Here at Workaway you will find 370 hosts and
organisations for volunteer work
in Costa Rica.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.
There are 1818 reviews for 243 Hosts and organizations in Costa Rica.
243 Hosts in Costa Rica were rated at least 4.8/5!
I spent nearly 2 weeks with the lovely, remote community that Karissa and Borys have fostered. Their family of 7 is very welcoming and I immediately f...
by Freya , 12/04/2021
This was my first WorkAway experience and I loved it. The infrastructure is really amazing, Martin is a very intelligent guy and knows a lot of things...
by Patricio , 11/04/2021
This was an spectacular experience! I came here with my friend Louie, and we instantly felt welcome with the family and quickly became a part of their...
by Abby , 11/04/2021
Hello everyone, hi Jim !
This was my first workaway experience and what an experience !
The place, the people, the vibes, everything was perfect. Cabu...
by Nina , 10/04/2021
My girlfriend and I have been volunteering at Rebeca's biological station for almost a month in February 2021 (Covid times) and we loved it! Rebeca is...
by Ismael , 09/04/2021
Registering as a Host
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Costa Rica is a small country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Although small in size, it receives more travellers than any other Central American country (2.9 million in 2016) and contains 5 per cent of the world's biodiversity. For travellers, that means countless pristine beaches, verdant tropical forests and abundant flora and fauna. The country also specializes in adrenalin-fuelled adventure tourism in all its forms: canopy walks, zip-lines, white-water rafting, mountain biking circuits, hiking trails and horseback rides are not the ‘extras’ in Costa Rica, but the main reason most people come here. There are also plenty of fantastic surfing and diving sites to suit all levels, and several active volcanoes that can be climbed.
Costa Rica has an incredibly diverse culture, climate, flora, fauna, and landscape, and around 25% of the national territory is protected by a system of conservation areas and national parks. This biodiversity arises in part because the country forms a land bridge between North and South America. However, it is also due to the fact that the geography is so varied and there are weather patterns moving in from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. From rainforests and cloud forests to dry tropical and temperate forests; from volcanoes and high mountains to Caribbean and Pacific beaches; and from lakes and rivers to marshy lowlands, Costa Rica provides the perfect habitat for tropical mammals such as monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and wild cats, as well as an amazing assortment of insects and other animals. The country is a particularly exciting place for bird watching, and the official bird list published by the Costa Rican Rare Birds and Records Committee contains 921 species as of January 2018 – which is more than have been recorded in all of the United States and Canada combined.
Costa Rica has historically managed to avoid the political turmoil and violence from which neighbouring nations still suffer, although the usual sensible advice to watch your kit, especially in cities, holds true here too. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 oldest democracies, and this peaceful nation constitutionally abolished its army in the 1940s. It has consistently been listed among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, and was ranked third in the world and first among the Americas in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. The New Economics Foundation ranked Costa Rica as the happiest nation in the world in both 2009 and 2012. These positive reviews are great news, but it is not surprising that among budget travellers, and increasingly among ordinary tourists, Costa Rica is also ranked as the most expensive country in Central America and perhaps in the whole of Latin America.
However, the people of Costa Rica are kind, warm, and welcoming to foreigners, and volunteering with some of Workaway’s many hosts in the region will bring down costs associated with accommodation and food. Between volunteering stints you can use some of the inspirations and tips shared in this post about a Workaway volunteer's experience travelling around Central America to help keep costs down. And read this blog post by another Workawayer to find out how travelling on a budget can actually improve your experience of travelling.
Costa Rica enjoys a year-round tropical climate. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and the geography of each particular region.
In general, the year can be split into two seasons: the dry season known to the residents as summer, and the rainy season, known locally as winter. The ‘summer’ or dry season goes from December to April, and ‘winter’ or rainy season goes from May to November – at this time it rains constantly in some regions.
The Caribbean slopes of the Central Cordillera Mountains receive the most rain, with an annual rainfall of over 5000 mm. Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The average annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 27°C, in the main populated areas of the Central Cordillera it is 20°C, and below 10°C on the summits of the highest mountains.
Research the weather in the area you plan to visit, and plan your packing well. Visit our blog to get packing hacks and other advice and tips from seasoned Workawayers, and read on for more specific tips on where to go in Costa Rica.
This is the least visited region of the country, owing to its relative isolation (and mosquitoes), and offers great opportunities for white-water rafting and sea turtle spotting.
This is the population centre of Costa Rica, and is the location of the capital and main airport.
This is perhaps one of the most visited regions of the country, with many beaches and national parks.
This is the "dry region" of Costa Rica, with little rain at any time of year, fabulous beaches, and large, volcanic, dry forest parks in the north by the Nicaraguan border.
A sparsely populated, but beautiful and mountainous region, the area is most famous for its active volcano, Arenal, and the surrounding hot springs and volcanic lakes, as well as Lake Arenal, the largest lake in Costa Rica.
This is one of the most bio-diverse environments on the planet, full of exotic endemic flora and fauna, and some of the planet's most beautiful and remote tropical beaches.
Workaway is the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange. Lone travellers backpacking through Costa Rica will find plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with the locals, but Workaway also offers many opportunities for couples, friends, families and groups. Workaway’s many hosts offer volunteers free accommodation and meals in exchange for a few hours of work a day, normally five days a week. This is the perfect way to make travelling affordable in Costa Rica, or to extend your stay. Whether you want to visit Costa Rica’s Pacific or Caribbean coastal paradises, the cities and farms of the interior, or get right off the beaten track and immerse yourself in wild nature and local life, the perfect host is waiting to welcome you. It doesn’t matter whether you are exploring during your summer holidays, or seeking a gap year adventure, the volunteering opportunities are almost unlimited and will guarantee you have the time of your life.
As a member of the Workaway community you can use the many thousands of reviews and feedback provided to find your perfect match among our hosts. Share your culture, skills and language with the communities, projects and families that offer a wide range of volunteer programmes, volunteer projects and volunteer jobs. If you want to take a backpacking trip through the wild areas of Costa Rica, use our regional filter to check out the many offers far away from the usual tourist spots. Combining these more off-the-beaten-track opportunities with a stay with some of the many host families and organizations in Costa Rica’s towns, cities and beach resorts is the ideal way to enjoy the country’s diversity.
Who doesn’t enjoy going on holiday and relaxing in a tourist hotspot? However, travellers who want to connect more deeply with the host country and make a real difference will find perfect opportunities to do this by joining Workaway. Do you want to find out more about the culture of Costa Rica? Volunteering is the perfect vehicle for cultural exchange, providing the traveller with a truly memorable experience while doing something useful, like helping to restore an old building, helping with household tasks, or caring for children or animals. Working and travelling in Costa Rica is the perfect opportunity to get to know this unique country, the regions that form it, its nature and its people.
If you are planning to visit Costa Rica as a volunteer and not as a tourist, you must have the correct visa. To find out about the latest requirements, you need to contact the Embassy in your home country before travelling. And please don’t forget to take out appropriate insurance to make sure you qualify for healthcare!
So, whether you want to wander deep into the heart of the jungle to hear the call of the wild, climb high above the clouds on the slopes of a volcano, surf the Pacific coast’s ocean rollers, scuba dive the reefs of the Caribbean, go white water rafting or take a canopy ‘walk’, Costa Rica is waiting for you to do some exploring. If you’re still not sure whether volunteering is for you, check out this inspiring blog post from a Workawayer all about volunteering on a chocolate farm, or this epic story of a surf camp in Tamarindo, who’s hosted more than 100 Workawayers. Why wait any longer? Join Workaway and get planning your trip!