An adrenaline filled 3
weeks in Costa Rica
Surfing, white water rafting, zip-lining & more
- Selected start dates in July & August
- Selected start dates in July & August
The Costa Rica experience
The Costa Rica Experience is the perfect 3-week adventure for wildlife lovers, adrenaline chasers and sun worshippers alike. One of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, if mother nature could show off what she’s really capable of, she would take you to Costa Rica.
Synonymous with all an unspoiled tropical paradise can be, rarely does reality measure up to hype, but Costa Rica certainly comes close. From verdant rainforests teeming with exotic wildlife, to smouldering volcanoes poking through the clouds, to roaring rivers and sleepy, palm-lined, pristine beaches fringing the dreamy coast line. Throw in the friendly Ticos (as Costa Ricans are known) and you can see why down here they call it Pura Vida – "pure life."
The Costa Rica Experience trip will run on selected start dates between July and August, including; 5th July 2020 and 2nd August 2020. We are able to add more dates if there is an interested group of at least 5 people.
"I had the best time ever exploring everything Costa Rica has to offer! The Costa Rica Experience has the perfect blend of travelling, volunteering and free time and you get to see all sides to this beautiful country! Everyone should visit Costa Rica at least once in their life!"
This ultimate adventure will allow you to experience Costa Rica’s complete spectrum, where you get to see the major attractions and sights and the not so known hidden treasures.
Offering a great balance of guided excursions and free time, the structured itinerary will allow you to make the most of your trip seeing something new and exciting every day.
Explore the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, hike in Arenal national park, enjoy some amazing underwater scenery snorkelling and relax on the beaches of paradise. If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, fly through the jungle on a zip line in the world through the Santa Elena Jungle, go white water rafting down Pacuare River and catch some waves in Puerto Viejo.
You will also get to immerse yourself into the true Costa Rican way of life and feel a real sense of achievement by volunteering within the local community and helping to conserve sea turtles.
During the first week, we will spend two days volunteering in Hogar Sol, a low income suburb of San Jose. You will be able to look after and play with the 20 children currently awaiting adoption at the partially state funded centre or lend a helping hand with other various activities, including; gardening, painting and cleaning.
Later on that week, we will make our way to a remote island on the Caribbean Coast to play an important role in conserving critically endangered sea turtles. This is your chance to go on a unique adventure where you will live life on the beach, enjoying the beauty of the isolated island, the turtles and the friendly small community. Set in one of the most stunning backdrops in the world, you really will get away from it all and enjoy the laid-back “Tico” lifestyle. This tropical island is paradise, with a population of just 28 and no roads or vehicles, you will get to explore the lush rain forests, deserted beaches, and the warm waters of the Caribbean.
We will be travelling around Costa Rica with a mix of private and public transport, ensuring transit times are kept to an absolute minimum while seeing everything the country has to offer. The structured itinerary has been created based on many previous volunteers’ experiences and our local team’s extensive knowledge, providing you with something new and exciting every day.
As we explore Costa Rica as a group (between 5-20 people), you will get to make lasting friendships and create memories that you will cherish forever. Our local coordinator will accompany you throughout your stay, so you can learn all about the local culture and history.
Full information on the itinerary will be updated shortly.
The Costa Rican Experience trip will run on selected start dates between July and August, including; 5th July 2020 and 2nd August 2020. We are able to add more dates if there is an interested group of at least 5 people.
Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrive into San Jose
Day 2 (Monday) – Walking Tour of San Jose
Days 3-4 (Tuesday-Wednesday) – Community Volunteering in Hogor Sol
Days 5 (Thursday) - Travel to Pacuare Remote Island & Orientation
Days 6-11 (Friday-Wednesday) – Volunteering with Sea Turtles
Day 12 (Thursday) – Travel to Puerto Viejo
Day 13 (Friday) – Free Time Puerto Viejo; Surfing
Day 14 (Saturday) – White Water Rafting
Day 15 (Sunday) – Hiking Over Lava Fields & Baldi Hot Springs
Day 16 (Monday) – Free Time in La Fortuna & Zip Lining
Day 17 (Tuesday) – La Fortuna Waterfall
Day 18 (Wednesday) – Arenal Lake & Montverde
Day 19 (Thursday) – Coffee Plantations & Chocolate Farms
Day 20 (Friday) – Free Time in Monteverde
Day 21 (Saturday) – Travel to San Jose & Free Time in San Jose
Day 22 (Sunday) – Last Day
All of the below prices exclude the £149 registration fee. The total price payable is the below price + £149, as will be confirmed in the application process. To find out exactly what's included as part of fees, please click the What's Included box on the programme page.
Accommodation & meals
Accommodation & meals
Isn’t it everyone’s dream to live on the beach? Swinging in the hammocks reading a book, listening to the waves crash down while enjoying the company of like minded volunteers – sounds bliss to us!
We can think of no better place to be staying than on this remote and tropical island on the Caribbean Ocean – paradise!
You will be staying in mixed gender bedrooms on bunk beds with up to 8 other volunteers. There are western style bathrooms and refreshing cold showers that you will get to love thanks to the heat and humidity!
Most communal areas can be found outside, where they take advantage of the amazing panoramic views. You will spend your afternoons relaxing, playing card games, getting competitive at volleyball or strolling along the endless coastline.
There may not be electricity, except for the solar power panels that light up the communal areas and getting mobile signal can be challenge (standing in a very specific spot holding your hand in the air!) but this just adds to the appeal and charm of the programme.
There’s no better place to wash the dishes than outside watching the monkeys swinging around the trees in front of you!
During the busier months, a daily snack boat will dock and offer a range of refreshing cold drinks and food!
Valuables can be stored with our local coordinator in the safe.
When travelling around Costa Rica we will be staying in comfortable and clean hotels / guesthouses. You will again be sleeping with up to 2 other people in single beds / bunk beds, with all accommodation having shared bathrooms with Western style toilets and hot showers. The majority of hotels / guesthouses will have Wi-Fi available, but there may be a small charge.
All meals are provided at the volunteer house and are included within the programme fee. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week. You can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Pancakes, bananas, eggs
Lunch – Lentil soup, falafel wraps, sandwiches, omelette, freshly baked bread
Dinner – Lasagne, curry, vegetables, spaghetti, pizza
Most dietary requirements can be catered for, but due to the remote location we do need to know these in advance.
The fees you pay go towards the structure and support put in place in order to provide you with an organised and safe environment in which to volunteer. The programme fee goes directly to our local team in Costa Rica and is used towards the following:
- Meals as detailed
- Airport transfers
- Transport around Costa Rica
- Entrance fees
- In-country orientation
- 24-hour in-country support
The registration fee that you pay to confirm your place on the volunteer programme is retained by our team in the United Kingdom. This fee is used towards the following:
- 24-hour UK based emergency support
- Unlimited telephone and email support
- A comprehensive volunteer handbook
- Assistance with all aspects of your trip
- 100% financial protection
- Regular programme inspections
- Certificate of completion
What's not included
There are still some parts of your trip that will need to be funded by yourself, these include:
- Flights to San Jose (£500 - £800)
- Travel insurance (18 per week)
- Visa (£0)
- Criminal background check (£25)
- Spending money (estimated at £50 - £100 per week)
- Optional: Surfing lesson (£40)
- Optional: Zip-lining (£50)
- Optional: Coffee plantation tour (£30)
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality. In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 years old on the programme start date.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it dose not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at San Jose Airport (SJO) on your selected Sunday start date. Our local team member will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign.
The programme ends on the Sunday of your final week and our local team will take you back to the airport as a group for 10am.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 17 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 - 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
What is the minimum age for travelling with my family?
If you are travelling with family and at least one member is aged 18 years old or over, then we welcome anyone from 12 years and up.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise all volunteers to apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates.
Generally speaking, you need to book at least 60 days before your programme start date, although if you are wanting to apply after this, please contact us and we will do our best.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are.
The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
You can travel and volunteer with friends, family and / or your partner.
If you are wanting to request to stay in the same accommodation please outline this in the special requirements section within the application form.
Is it safe to travel to these destinations?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of £149 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due to less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application was successful.
How do I arrange my travel insurance?
We have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy that is suitable for all of the programmes we offer. You will receive information about this policy along with your volunteer handbook.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try are best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that effect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. Its recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that £50 - £100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
Due to the isolated location expect to be on the island for the duration of your volunteer participation. We suggest and encourage travel around Costa Rica before or after your placement.