Places still available for July & August - book now
Volunteer Summer Camp for Teens in Costa Rica

Volunteer Summer Camp for Teens in Costa Rica

Support local communities
Start dates
Only available in July
Choose from 1-3 weeks
Volunteer hours
3 - 5 hours per day
Volunteers aged 16 and 17
Program fees
From $1840 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

New banner

This program is ideal for:

16 and 17 year old volunteers who want to make a difference abroad, experience a different culture, and make new friends during the summer holidays!

Project details

Are you 16 or 17 years old and wanting to volunteer abroad as a teen in Costa Rica this summer? International Volunteer HQ’s Summer Camp for teen volunteers is a awesome way for 16 and 17 year old volunteers to spend part of their summer holidays contributing towards important community initiatives and learning about Costa Rican culture. During the month of July, teen volunteers are able to take part in community volunteering, cultural activities, sports, and tourism activities for 1 - 3 weeks on this special summer camp project.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp is an incredible cultural immersion experience available to solo volunteers aged 16 and 17 and it is fully chaperoned.

Participants will take part in planned activities including volunteering in local community projects, taking salsa lessons, going on cultural adventures, and joining nature tours led by our professional guides and chaperones.

While this project is only available for 16 and 17-year-olds through IVHQ, there may be younger teens participating in the project at the same time.

The Volunteer Teen Camp has two available start dates in July 2024. The first is available on July 1st, 2024 and participants can join for a 1 - 3 week duration. The second start date is July 15th for a maximum of 1 week. Each week will take place in a different location:

  • Week 1 - Manuel Antonio
  • Week 2 - San Jose
  • Week 3 - Manuel Antonio

What’s included:

  • Counselors 24/7; 8:1 student-counselor ratio
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Host family accommodations (laundry included)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, 7 days/week
  • All tours and social activities
  • Private transportation to/from all activities
  • Official volunteer certificate
  • Souvenir camp t-shirts (2)
  • WiFi and computer lounge
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • On-site snack bar
  • Institute is open 7 days/week
  • Emergency contact number 24/7

Why join the Volunteer Summer Camp in Costa Rica with IVHQ?

When you volunteer as a teen in Costa Rica, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Contributing to community-driven volunteer projects
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Immersing yourself in Costa Rica’s culture, food, history
  • Connecting with local people in an authentic way
  • Discovering Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, national parks and cities

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers must provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program
  • Independent volunteers aged 16 and 17 can join this project for 1 - 3 weeks, depending on the start date selected
  • Volunteers must provide two character reference letters
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

New banner

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Kaia Manson-Reid
19 Jul 2024

Met the most incredible people and you learn so much about life and yourself

Denali Hussey
19 Jul 2024

I would tell someone to do it and push themselves and try to reinvent themselves the way they want to be.

Beatriz Sam
11 Jul 2024

From my experience I would say I’ve grown a lot in the past two weeks. Although it was a little time it felt like I’ve been there for too much and I didn’t wanted to end. I’ve had the greatest time in Costa Rica, I’ve made so many friends from around the world and gained experience and tools that would help me for my professional and personal life. An advice that I’ll give to someone is that don’t hesitate just go for it you’ll not regret it, it’s once in a life experience and you’ll get a lot from it. Also it’s a really fun and nice way to help the community and environment and to spend time doing something completely different and exciting.

Morgan Midkiff
04 Jun 2024

This program was amazing! I am so glad I went! I have never gone out of the country this long, let alone by myself. This was a great transition from college to the outside world. I was very happy I went and got to meet so many new people and experience the culture of Costa Rica. If I had to change one thing, it would be to book the adventure week. I didn't get to see much of Costa Rica, outside of my placement and the city. I am dying to go back and explore! It was a lot of hard work and hot, humid days, but I wouldn't change it for the world! Pura Vida!

Ben Bradford
21 May 2024

Experiencing Costa Rica and its healthcare has improved my understanding of the differences between healthcare systems around the world. Costa Rica is a beautiful place and the people are so friendly, definitely would recommend volunteering here!

Jonathan Hausman
03 May 2024

When you try a project like this, you're not stepping "out of your comfort zone" - instead you're stepping into a "new comfort zone". That attitude can help so much. Being a little nervous or afraid is totally natural on a trip and project like this, so allow yourself to feel that way. You're making a huge difference even doing small things for both animals and people, and if you treat the accommodation and people as though it is your home and your family, things will go really well for you.

Judge the people you meet AFTER you meet and get to know them and have no preconceived notions about those you'll come in contact with. If you're trying to find who you are, challenge what you know, learn a new skill, and have an impact, it will work for you in this place. All you have to do is take it one moment at a time - and you'll leave the place having a new adventure you can always remember and talk about.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica San Jose with IVHQ


The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp in Costa Rica is either based in San José or Manuel Antonio, depending on the week you choose to participate.

San José is Costa Rica’s modern, metropolitan, cultural hub. The capital city has been hailed as one of the most visited destinations in Central America and is the central point for tourists arriving in Costa Rica. It’s got excellent eateries, an interesting variety of museums, markets, shops, parks and nightlife and is only a short trip to any of the numerous natural attractions and adventures in the region.

Manuel Antonio is a popular tourist destination, with its main attraction being a small but glorious national park known for the unparalleled biodiversity found at its forests, beaches and coral reefs. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise and adrenaline junkies will also find plenty of adventure to be had in the surrounding area. The small local population relies on the tourism industry for jobs and economic growth.

Arrival and orientation

Arrival and departure for this project will depend on the start date and duration you select:

Start date #1: July 1st

  • 1 week: Arrive - Saturday, 29th June and Depart - Sunday, 7th July 2024
  • 2 weeks: Arrive - Saturday, 29th June and Depart - Sunday, 14th July 2024
  • 3 weeks: Arrive - Saturday, 13th July and Depart - Sunday, 21st July 2024

Start date #2: July 15th

  • 1 week (maximum): Arrive - Saturday, 13th July and Depart - Sunday, 21st July 2024

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Manuel Antonio, which will take approximately 4 hours. This is included in your Program Fee.

We recommend that participants under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation. If you are traveling in Costa Rica prior to your program, the local team will pick you up at your San José accommodation the day before your orientation.

Volunteer schedule example

WEEK 1 (Manuel Antonio):

Sunday, June 30th Transport to Manuel Antonio and orientation
Monday, July 1st Surf lessons, volunteering, and salsa class
Tuesday, July 2nd Surf Lessons or Kayak Mangrove, volunteering, and Jungle Night tour
Wednesday, July 3rd Jungle Zipline, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 4th Scuba Course or Chocolate tour, volunteering, and 4th of July celebration
Friday, July 5th Scuba Course and Beach Day, volunteering, and karaoke night
Saturday, July 6th Beach morning, return to San Jose, and souvenir shopping
Sunday, July 7th Airport drop off, or day with host family for volunteers staying in the country

WEEK 2 (San José):

Sunday, July 7th Day with host family
Monday, July 8th Coffee Farm tour, volunteering, and food truck dinner
Tuesday, July 9th University tour & scavenger hunt, volunteer project, and Go Karts
Wednesday, July 10th Tour to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 11th Volcan Irazu & Sanatorio Duran Tour, volunteering, and traditional Costa Rican dance show
Friday, July 12th Panoramic City tour, souvenir market, volunteering, Karaoke Night & Language Speed Tandem
Saturday, July 13th San Luis Zipline
Sunday, July 14th Airport drop off

WEEK 3 (Manuel Antonio):

Sunday, July 14th Transport to Manuel Antonio, and orientation for week 3 starters
Monday, July 15th Surf lessons or beach day, volunteering, and salsa class
Tuesday, July 16th Surf Lessons or Kayak Mangrove, volunteering and Jungle Night tour
Wednesday, July 17th Manuel Antonio National Park, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 18th Scuba Course or Beach Day, volunteering, Costa Rican-style BBQ
Friday, July 19th Scuba Course or Rainmaker Park tour, volunteering, and Karaoke night
Saturday, July 20th Beach morning, return to San Jose, and souvenir shopping
Sunday, July 21st Airport drop off

Accommodation and WiFi

Participants are accommodated in homestays with local families who have been vetted and approved by our local team, and their chaperone is also accommodated in the homestay in a separate room. We have been working with these families for 10+ years and the homestays provide participants with a cultural immersion experience like no other. You will find living conditions are comfortable and you can expect your accommodation to have electricity, drinkable running water and western bathrooms. Low pressure showers are common and the water is not always heated. Rooms are comprised of single and bunk beds and participants typically share a room with 3 - 4 other campers of the same gender.


Breakfast and dinner are provided by the host families every day, and all lunches are catered by the local team.

As this is an all inclusive camp, participants do not need to budget for things like tours, meals, or activities. However, we typically recommend between US$100 - $150 spending money per week for additional snacks and souvenirs.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately $329) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $1,840 Equivalent to $263/day
2 weeks $3,335 Equivalent to $238/day
3 weeks $5,050 Equivalent to $240/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • We recommend budgeting between US$100 - $150 per week for spending money if you wish to purchase additional snacks or souvenirs.
  • Volunteers are required to bring a credit or debit card with them for emergency use with a suggested minimum available balance of US$2,500. Upon arrival, our local team is happy to store the cards along with students' passports in a safe at their office until their day of departure to avoid loss or theft of these items. Volunteers will be provided with a copy of their passport to keep during the program.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Return transportation to volunteer placement and activities
  • Chaperone supervision
  • Laundry
  • Tours listed in the schedule
  • Activities listed in the schedule
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Flights,
  • Visa (if required)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Vaccinations
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in San Jose

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in San Jose! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ San Jose program.

Beach and Jungle Mini Adventure - Manuel Antonio
Beach and Jungle Mini Adventure - Manuel Antonio

Immerse yourself in Manuel Antonio’s stunning natural beauty and thrilling activities on this 6-day adventure

Coffee & Nature Experience - San Jose
Coffee & Nature Experience - San Jose

Embark on a full-day adventure exploring La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an animal sanctuary, and a Poas Volcano Tour, followed by a Coffee Farm experience.

Mini Adventure  - San Jose
Mini Adventure - San Jose

Experience a comprehensive 6-day Mini Adventure, featuring Arenal Volcano, the Britt Coffee Tour, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, whitewater rafting, and a visit to the pristine Tortuga Island.


Check what's required to visit Costa Rica

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital San Jose
Population 5 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Time zone UTC−06:00

Weather and climate: Costa Rica is unequivocally a tropical country. Although you get much cooler temperatures in the mountains, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 71°F (21.7°C) and 81°F (27°C). The coolest months are from November through to January, and the warmest months are from March through to May. San Jose stands at approximately 1170 meters altitude and has a mean annual temperature of 69°F (20.6°C).

Apply to check if you're eligible!

Other projects you may be interested in

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!