Birds, Butterflies and Bats Conservation

Projects Abroad
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Coordinator | Bethany
Coordinator | Bethany
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Live in Costa Rica’s lush tropical dry forest and contribute to valuable conservation work
Complete Bat surveys, do reforestation work and many other activities which will undoubtedly set you apart as someone committed to solving global conservation issues
Costa Rica has everything from volcanoes to tropical rainforests and magnificent waterfalls
You're never far from the coast in Costa Rica. Explore the large number of idyllic beaches.
Get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your time together
Live in Costa Rica’s dense tropical dry forest and work with animals on the frontlines of conservation. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples

You’ll spend your days assisting with conservation work in Barra Honda National Park. Here are some of the tasks you’ll do:

  • Help with biodiversity studies to develop effective conservation strategies
  • Run environmental education campaigns in surrounding schools and communities
  • Combat climate change and restore natural habitats through reforestation work
  • Do maintenance work to keep the park running

Your work will focus on four main areas:

Biodiversity studies

A large portion of your time will be spent collecting data for biodiversity studies. You’ll work with experts to survey wildlife and record details about their behaviours and distributions. With this information, the park will be better equipped to develop effective conservation strategies.

Butterfly surveys are particularly important to learn more about climate change. By analysing the altitude where different species are found, you’ll help create a clearer picture of how our planet is warming.

You’ll collect data during hikes through the dense forest, night walks, or conservation trips into the depths of the park’s cave network. Some of the species you’ll be surveying include:

  • Bats
  • Butterflies
  • Monkeys
  • Scarlet macaws

Environmental education

You’ll also share your conservation knowledge with people in communities surrounding the park. This work ensures people continue to protect the reserve after you’ve finished your project. You’ll help communities appreciate the value of the forest and become dedicated to conserving it.

Through workshops, you’ll teach people strategies for eco-friendly living. This could include topics like how to start an organic farm or the importance of recycling.

Reforestation work

Human expansion and forest fires, exacerbated by climate change, have caused the destruction of a large portion of Costa Rica’s forests. This has a devastating effect for a range of species. With much of their habitat destroyed, many animal populations have been drastically reduced.

You will help restore the habitat of many species. By working in the park’s tree nursery, you’ll care for young saplings until they are strong enough to be planted in the forest.

This reforestation work also helps combat climate change, by increasing the number of carbon dioxide-absorbing trees in the area.

Maintenance work

Barra Honda relies heavily on volunteer support to continue their conservation work. As a volunteer, you’ll help with the running of the park. This could include tasks like clearing trails, maintaining fire breaks, or helping with general camp upkeep.

Although these seem like more menial tasks, they play an important role in the overall functioning of the park. For example, clearing trails means people will be less likely to walk through vegetation and disrupt the habitat of indigenous species.

Typical day

Your project work will run from about 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll usually have a long lunch break from 12pm to 3.30pm. These hours might be different for some early morning tasks or late night bat surveys.

You’ll start your day with breakfast at 7.30am. Once you’ve eaten your fill in preparation for a busy day, you’ll begin your work.

In the morning, you’ll usually do activities that involve more manual labour. This is to take advantage of the cooler weather before midday. This includes tasks like clearing trails or working in the tree nursery.

You’ll have a long break, giving you a chance to have lunch and relax before starting up work again in the afternoon.

Afternoon tasks include things like running an awareness campaign at a local school or doing a monkey survey. On some evenings, you’ll have the chance to explore the forest in the dark. Armed with a flashlight and with our staff by your side, you’ll look for nocturnal animals or head down into an underground cave for a bat survey.

Free-time activities

With more than 25% of its land protected in national parks, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. It has everything from volcanoes to tropical rainforests, and magnificent waterfalls to beautiful sandy beaches. This tiny country is also renowned for its biodiversity and boasts an array of wildlife.

The vibrant city of Heredia, where most of our projects are based, is situated in the heart of Costa Rica’s coffee-growing country. With its large student population and close proximity to the exciting capital city of San Jose, Heredia has an active cultural and social scene.

You can easily reach the impressive Poas and Irazu volcanoes on a day-trip from Heredia. Many other popular tourist destinations, such as Arenal volcano and Monteverde cloud forest, are only a few hours bus ride away.

You're never far from the coast in Costa Rica. Spoilt for choice by the number of idyllic beaches, you'll have plenty of opportunities for water-based activities like surfing, swimming, or scuba diving in your free time.

There will likely be other volunteers in Costa Rica with you. So you can choose to explore on your own or as a group.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 17:30

What's Included

Services by Projects Abroad
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • A cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

Your arrival airport in Costa Rica will be Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Our in-country staff will be there to greet you at the airport. They’ll be holding a Projects Abroad sign so you can spot them easily.

If you’re joining our Conservation Project, you’ll likely spend your first night in a hotel. The following day, local staff will take you to the bus station. From there, you’ll catch a bus to our Conservation placement in Barra Honda National Park. The bus ride will take approximately four hours. Our Conservation staff will be waiting to welcome at the end of your bus journey.

We cover the cost of your transport to and from the airport, giving you one less thing to worry about when you arrive in Costa Rica.

Accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay at Barra Honda National Park. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your time together.

Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe. 

Dorm Room Bungalow Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages
Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

The project runs all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. The minimum duration is one week, but we recommend staying longer to fully immerse yourself in life in the forest and have an even greater impact.
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$2,155
2 weeks
$2,476
3 weeks
$2,797
4 weeks
$3,118
8 weeks
$4,402
16 weeks
$6,969
50 weeks (max. stay)
$17,882
Average fees
$1,256 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Projects Abroad will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Projects Abroad during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Projects Abroad cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Projects Abroad.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Birds, Butterflies and Bats Conservation

Live in Costa Rica’s dense tropical dry forest and work with animals on the frontlines of conservation.

$959/week

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