on a Saturday and you will then need to make your own way back to San José - our local team can help you book this. You will then spend one final inclusive night in San Jose as part of your programme before departing on Sunday morning. 

Accommodation & meals

All accommodation and meals are included.

For your first two nights after arriving in San José (Sunday and Monday) you will be provided with accommodation and meals in a local family home stay. Your volunteer accommodation will vary depending on your allocated wildlife conservation project. You’ll either be staying at a volunteer house or in a homestay with a local Costa Rican family.


To make the most of your Spanish skills and to help you get to grips with the language, volunteers may get to experience a true taste of real Costa Rican culture living in one of our home-stay placements. As a part of the family, you’ll be kept safe and enjoy clean accommodation, either in your own room or sharing with other volunteers. Free to come and go as you wish you’ll be provided with a door key, but please be sure to let your host family know where and when you’ll be out so they won’t worry.

Breakfasts, dinners and a laundry service will be provided by your host family, and they’ll be happy to cater for any special dietary requirements as long as you let us know when you book your place. A weekly change of bed linen will also be provided, though you’ll need to bring your own towels.

Although your accommodation may be a little more basic than a hostel or hotel stay, it will still be safe, secure and comfortable and the perfect place to experience real Costa Rican life and language in a friendly and hospitable environment. All of our host families have a genuine natural enthusiasm for helping out foreign students, and are selected due to their open-minded, friendly, outgoing and protective attitudes. As they take you around the local hotspots and cultural attractions, you’ll also find your families love to share their interests, hobbies and activities with you as you learn from each other. Evaluated on a regular basis, students are asked to complete a feedback form at the end of their stay so that staff can ensure a good placement service is maintained.

During your stay you should bear in mind that the majority of our host families do not speak English, but they are used to accommodating foreign students. One of the advantages of the homestay is the opportunity to improve your spoken Spanish and practice your conversational Spanish with your host family.

Volunteer Houses

Some volunteers will live in shared accommodation with other travellers in our volunteer houses, where you can enjoy sharing your experiences with other like-minded volunteers.  Breakfasts & dinners are provided. Vegetarian diets will be catered for as long as you let us know in advance, and you’ll find that Costa Rican food is generally healthy and simple, consisting largely of rice, beans, pasta, grains, meats, vegetables and a variety of seasonal fruits and juices.

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to participate on this volunteer teaching programme is 18 years.

To become a volunteer at a wildlife conservation project in Costa Rica you will need to have a high level of Spanish. If you are a beginner, we recommend you take part in our 4-week Learn to Speak Spanish in Costa Rica programme. Please don’t hesitate to ask us for more information if you would like to add in this option.

British nationals will not require a visa in order to enter Costa Rica, and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to three months. Before departing for your trip, you should make sure that your passport will remain valid for six months or more after your entry date. Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.

If you are travelling in to Costa Rica from a country at risk of Yellow Fever you must ensure that you obtain the required Yellow Fever vaccinations and bring a Yellow Fever certificate with you when you enter Costa Rica. 

According to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, visitors arriving from Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, French Guyana, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Gambia and Sudan are required to produce an International Certificate of Vaccination stating their protection against the disease. Certificates of immunisation are valid 10 days after the original date of vaccination, and you should consult your GP for more information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.