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   You are here » Home » Tours » Conserving Costa Rica

Conserving Costa Rica

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As featured in: Privat Clubs article on educational volunteering & Hands Up Incentives featured in Glamour & See article on CNN

Costa Ricans enjoy the highest life satisfaction of any nation on earth (according to a “Happiness Index” ranking 143 countries). Their frequent smiles and easy laughter can be quite contagious and you will relish your time volunteering alongside them.

This may be reflected in the most common words you'll hear in Costa Rica; “Pura Vida” (literally pure life), it is used for all manner of situations including; as a greeting, as a good bye, to express satisfaction, to politely express indifference or even as a response to thanks.

Your "Taste" of Volunteering Project

Assist at a rescue center for injured, orphaned or illegally traded animals. Help provide these animals with a better existence and at the same time discover the importance of preserving the natural biodiversity of this stunning country for future generations.

The project was set up by a Veterinarian and his son who are passionate about animals and the environment. In the future they hope to acquire more land to serve as a transition space for animals they are trying to reintroduce to the wild.

  • Play a role in preserving the biodiversity of Costa Rica's wildlife by helping construct and repair shelters for animals illegally kept as pets
  • Assist with preparing seedlings for reforestation and enjoy the company of 'Ticos' (people from Costa Rica) as you work alongside them
    • You might find yourself involved in any of the following:

- The receiving and evaluation of recently arrived animals
- The introduction of animals to their new living quarters according to their natural habitats.
- The cleaning of cages and living areas.
- The maintenance of facilities.
- The preparation of animal diets and meals.
- The daily care and eventual liberation of animals back into the forest.
- Surgeries.

Everyone including younger children can enjoy getting close to the animals (including sloths, kinkajous, raccoons, owls, peccaries, monkeys (spider, squirrel and howler monkeys), macaws and parrots and even help feed them.

Costa Rica Highlights

Nicoya Peninsula
Manuel Antonio National Park

Savegre River
Corcovado National Park
Short History

Suggested Itinerary

This itinerary takes you to varied topographical areas, starting with your luxury boutique eco-accommodation on a coffee farm located in the hills outside San Jose. Join Francisco, who is passionate about coffee, on a short tour of the plantation and gain some fascinating insights into coffee production - what better way to start a trip in Costa Rica!

The following morning a car takes you north to the coastal wetland area of Tortuguero and your charming accommodation. Sample a variety excursions, including a night walk in search of giant sea turtles or their hatchlings (seasonal - best in July-August) or drift through the canals on a boat seeking out:

  • Howler monkeys
  • Spider monkeys
  • Squirrel monkeys
  • Sloths
  • Small cats such as ocelots

If you still haven’t seen enough you can take a kayak explore the calm waters of the Tortuguero Channel, or hike in the gorgeous National Park.

After two nights here it is time to taste a completely new aspect of this beautiful and diverse country. Drift down the choppy waters of the Pacuare River on a two-night white-water rafting excursion lodging at the sublime Pacuare Lodge, and try out activities such as zip-lining and horse riding.

The Pacuare Lodge was designed and constructed to blend with the surrounding environment, affecting minimal impact, and an along with a handful of properties it has been recognized, by the World Tourism Organization, as an example good practice in sustainability and ecotourism.

Take a full day to relax in this gorgeous location, where other optional activities include:

  • Massage
  • Hikes
  • Tree planting
  • Indigenous village visit
  • Canyoning

You leave the same way you arrived - by raft! However, never fear if rafting is not for you, you can be driven into and out of the lodge.

Your next stop is set to be a highlight, as you experience a homestay with a local family, gain insights into their lives and appreciate their hospitality, whilst you make a difference in your volunteer project.

This is a rescue center for injured, orphaned or illegally traded animals, as well as an educational center. Help to provide these animals with a better existence and at the same time discover the importance of preserving the natural biodiversity for future generations.

  • Play a role in preserving the biodiversity of Costa Rica's wildlife by helping construct and repair shelters for animals illegally kept as pets
  • Assist with preparing seedlings for reforestation and enjoy the company of 'Ticos' (people from Costa Rica) as you work alongside them
  • And even learn how to recycle organic materials into paper products which are then used sold to support a local women's cooperative

Everyone including younger children can enjoy getting close to the animals (including sloths, kinkajous, raccoons, owls, peccaries, monkeys (spider, squirrel and howler monkeys), macaws and parrots and even help feed them.

Finish your journey with a couple of days near the Arenal volcano – after a few days of work on the volunteer project you may just want to luxuriate in the hot springs. However, if you have some energy left you can always hike around the volcano or revitalize your adrenalin supply with more zip-lining.

After a final night in the delightful coffee farm you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

This is a suggested itinerary which can be adapted and tailor-made to suit your exact preferences. Please contact us if you would like us to help you prepare your perfect, fulfilling and inspiring adventure that counts.

Places of Interest

Arenal Volcano Arenal is one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world. It’s perfect conical shape and volcanic night displays have drawn visitors from all over the world. It also serves as the watershed for Lake Arenal. Together these two play host to a veritable feast of outdoor activities form nature hikes and horse riding right through to an array of adrenalin packed options. From November through to April the lake is considered one of the foremost windsurfing spots in the world.


Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica Playas de Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula "Its pristine beaches are responsible for the introduction of an array of new activities for families with children, ranging from toddlers' programs to educational and volunteer programs for older children.

"Nosara prides itself on its beaches and wildlife refuges and is now one of the most environmentally-aware communities in Latin America." - Alvin Rosenbaum,George Washington University


Orchid in MonteverdeMonteverde and the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde are an important part of Costa Rica’s biodiversity. It is famous for holding the largest varieties of orchids in the world (500 of which 64 were only recently discovered), it also is home to numerous species of mammals, marsupials and amphibians. Unfortunately it is the last place a Golden Toad was ever seen more than 21 years ago. In the past difficult access has made this area less visited, but improvements in the roads have increased visitor numbers.


Waterways of TortugueroTortuguero (Land of Turtles) is a small village that can only be reached by water or plane. Sitting on the fringe of the Tortuguero National Park it is a vital breeding ground for many endangered species of sea turtles. One species the giant Leatherback can have a shell measuring up to 190cm (75 inches). The turtles are under threat not just from pollution and destruction of habitat, but most immediately from egg poachers, that sell the eggs to bars for profit.


Manuel Antonio National ParkManuel Antonio National Park with pristine white sandy beaches, small islands and lush forests backing onto the water’s edge make this a picture perfect location. Occasional dolphins and whales can be seen frolicking in the waters off the coast, whilst inland 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds inhabit the forests and lagoons. Its relative proximity to San Jose makes it the most visited National Park in Costa Rica. Surfing, diving and hiking are just a few of the activities available.


Birds of SavegreThe Savegre River has carved out a deep lush green valley near its source. Dense forest and steep topography has continued to protect the upper reaches of the valley and this may be part of the reason why there are still 80 mating pairs of Resplendent Quetzals left in the valley. Whilst the lower reaches are a haven for white water rafting, the tributaries are well stocked with introduced Trout and fly fishing paradise.


Sunset CorcovadoCorcovado National Park is one of the last significant stretches of low land rain forest and was named "the most biologically intense place on Earth" by National Geographic. Home to many endangered species such as the Baird’s Tapir, Harpy Eagle and up to 50 elusive Jaguars. High rainfall from July to November can close some parts of the park as rivers become impassable. Off shore Isla del Cano offers some of the best diving in Costa Rica and the Pacific coast offers great views of migrating whales and sunsets.



The topography of Costa Rica means that there is no real average temperature and rainfall. There is very little seasonal temperature difference, but there is significant variation from the hotter, humid coastal regions (26°C/79°F) to the cooler mountain regions (13°C/55°F). The average temperature in the Central Valley is 22°C (72°F) and the region enjoys a spring-like climate year round.

The coolest time is November to February and the rainy season generally runs from May to November, although there are significant regional variations.

Recommended Clothing
Lightweight cottons and linens are best for most of the year, with some warmer clothes for higher altitudes and cooler evenings. Waterproof clothing is recommended during the rainy season. Loose-fitting clothing is allows for more ventilation in areas of high humidity. Neutral browns and greens are suggested for birding and wildlife viewing. Dark clothing is best for turtle walks.

Short History

A lack of mineral wealth has in many ways blessed Costa Rica. Difficult to farm and not strategic for trade stand point it held little appeal to conquering nations. In fact it was so uninteresting that it was given independence by Guatemala in 1821 without being pressed.

The introduction of coffee brought small amounts of wealth whilst liberal ideas from France instilled a drive toward education and socialized healthcare.

Costa Ricans are said to prefer “a bad agreement over a good fight”, it might be for this reason that there has been very little conflict in recent history. The longest was a 6 week revolution that concluded with the heads of the two fighting factions sitting together for dinner and working together after the conflict. The shortest was a bizarre 1 day civil war.

Costa Rica voluntourism frog image

Feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries about this trip.   contact us

Pre-trip Buenos Aires
Tour Code:
14 Days
Activity Level:
Comfort Level:
Police Check:
None Needed
Guest Numbers:
2 - 12

Price from

NZ$ 8,250
GB£ 4,200
AU$ 6,800
CA$ 7,200
EUR€ 5,400
Extra charge for solo travelers:
US$ 3,200

The price is per person, based on 2 people sharing a room. We can tailor-make a trip to meet your exact requirements.
With one person booking, please contact us for the price of your trip.
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You can choose your own trip start dates. Please contact us if you would like to proceed or require any further information.
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Suggested Itinerary

We would be delighted to tailor-make this to your requirements.

Day 1 Arrive San Jose, transfer to a luxurious coffee plantation lodge in the hills (D)
Day 2 Transfer to your luxury accommodation in Tortuguero (seasonal turtle hatching night trip) (B,D)
Day 3 Boat safari (B,L,D)
Day 4 Begin white-water rafting trip, arrive at Pacuare Lodge - massage, horse riding, canopy adventure available (B,L,D)
Day 5 Rest day; optional activities around Pacuare Lodge - massage, horse riding, canopy adventure, hikes, tree planting, village visit (B,L,D)
Day 6 Raft out, and transfer to your eco-luxe hotel in the Arenal region (B,L,D)
Day 7 Begin volunteering - helping conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife (B,L,D)
Day 8 Continue making a difference through volunteering (B,L,D)
Day 9 Continue making a difference through volunteering (B,L,D)
Day 10 Continue making a difference through volunteering (B,L,D)
Day 11 Day at leisure in Arenal, hot springs (B, L, D)
Day 12 Hike around Volcano (optional), hot springs (B, L, D)
Day 13 Transfer back to your luxury Finca near San Jose (B)
Day 14 Fly home (B)

 (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

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