Volunteering in Costa Rica is one of the best choices for nature-lovers; a quarter of the country is protected forest or reserve, providing home to over 900 species of bird and 250 species of mammal including the beloved sloth. The diverse landscape includes volcanoes, mangroves, rainforest and beautiful beaches making it a fantastic country to explore. It’s easy to understand why it’s recently been voted the world’s happiest country and why more and more people are looking to volunteer in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has long been celebrated for its leading environmental policy (Costa Rica has pledged to be carbon neutral and to eradicate single-use plastic by 2021) and there is a great need for volunteers to work on conservation initiatives and wildlife rescue projects. Pod Volunteer is an award-winning non-profit organisation helping people to volunteer in Costa Rica for as little as 1 week or as long as 3 months.
We find the best volunteer projects in Costa Rica for you, help you with all the arrangements and provide lots of support before and during your volunteering time in Costa Rica!
You can get involved in an animal volunteering project at a wildlife rescue sanctuary or help protect the turtle population by joining an active conservation team which has protected and released hundreds of thousands of hatchlings. If you want to combine wildlife rescue or turtle conservation with diving or Caribbean conservation, then you may also be interested in our volunteer projects in Belize which are just a (relatively) short hop away from Costa Rica.
Volunteers are needed all year round at the Wildlife Rescue project (sloths will always need food!) and between July to December at the Turtle Conservation project. Climate wise, there are three main seasons in Costa Rica; ‘dry season’ (December to April), ‘shoulder season’ (May to July and in November) when there are some rains; and ‘wet season’ (August to October). Temperatures average between 21-27 °C but due to 80-100% humidity it can get sticky and feel much warmer.
At Pod Volunteer we love to travel and regularly visit our projects in Costa Rica. Here is our insider’s view of our experiences travelling and volunteering in Costa Rica…
Things we loved: The vast biodiversity of the country meaning that the opportunity to get back to nature is outstanding; species including howler monkeys, hummingbirds, sloths, dolphins and turtles can all be found here. The country’s commitment to conservation; it plans to be carbon-neutral within the next few years. The diverse landscapes, from the numerous National Parks to the stunning waterfalls, beautiful beaches and active volcanoes, Costa Rica really does have it all. The coffee, there are many varieties to try and it makes a great present too!
Things we weren’t so sure about! All of the positives unfortunately come at a cost; some refer to Costa Rica as “Costa Lot” because compared to its neighbouring countries, it is more expensive in general. It is now an established tourist destination meaning that some areas can be overcrowded and have become “tourist hotspots”.
Below you’ll find a summary of our volunteering abroad programs in Costa Rica which you can click through to and find out about the volunteer role, location, accommodation and costs, see lots of pictures and read volunteer reviews!
Abundant Nature - sloths, capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, turtles and ocelots to name a few of its amazing wildlife species, Costa Rica accounts for 0.3% of the earth’s surface but contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity.
Volcanoes - Costa Rica is home to 6 active volcanoes and over 60 inactive ones. It’s possible to trek up some of these to admire the breath-taking views over the crater. The most popular are Arenal and Poás.
Waterfalls - There are lots of beautiful waterfalls to visit, the most popular waterfalls include Rio Celeste, La Fortuna, La Paz and Nauyaca.
National Parks and Forests - these consist of lush primary virgin rainforests and a complex system of freshwater and marine resources. Monteverde Cloud Forest if a bird-watcher’s paradise, Corcovado is one of the most biologically intense places on earth and Manuel Antonio boasts stunning white sandy beaches and is described as the jewel of Costa Rica.
Coffee - Costa Rica is regarded as one of the world’s premiere coffee growing regions and has been producing coffee for over 300 years. it’s possible to enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation to learn about the complex process and sample their range.
We have long term relationships with hand-picked projects that have lasting and positive impact. We are a highly experienced and passionate team, here to support you!Find out more