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Jungle & Coast: Wildlife & Sea Turtles Costa Rica

Experience
Volunteer
Destination
Costa Rica
Duration
4 to 12 weeks
Ages
18 to 85

28 others looking at this too. Next opening is Apr 2024, with limited spots.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Costa Rica is full of unique animals found nowhere else on Earth!

From the jungle canopies with lazy sloths and colourful toucans to the incredible beaches which are vital nesting sites for a variety of sea turtles, Costa Rica puts nature first with almost 30% of the country being designated national park. 

Now you can get involved in both the jungle and the ocean in one epic trip:

  • Help rehabilitate injured forest animals
  • Aid in the impressive nesting phenomenon of turtles

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person. 

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to live and volunteer with two trusted conservation organisations in Costa Rica. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Volunteer project placement – Guarantee your spot at our screened and vetted project partners on the beach and in the jungles of Costa Rica. Start your volunteer journey without spending months searching for a reputable organisation on the other side of the world. 
  • Comfortable accommodation – Relax in your shared volunteer homestay with other Global Travellers during your time at the Sea Turtles project. At the Sloth & Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll stay in a volunteer dorm on the project site. 
  • Three meals a day – Enjoy the nutritious and delicious Costa Rican cuisine prepared fresh daily. 
  • And much more!

If you can’t choose between cute sloths in the leafy canopy or ancient turtles storming the beach with impressive synchronicity, this is the trip for you! 

During your time at the Sloth & Wildlife Sanctuary you’ll get the chance to bond with furry and feathered creatures while providing them care. 

You’ll jump in and do what needs to be done around the sanctuary, which always involves plenty of up-close time with exotic jungle animals and may include: 

  • Feeding the animals
  • Maintaining gardens 
  • Repairing enclosures 
  • Creating enrichment toys to stimulate the animals

And when it’s time to hit the beach, you’ll have a whole new experience to get stuck into. Sea turtles lay their eggs in mass nesting events called 'arribadas', with 1000's of turtles storming the beach at the same time. 

Embark on an engaging experience as you actively participate in this captivating natural phenomenon! The turtles, their nests, and hatchlings face various threats, and your role is crucial in providing them a better chance at life.

Picture yourself on a Costa Rican beach under the full moon as you contribute to the conservation efforts and help save turtles of all sizes.

Does that sound like a dream or what?? 

For most people, either one of these experiences is a bucket-list experience. Especially if you get to interact with wild animals on their way to a better life. 

Although most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. 

Seeing these amazing animals in the flesh is one thing. But interacting with them as you help them heal, or help them complete another circle of life in a dangerous world, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

When you’re not volunteering, you have the legendary jungles, volcanoes, and beaches of Costa Rica on your doorstep, waiting to be uncovered. 

And when you go with Global, you get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer project placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip visa guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Return airport transfer
Comfortable accommodation
Project supplies
Meals
‘Welcome to Costa Rica’ orientation
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
24/7 Global Emergency Line
gWorld access
Social
Global Academy
Marketplace deals
$250 off your next trip

Qualification

To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

Ask a question

Chat with us online now, or we can call you back for free, 24 hours Mon-Fri.

Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Purpose & impact

It’s a story as old as time – human development encroaching on natural areas, threatening the animals in the process. 

Even though almost 30% of Costa Rica is designated national park, there are plenty of animals that need your help. 

Take turtles, for example. Despite roaming the Earth for over 230 million years, they’re under threat. 

Unfortunately, human development close to the beach messes with their navigation skills. Sometimes they set off in the wrong direction and end up under the wheels of a car instead of under the ocean. 

Or the lazy sloth. They move so slowly they grow moss on their backs. So a quick getaway for a sloth simply ain’t happening. 

During the Sea Turtle Conservation portion of your trip you’ll spend most of your afternoons and nights on the beach. Your afternoon duties may include: 

  • Beach cleanups 
  • Making signs 
  • General infrastructure maintenance

But the nights are when things get really exciting! When the sun goes down, the turtles get to work. Which means the volunteers need to get to work, too. Your 4-hour beach patrol shift involves searching for nests, identifying – and possibly relocating – at-risk nests, guiding mother turtles to shore, and guiding baby turtles to the ocean. 

 

During the Sloth & Wildlife Sanctuary portion of your trip, you’ll spend your days fulfilling your volunteer duties around the sanctuary. This may include:

  • Socialising with the animals
  • Rehabilitating & caring for injured animals
  • Preparing food & feeding animals
  • Cage enrichment - making & adding toys, making activities for the animals 
  • Cage cleaning, building & rehabilitation
  • Planting & maintaining gardens
  • Preparing & participating in environmental education sessions
  • Some volunteers may give tours to small tour groups

Along with sloths, you can expect all the wild and wonderful animals that call Costa Rica home.

With the combination of purposes on this double impact trip, you’ll be doing your part in making sure future generations will also get to experience the magic of healthy Costa Rican wildlife. 

Requirements 

To qualify for this trip you must be at least 18 years old and have a decent understanding of English.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, souvenirs & spending money.

Accommodation & meals

Sloth & Wildlife Sanctuary: Once you touch down at San José Airport you’ll be taken straight to your placement accommodation in Turrucares, an hour’s drive from San José.

You’ll be staying in a shared dorm on site. Spend your first night meeting all your new friends and settle in. Or go for a wander to explore your new temporary home. 

Sea Turtle Conservation: Once you finish at the wildlife sanctuary, you’ll be taken straight to your initial accommodation which is a hostel in San Ramón.

After your night in San Ramón, you’ll be taken to your placement accommodation in Playa Junquillal. You will stay in a comfortable volunteer homestay equipped with shared bedrooms and facilities, conveniently located near the volunteer site.

With your accommodation in Costa Rica sorted and your volunteer placement organised, what will you do about food? 

You’ll be given 3 meals a day prepared fresh by the on-site cook at both sites. Enjoy the typical Costa Rican fare – fresh, simple and delicious. 

Trip itinerary

Arrival

When you arrive at San José Airport, a driver will be waiting for you. You’ll be taken straight to your volunteer accommodation in Turrucares.

Day 2

Sloth & Wildlife Sanctuary: Today’s all about orientation. Take a tour of the centre and its history, and hear some of the touching stories about how these animals ended up in the sanctuary. You’ll be assigned a room and briefed on the rules and procedures you need to follow. If volunteers arrive early on arrival day, sometimes they will do this on arrival day. But it’s always optional to volunteer on the first day. Sea Turtle Conservation: After your first night in San Ramón, you’ll be taken to your volunteer accommodation in Junquillal. You may stay in a shared volunteer house or with a host family close to the volunteer site. You’ll then have an orientation with the on-site project coordinators and other volunteers to go over your duties.

Ongoing

What happens next depends on how you’ve decided to structure your trip – something you and your Dedicated Trip Coordinator can sort out once you’ve put your deposit down. During your placement, you’ll have plenty of duties to keep you busy. You’ll have some free time during your trip which you can fill with adventures of your own as you explore the area.  Once your placement is over, you can choose to stay on in Costa Rica to explore what else it and the surrounding areas have to offer. Chill out on tropical beaches like your turtle buddies, explore the unique and varied animals in the nearest jungle, or team up with your new travelling friends in your quest for adventure. Hop onto gWorld – our social app for Global Travellers – and link up with other travellers to explore Costa Rica together. You could even join a bucket-list Global Getaway with other Global Travellers. Head north to Nicaragua – just as beautiful as Costa Rica but much cheaper. Head South to Panama for more misty forests and interesting creatures. Or hop over to the Caribbean Sea for some real postcard-style paradise.  Whatever you choose to do, we can help make it easy.  We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support our team is available to answer your questions. And our 24/7 emergency support line will help with urgent matters.  Don’t go alone. Go with Global. 

Why choose us

Travelling with Global means travelling with the best. We take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in Costa Rica totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early.

Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 82000+ travellers – giving us 10000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true. 

Most travellers book their trip 6-12 months in advance. Dates are flexible, but spaces are limited. So if you’re serious about volunteering in Costa Rica, don’t delay. 

With our Book Now, Decide Later feature, you can get started with a small deposit today, and take a full year to choose your dates. 

We’ll take over from there, helping you with visas, flights, accommodation, and setting you up with our partner in Costa Rica. 

This is the trip for you if you’re after the ultimate volunteering experience in Costa Rica, complete with everything you need and 24/7 support.

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Frequently asked questions

Why go with Global Work & Travel?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we provide a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide. We assist with visas, pre-departure, flights, insurance, and tours. Our cool tech features support you throughout the journey. As a Global Traveller, access gWorld, our personalized app. Keep important documents and trip details handy. Enjoy exclusive Marketplace deals, a social network, language learning, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like all your favorite apps merged into one, but better! Our support doesn't stop there. With a 24/7 emergency team, 90+ staff, and ongoing assistance, we ensure you feel like a local. Join the 80,000+ Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us. We proudly boast the most & best reviews in the biz!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why should I book now?

Covid-19 threw us a curve ball and pretty much halted all travel. This means that we have a backlog of travellers, just like you, who are desperate to get out and explore the world! Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12 months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I want to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/7 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support and check-ins. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24/7.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

The unexpected can happen sometimes. Can't travel right now? Swap your trip, gift it or save it for later with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee.

Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/7.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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