Are you planning to volunteer in Costa Rica, but unsure which provider to select? Now, you no longer have to waste time searching the internet and filling out dozens of contact forms. Simply fill out ONE form, we'll send it off to multiple providers and they'll contact YOU! You'll be able to compare rates and find the lowest cost program for the most affordable trip abroad.Get Free Quotes From 9 Best Cheap Costa Rica Volunteer Providers
Are you planning on volunteering in Costa Rica? Do you wonder how much it’ll cost? Are you looking for the highest rated, cheapest and most trusted companies?
Costa Rica is one of the most gorgeous destinations for travel. It boasts breathtaking scenery, including white sand beaches and verdant rainforests. You’ll be able to visit stunning beaches on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts. The spectacular biodiversity creates a thriving wildlife population with the potential for many fascinating hikes and side trips.
While volunteering in Costa Rica is an amazing life-changing opportunity, it can be confusing when you are searching for a safe and affordable provider. All companies are not equally created. Many demand thousands of dollars in upfront fees despite the relatively low cost of living in the region. Choosing a wrong company is very dangerous since it costs you thousands of extra dollar and can also ruin your volunteer experience.
At TravellersQuest, we want to see you joining a reputed, safe, affordable volunteer program in Costa Rica where you can make impact and make a difference in the world. So, we spent hundreds of hours researching, and finding the best and safest Costa Rica volunteer providers for you.
|Company Name|| Starting price
Go Overseas: 102 reviews
Abroad Reviews: 328 Reviews
Go overseas: 1,150 reviews
Go Abroad: 1,224 reviews
|Plan My Gap Year||$879||
Go Overseas: 356 reviews
Go overseas: 88 Reviews
Go Overseas- 139 reviews
Go Abroad- 273 reviews
|International Volunteer HQ||$1,059||
Go overseas: 1,724 Reviews
Go Abroad: 1,282 Reviews
|A Broader View (ABV)||$1150||
Go overseas: 178 Reviews
Go Abroad: 6 Reviews
Go overseas: 47 Reviews
(Health and Medical Care)
Go Abroad: 662 Reviews
Go Overseas – 85 Reviews
Table updated: Sept 10, 2022
IFRE Volunteers was created in 2005 and operates in 18 countries with 200 projects around the world. A 501 C 3, IFRE is one of the leading volunteer abroad programs based in Dallas Texas. It is one the most highly rated organizations offering life changing Volunteer in Costa Rica experiences to thousands of volunteers.
IFRE’s philosophy is grounded in the belief that a meaningful hands-on experience is only created out of an intimate connection with grass root projects, local people and culture of another country. They offer an experience unlike any other with involvement in volunteer services and travel. Enjoy getting to know your surroundings by doing something to change the lives of others.
A volunteer trip to Costa Rica with IFRE will change you forever. In their volunteer abroad program, you will discover your purpose while making a dramatic impact on the lives of incredible people who desperately need you. Every volunteer project is constructed with purpose and focus.
Teaching English- Teaching English is an important program, as most jobs these children will have in future will be based on their English skills. This is to widen their abilities of language, allowing them more opportunity by being bilingual. Volunteers teach English or math, help with homework, spelling, conversational English, reading and writing.
Medical Programs - Medical volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica helps those less fortunate who are unable to get proper medical care. Doctors and nurses assist in healing the sick regardless of their situation, educating them about better hygiene and nutrition. Volunteers assist doctors and nurses with taking data pertaining to patients, their vitals, greeting and comforting them. This is a great intern program.
Construction - Construction volunteers actively take part in constructing or renovating schools, orphanages, libraries that will greatly benefit the disadvantaged children. This project indeed gives you a memory of a lifetime as your valuable physical labor help better someone’s life.
Sea Turtle Conservation - If you love soaking up the sun by lying on the soft sandy beach while also playing and conserving the charming sea turtles, sea turtle volunteer program Costa Rica is for you. You will team up with local conservationists and other likeminded volunteers and make a valuable effort to save these rare creatures, keeping the beach neat and clean and so on.
IFRE is a highly rated volunteer organization, as seen from the online reviews of volunteers who have been to volunteer in Costa Rica. IFRE alumni praise the well organized and overall excellent experiences they had on well-organized projects with a great learning environment.
They also appreciated the efforts of the staff and local host families. The environment was conducive to their involvement in the local community and resulted in a very authentic experience.
If you are looking to experience the real Costa Rica and have a great time, I highly recommend this program here in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. IFRE's staff has been with me every step of the way with coordinating and support… -Amber
IFRE offers one of the best low-cost volunteers in Costa Rica programs. IFRE makes it very affordable to enjoy your adventure and also get hands-on knowledge about the workings of other countries. Thousands of volunteers have come before and had wonderful results with their volunteering. Starting at $385 for all-inclusive programs, it is a very inexpensive way to create a life changing experience. The fee includes.
Maximo Nivel started in 2003 created in Cusco, Peru, later opening an office in 2006 in Costa Rica, and another office in Guatemala in 2009. They are constantly striving to make sure that the Costa Rica volunteer programs are safe, affordable and of the highest quality. Making sure that the volunteer experience is a happy one is their number one priority, ensuring this through hard work and determination.
They offer TEFEL/TESOL classes, native Spanish classes, international volunteer programs and a native English program in all three countries. In Costa Rica alone they offer six different programs to help make each volunteer’s adventure memorable and affordable. They are rated A plus, and are also among the top best 10 volunteer organizations of Costa Rica.
Working with Kids - This program is designed to help aid the many abused and neglected street children. They are underfunded and volunteer help is very much needed. The goal is to create a healthy happy environment for these children to live productive lives. Volunteers are expected to give love, attention, do reading, serve meals and play games.
Teaching English - Teaching English volunteer in Costa Rica programs focuses on teaching English to primary school, grade school and high school children, since many of them may pursue careers in tourism. Volunteers assist teachers in the classroom with lesson plans, reading, playing educational games and helping children practice their English-speaking skills.
Construction - The goal of this program is to refurbish schools, orphanages and homes in the villages. Volunteers will paint, lay bricks, build roofs and carry out basic construction activities. All projects have highly skilled architects on site.
Besides, you can also take part in beach cleaning and Costa Rica turtle conservation program, healthcare professional can join medical programs. If you are pursuing a dentist career, you can gain hands-on experience in dental program. If you love domestic animals
like dogs and cats, they also have an amazing dog and cat program where you get to play and help the needy cats.
Volunteers in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel said that the trip was one of the most amazing experiences of their lives. At the end of it they either wished to extend their stay or planned their next trip. They appreciated the work and support of the Maximo Nivel team, who worked tirelessly to ensure their comfort needs and interests were met.
Great time.Very well organized. Antigua is a great walking town -- if you don't mind cobblestones. There were opportunities to work on several programs. I did eco-farming and teaching English…-Bill
Maximo Nivel’s programs are affordable yet highly rewarding. Their teaching English program in Costa Rica starts at $725 for 1 week. The fee includes your:
This organization is a highly recommended Costa Rica volunteer program provider due to its safety majors, affordability and past volunteers’ level of satisfaction. Global Crossroads is a non-profit organization registered in Dallas, Texas in 2003. It offers tailored volunteer programs to fit the needs of volunteers of all walks of life.
Their belief is to expand the experience by not only putting volunteers into grassroots projects but also meeting the individual needs of the volunteer. The difference with this organization is the customized programs that fit everyone’s needs. With the dedication Global Crossroads has towards their programs and communities they help, travelers put them in an A plus rating on the top 10 best volunteer organizations in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a beautiful place to enjoy many splendors and meet people, learn about their history, food and music. With Global Crossroad, you can contribute in one of the 8 following projects.
Teaching, English -The schools in and around Costa Rica, usually around Quepos, are in need of extra teachers to teach English. Most of the teachers cannot speak English and this is essential for children as they most likely will end up working in tourism. Volunteers teach and practice English with them by reading, while correcting spelling and pronunciation.
Child Care, San Jose, Costa Rica: -Children Volunteer in Costa Rica programs are geared to contribute to the wellbeing of abandoned children. Many children may have lost their parents or were abused or abandoned. This orphanage is here to ensure a safe, healthy and educational atmosphere for the children. Volunteers help in feeding, bathing, cleaning and playing games, and read to them, making sure to give lots of love.
Turtle Conservation, Caribbean, Pacific, Costa Rica:- This program is focused on increasing the numbers of sea turtles. Data and research enables them to keep track of everything, and the hatcheries ensure proper development as well as a release program. You will be a part of the beach patrol which looks for eggs for the hatchery, and do research, as well as participate in the release program.
Besides, you can also join school, orphanage, library building project if you love getting your hands dirty. They also have agriculture volunteer project in Costa Rica for volunteers interested in ecology and agriculture. Animal lovers can volunteer with them to save endangered animals and medical students can gain hands-on medical experience by joining medical program.
Global Crossroad volunteers report that they really enjoyed the time spent on their programs, especially those working with the kids. They had a good experience and learned a lot about the culture and community. They were able to learn Spanish and form connections with the local people and their host families made them comfortable and the food was good.
My 12-year-old son, 16-year old daughter, and I volunteered at Hogar Cristiano Children's Home in Puntarenas, Costa Rica for one week in February 2016. It was an amazing experience…-julie
Global Crossroad runs highly inexpensive volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica starting at $385. This program is trusted by thousands of volunteers who came before and enjoyed the experience at a very inexpensive price.
A brother and sister from New Zealand started this best organization in 2009. Love Volunteers is an award-winning organization offering over 200 programs across the world. This best organization was selected because of the affordable programs they offer of which 90 percent of the program fee is given back to the communities. They also have a very easy and personalized dashboard to go through as you prepare for your trip abroad.
Childcare Costa Rica Volunteer program helps those who are actively seeking to help themselves escape their life of poverty. It serves a real need by offering free care for children in a nurturing and safe environment while their parents’ work or study to create a better life for their families.
Education program’s goal is to help improve the basic English writing and conversation abilities of the underprivileged Costa Rican children. Community development program works with local deprived communities to help them raise their living standard.
Nature lovers can join their environment conservation program and help promote sustainable agriculture practices in the Sarapiquí rainforest. If you love sea turtles, they also have turtle conservation program where you get to take part in various conservation efforts to save these rare and endangered creatures.
Love Volunteers offers its programs in affordable rates. You can join their volunteer in Costa Rica projects from 1 to 12 weeks and the fee starts as low as $279 for one weeks. You will also need to pay $299 as a onetime registration fee.
Since their inception, thousands of happy and satisfied volunteers have participated in their programs. The past volunteers have highly praised the organizations quality programs, homestay accommodation, and amazing cultural immersion opportunity. They enjoy an exceptional 9.6/10 rating on Go Abroad and Go Overseas.
IVHQ was started in 2007 with a vision to create the greatest travel volunteer experience at a very affordable price – and they have managed to do this, Volunteer fees go directly to world organizations in developing countries that participate with IVHQ creating a network of safe and incredibly affordable programs.
Their vision is to make sure that your adventure is safe and informative. To ensure your safety they offer online training modules on how to stay safe while volunteering abroad. They have a strong standing in Costa Rica, as well as 30 other countries serving 42,000 volunteers worldwide. They are highly respected and one of the best volunteer organizations among the hundreds of volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica.
IVHQ offers 14 highly enriching projects in the cities of Manuel Antonio and San Jose of Cosa Rica.
San Jose & surrounding areas
Special Needs Project (San Jose) - This program focuses on children with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as adults suffering from autism. Their goal is to give care to them, ensuring that their needs are met through therapies and special education classes. Volunteers assist the caregivers with meals, classroom, special needs, education and overall giving the patient a break from their regular caregiver.
Turtle Conservation (Coastal) - This Costa Rica turtle volunteer program is geared towards the conservation of turtle eggs and sea turtles, creating sustainable egg protection programs. Volunteers help tag turtles, study alongside a biologist working with egg hatcheries, beach patrol etc.
Teaching , San Jose, Costa Rica : -This program focuses on children, teenagers and adults practicing English and learning more. Volunteers create workshops, work alongside a teacher, help enhance their English skills and teach educational games.
They also have dental program which is open to future dentists. You will work under the supervision of dentists and gain hands-on experience. Animal care program welcomes animal lover volunteers to help and conserve animals in need. Construction and renovation volunteers will help renovate and build care centers, schools and libraries.
IVHQ is rated among the top volunteer in Costa Rica organizations. Volunteers stated the fact that IVHQ's programs were very affordable. They appreciated the connections made by them within the community and described it as an experience that was immeasurable to any life experience you will have. They also stated that they plan to volunteer with IVHQ in the future for much longer than one week at a time.
I volunteered in Costa Rica for the 2 week program in childcare and had an amazing life changing experience during my duration. As a first time solo traveler i was very nervous and did not know what to expect, but my experience was incredible …. –Karthy
Hundreds of volunteers sign up with IVHQ’s inexpensive volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica each year to create life changing moments. The programs are safe, responsible and geared towards creating a great experience for an inexpensive price. Starts at just $969 USD for two weeks.
ABV is a registered 501 3c, non-profit charitable organization located in the US. The staff has a combined 20 years’ experience in the areas of travel and hospitality. Started in 2007, they work hard to create very safe and inexpensive volunteer travel program in Costa Rica and all over the world. They always keep in mind the importance of the program and the difference a volunteer can make in the lives of many.
ABV has created low-cost volunteer in Costa Rica projects by means of being a charity; therefore you can fundraise for the adventure of a lifetime! It is 100% tax deductible. They also allow you to pick your program, the start date and flight arrival, thus making it as enjoyable and as catered to your needs as possible.
A Broader View Volunteers offer 19 highly meaningful programs in the cities of Escazu, San Jose and costal areas of Costa Rica.
Sea Turtle Conservation
Special Needs Children (San Jose) - This program works with special orphanages, schools for children that are vision or hearing impaired, as well as mental and physical disabilities. The aim here is to teach them through physical therapy, speech therapy and sign language to improve the quality of their lives. Volunteers assist in all of these areas.
Sea Turtle Conservation (Caribbean) - This Costa Rica turtle volunteering program is geared towards the conservation of turtles and protecting their wellbeing in order to ensure their numbers. Volunteers study their living conditions, carry out beach patrolling, work with the hatcheries and involve themselves in small turtle release.
Elderly Care (San Jose) - These facilities aid elders who are not cared for by their families, creating a better quality of life for them. Volunteers play games, read and tell stories.
ABV also offers exciting museum volunteer program for those who loves conserving and researching antique arts and crafts. They have elderly care program apt for nurses, animal conservation program for animal lovers and dental program for dentists.
Volunteers in Costa Rica with ABV called it a once in a lifetime opportunity that will be cherished for life. They were able to meet people from all over the world, and experience other cultures and experiences ABV support was good and they provided all detail that volunteers needed for a great trip. They provided detailed manuals, instructions and tips and all queries were answered promptly.
The arrangements for accommodation, meals and safety were excellent and they felt part of family with the locals. Beds were comfortable and meals were very good and in sufficient quantity. This was the best experience of my life …-JenniferCR
ABV volunteer in Costa Rica program fee is very affordable, You can take advantage of these amazing programs and make a difference today in someone's life! Prices are very affordable and the experience is well worth it! Starts at $910.
Known as one of the most affordable, safest Costa Rica volunteer provider, RCDP International was originally founded by a grad student from Colorado in 1998. The organization now works to improve the lives of disadvantaged in 18 countries across the world and their prices are still the lowest in comparison to other organizations.
RCDP offers seven meaningful programs in San Jose, Manuel Antonia and Costal areas of Costa Rica. As per your skill and qualification, you can join any one or more of the following programs:
Children's Orphanage (San Jose, Puntarenas) -This orphanage volunteering program in Costa Rica aims to ensure that these children of abuse, abandonment and extreme adversity have proper medical care, healthy meals, a safe warm place and love. Volunteers help with cleaning, meals, bathing, playing games, reading and helping to ensure their overall wellbeing.
Turtle Conservation - This turtle conservation Costa Rica program is geared at preserving the number of sea turtles. Through research and data keeping, they can monitor these beautiful creatures. Volunteers help with beach patrol searching for eggs for the hatcheries, research and as a part of the baby turtle release program.
Marine Conservation (Puntarenas) - This marine conservation Costa Rica program is aimed at protecting all marine life like sharks, pelicans, turtles and crocodiles just to name a few. They have to ensure that they are not poached, harmed and have healthy numbers. Volunteers assist in any of these areas: education of marine life, maintenance, conservation, beach patrol, research, data collection, egg collection and much more.
Volunteers found the experience amazing and people very friendly. They took a couple of days to get used to the culture but subsequently found it fantastic. Housing conditions were good as per the local circumstances. They were cared for by the host families and the support provided by the organization was good. The programs are affordable and also value for money. They could also see wonderful places and take part in sports and trips.
I've been in Costa Rica for just under 3 weeks and I absolutely fell in love with it. I was hectic and nervous coming into a new country not knowing anyone …-Gissel
RCDP offers the most affordable volunteer trips to Costa Rica. This is paid directly to the host family, making RCDP one of the most honest and transparent organizations of its kind. Their programs in Costa Rica starts as low as $385 per a week.
We have also compiled a list of the best and most affordable volunteer providers in other Latin American countries. Check out the best volunteer projects in Brazil, volunteer projects in Argentina, volunteer projects in Guatemala, volunteer projects in Mexico, Volunteer projects in Ecuador and volunteer projects in Peru.
The Go Eco volunteer organization was established in 2005 by Jonathan Gilben and Jonathan Tal. They both hold university degrees in environmental/geography studies. Both have traveled extensively and have participated in and created international ecological projects. Based on their extensive experience, Gilben and Tal introduced the concept of volunteer tourism in Israel and created volunteer projects locally for participating international volunteers.
They successfully ran their first volunteer project at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Michmoret, on the Mediterranean Sea, during the summer of 2006. Since then the organization has grown to cover volunteer projects in 34 countries including Costa Rica with a wide diversity of projects including education, humanitarian, internships, over 50+, teenage, conservation, marine conservation, wildlife, family and medical. Their constant drive for excellence has put them as one of the best low-cost volunteer experiences in Costa Rica
Go Eco runs 6 amazing animal and environmental conservation projects in Costa Rica.
Jaguar Conservation - This volunteer in Costa Rica program is aimed at ensuring that endangered animals such as jaguars are protected through data, research, and the study of prey and habitats. Volunteers conduct surveys and collect data and learn not only about them but the ecology and other animals of the forest.
Turtle Conservation- This program is geared towards the conservation of sea turtles, protecting their wellbeing to ensure their numbers. Volunteers study their living conditions, become a part of beach patrols, work with the hatcheries and small turtle release.
You can also join Go Eco’s Sloth and wildlife rescue program which aims to protect endangered animals in Costa Rica. If you love agriculture, you can consider joining coffee farming volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica, where you will learn how to grow and harvest coffee while also experiencing Costa Rican rural way of life.
Go Eco volunteers rate the programs in Costa Rica 4 or 5 stars across the board. Sign up for a project with this top cheap volunteer agency and see for yourself why their alumni praise everything from the budget Costa Rica volunteer program prices to the support from both head office and local staff.
This summer I had the pleasure of spending time volunteering. GoEco is a great program to go through and is not expensive whatsoever. My favorite part, aside for the volunteering, was taking classes during my first week there…-Demejean - Oak Park
Go Eco works hard to offer cheap and best volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica. They keep their fee as low as possible but still offering everything you need to make your experience with them one of the best of your life. Projects starts as little as $1280 for 3 weeks!
Plan My Gap Year is one of the best and least expensive volunteer programs providers in Costa Rica. With over a decade long experience in the filed, the organization runs safe, affordable and rewarding Childcare, English Teaching & Language Immersion programs in Costa Rica.
PMGY’s childcare program starts the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. The program is open to passionate volunteers who wish to make a lasting impact on the life of disadvantaged Costa Rican children. You can join for a minimum of 2 weeks and the price starts at $630. On top of $630, you need to pay $299 as a one time registration fee.
Teaching English Volunteer program in Costa Rica is located in the beautiful city of Coronado. The program helps underfunded and understaffed schools and the staffs of Costa Rican community schools. This program also includes one-week Spanish language immersion program, making it easy for you to equip with the program. This program is also open for a minimum of two weeks where you pay $299 as a registration fee and $630 as a two weeks program fee.
Plan My Gap Year is one of the best affordable and most highly rated volunteer organization. Over the years, thousands of volunteers have participated in their program and made valuable contribution to make this world a better place. This is clearly shown in their reviews too. They have an excellent 9.6/10 rating on Go Overseas out of hundreds of reviews.
Kaya International is an affordable, safe and amazing place to start your volunteering experience in Costa Rica. Started in 2008 in the UK by the director Heilwig, Jones, after her own volunteering experiences and many years of involvement with community projects inspired her to open "Kaya". Kaya in Buddhism means "the enlightened one’. The concept of Kaya is to bring together people and grassroot projects with quality of structure, organization and level of service that enables everyone the opportunity to contribute to positive action and enjoy travelling the world while helping others.
They concentrate on responsible travel, which means being respectful to cultures, communities, locals and environment, making sure that volunteer efforts are benefitting all. They pride themselves on the very best for the communities they work with and the volunteers who dedicate their time. They pride themselves in working very closely with their projects and volunteers. Some of the projects pertain to environment conservation, young mother support, and health and nutrition just to name a few. Kaya is present in 27 countries and has an overall excellent rating, making it the list of the 10 top volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica.
Since their inception in 1998, they are world renowned for their programs and participation with nonprofits and NGO organizations making them a leader in the industry. They maintain their high status by ensuring that volunteers in Costa Rica of any age have an experience filled with life changing experiences and a vast amount of knowledge.
If you choose to volunteer in Asia or in Africa, we have also compiled the list of best affordable volunteer projects in Nepal, volunteer projects in India, volunteer projects in Sri Lanka, volunteer projects in Thailand, volunteer projects in Cambodia, volunteer projects in Bali, volunteering projects in Kenya, volunteering projects in South Africa, volunteer projects in Tanzania, volunteer projects in Uganda and volunteer projects in Ghana.
Yes, Costa Rica is a safe country to visit and volunteer. In fact, Costa Rica is an ideal volunteer travel destination as it is extremely safe, incredibly beautiful and pocket friendly.
The cost of your volunteering in Costa Rica generally depends on the volunteer programs and volunteer organization you choose to volunteer with. Some organizations charge high and some average price for similar programs. In general, a two weeks sea turtle volunteer program in Costa Rica costs anywhere between $770 to $1000.
Yes, you need a visa to volunteer in Costa Rica. However, volunteers from most of the countries can obtain a 90-day visa on arrival at San Jose international airport. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months, and you must also have a return ticket.
Finding the best volunteer provider is difficult. To give you a generalized idea of what you should be looking for when identifying whether volunteer providers are good enough, we’ve included this section at the end as a bit of a guide.
First of all, you should check out the social media profiles of the company in question that you’re considering for your Costa Rica volunteer work. Do they post frequently? If not, or if the feeds have gone dead recently, you should steer clear.
Next up is their volunteers in Costa Rica’s reviews. Check out sites like Volunteer Forever, Go Overseas, Go Abroad, Trust Pilot and others. Generally, we don’t include companies or organizations on our lists if their average score is anything less than 8.5. The number of reviews is also important, as a company with a great score but very few reviews should set off alarm bells in your head.
Most volunteer companies are open about how many volunteers they have helped in the past. Depending on how old the company is, you should expect at least several thousand volunteers, with many great companies having served tens of thousands.
Another important factor is price. The best companies offering Costa Rica volunteer opportunities all know that they need to keep their rates competitive. If the price seems high to you, check out how it compares to the competition and look if there’s anything special included that accounts for the higher price.
While you’re on their website to look for Costa Rica volunteer opportunity, look for recent updates in the form of a blog or newsletter. If there seems to be no recent activity in either, you probably want to steer clear, as the best companies will have an active presence on their website. Finally, ask the company if they can put you in contact with someone who has been a volunteer in Costa Rica with them before. Most of the best companies will accommodate this, and then you can get an honest opinion directly from the source, which should help you clarify things and answer any questions you may have.