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Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica with IVHQ

Volunteer in Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica with IVHQ on a wide range of Costa Rica volunteer programs, including Teaching, Healthcare, Childcare, Construction, Animal Care and Sea Turtle Conservation. Our Costa Rica volunteers are based in San Jose, Manuel Antonio, the Central Highlands and nearby coastal locations. IVHQ offers safe, responsible and affordable volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica and we are proud to have hosted over 115,000 visitors on our volunteer projects. Read more about our Costa Rica volunteer work below.

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Watch IVHQ volunteers abroad in Costa Rica

At a glance…

  • Available year-round
  • 15 meaningful project options
  • Projects based in San Jose, Manuel Antonio, the Central Highlands and coastal locations
  • Accommodation in homestays or dormitory-style lodging
  • Fully-hosted volunteer experience including airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Affordable program fees from only US$380 (approximately AU$543) for 1 week
  • Incredible activity and tour add-ons including volcano treks, coffee plantation tours, adventure sports and a popular mini adventure

I loved my project - it was the perfect fit! I made wonderful friends and connections with everyone. Being one of the youngest volunteers on my placement, it brought me a new sense of maturity. I'm extremely grateful for the personal and emotional growth that this project gave back to me. I can't wait to go back!

IVHQ Volunteer - Jade Manuel
Jade Manuel
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 18
Destination: Costa Rica

Volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica

  • All

Protects animals

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$1593

  • Duration: 3 - 24 weeks
  • Only available the weeks of Christmas and New Years
  • Based in vet clinics and animal shelters in Manuel Antonio
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Care for stray dogs and cats and help nurse them back to health by supporting local vets and animal welfare organizations in Costa Rica's coastal areas.

Protects animals

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$543

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based around Costa Rica’s capital city
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Support local vet clinics and animal welfare organizations to provide hands-on care and companionship to abandoned dogs, cats and other domestic animals.

Increases access to education

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$1593

  • Duration: 3 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based at after-school programs, daycares & schools
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Assist in after school centers, daycares & schools to provide education, fun and support to many children who would otherwise be left to their own devices.

Increases access to education

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$543

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in and around San José
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Help with crowded community centers for preschoolers and school-aged children outside of lesson time. Assist with education and games, encouraging fun and socialising.

Supports community development

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$650

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based around San José - Costa Rica’s capital
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Assist a locally run organisation that helps under-funded construction projects through to completion. Projects include childcare facilities, community spaces and local clinics.

Conserves the environment

4-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$650

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica
  • Volunteers aged 18+ and families

Assist local coffee farmers in an immersive experience in the Costa Rican Highlands. Suitable for hands-on volunteers wanting to help implement sustainable farming practices.

Improves health & wellbeing

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$1915

  • Duration: 3 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in community care facilities & nursing homes
  • Volunteers aged 18+

Based in a beautiful national park on the Pacific coast, volunteers help in community care facilities such as elderly homes, clinics and ambulance services, assisting local staff with day-to-day tasks.

Improves health & wellbeing

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$650

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in various San José neighborhoods
  • Volunteers aged 18+

Volunteer in clinics, the homeless or the elderly, as well as on ambulance rounds. Qualified volunteers who speak Spanish can take larger roles, while inexperienced volunteers can assist local staff.

Supports community development

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$678

  • Duration: 1 - 2 weeks
  • Only available the weeks of Christmas and New Years
  • Based around the neighborhoods of San José
  • Volunteers aged 16+

For those wanting to volunteer over Christmas, this is a wide-ranging project that targets those who need help over the Christmas period. Get a great mix of worthwhile volunteer work and a cultural Latin American festive experience.

Improves health & wellbeing

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Set Program Fee of AU$1057

  • Duration: 1 week
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in and around San José
  • Volunteers aged 18+

A project designed for volunteer groups, involving roving outreach campaigns delivering basic healthcare in local communities. Campaigns are customizable to your experience and specialty and aim to bring health services to locals in the comfort of their own neighbourhoods.

Improves health & wellbeing

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$543

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in Costa Rica’s capital, San José
  • Volunteers aged 16+

Contribute to special needs homes by helping in-demand local staff with all aspects of care, education and attention for people living with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities.

Increases access to education

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$1593

  • Duration: 3 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in the community of Manuel Antonio
  • Volunteers aged 16+ and families

Many locals in Manuel Antonio work in the booming tourism industry, but often need to speak English to qualify. Help adults and children to learn the language in schools, homes and community centers.

Increases access to education

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$543

  • Duration: 1 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based in and around San José
  • Volunteers aged 16+

Help with in-demand English lessons for children and adults, enabling more locals to get access to the expertise of a fluent English speaker.

Protects animals

4-7 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from AU$1172

  • Duration: 2 - 24 weeks
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Based on the Nicoya Peninsula or Carribean Coast
  • Volunteers aged 18+

Help to preserve endangered sea turtle numbers by protecting hatcheries, conserving the environment and assisting with nesting in rural coastal locations.

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Costa Rica, based on your country of residence.

  • Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organisation in Costa Rica to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
  • Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Costa Rica will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
  • Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
  • Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
  • Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organisations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
  • New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travellers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
  • Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Costa Rica with your new-found friends.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!