Costa Rica

  • Volunteer in Costa Rica with stunning rainforests and national parks
  • Teach English and live a simple life helping in a rural forest school
  • Help conserve the rainforest and marine wildlife
  • A range of outdoors leisure activities to excite nature lovers
  • Volunteering projects to suit gap year students, groups and families

Volunteer in Costa Rica

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.

cr rainforest

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.

Around 25% of Costa Rica is protected the largest element being the Corcovado national park where our conservation and teaching projects are based.

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.

  • Country
    co-ordinator

    Javier Cano



    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.

Volunteer gallery

Things to see and do

Language

Spanish is the local language, although tourist areas will have some English speakers. Your first week or two may be spent in an intensive language school to help get you up to speed.

Visa

A 90 day visa is granted on entry to the country. This is then renewable for a further 90 days at the discretion of local authorities. Be prepared to pay a departure tax when leaving the country; $30 a time of writing.

Currency

The local currency is the unusually named Colon (CRC) and at the time of writing there are over 800 Colons to £1 GBP. US dollars are also widely accepted at tourist locations.

Be Aware

You are living the great outdoors adventure, so that is where most of the risks lie. Beware the sun and the rain. Floods can create difficult conditions on both rivers and roads, and you will find mud and insects are never too far away.