Costa Rica is an environmentalist’s dream and the perfect location for conservation volunteering abroad. It hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity, even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface. A biodiversity hot-spot with stunning coastlines on the Pacific and Caribbean oceans it acts as a hub of tropical climates, rainforests, volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls and mountains.
Outreach International Volunteers on our Rainforest and Marine Conservation Project are helping to protect these rainforest and marine ecosystems. These forest and marine habitats are home to sea turtles, cayman and over 850 species of birds, including over 50 species of hummingbird alone. There are also 34,000 species of insect, 1,200 varieties of orchid and more than 10% of the world’s butterflies. Monkeys including Howler, Spider, White-Faced and Squirrel monkey are the main species of mammal, alongside wild cats which our conservation volunteers monitor to help increase numbers and survival rates.
Costa Rica is ranked one of the happiest countries in the world. So living and working with local people you get a real cultural experience and a sense of ‘Pura Vida’ or ‘pure life’ a common saying encapsulating Costa Rican priorities of human rights and sustainability. There are low levels of inequality, community living, no standing army and no recreational hunting. Costa Rica also has free universal healthcare and education. So if you want to volunteer in one of the happiest, culturally rich and natural environments then Costa Rica is the perfect choice for your travels. Our Teaching Project or Indigenous Community Project provide rare opportunities to integrate, live and work with the local community in this forest area.
Lonely Planet describe the Osa peninsula, where our conservation projects are, as ‘the real deal…a place for travellers with youthful hearts, intrepid spirits and a yearning for something truly wild’. For those in search of adrenaline, Costa Rica offers zip-lining, white water rafting and canyoning and among its activities. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a volcano on holiday there are plenty to choose from in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a vibrant destination that offers something for all types of volunteer, from gap year students, to school groups, volunteer holidays and those looking for an immersive experience.
Volunteering in Costa Rica is a rewarding challenge that we can support you on. See all of our Costa Rica projects that you can participate in.
Javier has been working as an experiential teacher since 2001 with a focus on the benefits of outdoor education. He joined Outreach International in 2007. He provides an excellent level of support to our volunteers encouraging individuals to grow and develop through their projects. Javier believes that volunteering can be an excellent opportunity to reinforce positive values that will aid students in the future. Sharing his creative and leadership qualities with students has made his educational career successful.
I just wanted to let you know that I finished my last day of volunteering here in Costa Rica today. It's been a fantastic experience and I cannot fault anything!Student, Costa Rica
Even though the lava has stopped flowing Arenal is still mightily impressive and the premier destination for those wanting to visit a volcano. Poás is another great trip for the sheer size of it.
As you might suspect in a country covered in rain forest that rises from one ocean to 12,000 feet and drops back to sea level in the space of 70 miles, whitewater abounds in Costa Rica. Trips cater to all ability levels and interests.
Rainforests, mountains and canyons add up to countless waterfalls and you can enjoy anything from walk up viewing platforms a few yards from a restaurant to strenuous hikes into secluded skinny-dipping pools.
Whether it’s a zip-line thrill ride, gondola or naturalist educational trip through the treetops, canopy tours have exploded in popularity in the past decade, giving you a birds-eye view of the biodiversity on offer.
Everyone becomes an amateur birder as soon as they land in Costa Rica. You can’t help but notice the remarkable colours, calls and plumage and you’ll find plenty of serious bird watchers and qualified guides to fill you in on the habits and natural history of the species you see.