Volunteer Abroad

Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica with Internship Option

Explore and discover an amazing wildlife!

Have fun Volunteering!

On Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast you will join a team of international volunteers as an expedition member. Our expedition base camp is located in the Tortugero National park of Costa Rica. Your hands on work will contribute to the long-term management and conservation of this stunning rainforest.

Start an incredible Internship!

Gain valuable field-based experience and boost your career when you join a conservation internship in the pristine coastal rainforests of Costa Rica. Learn a range of skills from undertaking biological surveys to canoeing alongside an international team of researchers on a range of projects focussing on species such as jaguars and sea turtles.

Here are a few of the program highlights:

  • Program durations vary from 4 weeks to 24 weeks for Volunteers; program duration is 24 weeks for Interns
  • Many departure date options
  • Accommodations are included
  • International experience
  • Orientation when you arrive
  • A unique adventure in a Costa Rican National Park
  • Learning about the wildlife and their habitat
  • Seeing unique wildlife in marine and coastal rainforest environments, including sea turtles, monkeys, neo-tropical birds and amphibians
  • Exploring the area by boat and canoe, including remote Caribbean beaches,
  • Gaining a wide variety of skills, including learning survey techniques and gaining real field experience
  • Joining the research team to undertake turtle nesting surveys and monitor nesting sites during turtle season

Your typical day

This expedition is the essence of remote adventure as there is no road access to the base, you will truly be surrounded by the amazing natural beauty of Tortugero’s Caribbean beaches and rainforest, with all transport via canoe and boat, courtesy of the green canals. Although challenging, you will find the work extremely rewarding as you work on research projects and receive training on field skills.

Why Volunteering?

The expedition will provide a solid base of personal training and development whilst getting you immersed in the ongoing conservation efforts. The program is engaged in a number of key areas, including the study of jaguar predation of sea turtles and assessment of any possible impact on turtle populations, jaguar tracking and prey monitoring, turtle nesting studies and conservation (during the nesting season), migratory/resident bird species long-term trend data, and biological assessment surveys in specific habitat areas.

Why an Internship?

The internship’s first phase concentrates on training alongside team members as part of our Expedition.

After successful completion of the first phase of the internship program, you will travel to nearby Nicaragua to explore a bit of Central America and attend 2 weeks of Spanish training while staying with a local family in their home.

The second phase of the internship is the work placement.  Successful interns will be placed either within our staff team to help run our conservation research program in Tortuguero National Park, or with one of our conservation partners in other regions of Costa Rica, where interns will represent us, assisting in local conservation efforts and/or scientific research.

By the end of the internship program participants will have the skills to monitor a wide range of mini-ecosystems in a very diverse location. Developing and applying a holistic approach to conservation, you will receive a range of certifications alongside valuable field based experience.

Once the rigorous training (including an obligatory first aid qualification) phase is complete, the program rotates amongst a series of focus projects:

  • Monitoring and Conservation of Sea Turtles 
  • Marine Turtle Predation by Jaguars
  • Jaguar, Mammal and Prey Species Abundance Study
  • Resident and Migratory Bird Research
  • Biological Assessment Survey (BAS)

To be eligible for the program:

  • You must be 18+ years old
  • You must be fluent in English
  • You must be a Canadian citizen and resident with a Canadian Passport (valid for at least the entire duration of your stay)
  • Must have a clean criminal background history
  • Canadian citizens who wish to go to Costa Rica to volunteer for 90 days or less are exempted from visa requirements.
  • For programs longer than 90 days, you have to obtain a Provisional Visa. Our team will help you to arrange this but you will be responsible for all fees and costs related to your visa’s submission.
  • It is recommended that you purchase medical insurance for the entire duration that you are in Costa Rica (if you would like to purchase through us - we offer a great insurance policy at a low premium)
  • Must have full time availability throughout the volunteer contract

After you are accepted into the program, we will send you a Welcome Letter which will outline everything you need before you go.

What's Included:

Wildlife Expedition Program:

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Tropical forest ecology training
  • Scientific techniques in collection of biometric data, transect work, incidental observation, tourist and human impact surveys, camera trapping and, track identification
  • Camera trap use training
  • Wildlife identification skills
  • Transfer to rainforest location
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • GPS training

Internship Program:

Same as the Wildlife Expedition Program, plus: 
  • First Aid & CPR training and certification
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Final evaluation from your mentor
  • Weekly evaluation with your mentor
  • Transfer to base location
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Track identification training
  • Leading biological surveys course
  • Work placement (if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship)
  • Sea turtle tagging training (season and placement dependent)

What’s Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Internal transport to work placement location (Internship)
  • Spanish lessons
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship

Costa Rica has some of the most amazing scenery and lots of history. Here are some places to consider visiting while you are there.

Close to the base

Given your isolated location, a lot of your down time will be spent on base, the rainforest is not a place to go wondering! However there are still some possibilities in the immediate area for you to make the most of your time in Costa Rica. You can visit Tortuguero Village, browse its small souvenir shops, visit the delicious bakery and just watch the world go lazily by. For longer term volunteers on long weekend breaks, you could decide to head off base and further explore the Caribbean region. Hiking, snorkelling, fishing, or canopy and zip-line tours are just some of the activities that are possible in the area. For something a bit more intense, you could raft on the white waters of the famous Pacuare River on class III to IV rapids over the course of 1- or 2-day trips. And if the adventure activities are not for you, then simply relax in a laidback Caribbean village!

Travelling opportunities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an amazing country with an abundance of travel opportunities further afield with the following just a snapshot of the many possibilities!

Admire the famous and active Volcan Arenal from a distance and relax in the natural hot springs; surf the Salsa Brava – a hotspot of the Caribbean for the advanced surfer; ride horseback on the beach in Puerto Viejo or simply enjoy miles and miles of beautiful beaches kissed by palm trees; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages to learn more about their amazing culture; discover the cloud forest at Monteverde, visit the hummingbird gallery, enjoy the locally made ice cream and other fresh dairy products or walk among the treetops on the hanging bridges; enjoy the organised wildlife tours of Braulio Carrillo National Park; travel across the country to discover the beautiful Pacific Coast with its hidden white sand beaches; visit Volcan Irazu and discover coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theatres or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.



Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica Prices:

Wildlife Expedition:

  2016/2017 Prices
4 weeks   CAD 2774
 6 weeks   CAD 3553 
8 weeks   CAD 4332
12 weeks    CAD 5890 
16 weeks  CAD 7448
20 weeks  CAD 9006
24 weeks  CAD 10564
24 weeks internship   CAD 9329

Dates available for 2016:

  • 09 January
  • 06 February
  • 05 March
  • 02 & 30 April
  • 28 May
  • 25 June
  • 23 July
  • 20 August (20 and 24 weeks not available)
  • 17 September (16, 20, 24 weeks not available)
  • 15 October (12, 16, 20, and 24 weeks not available)
  • 12 November (8, 12, 16 ,20 , and 24 weeks not available)
Dates available for 2017:
  • 7 January
  • 4 February
  • 4 March
  • 1 April
  • 29 April
  • 27 May
  • 24 June
  • 22 July
  • 19 August
  • 16 September
  • 14 October
  • 11 November
Important Note: