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Volunteer in Costa Rica

A tropical paradise where you’ll work to support the fragile ecosystems and with indigenous communities on access to education and sanitation.

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Why volunteer in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is naturally rich in ecosystems and species; however, many environmental NGOs consider it’s natural environment fragile and vulnerable. Volunteer on projects to help improve access to national parks and preserve its natural resources.

2.4% of the population are indigenous and they’re largely excluded from the country’s political, social, and economic developments.

Our Expeditions to Costa Rica connect young people with these communities. Through our projects, we aim to increase access to education, raise awareness and improve access to water and sanitation.

Apply nowDownload a guide
“Raleigh gave me the drive I needed when I was dealing with. Difficult home life and made me determined to raise the money and get on my Expedition.”

Emma | Raleigh Alumni

Fieldbase Turrialba

Where will I be in Costa Rica?

You’ll arrive into San José airport and transfer to our Fieldbase in Turrialba. It’s situated in the lush and beautiful Central Valley in Cartago province. The area is known for its beautiful mountains and rich shade-grown coffee. The other areas you’ll visit will depend on which projects you get allocated.

25% of Costa Rica’s land is protected to be used as National parks or to home refugees. It makes up a staggering 5% of the world’s biodiversity despite only being 0.3% of the land mass. 

Apply nowMeet the team

Projects in Costa Rica

You can get involved in up to 3 phases: Community, Environmental and an Adventure Trek.

Download itineraryOur impact

Community project

 

Improve access to education in indigenous communities and support young people to develop the tools to prosper in later life.

Raleigh Costa Rica works with indigenous territories who need support to improve the facilities of both primary and secondary schools.

For example: The Alto and Bajo Chirripó Indigenous Territory is one of the most remote areas in Costa Rica. There are low levels of school attendance, high levels of illiteracy, and high levels of poverty. One of the key barriers to culturally appropriate development is a lack of education due to poor facilities and difficult access. Volunteers will work on the construction of school buildings and raising awareness activities with the community on topics such as waste management and climate action.

Environmental project

 

Costa Rica boasts an impressive 5% of global biodiversity and has committed to sustainable biodiversity management.

Protected areas preserving ecosystems are the foundation of its conservation efforts. Volunteers are essential in:

Supporting park rangers and aiding in infrastructure maintenance and wildlife research within national parks and private reserves.

Collaborating with local communities to expand environmental knowledge and conduct workshops on topics like waste management and reforestation.

Organising community activities to raise awareness and promote action on these crucial environmental issues, which also benefit the local economy.

Adventure Trek

 

Our Adventure Trek phase sees teams take on challenging treks through rainforests and up volcanoes on a variety of stunning routes that tourists don’t get access to.

You could be trekking up to 260 km through the towns and landscapes of Costa Rica that will take you on a journey of personal growth that will continue for the rest of your life. No matter what trekking experience you have, everyone starts and finishes trek together – come rain or shine!

Supporting one another, not giving up and sharing your achievements together will be some of the most memorable and defining moments of your Expedition.

Example itinerary for Costa Rica

Everyone’s Raleigh Expedition is slightly different – depending on how long you stay and what time of year you go. This is an outline of what you can expect from a 10-week Expedition to Costa Rica. For a information on camp life and project info, download a sample itinerary.

Download a guide

Arrive at San José airport

You will be met by the country team

Induction and training (3-4 days)

Get to know your fellow volunteers and prepare for Expedition life. You’ll receive essential training on topics such as health and safety and cultural awareness.

Community Project (19- 21 days)

Volunteers work together on community projects agreed with partners and community leaders. You will be staying in a school classroom which is set up as a bedroom. You will be using all the school facilities (bathrooms, showers, kitchen).

Debrief at base camp (2-3 days)

At the end of each phase, everyone returns to the training centre for a few days before moving on to your next project. You’ll catch up with the rest of the Expedition team and start to prepare for your next project. Project groups will change between each phase, this is an important part of the Expedition experience.

Adventure Leadership Project (19 – 21 days)

On this trek, every day is different, including the weather and the accommodation. Go from camping on top of a mountain and sleeping under the stars to camping in a community centre.

Environmental Project (19 – 21 days)

Volunteers will support the maintenance and conservation of existing ecosystems and assist local communities to preserve such a biodiverse nature.

Final review at base (2 days)

All Expeditions end with everyone coming together for a final few days back at the training centre. Catch up with friends and celebrate all you have achieved together.

Expedition Dates & Pricing

We run three cycles every year and offer different Expedition lengths

10-weeks

The most immersive and popular Expedition. Take part in all three full phases.

7 weeks

Take part in two full phases – either the Community or Environmental project with the Adventure Trek.

4 weeks

Take part in a full phase of a Community Project or Environmental Project (assigned) with a shorter 5-day trek.

2024 Dates & Prices

CYCLE 1

FEBRUARY - APRIL

10 Weeks
12th February – 18th April 2024 – FULL
4,3955,9705,5705,570

NOW FULLY BOOKED

7 Weeks

A: 12th February – 29th March 2024 – FULL
B: 4th March – 18th April 2024 – FULL
3,9305,3804,9804,980

NOW FULLY BOOKED

CYCLE 2

JUNE - AUGUST

10 Weeks

24th June – 29 August 2024
4,3955,9705,5705,570

FULLY BOOKED

7 Weeks
A: 24th June – 9th August 2024
B: 14th July – 29th August 2024
3,9305,3804,9804,980

7A FULLY BOOKED

7B LIMITED SPACES – Application deadline: 16th June 2024

4 Weeks
A: 24th June – 22nd July 2024
B: 25th July – 22nd August 2024
2,5853,6803,2803,280

4A FULLY BOOKED

4B FULLY BOOKED

CYCLE 3

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

10 Weeks
8th October – 13th December 2024
4,3955,9705,5705,570

7 Weeks

A: 8th October – 23rd November 2024
B: 28th October – 13th December 2024
3,9305,3804,9804,980

Application deadline: 20th August 2024 – 10 & 7A.  10th September – 7B.

Apply now

2025 Dates & Prices

CYCLE 1

FEBRUARY - APRIL

10 Weeks
10th February – 17th April 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,570

7 Weeks

A: 10th February – 28th March 2025
B: 2nd March – 17th April 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,980

Apply now
CYCLE 2

JUNE - AUGUST

10 Weeks

27th June – 1 September 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,570

7 Weeks

A: 27th June – 12th August 2025
B: 17th July – 1st September 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,980

4 Weeks
A: 27th June – 25th July 2025
B: 28th July – 25th August 2025
2,5853,6803,2803,280

Apply now
CYCLE 3

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

10 Weeks
11th October – 16th December 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,570

7 Weeks
A: 11th October – 25th November 2025
B: 31st October – 16th December 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,980

Apply now

How to apply

Apply online

Fill in your online application form and tell us why you want to go on Expedition!

Apply now

Screening

If your application is successful, we send you a booking form and ask for more information and process a deposit of £200$200$200$200ZAR

Confirmation

You will be assigned a volunteer coordinator who will send you all the information you need about your Raleigh Expedition.

Pre-departure

Get ready for your Expedition – we will support you all the way!

What’s included

  • Airport welcome and transfers
  • All food, transport and accommodation 
in Expedition country
  • 24-hour support from Expedition country 
office and UK staff
  • Safety expertise
  • Extensive pre-departure information and support
  • Local orientation, project training & equipment
  • Exclusive kit discounts & advice
  • Raleigh t-shirt

Not included

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal kit
  • Travel insurance
  • First aid training (Venturer Managers)

A full breakdown of what’s included and not will be provided on application.

Speak with an advisor

Costa Rica Expedition FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Raleigh Expedition in our Costa Rica locations

Will I need to do any training before I arrive?

All volunteers are invited to attend a Pre-Expedition Training Event to meet other volunteers and here more about Expedition.

We recommend you learn as much Spanish as you can before you come; this will make communicating with members of the community and partner organisations easier. We also recommend practising hiking in preparation for the trek, but this is not necessary.

What sort of food will I be eating?

Raleigh provides dry and fresh food, and volunteers rotate to cook for the group. The staple food in Costa Rica is rice and beans, which can be accompanied by different vegetables and proteins. Tropical fruits are delicious and very sweet, and we eat them frequently.

How far in advance should I book?

We recommend you reserve your place between 5 to 6 months before, although we can accept applications up to three months prior to departure.

How much money do I need to take with me?

Bringing some money is advised as you may occasionally get snack cravings (like we all do). You can also use this money for any drinks and souvenirs you want to purchase. For more information, speak to the expedition team or volunteer coordinators.

Nacional de Costa Rica?

Quieres ser voluntario?

Over 25?

Become a Venturer Manager

Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation calls

Not decided yet and need help? Arrange a call with us at a time that works for you and we’ll answer your questions.

Online info events

Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Expedition guides

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide and sample itineraries.

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