vanaf 336€

Super goed 4.4rating (16)

Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

1 - 12 weken  ·  Leeftijd 18 - 50+

rating  Super goed 4.4  · 
  Geverifieerd door Volunteer World
  Zeer hoog Responsgraad

Voltooi je reservering zo snel mogelijk. Dit project vult snel en is al geboekt op bepaalde data.


  • Engage in essential conservation efforts at NATUWA, directly aiding a diverse array of Costa Rican wildlife, including jaguars, sloths, macaws, deer, monkeys and many more.
  • Experience Costa Rican culture first-hand at NATUWA, enhance your Spanish, and become part of the local community, engaging in conservation practices that benefit both wildlife and people.
  • Forge lasting bonds with other nature-passionate volunteers, sharing knowledge and experiences while working together at the sanctuary.
  • Use your free time to discover Costa Rica's unique landscapes, from pristine beaches to stunning rainforests, fostering a deeper appreciation for the biodiversity you're helping to protect.
  • On-the-Ground Professional Development: Enrich your resume with international wildlife rescue and rehabilitation experience, acquiring valuable skills that will stand out in your career path.

Vooral geschikt voor

Leeftijd 18+

Over het programma

NATUWA is a sanctuary dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating Costa Rica's wildlife, nurturing a diverse array of species back to health within a lush natural habitat.

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary


NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary in Aranjuez, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, is a haven providing refuge and protection to wild animals impacted by human activities such as hunting, habitat removal, and deforestation. These actions render species vulnerable, causing significant ...

Over het programma

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary


NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary in Aranjuez, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, is a haven providing refuge and protection to wild animals impacted by human activities such as hunting, habitat removal, and deforestation. These actions render species vulnerable, causing significant damage to natural ecosystems and often displacing animals from their natural habitats.

Many of these displaced animals find the care and rehabilitation they need at NATUWA. Our sanctuary allows these dislocated animals to return to their natural habitat. Unfortunately, human actions make reintroduction challenging, and this is where our volunteers become crucial.

Volunteer Contribution at NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary

At NATUWA, your role as a volunteer is indispensable to our conservation mission. You will work closely with our local Costa Rican workers, playing a crucial part in the daily care of our diverse animal residents. This includes feeding, cleaning enclosures, and providing enrichment for a wide range of species, such as six species of macaw, umbrella cockatoos, amazon parrots, parakeets, Eclectus parrots, various monkey species, peccaries, deer, tapirs, ocelots, and jaguars.

Your dedicated efforts are essential in restoring the health of our numerous residents, approximately 500 animals, many of whom require extensive care as they cannot return to the wild. While our primary focus is providing the best quality of life for these animals, such as jaguars and sloths, your work supports any emergency interventions that might enable certain animals to be reintroduced into their natural habitat. The significant workload at our sanctuary contributes to each volunteer being incredibly valuable to us.

  • Animal Care and Maintenance: Engaging in direct animal care, you will help maintain the well-being of our animals by performing tasks like cleaning enclosures and following specific nutritional guidelines set by our in-house nutritionist. This ensures that all animals, from the vibrant macaws to the majestic jaguars, receive the highest standard of care.
  • Monitoring and Prevention: As an eco-guardian, you will better understand our animals' behaviors and needs. Your close observation skills will aid in the early detection of health issues, allowing for timely intervention and care from our veterinary team.
  • Environmental Enrichment: Your involvement in environmental enrichment is essential in fostering natural behaviors and mental stimulation for our animals. This aspect of your role helps create a more dynamic and naturalistic environment for them.
  • Economic and Community Impact: Your participation as a volunteer extends beyond animal care. Your financial contribution by joining our program supports the sanctuary's operations and the livelihoods of our local staff and the broader community. This creates a ripple effect of positive change, benefiting the area's human and animal residents.

Volunteering at NATUWA is an opportunity to make a significant impact. You will contribute to the direct care and rehabilitation of wildlife and support the broader mission of environmental conservation and community development. This experience promises to leave a lasting impression on both the sanctuary and you as a volunteer.

Educational and Cultural Experience:

Our sanctuary collaborates with local universities, providing a rich educational experience. Costa Rican students often come to NATUWA to complete their graduation thesis or business practices in ecotourism. This offers a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to immerse themselves in Latin American culture, learn from students, and contribute to meaningful conservation projects.

Local Community Engagement:

NATUWA is nestled in the peaceful country town of Aranjuez, known for its friendly locals and dirt roads. Volunteers are encouraged to engage with the community, bring games like footballs and frisbees, and participate in local soccer matches. The sanctuary's proximity to a small supermarket and a grass soccer field allows volunteers to integrate seamlessly with the local lifestyle.

Living Arrangements:

Volunteers stay within the sanctuary in housing that provides a unique living experience. We require volunteers to wear pants and rain boots for work (available for purchase here for around USD 15). Although bedsheets are provided, bringing a mosquito net for a twin-sized bed is recommended for comfort.

Food and Expectations:

We provide and cook all meals for our volunteers, focusing on a wholesome diet that supports your work here. We expect a positive attitude and a willingness to contribute to our shared goals.

Join Us:

Hear our past volunteers about their life-changing experiences at NATUWA and see how you can make a difference. Make your application in Volunteer World to learn more and participate in this vital conservation effort.

Dagelijkse activiteiten

Our volunteer project at NATUWA is distinctively active and fulfilling compared to other opportunities in Costa Rica. With over 500 animals relying on our care, we always need extra hands! This project is ideal for those motivated and passionate about animal care and conservation. While the schedule ...

Dagelijkse activiteiten

Our volunteer project at NATUWA is distinctively active and fulfilling compared to other opportunities in Costa Rica. With over 500 animals relying on our care, we always need extra hands! This project is ideal for those motivated and passionate about animal care and conservation. While the schedule is full and demanding, the work is profoundly rewarding and makes a real difference.

Daily Schedule:

  • 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Start the day with the morning feeding routine for our animals. Initially, you'll have guidance, but after a 3-day introduction, you'll progress to light supervision.

  • 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM: Breakfast time! A moment to fuel up for the day.

  • 8:15 AM - 10:30 AM: Engage in various daily tasks (detailed list provided below).

  • 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM: A well-deserved juice break.

  • 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM: Continue with your assigned daily tasks.

  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Lunch break. This is also your time to connect with the world via WiFi or enjoy a rejuvenating nap.

  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Afternoon feeding session for our animals, with light supervision following your initial training period.

After the afternoon feeding, volunteers can spend their time as they wish until dinner, which is served at 6:00 PM.

List of Daily Tasks:

Your tasks include cleaning beneath animal feeding stations, ensuring animals have fresh water, washing enclosure floors, assisting in animal transfers, maintaining the sanctuary, feeding baby animals, sorting macadamia nuts, providing fresh-cut grass for our mammals and other essential tasks to support the well-being of our wildlife.


As a volunteer at NATUWA, your adventure extends beyond our sanctuary. Every week, you are entitled to a free day, offering you the perfect opportunity to relax and explore Costa Rica's stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. Coordinate with our staff to organize group outings to the country's most ...


As a volunteer at NATUWA, your adventure extends beyond our sanctuary. Every week, you are entitled to a free day, offering you the perfect opportunity to relax and explore Costa Rica's stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. Coordinate with our staff to organize group outings to the country's most iconic destinations. Whether it's the sun-drenched beaches, serene rivers, majestic mountains, or other remarkable locales, an abundance of experiences awaits you.

For your convenience, private cab services are available to transport volunteers from various locations, including from Juan Santamaria International Airport to NATUWA. A ride from Puntarenas to the sanctuary typically costs around US$35, but prices may vary depending on your starting point. For those arriving directly from the airport in Alajuela, the fare to NATUWA is included. We recommend consulting with our staff for the latest information on service costs. To make travel more affordable, we can also help arrange shared transportation services, reducing the individual expense.



Minimum leeftijd: 18 jaar

Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.


Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (basis niveau) ou Spaans (basis niveau)

Vereiste documenten

-Travel insurance.


Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.

Andere vaardigheden

1. Commitment to Animal Welfare. 2. Teamwork Skills. 3. Adaptability and Flexibility. 4. Physical Strength and Stamina. 5. Communication Skills. 6. Basic First Aid or Veterinary Skills 7. Cultural Sensitivity and Language Skills 8. Patience and Dedication 9. Environmental Awareness and Conservationist Mindset The skills and qualities listed above are desirable attributes that can enhance a volunteer's experience and contribution to our sanctuary.


Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag, vrijdag, zaterdag en zondag van 06:00 - 15:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary

Three meal times, Wifi, cleaning common areas, bed linen, electricity, water. 
Accommodation in student residence, shared rooms, quadruple rooms in single beds of two.

Laundry service has an additional cost.

This price does not include additional costs, public transportation, cabs or personal expenses outside NATUWA.

Afhaal aan de luchthaven op Juan Santamaria International Airport

Transportation from the airport, once the volunteer provides us with the flight information, such as the flight number, arrival time, and date, is carried out by a reliable company that has provided transportation services for several years. NATUWA is 1.5 hours from the Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria, in the province of Alajuela. The cost of transportation from the airport to NATUWA is $ 120.


Nestled within the verdant embrace of Costa Rica's breathtaking landscape, our volunteer accommodations offer a serene and authentic retreat for those eager to immerse themselves in the wonders of conservation. The lodgings are comprised of two distinct structures, each echoing the charm and simplicity of Costa Rican rural life.

The first facility, a quintessential country-style abode, provides a cozy sanctuary for our long-term volunteers, those committing four weeks or more to our cause. This traditional dwelling boasts a single room adorned with three bunk beds, ensuring a restful night's sleep under the gentle stir of a ceiling fan. Ample storage space and sunlit windows create an airy and welcoming atmosphere, inviting volunteers to call this place home during their stay.

Innovatively repurposed, the second structure is a series of modified shipping containers, each partitioned into three separate quarters. These compact rooms feature two bunk beds each, a fan, and sufficient storage for personal belongings. A gentle reminder to our volunteers: please bring your mosquito nets to enhance your comfort during your stay.

Both living arrangements emphasize a communal spirit. Volunteers are encouraged to maintain cleanliness and respect each other's space.

A short stroll away, a separate building houses the bathroom and shower facilities. Immersed in the rustic charm of our surroundings, these amenities do not offer hot water, inviting guests to embrace nature's invigorating embrace.

Laundry rituals return to basics here, with most volunteers washing their garments by hand, celebrating a return to simplicity. However, we offer the laundry service at a low cost.

Connectivity is gracefully woven into your stay. Wi-Fi is available in the volunteer housing and the sanctuary's gift shop, ensuring that, even amidst the tranquility of nature, you remain connected to the world beyond.

In the heart of Natuwa, every aspect of your accommodation is thoughtfully designed to deepen your bond with nature, foster community, and enhance your transformative journey of conservation and discovery.

Eten & Drank

The meals are typical dishes of Costa Rica. Almost every meal includes rice, beans, or salad. Juice or coffee is offered for every meal.

Example Breakfast Meals:
1. "Gallo pinto" with: egg, plantain, or sausage.
2. Cereal
3. Fruits (watermelon, banana, and papaya).

Example Lunch Meals:
1. Rice and beans with a meat
2. Rice and beans with spaghetti
3. Meat and vegetable soup with rice

Example Dinner Meals:
1. Rice and beans with a meat
2. Hamburger
3. Cold cut sandwich

It is very important that you inform us if you have any special diets or food allergies.

Internet toegang

Makkelijke toegang op de project site

Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?

Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?

Vlucht tickets

De dichtste luchthaven is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Costa Rica. VIND GOEDKOPE VLUCHTEN


Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Costa Rica biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde. KRIJG EEN OFFERTE


Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Costa Rica dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Costa Rica. VACCINATIE CHECKER

Gegevens over jouw aankomst

Volunteers may arrive at any time of day, any day of the week, any week of the month, and any month of the year! Transportation from the airport is provided.

jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei. jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.


1 week (min. verblijf) 336€
2 weken 672€
3 weken 1.008€
4 weken 1.344€
5 weken 1.680€
6 weken 2.016€
7 weken 2.352€
8 weken 2.688€
12 weken (max. verblijf) 3.024€
Gemiddelde kosten 294€/week


294€ per week 1 - 12 weken Leeftijd 18 - 50+


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1 - 12 weken


De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.

Finale betaling

Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Ontmoet je organisatie

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary

Super goed 4.4 rating (16 beoordelingen)

Agentschap - opgericht in 1994

Geverifieerd door Volunteer World

  Zeer hoog Responsgraad

Gepresenteerd door


Gesproken talen: Engels, Spaans

Over de organisatie

Natuwa Wildlife Sanctuary provides refuge and protection to wild animals that have been victimized by human actions.

Ontmoet je organisatie

Transform Your World at Natuwa: Adventure and Conservation in the Heart of Costa Rica.

Natuwa is a unique Sanctuary located in the heart of Costa Rica, where nature and wildlife flourish in harmony. Founded by Rodolfo Orozco Vega and Mainor Khayyan, passionate defenders of nature, Natuwa is a refuge for endangered animals and a conservation center dedicated to preserving Costa Rican biodiversity and environmental education. Its name, which means "macaw," "parrot," or "parrakeet" in the Chorotega language, reflects its commitment to the safeguarding of these emblematic species. However, its mission extends to a much broader spectrum of flora and fauna.

At Natuwa, volunteers dive into an unparalleled experience, working closely with wildlife experts to rehabilitate and care for rescued wild animals, from majestic macaws and sloths to big cats like the jaguar and other species that have found a temporary or permanent home in the sanctuary. Volunteer work ranges from environmental enrichment to feeding and health monitoring of the animals and maintaining the sanctuary's vast and lush natural habitats.

Beyond its invaluable contribution to conservation, Natuwa offers volunteers a deep immersion into Costa Rican culture. Located near attractions such as cloudy Monteverde, the blue beaches of Punta Arenas on the Central Pacific, the sandy shores of Guanacaste, and the imposing volcanoes, Natuwa becomes a starting point for exploring Costa Rica's natural and cultural wonders. Volunteers can soak up Costa Rican life, learn about local traditions, enjoy typical gastronomy, and practice Spanish in a vibrant and welcoming environment.

The sanctuary itself is a biodiversity oasis. Trails winding through the jungle lead visitors through restored habitats that harbor an impressive variety of wildlife. Each enclosure is designed to provide a safe and natural environment for the animals and educate and inspire visitors about the importance of conservation. The facilities include quarantine areas for new rescues, spacious aviaries, rehabilitation areas, and a visitor center where Natuwa's mission is shared with the world.

Participating in Natuwa is more than just volunteer work; it's a life-transforming adventure enriched by a deep connection with nature, animals, and the culture of Costa Rica. It is an invitation to be part of something bigger than oneself, a call to contribute to preserving our natural world for future generations while living an unforgettable personal experience. Come to Natuwa and leave your mark on conservation while discovering the unparalleled beauty of Costa Rica and the warmth of its people.

16 beoordelingen · rating4.4

Emily Bate rating4.2

2024 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

Our time at Natuwa was amazing, all the people that we got to work with were lovely and made us feel a part of the team straight away. We spent time in both the normal volunteering programme and with the vet and learnt so much in both settings. The accommodation is basic however you do not spend ...
Willem Matzinger rating5

2024 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

NATUWA, was a very nice place to stay. I learned how to work with people from different countries to give food to animals and other nice stuff. It was so ...
Eva Cuendet rating4.8

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

My time in Natuwa was amazing. The staff is friendly and the place is beautiful. I learned many things while I was there and had a really enjoyable time. The vet is really nice and tries her best to make every day different and interesting, all the while keeping it accessible to everyone (pre-vet ...
aimee berkhout rating4.6

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

I really liked my stay at NATUWA. Made a lot off friends and it was a super experience. The work can sometimes be hard but overall I really enjoyed it. The food was fine, a lot of rice and beans but you can expect that when you are in Costa Rica. There could be a little bit more variation in the ...
Pascale Emmisberger rating3.6

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

I really enjoyed my stay at the Natuwa Sanctuary. We were only around 12/13 volunteers, so the atmosphere was really familiar. There are plenty of beautiful animals to take care off. The work can be hard, when you are cleaning the cages or ranking leaves, so be prepared to work hard and get ...
Cedric Avila rating3.8

2022 at Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue

Our stay at Natuwa was fantastic, people in care of the place are extremely kind . But one horrible experience that should be improved is FOOD. We think that the owner is trying to save money and does not care about volunteers. We were given every day only rice and beans poorly cooked. We were ...


Amerika > Midden-Amerika > Costa Rica > Aranjuez, Puntarenas

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