first hand Costa Rica

Rainforest Lodge

Cahuita, Costa Rica show on map
Planting trees, maintaining pathways ... horseback riding through the rainforest - doesn't that sound like paradise? You're right in the middle of it! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples

About the Program

In a dreamlike Eco-Lodge - with an extension of over 2200 acres of primary rain forest - you get to know the rainforest that is home to thousands of animals and plants. 

The lodge boarders directly with 'La Amistad International Park' and is part 'La Amistad Biosphere Preserve', the largest conservation area of Central America, shared by Costa Rica and Panama. It is the most important direct watershed of the Bananito River, which supplies 85 % of potable water to the harbor city of Limon. The income generated by the nature and adventure programs at the lodge, together with our Rain forest Study Programs, significantly support 'Fundacion Cuencas deLimon', -- Limon Watershed Foundation --, which has become a regional leader in watershed conservation in the province of Limon and preserves water for about 70.000 people. 

You will basically learn about the work of the 'guardabosques', the 'forest patrol'. If you love nature, if you are committed to sometimes hard work, if you are interest in adventure tours - horseback riding is useful - and if you are comfortable in a temporary stay far from civilization (the next city is 30 km), then this is a perfect experience for you!

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers should have a love for nature and interest in adventures. They will enjoy communicating with the guests of the lodge. A knowledge of Spanish and English language is compulsory. It is also possible to take part in language classes. 

Your Location 

The lodge is located 35 km southwest of the harbor city Limón, Caribbean, and bordering La Amistad World Heritage Site or La Amistad Biosphere Reserve.

Typical day

Your workday begins at 6 am and you will work about 6 hours - the type of work varies due to weather conditions and actual needs.

Your Tasks

  • Cleaning and maintaining the paths in the forest
  • Developing new trail signs
  • Recollect trash left behind by poachers
  • Planting and watering trees
  • You might also help in inspections in the forest, inventory of the area - trees, plants, animals, food, putting out cameras for monitoring wildlife - the rainforest is the habitat of jaguars and other wildcats
  • You will be helping in stable maintenance and taking care of horses

Details on Arrival

This program is available all year. It starts every Monday. Please arrive at least one day before the programs starts.

Free-time activities

The lodge is in the rainforest - so, in a very, very remote area! There are several tours for the guests of the lodge like hiking, horseback riding, waterfall rappel, tree climbing and a tour with overnight stay in the middle of the rainforest on a platform in a tree ... Just awesome experiences, all of them!

You will not be able to spend your evenings in another place. Be prepared for chilling, reading, playing cards etc. with other volunteers, going to bed early and wake up with the sun! :-) Enjoy being far from civilization, TV, noise and emerge into nature. 

You should save your free days for a longer excursion. There are two very nice and popular beaches in the area: Puerto Viejo and Cahuita!

Swimming
Hiking
Riding

Program Requirements

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 English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Be prepared for physically demanding work in humid conditions.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Included Services

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 first hand Costa Rica 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 first hand Costa Rica.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
first hand Costa Rica (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by first hand Costa Rica
  • Three meals a day
  • Accommodation
  • We organize the journey to the project and we also do hostel reservations in San José if needed (mostly it is needed!)

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

You will be picked up at the airport by our driver with a sign with your name and you will directly get in contact with your german, english, spanish speaking coordinator via phone. The driver will drive you to the reserved hostel (if necessary), give you the bus ticket (he will buy a ticket in advance to reserve you a seat in the bus), pick you up at the hostel the day of your journey to the project and bring you to the bus.
The cost will be around 60 US$ plus the hostel night (between 10-12 US$ (dorm) and 30 US$ (single/double room).
A staff member of the lodge will pick you up and you will have another 45 min breathtaking trip through nature to get to the lodge!

Accommodation

You will be lodging in one of the wonderful cabinas for guest - if available! If not, you will stay in a simple staff room.

Bungalow
Food & Beverages

You will get three meals a day together with the staff. 

Internet Access
Limited 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.
Costs: Prices in USD
3 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,020
4 weeks
$ 1,227
5 weeks
$ 1,433
6 weeks
$ 1,640
7 weeks
$ 1,847
8 weeks
$ 2,053
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,880
Average fees
$ 290 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Cahuita/Costa Rica between 3 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. first hand Costa Rica will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
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 first hand Costa Rica during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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