Work in a National Park

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Learn more about the unique biodiversity of Costa Rica
Relax on dream beaches
Improve your Spanish skills
Get to know the very typical Costa Rican "tica" lifestyle
Enjoy a country with year round pleasant climate
Help preserve beautiful national parks in Costa Rica, protect local wildlife, and educate day visitors. Experience breathtaking nature and Costa Rican PURA VIDA! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

For this project, you will be assigned to work at one of the many amazing national parks throughout Costa Rica. The diverse wildlife and nature of Costa Rica attracts many tourists to its national parks every year, and the country has become a world-famous travel destination. The parks offer various attractions, such as beautiful beaches, volcanoes, mountain ranges, rain and cloud forests, lagoons, rivers, waterfalls, and many species of exotic animals.

The parks are home to endangered species and also offer outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, rafting, zip-line and many more. During your stay, you may witness Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife first-hand, which includes monkeys, sloths, racoon, sea turtles and many types of birds and reptiles.

The main attraction at the coastal parks is its amazing sea turtles. The parks focus a lot on these beautiful creatures because they are in danger of extinction. Thousands of sea turtles come onto the beaches every year to lay their eggs.

Typical day

Currently volunteers are placed at an amazing National Park on the Nicoya Peninsula. This reserve protects semi dry tropical forest. About 140 different species of trees have been identified inside the park. There is also a considerable variety of mammals in the park. Predominant among these and very easily spotted by visitors are the howler monkey and the white-face monkeys. Very abundant and easily seen are the white-nosed coati and the white-tailed deer. Also present, but harder to spot are the margay and the coyote. The greatest wealth in fauna is in the abundant marine birds, marine mammals including orcas, different kinds of fish, crabs and mollusks found in the shore waters of the offshore islands. Worth mentioning is the healthy population of brown boobies and pelicans found in the island, and the plentiful conch found on the park's waters.

The weekly schedule will be posted each week so the volunteers are notified ahead of time. Activities vary each week. The following schedule is general.

Breakfast: 6.30 am
The morning shift goes from 8.00 - 11.45 am

Lunch: 12.00 pm
The afternoon shift goes normally from 1.30 - 3.45 pm

Afternoon tea: 3.45 pm

Dinner: 6.30 pm

The weekends are off for volunteers to enjoy the beaches, explore the breathtaking nature and rich culture of Costa Rica,  visit Montezuma or Santa Teresa, go surfing or just chill with a book. 

The main interest of the volunteer program is to involve volunteers in conservation and protection of natural resources, carrying out maintenance work, eco tourism, monitoring, environmental education, labeling, and the like to ensure perpetuity for future generations. Among the work areas are

Beach clean-up and Recycling
Two of the most important activities are the “Beach Clean-up and recycling" because of the positive impact that these have on our oceans. To protect the oceans and its animals from plastic, it is critical to at least contribute to maintaining the reserve as clean as possible. The activities are focused on recovering both the beaches from the reserve and also the ones in the surrounding areas. After collecting the trash, volunteers head to the recycle Station where they learn about the classification of solid waste. This represents a key contribution to the local town.

Environmental education and community
There is an environmental and community program, where volunteers have the opportunity to teach sustainability at the community school to co-create awareness with the local population of the nearest towns. Moreover, the program involves other activities like workshops, research, and community activities.

Construction and Maintenance
These activities are related to the necessities of the park, trails, and public areas, as well as the volunteer house. This kind of work is one of the most important within the reserve. Its objective is to repair those places on the trail that are in poor condition due to erosion, landslides, fallen trees, branches, etc. It includes working in all green areas such as the tourism office, the ranger’s house, the volunteer house, workshops, and main roads. 

Monitoring and Research
The park has a monitoring and research area where the volunteers have the opportunity to watch wildlife in the forest and learn about their behavior and specificities. Volunteers will have the chance to visit the second station that is of great interest for researching species that are at risk of extinction.

Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

Free-time activities

Volunteers can enjoy various activities during their free time. The beaches in Cabuya, Montezuma, Santa Teresa, Manzanillo are all different and absolutely beautiful. Activities such as surfing, canopying, zip lining, ATV rides,  horseback riding, mangrove tours, fishing, diving, boating, and so much more are all available for the volunteer’s enjoyment in the towns close by during days off. In addition, you can explore the amazing nature of Costa Rica and take in its breathtaking views.

Weekends are the perfect time to enjoy an exciting hike through Costa Rican nature since the main attractions of Costa Rica is its system of national parks and protected areas, which cover around 25% of the national territory, in order to protect the rich variety of flora and fauna, which is estimated to contain 5% of the world's biodiversity in less than 0.1% of the planet's land mass. In addition, Costa Rica has countless amazing beaches on both the Pacific and the Caribbean Ocean. 

Costa Rica is the perfect place to combine volunteer work with tourism, enjoy activities like:

- Adventure sport
- Dream beaches
- Ecotourism
- Local culture
- Bird / wildlife watching
- Visits to unique National Parks
- Rural tourism
- Sightseeing and history in San José

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) or English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV and volunteer questionnaire
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, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by South America Inside
  • Accommodation in volunteer house (dormitory)
  • Full-board (3 meals/day)
  • 2 overnight stays in San José (upon arrival)
  • Transfer from San José Airport to accommodation in San José
  • Transfer from accommodation in San José to bus station for the journey to project site
  • Translation of application documents
  • Placement in Volunteer Work Project
  • Orientation session
  • Help from experienced staff members
  • 24/7 emergency number
  • Advice on travel and insurance
  • Certificate of Participation
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

There is an airport pick-up service that will take you to the place of your overnight stay in San José, typically a local host family. The following day you will have program introduction with our friendly team in San José. On the next day, you will be brought to the bus station where you start your journey to the volunteer project (bus ticket not included).


The volunteers live in wooden houses with shared dormitories, which is a wonderful way to meet new people. . Each of the rooms has bunk beds. There are showers and toilets with running water. It is important to mention that volunteers are asked to keep showers short and use water sparingly.

The library has books in various languages and there is a take-a-book leave-abook system. A lookout treehouse is available for the volunteer’s relaxation.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (3 meals per day). Meals are prepared by our friendly local cooks. Any dietary restrictions such as allergies and vegetarian/vegan diets can be accommodated for.

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.
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


Details on arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningful volunteer project.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$391 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside 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 South America Inside 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 South America Inside 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 South America Inside.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Work in a National Park

Help preserve beautiful national parks in Costa Rica, protect local wildlife, and educate day visitors. Experience breathtaking nature and Costa Rican PURA VIDA!


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