Volunteer in Costa RicaVolunteer in Costa Rica with Volunteering Solutions to get affordable volunteering abroad experience. VolSol has four major volunteering programs in Costa Rica and all in San Jose. VolSol has volunteer work opportunities to work at the wildlife and rescue center for animals, at the childcare centres and teaching English to the students and Turtle conservation.
The Childcare and Teaching projects are located in San Jose and the suburbs, while the Turtle Conservation project is located in the Pacific coast areas. Maximum of our volunteers for this location are High School students, followed by teenagers, young adults and families.
For our summer volunteer travelers - Costa Rica attracts more than a million tourists every year with its beautiful beaches, wildlife, forests and mainly for Eco tourism. More than a quarter of land mass has been set aside as protected reserves, the largest in the world. There are many famous National Parks and Forest Reserves throughout Costa Rica.
Our Volunteer placements are located in Heredia , Santa Barbara and Alajuela areas, which are located a short distance away from the capital , San Jose. Heredia is located around 10 kms north of San Jose and is one of the most beautiful provinces in Costa Rica.
Known for its verdant coffee plantation covered hills and volcanic national parks , this mountainous region also has dense tropical forests, stunning waterfalls and roaring rivers that make it the ideal destination. Check the things you can do in Costa Rica in your leisure time.
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'Choose from 1 Awesome destinations in Costa Rica'
- San Jose, Costa Rica
Loading...Being an International Organization, we try to make sure that our volunteers are given the kind of comfort and flexibility they seek. In terms of airport pick up, stay, local travel or work and even city tour, we help our volunteers and facilitate everything for them.
Airport Receive/ TransferVolunteers are picked up from the San Jose International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Costa Rica will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand.
All volunteers are given an Orientation beginning on their project start date. Orientation is conducted by the local staff and covers topics such as Costa Rican Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety and Introduction to your project and placement.
AccommodationVolunteers working in Turtle Conservation Project stay in ranger house or volunteer house accommodations close to the project near the beach. Dorm style accommodation is provided where you will be sharing rooms with other volunteers. Upon arrival in Costa Rica, volunteers are provided lodging in a host family accommodation in Heredia or Santa Barbara. After completing the orientation and project introduction on the first days, volunteers join their respective Turtle Conservation Project in either Pacific or Caribbean Coast.
MealsVolunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork , Meat , Chicken etc.
Volunteers are free to visit and see places or do shopping during their free time. You can explore the local markets or travel to the beaches which can be visited on the weekends. The country offers unparalleled natural beauty, active volcanoes, rainforests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism. In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches. Visit these things you can do in your leisure time.
During your Free Time
- FAQ's - Costa Rica
Application and Program DetailsWhen should I apply for the volunteer programs in Costa Rica?
It is advised to apply for the projects once the volunteering/ traveling dates are decided as there are limited spots available. The application fee is valid for one full year and can be sent earlier than the desired period of volunteering, for timely confirmation of the seat. As soon as you decide the travel dates, we suggest you to apply for the program and hold your spot.
How long does it take to process my application? Will my application be accepted ?
Usually it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and the booking confirmation is updated in your My Account and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Costa Rica volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Costa Rica volunteer projects :
Volunteers must be 17 years or older for Teaching, Childcare and Spanish Immersion at the beginning of the program, for all other programs you need to be 18 years or older.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre Medical, Medical or Nursing students or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Be in good health.
Knowledge of Spanish ( basic to intermediate) is necessary for all the programs.
Can I volunteer as part of a Group?
Yes, you are welcome to take part in Costa Rica Volunteer Program as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the Costa Rica program.
I haven’t traveled or volunteered abroad before. Can i still be a part of VolSol?
Yes , most definitely you can, as we believe that every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
Does Vol Sol provide with a reference or a certificate after program completion?
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
When do I need to arrive in Costa Rica for my program? What will happen once I arrive in Costa Rica?
All volunteers have to arrive one day before their program start date. You can view your arrival dates here. Volunteers are picked up from the Juan Santamaria Airport by the local coordinator or representative and taken to the respective host family accommodations. On the next day, i.e. Monday, there will be an orientation session which will cover the program highlights and provide you details about the city. You will get to know about local culture, marketplaces, ATMs, internet cafe and where to shop for your daily essentials. On Monday, volunteers would also be required to take a Spanish test to asses their Spanish knowledge.
To add to the project experience, you can also join the Spanish Immersion Week which gives you a crash course in Spanish and even tests your current Spanish skills which would help you in volunteering, and you would also get a chance to experience Costa Rican culture, learn cooking and Latino dancing before beginning the program.
Note: Host accommodation is located in suburbs of San Jose in the Heredia and Santa Barbara areas, along with your projects placements.
What are the Program locations in Costa Rica?
The Childcare , Teaching and the Medical Healthcare projects are located near San Jose , primarily in the areas of Heredia and Santa Barbara .
The Turtle Conservation project is located on the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts.
The Wildlife and Rescue Center project is located across different locations mainly in Alajuela province and the Central Pacific Region.
Flights and VisaDoes Volunteering Solutions help with Visa?
Participants (most nationalities) require a Tourist Visa to travel to Costa Rica. Travellers from most countries can get a 90 day permit stamped on their passport on arrival.We advise you to check with your nearest Costa Rican embassy as well.
What are the recommended airlines to fly to Costa Rica?
Juan Santamaría International Airport is well connected with direct flights coming in from different destinations in the US and South America. For volunteers coming from North America, following Airlines are recommended:
- US Airways
For those flying in from Europe, direct flights are available ,and the recommended airlines are :-
Health & SafetyHow safe is Costa Rica in general?
Costa Rica is a tourist friendly and safe destination. Volunteering Solutions is very particular about the safety of its international volunteers. We have stringent selection criteria for host family accommodation. You will be given safety precautions and instructions by the local coordinator team during the orientation as well as in your Pre departure handbook after you become an enrolled participant. Apart from that we advise volunteers to consult their in-country coordinators before embarking on a weekend trip or going on a night out.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Costa Rica. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Costa Rica, click here.
Do I need to buy health insurance?
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. To view the coverage details, please click here.
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
Accommodation and Living
Volunteers working in Turtle Conservation Project stay in ranger house , host family or volunteer house accommodations close to the project near the beach. Dorm style accommodation is provided where you will be sharing rooms with other volunteers( same gender basis). Upon arrival in Costa Rica, volunteers are provided lodging in a host family accommodation in Heredia or Santa Barbara. After completing the orientation and project introduction on the first days, volunteers join their respective Turtle Conservation Project in either Pacific or Caribbean Coast.More details about the host families would be provided after you apply for the program. Volunteers would be provided meals 3 times a day.
Volunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork , Meat , Chicken etc.
What if i have my own accommodation. Can i still volunteer for the project?
Unfortunately the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up by being with like minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons all volunteers must live in in the allotted accommodation.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, however you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form.
Would I have free time during my program? Can I do sightseeing during my program?
Depending on your project placement, you will get evenings and the weekends free, to travel and explore the place. In the evenings volunteers usually get together and go out for social gatherings, eat out or just relax at the volunteer house. Weekends are free for the volunteers and you can go for short weekend trips.There is also lot to do in Costa Rica. Visit Nicoya Peninsula, Arenal Volcano, Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Tabacón Hot Springs, San José, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, Tortuguero National Park and much more.
The local coordinators will be happy to help you with more information.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Costa Rica?
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses . You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $70-$80 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town.
For how many hours do I have to volunteer in a day?
Volunteers usually work for 4 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have weekends off so you can travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Where can I change my money in Costa Rica? Are there ATMs in the city?
You can change money upon your arrival at Juan Santamaria Airport or from the bank. There is a good network of ATMs as well.
Connect with Past VolunteersHow can I connect with past Volunteering Solutions Costa Rica alumni as well as other former and current volunteers?
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions Costa Rica program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit, the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.