Volunteering in Costa Rica
When volunteering in Costa Rica you will see how important conserving the environment and protecting the native wildlife is to the people of Costa Rica, which is why many of our volunteers come to work on our animal rescue and environmental conservation projects. With miles of stunning coastline, you can also get involved in sea turtle conservation projects where there are plenty of amazing experiences to be had. And, if you want to combine community work with conservation you can head into rural Costa Rica to get involved in our rural wildlife and community work.
Alongside the environmental conservation and wildlife conservation projects that we have, there are also a huge range of community-based projects in Costa Rica. If you're interested in teaching English, we have plenty of options for this throughout Costa Rica. If you want to be part of city life, you can get involved in one of our teaching projects in San Jose, Costa Rica's bustling capital. If you fancy getting away from it all, we have some fantastic teaching projects in rural and coastal villages, where you can relax into the slow pace of rural Costa Rican life!
For those interested in volunteering on health, and social care projects, there's plenty to get involved with! You can volunteer in health clinics, help with mother and child nutrition, physiotherapy for the elderly, physically and mentally disabled children or working with women and family victims of prostitution.
Finally, if you're hoping to brush up on your Spanish-speaking skills, we also offer Spanish lessons which can be combined with your volunteer experience!
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica, or "rich coast," boasts a warm climate, pristine beaches on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, active volcanoes, and contrasting landscapes. With such biodiversity it is easy to see why Costa Rica is the best travelled nation in the Central Americas with 1.9 million visitors in 2007. Often called the land of peace, it has the oldest democracy in Latin America and has more than 100 years of political stability. It is also one of the most people- and environment-conscious nations in the world, ranked No. 1 in the Americas on the Human Development Index and No. 5 in the world on the Environmental Performance Index.
Poverty levels have stayed constant at around 20% of the population for about 20 years, but with improving tourism, agriculture and electronic exports over the past 5 years the country is beginning to see the benefits, with a reduction in poverty in 2007 dropping to 16%. To support this trend and ensure community and environmental work continues to make a difference, Kaya supports a number of projects that need your help.
Costa Rica Travel Highlights
Bungee the Old Colorado River Bridge
Standing at 265 feet, the Colorado River Bridge offers one of the tallest and most beautiful jumps in the Americas. The old bridge is located an hour west of San Jose where several companies offer bundled packages, which generally include pick-up and one jump. So if jumping headfirst off a bridge in the middle of a tropical forest catches your imagination then put bungee jumping on your list.
Learn to Surf
Costa Rica has some of the best surfing anywhere in the world, with fantastic warm tropical water surfing. Surf the beach breaks, reef breaks, point breaks and river mouth breaks on the Pacific or Caribbean side of the country. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro there is a wave for everyone.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
The shallow warm waters create the ideal ecosystem for humpback whales, killer whales, Pilot Whales and bottlenose, spinner and spotted dolphins. Humpback whales come from two hemispheres to breed and spend the longest period of the year here. It's the premier location to see these amazing mammals up close.
Costa Rica possesses the greatest density of species in the world.
76.3% Roman Catholic and 13.7% Evangelical
16% living below $2 per day
• Average Temperature: 19°C
• Wet Season: May - December
• Dry Season: January - May
• Hurricane Season: June - October (Rarely occur)
• Is a visa required?: No visa required
• Allocation of Tourist Visa: Tourist Visa is received at the airport of origin
• Duration of Tourist visa: Lasts up to 90 days
• Cost of Tourist Visa: NA
• Tourist Visa Extension: Extensions can be arranged as long as you have 6 months valid on passport.
• Cost of Tourist Visa Extension:
• Passport validation: must be valid for at least 6 months
• Return/onward flight ticket: Required upon entering the country.
• Confirmation of Funds: Must have a balance of £300 to enter and must show balance on statement and mini statement on day of entry.
• For more information: Costa Rican Embassy in London
• Usual International Flight cost: £400 - £600
• Airport fees/taxes: £20-25
• Airport codes: San Jose (SJO)
• International Flights: Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity
• Domestic Flights: CheapOair, Sansa REGIONAL Airlines, Nature Air
• Currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
• Inform Banks: Give the dates of travel and destinations to prevent security blocks on your bank and credit cards.
• Cash: Always take enough cash to cover your expenses for the first week in case there is a problem with your bank cards or access to ATMs is limited.
• Credit Options: Good idea to have at least two different credit/debit card options i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Cirrus.
• Travellers Cheques: Will only be able to exchange in major cities and best to take them in Dollars.
• Western Union: If at any time you have any problems in accessing money you can use Western Union transfer. Money can be sent from your home country and received in Costa Rica the same day.
• Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required
• Malaria medication: Not required
• See local GP: If vaccinations or medication is required see the doctor 4-6 weeks before your departure.
• Less than 4 weeks before you leave: you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling.
• Check the following for up to date information: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention