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Beach Conservation Volunteer Program in Costa Rica

Would you like to volunteer in beautiful Costa Rica making a difference? Do you have a passion for environment conservation and love working to conserve Costa Rican beaches? Let IFRE plan your ultimate volunteer experience abroad.

Costa Rica is a country with lots of different types of nature. When people think of it, they usually picture beautiful beaches and marine life. To take care of these natural wonders, there are special places called reserves and parks.

Our Beach Conservation project is located at the Nicoya peninsula by the Pacific Ocean. It's home to Costa Rica's first National Park and a protected area. Since 1963, about 95% of the land and ocean there (which is about 3 million hectares or 7.4 million acres) is kept safe, meaning the plants and animals are protected. The goal is to be sustainable, do research, and manage the area well. About 5% of the reserve is open to visitors, and there are trails to explore.

As an international volunteer, you can help in four ways: taking care of trails and beaches, doing research, joining an initiative called 'La Caseta' that works with the local community, and helping with education. Each of these parts is crucial to keeping the reserve safe and making sure people understand how important it is to protect this amazing natural place.

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Volunteer Responsibilities & Impact

Our Beach Conservation volunteer project is situated at the very southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The main goal of the Natural Reserve is to safeguard, oversee, and study the park's ecosystems, considering them as part of Costa Rica's cultural and historical heritage. The aim is to involve the nearby communities and contribute to the region's well-being through sustainable development. Continuous research, study, and the efforts of volunteers play a crucial role in achieving these objectives.

As a volunteer, you'll have the chance to participate in various tasks, including cleaning and maintaining trails, helping keep the beach clean, updating park signs by creating new ones and ensuring the existing ones are in good condition, reviewing footage, and performing general maintenance on trap cameras. You'll also engage in direct observation of wildlife on the park's trails, welcome and guide visitors, share information about the park's history and available trails, assist local rangers in their daily tasks, facilitate activities for school groups and researchers (such as day camps and conferences), prepare educational materials for school visits or special events, and contribute to the overall maintenance and preservation of the reserve.

Skills and Qualifications:

You don't need to know Spanish, but it's a good idea. Being a "go-getter" means being ready to jump in and help out. We suggest being active and ready to volunteer – be outgoing and help wherever you can. It's important to be there regularly and stick to the schedule. This way, you'll have the best experience and make a positive impact on your project.

The Beach Conservation program starts with a 2-day orientation in San Jose, where you get important info about your project and travel. You'll work 5-7 hours a day, Monday to Friday, with weekends free.

Here's a general idea of your schedule:

First and Second Day

: Orientation in San Jose. The project is away from our main offices, so no reliable internet, but there's a phone for emergencies. Field Managers check in with you.


: Your project work officially starts on the second day. A typical day might look like this:

7:00 to 7:30 AM

: Have breakfast with your host family, enjoying traditional Tico food.

7:45 AM

: Travel to your project site for a fulfilling day as a volunteer.

12:00 PM

: Take a lunch break, either at your host family's home or with a packed lunch. Connect with other volunteers.

3:00 PM

: Finish your volunteer duties. Evenings are free to explore or relax.

6:45 PM

: Share a traditional dinner with your host family. Immerse yourself in local culture and practice your Spanish.

Volunteer With Turtles in Costa Rica: Dates and Fees

Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Our Fees

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fees (US$)

Duration Fee
  1 Week   N/A
  2 Weeks   $955
  3 Weeks   $1,360
  4 Weeks   $1,725
  5 Weeks   $2,005
  6 Weeks   $2,285
  7 Weeks   $2,565
  8 Weeks   $2,845
  9 Weeks   $3,125
  10 Weeks   $3,405
  11 Weeks   $3,685
  12 Weeks   $3,965

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

How your fee is allocated?

Because this is an off-site project, it is not possible to add Spanish Immersion Classes to this program.

The volunteering in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses from the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses.

Program Fees Cover:

  • Shared Accommodation with a host family or in dormitory-style accommodations, from Sunday to Saturday
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner) when in San Jose, 3 meals per day when at the Beach Conservation project
  • Airport Pick up
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation, Walking Tour, Safety Presentation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers
  • Letter of Recommendation (upon request)
  • Emergency contact 24/7

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer
  • Extra nights of housing (can be booked at an additional cost)

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Accommodation and Meal

In Costa Rica, our volunteers stay with well-respected and experienced host families in San Jose and either with a host family or in dormitory-style accommodations at the project site. Both options give you a homey feel and a chance to dive into the local culture. The host families and project staff are used to hosting volunteers from around the world, and the accommodations are in safe neighborhoods.

You'll share a room with volunteers of the same gender. The rooms are simple, clean, and comfy, with access to showers, hygienic toilets, and electricity. The project site may be within walking distance or require public transportation.

While in San Jose, you'll get two local meals a day (breakfast and dinner). At the Beach Conservation project site, due to its remote location, you'll receive three local meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). We can accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences at no extra cost – just let us know early so we can inform your host family or project staff.

Learn more about IFRE’s accommodations and meals in Costa Rica. .

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

San Jose, Costa Rica, is rich in culture with museums, theaters, live music, fantastic restaurants, and a historic downtown shopping area. It's also a great hub for day and weekend trips to nearby places like volcanoes, the cloud forest, rainforests, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and more. There's a lot to explore and enjoy!

Discover what to do in your free time while volunteering in Costa Rica.

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority, and we make sure you have a successful and secure volunteer abroad experience. We make sure you have safe housing and a welcoming host family to help you navigate the local area, work with respected organizations, offer health coverage, and also provide the support of our dedicated in-country team available to you at all times.

Read more about IFRE’s dedication to safety and our in-country support.

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Beach Conservation Volunteer in Costa Rica-FAQs

IFRE handles all the necessary details to make your Costa Rica volunteer trip seamless. Here's what you need to know:

Arrival and Departure

Airport: You'll land at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Pick-up: Share your correct flight details with us, and our airport representative will pick you up and take you to your placement.

Departure: IFRE doesn't provide departure transport. You can arrange it separately with the in-country coordinator for an extra cost.


To participate in the program, you'll need to apply for a tourist visa in advance. Check the requirements for your home country and see if you're eligible for an on-arrival visa. Costa Rica offers a 90-day visa extension, and recently, they've extended the tourist visa duration to 180 days. Research the details on the Immigration site of Costa Rica for more comprehensive information.


The initial and crucial step to ensure your well-being while traveling abroad is to make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Consult a travel doctor who is well-informed about current health issues and epidemics in Costa Rica. You can also find valuable information on the websites of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada, or Travelers' Health in the United Kingdom.

It's highly advisable to receive all the necessary vaccinations before embarking on your volunteering journey in our Costa Rica program. Ensure that your routine vaccines are current, and consider getting vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. This proactive approach helps safeguard your health during your time abroad.

For further readings:


Volunteer Health and Safety

Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Why volunteer in the Beach Conservation program?

Travel to a New Country:

Experience the beauty of Costa Rica, a true paradise with stunning beaches, towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush jungles. The country's diverse landscapes will leave you in awe, providing a unique backdrop for your volunteer experience.

Costa Rica's Natural Beauty:

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Costa Rica. From breathtaking beaches to towering mountains and vibrant jungles, the country offers a visual feast. The warmth of the local people, known as Ticos and Ticas, adds a special touch to your experience, making it truly unforgettable.

Make New Friends:

Volunteering abroad opens doors to new and exciting friendships. Connect with fellow volunteers, bond with local project staff, and build lasting relationships with people from around the world. The shared experience of volunteering and exploring together creates a unique camaraderie that enhances your journey.

Explore and Discover:

Beyond the volunteer work, take the opportunity to explore Costa Rica's diverse landscapes. Whether you're strolling on the beach, trekking through jungles, or enjoying the local culture, every moment becomes an adventure. The friendships you make along the way add an extra layer of joy to your travels.

Contact IFRE today to join the Beach Conservation Volunteer program in Costa Rica!

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

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