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 and wildlife in two stunning locations in Costa Rica. Volunteers will work on various projects aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystem in any number of settings, including in forests, on beaches and in parks and reserves. Volunteers play an important role by supplying free labor in often labor-intensive projects, allowing the initiatives to continue their great work. From recycling campaigns to reforestation projects, or collecting food for the Big Scarlet Macaw population, volunteers will gain important experience in environmental practices and learn about Costa Rica’s unique flora and fauna. Volunteers will also work on community projects, such as trash clean-ups, painting murals, working in the playground or the soccer field or working on local community buildings. No prior experience is necessary; however volunteers must have the ability to adapt to a tropical environment, be flexible and patient, be in excellent health and like working with children.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work on coastal clean ups and reforestation projects
- Participate in recycling campaigns
- Work on varied community projects
- Teach locals about their own lives and where they live
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years 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. A representative from the local project team will meet you on arrival in Jaco and take you to the accommodations to settle in.
On Monday morning, you will be taken to your project site and introduced to the project leader who will provide specific information about your role.
- 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.
Discounted program fees apply to those arranging their own accommodation. For more details see Additional Info section below.
*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.
- Visitors traveling to Costa Rica will need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica. In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness. It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.
- All visitors must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica. The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr.
Arranging your own accommodation?
The program fee is discounted for those arranging their own accommodation to the following:
Week 1 $165
Week 2 $220
Week 3 $275
Week 4 $330
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!
Part-time Spanish Lessons (taken in conjunction with volunteer work):
- USD$130/week (10 Hours - 2 hours per day Monday to Friday)
Fees for Spanish Classes must be paid directly to your volunteer coordinator on arrival in Costa Rica.