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Butterfly Garden & Rainforest Conservation

Interested in conservation efforts and fostering biodiversity? Do you have a green thumb and a love for nature? Looking for a meaningful way to contribute to environmental sustainability? Join us in Costa Rica's Butterfly Garden & Rainforest Conservation Volunteer Program!

Costa Rica is renowned for its remarkable biodiversity, earning it the title of one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet.

coffee farming field costarica

From lush rainforests to pristine beaches, Costa Rica's varied ecosystems support an astonishing array of flora and fauna, including exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, and countless species of plants and insects. Costa Rica is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and ecotourists alike, and indeed one of the best places to visit and volunteer.

Join us in Costa Rica for an unforgettable experience where you'll live among butterflies and contribute to rainforest conservation. At our project site, you'll be surrounded by the beauty of nature while learning, assisting, and taking part in ongoing conservation efforts. Help maintain our rainforest conservation garden, home to native plants and a variety of wildlife like birds, butterflies, and bees.

As a volunteer, you'll play a crucial role in maintaining the garden's thriving ecosystem through activities such as planting, reforestation, and garden care. Gain hands-on experience while contributing to the preservation of these precious environments, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

Additionally, explore our Butterfly Educational Tourism Center, where you'll have the opportunity to share your passion for conservation with visitors from around the world. Engage in a variety of tasks, from laboratory duties to guiding educational tours, and help spread awareness about the importance of protecting our natural world. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that combines adventure, education, and conservation in the lush landscapes of Costa Rica.

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Volunteer Responsibilities & Impact

At our Butterfly Garden & Rainforest Conservation project, volunteers have the unique opportunity to live among butterflies while actively participating in conservation efforts. In our Rainforest Conservation Garden, volunteers assist with the maintenance of native and indigenous plant species, creating vital habitats for local wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and bees. Through activities like planting, reforestation, and garden care, volunteers play a crucial role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. Additionally, volunteers learn about the ecological significance of the gardens, particularly in supporting butterfly populations. Activities include garden maintenance, propagation of plants, watering, composting, and other essential tasks to ensure the center flourishes.

You will also be working under staff supervision in laboratory duties, prepping of materials and supplies in laboratory and production garden, pinning insects for displays, creation of educational signs throughout center, gardening, filling and cleaning of feeders, revising host plants for eggs, enclosure enhancement, assisting with exportation duties, data collection, assisting with research, guiding educational tours for visitors, improvements to tourism center, and social media and marketing for center.

Skills and Qualifications:

Volunteers in the Butterfly Garden & Rainforest Conservation Program in Costa Rica can expect to work outdoors, often in the sun, engaging in physically demanding tasks such as standing, squatting, and lifting. While prior experience is not required, a passion for the environment and sustainability is essential. This opportunity offers a chance to get hands-on experience, learn new skills, and make a meaningful contribution to conservation efforts.

Butterfly Garden & Rainforest Conservation project is a greatly rewarding experience as each day will be filled with fun and learning as you work hard to protect the environment in Costa Rica and the world.

Your actual daily schedule will vary based on what’s going on at the project at the time you are there, and you will receive more details on the actual hours you’ll be working in your orientation.

Keep an open mind when it comes to scheduling and know that in Costa Rica things tend to unfold in their own time, and probably not at the hurried pace you are used to back at home. The locals refer to it as “Tico Time” and it should be taken with patience, good humor, and a smile.

First Day : Our in-country coordinator will bring you to the project, where you’ll be staying on-site. You’ll meet the great local project staff and have an orientation. You’ll learn all about your service work on the farm, your daily schedule, safety measures to follow, and the customs and culture of Costa Rica.

Weekdays : Your work begins on the second day, and your schedule is going to vary. A typical day might look something like this:

7.00 to 7.30 AM : Have a delicious local breakfast with your fellow volunteers. Some of the things you eat likely come right from the farm!

7.45 AM: Get ready for a fun day of volunteering.

12.00 PM: Take a break for lunch. This is a great chance to bond with fellow Costa Rica volunteers or make friends with the local project staff.

3.00 PM: After a hard day’s work, you’ll be ready to relax and take in your beautiful surroundings.

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.

Volunteers can participate in our program from 1 week up to 12 weeks


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 on 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 Project Fee
  1 Week   320
  2 Weeks   $640
  3 Weeks   $960
  4 Weeks   $1280
  5 Weeks   $1600
  6 Weeks   $1920
  7 Weeks   $2,240
  8 Weeks   $2,560
  9 Weeks   $ 2,880
  10 Weeks   $ 3,200
  11 Weeks   $ 3,520
  12 Weeks   $ 3,840

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

Spanish Immersion Classes

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - $150/week

San Jose, Costa Rica - $125/week

Program Fees Cover:

  • Shared Accommodation with host family
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick up
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses that will begin on 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 any additional expenses.

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Accommodation and Meal

Volunteers will receive two meals daily on project days, provided in shared group housing. There is an option to upgrade to private rooms for an additional cost. Accommodation options include dormitory-style living or upgraded private accommodations. Additionally, volunteers will have access to an educational presentation and practical training sessions to learn about tasks.

Read more about the costarica's accommodation

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

You'll be engaged in volunteering for 4-5 hours a day, five days a week, allowing you ample time in the mornings, evenings, and weekends to explore the wonders of Costa Rica. Costa Rica offers a rich cultural experience with a plethora of attractions, including museums, theaters, live music venues, and diverse dining options. Its historical downtown shopping area provides a charming backdrop for exploring local culture and heritage.

Discover what to do in your free time 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 you health coverage, and also provide the support of our dedicated in-country team available to you at all times.

Learn more about IFRE’s safety and support while volunteering in Costa Rica.


IFRE ensures all the necessary arrangements are made for your Costa Rica volunteer trip. Below are some important details to consider when traveling abroad with us:

Arrival and Departure:

Upon arrival, you will fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Please provide us with your accurate flight details to ensure prompt pickup. Our airport representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your placement.

Please note that IFRE does not offer departure transport services.


It is essential to apply for a tourist visa in advance. Research the specific requirements for your home country, as some volunteers may be eligible for an on-arrival visa depending on nationality. Additionally, Costa Rica offers a 90-day visa extension facility. For detailed information, please visit the Immigration site of Costa Rica.


Protecting yourself while traveling abroad begins with ensuring you are up to date on your vaccinations. We recommend consulting a travel doctor familiar with current health issues and epidemics in Costa Rica. You can also find information on vaccination requirements from reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada, or Travelers' Health United Kingdom.

It is highly advised to receive all necessary vaccinations before volunteering in our program in Costa Rica. Ensure you are up to date on routine vaccines, as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid vaccinations.

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

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