Costa Rica

Costa Rica Volunteer Trip

PURA VIDA, COSTA RICA! Join us on our volunteer trip to Costa Rica and experience conservation in the land known for its progressive environmental policies and rich biodiversity. Our first ever volunteer trip to Costa Rica was in December 2017. Volunteers helped protect the area’s biodiversity by participating in a sea turtle preservation program on the remote Osa Peninsula in the southwest corner of Costa Rica. We loved the experience and plan to do even more to help preserve Costa Rica’s extraordinary biodiversity. We are busy working to make our next trip there even better, and plan to announce our 2018 trip details soon.

Click expandable links for details.

Global populations of sea turtles have decreased significantly in the last 30 years. While there were once many species of sea turtle, only seven remain today, and all of them are either threatened or endangered, two of them critically.

Our Costa Rica Volunteers will help protect the sea turtles which nest on the beaches in the Osa Peninsula. Project work will consist of late night and early morning beach patrols to locate, excavate, and relocate sea turtle nests to a protected turtle hatchery. Projects will also include working in and around the turtle hatchery, recording scientific data, as well as beach cleanups inside the project area and surrounding rivers and beaches. The sea turtle projects will be carried out under the auspices of the Corcovado Foundation Sea Turtle Conservation Program, a local nonprofit founded in 2006 to protect sea turtles and their nesting beaches in the Drake Bay area of the Osa Peninsula.

Because local conditions and the project needs continually evolve, please remember that detailed project plans are often finalized or revised after the group arrives and the trip leaders review the conditions at the site in light of the capabilities and special interests of the volunteers. Volunteer trips offer the opportunity to experience the land in a unique way not available to the average tourist.

Group Size: 8 - 14 plus trip leaders
IMPORTANT NOTICE Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

Day 1: Our group meets at the Park Inn Hotel, in San José, Costa Rica. The Park Inn is located three blocks from Paseo Colon, the city’s main avenue within walking distance of downtown. If you arrive early, join us for an optional city walking tour at 3:00 p.m. The group will meet in the Park Inn lobby for an orientation briefing at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at the hotel (Dinner and hotel lodging included)

Day 2: We journey through the highlands as we head south to the Osa Peninsula. After breakfast, we will take a private bus through the highlands, where we will have a 2-hour morning guided hike in the Highland Oak Forest of Cerro de la Muerte, known for its outstanding scenery and for excellent high elevation bird watching. This region is very likely the best place in the world for observing resplendent quetzals, birds so spectacularly beautiful they were considered divine entities by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.

After lunch at a local home in San Gerardo de Dota, we will take a leisurely hike of approximately 2 hours to our overnight lodging at Talari Mountain Lodge near San Isidro El General. The hike offers more opportunities to see the high mountain plants (e.g. orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytes, like golden mosses and house plant relatives) and hopefully a Quetzal or any other cloud forest birds. Tracks of puma have been seen and tapirs walk these trails at night. (All meals and lodging at mountain lodge included)

Day 3: We continue our travel to the Osa Peninsula. After an early breakfast, our bus will transfer us to the town of Sierpe, where we will board a boat to travel down the Sierpe River to Drake Bay. We will then transfer to Drake Bay Backpackers Hostel, our base for the volunteer project work. After early afternoon lunch at the hostel, we will have our introduction to the project work. (All meals and lodging at hostel included)

Days 4 - 7: During these volunteer project days, the project work will consist of late night and early morning beach patrols to locate, excavate, and relocate sea turtle nests to a protected turtle hatchery. Project work will also include working in and around the turtle hatchery recording scientific data, as well as beach cleanups inside the project area and surrounding rivers and beaches. (All meals and lodging at hostel included)

Day 8: We leave the Osa Peninsula and return to San José. After breakfast at the hostel, the group will drive to the airstrip in Drake. From there we will fly to San José via Nature Air. After checking into the Hotel Don Carlos, in the old historical section of San José, there will be an afternoon walking tour of San José. We will share a final dinner in the evening. (All meals and lodging at hotel included)

Day 9: The Costa Rica Volunteer Trip ends with breakfast. You may transfer to the San José airport for homeward-bound flights, or opt to extend your stay in Costa Rica.

Note: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including changes in the local project needs, weather and terrain conditions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING AIR TRAVEL: Before purchasing your airline tickets, please check with us to ensure the trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

$2,100 per person double occupancy; single supplement $150
(Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax adviser for details.)

Price includes:
  • all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 9
  • all lodging, double occupancy
  • all van, boat and plane transportation as noted on the itinerary
  • gratuities for services provided to the group
  • project leadership and support staff
  • group tools
  • orientation and training

Price does not include:
  • travel costs to and from San José, Costa Rica
  • medical immunizations
  • insurance (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip)
  • excess baggage charges
  • alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
  • personal items

Payment terms:
  • A $500 deposit will be required to reserve a spot on the trip
  • The remainder of the trip price will be due by September 1, 2017
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. The gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. View the the Gear List PDF.

Costa Rica Volunteer Dates

2018 dates announced soon!
We can notify you when dates are published.

pura vida, volunteer in costa rica

Costa Rica Impact

Expand the Trip Reports link below to see the difference past volunteers to the Costa Rica made!

Please click to view Trip Report PDFs.
December 2017

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the world’s landmass, it contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Nearly a quarter of the country’s lands are protected by national parks and other protected areas. Visit Costa Rica to experience the rugged, rain forested landscapes, jungles, stunning coastlines, and rich wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.

  • Oxcart, famous in Costa Rica to transport coffee from the Central Valley to the port cities for export
    Oxcart, famous for coffee transport from the Central Valley to the port cities for export
  • Capuchin (a.k.a Cappuccino) Monkey
  • Gaudy Leaf Frog

ConservationVIP® · 120 Village Square, #9 · Orinda, CA  94563 · · (925) 228-5946

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© 2018 — Conservation Volunteers International Program


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