Volunteer to Save Animals in Costa Rica

San Juan, Costa Rica

51 People are researching this program

Love Volunteers

(55 Reviews)
  • From $608 USD for 1 Week

  • 1 - 12 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 18 And Older



On this volunteer trip, you will have the opportunity to help save animals in Costa Rica! Home to thousands of amazing creatures, this country’s biodiversity must be protected as humans encroach on the animals’ native habitats. Animals that are illegally caught and kept as pets also are in need of rehabilitation and release into the wild (or cared for if they’re unable to be released). Animals that you might work with include primates, birds, tapirs, sloths, toucans, green and scarlet macaws, snakes, crocodiles, spider monkeys, and indigenous cats. Because the rescue centers in this program receive no government funding, they rely on donations and volunteers like you to keep them running.


This program is best for those volunteers pursuing a career in animal conservation or zoological studies, or who just have an interest in the field. You do not need background experience to sign up, but you must be flexible and willing to take on a variety of tasks as a volunteer.


Arrival and Orientation

Once you arrive to San Jose, local staff will pick you up at the airport and take you to a temporary homestay near the team’s office in Santa Barbara de Heredia, just north of San Jose. The next day, you’ll have an orientation covering the volunteering placement, the local surroundings, and who you will be working with during your stay. You’ll also learn about local customs, travel, rules and recommendations, and what to expect from your volunteer experience. After that, you will take a bus to your project site, where a local team member will pick you up and bring you to your accommodations for the duration of the project. On Monday morning, you will meet the project leader and start your volunteering program.



There are several different project locations throughout Costa Rica, but you can expect to stay in dormitory-style rooms on the project grounds. Alternatively, you will be able to live with a host family close to your project site. Regardless of where you stay, you will have basic amenities such as a bathroom, electricity, hot water, and a shower. There also will be a communal kitchen, a large dining area, couches and hammocks, plus three meals provided each day.


Field Conditions

This program is available in several different locales throughout Costa Rica, many of which are remote, with few offsite travel opportunities available. No two days on this project are the same, though some of your tasks may include:

- Working closely with animals – mostly endangered species

- Cleaning animal enclosures and compounds

- Feeding animals – including bottle feeding infant animals

- Exercising the younger animals

- Assisting in emergency medical treatment when required

- Collecting leaves and other resources from the rainforest

- Assisting in rescue calls when required

- Maintaining paths, signs, and other infrastructure

- Building, repairing, and maintaining the animal enclosures

You can expect to work Monday to Friday each week at least four to six hours a day, with your typical schedule looking like this:

7:00am Breakfast

8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

8:30am Volunteering duties start, with a tea break and lunch break included throughout the day

4:00pm Volunteering duties end

During your evenings, you will have free time to relax and enjoy dinner.

Your Impact

Your role in this project is essential to keeping the rescue center running. Because the different rescue centers that Love Volunteers works with in Costa Rica receive no government funding, help is needed from volunteers like you to provide hands-on assistance in caring for rescued animals.


San Juan, Costa Rica
  • Where you will be volunteering
    San Juan, Costa Rica

    Volunteers will be working with animals and maintenance of a wildlife rescue center.

  • Where you'll be staying
    San Juan, Costa Rica

    Volunteers will be staying in dormitory-style accommodations or with a local family near the project site.

  • Nearest Airport
    Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), San Jose, Costa Rica


<p>The program fees listed includes the $299 registration fee.</p>

1 Week
12 Weeks
1 Week

$608 USD

What’s Included

  • Certificate of completion (on request)

  • Dedicated pre-departure support

  • Project placement & onsite supervision

  • 24/7 local support network

  • Food & meals (as specified above)

  • Accommodation (as specified above)

  • Orientation & full safety briefing

  • Airport pick-up on arrival

What’s Not Included

  • Return airport transfer (unless mentioned above)

  • In-country trips and excursions

  • Local transport

  • Spending money

  • Additional foods and snacks

  • Travel insurance

  • Vaccinations

  • Visas

  • Airfare

Project Start Dates

This project is available year-round and programs start every Saturday. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.


A top volunteering organization recognized worldwide, Love Volunteers (LV) has been placing volunteers across several countries since 2009. At Love Volunteers, there is deep commitment towards making a lasting difference in developing communities and offering hope to both human and animal life.

Ever since launching this venture, Love Volunteers remains committed to providing transparent and cost-effective volunteering. LV has over 120 projects in 34 countries worldwide, placing over 20,000 volunteers since inception. Based in New Zealand, LV’s team has people who love and live for adventure. This team takes much pride and joy in working hard to deliver top-level assistance, as well as delivering life-altering volunteer experiences.

The name says it all, but the people ensure there’s much more behind that name. Love Volunteers ensure volunteers get top treatment from locals while making sure they get invaluable experiences that last a lifetime. Join LV’s cause, and you can have those moments you can tell your children and grandchildren about!

Reviews (55)


Jun 10, 2018

I am inclined to believe that these perfect 5 star reviews are fake. I recently returned from a trip organized by this agency and it was a mess. Not only was I taken advantage of financially but when I reached out to love volunteers they could care less and in ... +more

Mikela Kring

Apr 27, 2018

I was a medical volunteer in Fewa City Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
I am a pre-med graduate from Denmark meaning that I had no previous hands-on experience.
But I still got to observe, participate and help so many people. It was wonderful, challenging, educational and eye-opening. I learned so much ...

Lisa Sloan

Apr 05, 2018

This year was my third placement through Love Volunteers and they are just the best! All of the arrangements they have made have been perfect. They check in frequently to make sure their volunteers are safe and happy, and they take time to ask for feedback regarding the placement. I ... +more


Apr 01, 2018

I had a fantastic time volunteering for an NGO in Cambodia working to support rural communities in adopting sustainable farming practices. I felt like I was helping to make a genuine difference in the lives of disadvantaged families and had great opportunities to have some experiences I would never have ... +more

1 2 3 ... 14