Costa Rica: Eco-volunteer in a wildlife sanctuary

Embark on an active ecotourism holiday in Costa Rica. The mission takes place in a rescue center for wild animals in the center of the Pura Vida country. The center takes in injured animals, abandoned babies or animals that have been confiscated. All missions in Costa Rica here

A sanctuary for injured wild animals

The mission takes place in a rescue center for wild animals in Costa Rica. The center takes in injured animals, abandoned babies or animals that have been confiscated. Here, the animals are safe and can recover from their traumas and injuries. In most cases, the animals cannot be released back into their natural habitat. Indeed, releasing them into the wild is a very risky operation, as they could be re-injured. Most of the sick or orphaned animals treated at the center's infirmary are direct or indirect victims of human activity.

Monkeys, sloths, possums

In addition to the infirmary, the sanctuary has areas reserved for exotic birds, sloths and monkeys, as well as a large house for volunteers. The animal sanctuary is surrounded by rainforest vegetation, so that the animals can live in a natural setting as close as possible to their habitat. The rescue center's animal population includes, among others, monkeys, sloths, anteaters, possums, birds and much more - in fact, anything that needs help! (Note: the animal population is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed).

The role of volunteers at the sanctuary

The main role of the ecovolunteers is to look after the center's animals: preparing food, feeding the animals, cleaning and enriching the enclosures, repairing and enlarging the enclosures, helping sick or baby animals. Volunteers also help maintain the walkways leading to the cages. The animals, especially the monkeys, love to play. One of the volunteers' favorite tasks is to design and make toys for the animals. This helps the animals overcome traumatic experiences, and reminds the volunteers how important the work of an animal sanctuary is in protecting wildlife.

A mobilization of 6 h / day is expected

Eco-volunteers are mobilized for around 6 hours a day, Monday to Friday. The most motivated are encouraged to help on Saturday mornings to feed the animals. After all, animals don't have weekends. As the sanctuary is open to visitors, volunteers may also be called upon to guide visitors, informing them about the center's work and the dangers the animals face in their natural habitat. Entrance fees and donations are an important source of income to finance the ongoing work.

Note: Tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time, season, current project needs and personal motivation. Each volunteer may not be fully involved in all tasks.


  • Minimum 2 weeks, all year round


  • Application fee: €150
  • Program cost: €890 (for a minimum 2-week stay)
  • Additional week: €325

Included in price 

  • Shared room in the volunteer house
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Reception at San José airport with 1 night's accommodation in San José
  • Transfer from accommodation in San José to bus terminal for journey to project site (*bus ticket not included)
  • Professional advice in English
  • Translation of your application documents
  • Volunteer internship in Costa Rica
  • English-speaking support in the country
  • Manuel Costa Rica
  • Intercultural guide
  • 24/7 emergency number
  • Information on suitable travel insurance
  • Certificate of participation

Not included in price

  • Air ticket and insurance


Volunteers live in shared rooms in the volunteer house, in a beautiful natural setting. Each room is equipped with bunk beds. There are showers and toilets with running water. The house has a spacious terrace that serves as a dining room and meeting point for volunteers.
The program includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Local cooks prepare delicious dishes, mainly local fare, and there are also vegetarian and vegan options. The volunteer house has electricity, drinking water, WIFI internet and a good signal for cell phones. The washing machine can be used at an additional cost.


The animal rescue center is located in central Costa Rica, in the Alajuela region. San José, the country's capital, is only an hour's drive away. This region is characterized by rivers, tropical forests, vast meadows, hills and a rich flora and fauna. 

Thanks to this central location, volunteers can spend their days traveling and exploring the beautiful surroundings. Excursions to Costa Rica's dream beaches are also possible, as the Pacific coast is not far away.

  • Leisure and activities generate additional costs
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Partner agency

Le partenaire is an intercultural agency founded in 2003 by Marion, a German living in Chile. Marion specializes in organizing solidarity and participatory trips, ecovolunteer programs, language stays and educational programs throughout Latin America. This agency offers missions in Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador... Whether you're a student, professional or retired, its trips are designed for those who want to experience Latin America in a different way from that of a simple tourist. All stays with South America Inside