The Conservation Program
Costa Rica has reopened to international arrivals. See the additional info. section for procedures in place.
This inspiring conservation program works to protect and preserve the natural wildlife and environment in the two locations in which it is based: Bandera beach and Sarapiquí rainforest. The program is open to all international volunteers who enjoy working with nature in coastal and rural communities, and who like to spend time preserving and helping the environment and all of its components. From working to help Big Scarlet Macaws to coastal clean ups, volunteers will be kept busy working on a variety of essential projects for around 4 – 6 hours per day, with weekends off to explore this gorgeous region. Participants will also have the chance to become immersed with the local people and culture. Volunteers who are hard-working, ecologically sensitive, willing to learn about new cultures, enthusiastic and ready to get stuck in and help should apply today. Join us in beautiful Costa Rica and put your eco-warrior skills to the test!
Goals of this Project:
- Protect Costa Rica’s natural heritage
- Protect species of wildlife from extinction
- Provide essential labor on projects to safeguard the environment and its natural inhabitants
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between all parties and teach international visitors more about environmental practices and Costa Rica
How You Can Help
This amazing conservation program allows volunteers to take part in vital conservation work to preserve the natural environment in one of two stunning locations in Costa Rica: the tropical rainforest of Sarapiquí or the Pacific coast at Playa Bandera.
In Sarapiquí the project centres on eco-farming and conservation and volunteers work on sustainable farms to assist with horticultural and animal husbandry duties. In addition volunteers can expect to be engaged with the community here, primarily thought the provision of English language lessons.
In Bandera volunteers assist with beach clean-ups, recycling campaigns and reforestation projects as well as collecting food for the scarlet macaw populations in the area. Work within the community may also be undertaken as needed.
Volunteers will gain important experience in environmental practices and learn about Costa Rica’s unique flora and fauna. Participants on this project play an important role by supplying free labor in often labor-intensive projects, allowing the initiatives to continue their great work.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work on coastal clean ups and recycling initiatives
- Plant beach almond trees as a sustainable food source for scarlet macaws
- Community assistance projects: painting murals, building maintenance, playground improvements etc
- Agricultural duties such as planting, harvesting and delivery of sustainable food items
- Feeding and caring for farm animals
- General farm maintenance as required
- Community language classes.
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years (17 with parental consent) and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect the natural environment of Costa Rica. This 'hands-on' project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in conservation/environmental studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
This amazing program is based in one of two locations in Costa Rica:
1) Playa Bandera, a beautiful central Pacific beachside location, roughly an hour south of well-known Playa Hermosa and Playa Jaco.
2) Sarapiquí, a tropical rainforest roughly 2 hours north of San Jose and one of only two certified sustainable destinations in Latin American. This location is particularly well known for its waterways and biodiversity.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and taken to host family accommodation in Santa Barbara de Heredia, 40mins north of San Jose, where you will stay Saturday night.
On Sunday a brief welcome orientation will be provided to help you settle in and ask any last minute questions. The local team will arrange your transfer to the project location by public bus on Sunday afternoon. The project staff will provide a detailed orientation onsite, typically on Monday.
Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers are hosted in Volunteer House accommodations in both Playa Bandera and Sarapiqui.
Rooms are dormitory style and may be shared by up to 4 volunteers depending on the time of year and the number of volunteers onsite. The houses are basic but comfortable and have all the standard amenities . Bed linen is provided so you need only bring a towel and personal toiletries. Easy!
Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch daily throughout the placement. Dinner is not included and volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen facilities to prepare meals or eat out.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Costa Rica entry requirements:
- All visitors must complete an Online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica.
- All visitors must provide proof of travel insurance and include the details on their Health Pass. The insurer must provide certification issued in English or Spanish, noting the following:
1. Validity of the effective policy for the duration of the stay in Costa Rica.
2. Guaranteed coverage for medical expenses in cases of COVID 19 of at least US$50,000.
3. At least US$2,000 coverage for lodging expenses due to pandemic illness or trip interruption/cancellation due to illness.
Approved insurers are:
- Visitors do not need a negative COVID test or COVID vaccination and are not required to quarantine or self-isolate on arrival.