G+ YouTube Pinterest Instagram

Costa Rica Animal Rescue Project

Default Default

Costa Rica Animal Rescue Project

Work at a centre dedicated to the care and conservation of some of Costa Rica's most threatened species.

Prices from $595

Set between tropical Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Costa Rica is one of the most breathtaking countries in the world. Even though it covers just 0.03% of the world’s landmass, it is home to an incredible 500,000 species including jaguars, sloths, spider monkeys and five species of turtle.

on this incredible project to experience front line conservation and help safeguard Costa Rica's precious wildlife and unique habitats for future generations. The rescue centre has been set up to provide a sanctuary for animals that have either been rescued from captivity or found injured. At the centre you will have the opportunity to work hands on with these incredible animals and help improve their lives. Once at the centre they are given superb care and attention in an effort to rebuild their fragile lives, and where possible are re-introduced back into the wild.


  • Gain hands on experience working with sloths and other primates
  • Explore the critical ecosystems of Costa Rica
  • Work directly with a range of endangered species


  • Minimum age of 17 years


Location Costa Rica
Activities Preparing food & feeding the animals
Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
Environmental education work

Volunteer house/shared dormitories


Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)

Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support                                                                                                                                                                                        Airport pick-up included                                                                                                                                                                                                      24-hour international HQ backup


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Human encroachment and activities, both legal and illegal, have resulted in the steady decline of many of Costa Rica's most defining species. Animals which have been recovered from poachers need to be cared for before being reintroduced to the wild, if they even can be. Volunteering at an animal rescue centre could be your opportunity to contribute to the care and possible rehabilitation of any number of species, while getting up close and personal in the process.

The Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center and Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife rescue facility focusing on the care, rehabilitation and study of Costa Rican wildlife. We work directly with the government receiving confiscated, sick and injured wild animals. All the animals that come to our rescue center receive all the medical attention and love needed. We are able to release many back into the wild however those who can't, stay in the center. These animals accomplish a mission in life, they help us in our education programmes so that everyone can learn to respect nature. Although we work with the government we do not receive governmental support, we rely on our membership programme, private donations and international volunteers for their contribution to this amazing project. 

The kinds of animals that can typically be expected at the sanctuary include sloths, white-faced, howler and spider monkeys, toucans, parrots, kinkajous and olingo.


Working alongside local staff, volunteers help look after the animals and educate visitors. At the centre volunteers may have the opportunity to work hands on with monkeys, sloths and other wildlife.

You will be involved in every aspect of the day to day running of the centre, including feeding the animals and preparing the food, cleaning the enclosures, building and repairing the enclosures and feeding platforms. Your experience here will enrich your knowledge and your expertise on wild animal care.

At the rescue center everyone is expected to pull their own weight and work together as a team and take responsibility for the daily duties looking after the animals. The animals do not work on our schedule, rather they follow their own internal clock which insists that they eat early in the day. The time for your rest and relaxation is later in the day when high temperatures usually demand it.

A typical day at the rescue center could consist of the following:

7am: Breakfast

8am: Morning meeting to allocate chores

8am-11am: Morning chores: cleaning enclosures, preparing food, babysitting, etc.

12pm: Lunch

1pm: Lunch meeting to allocate afternoon chores

1pm-3pm: Afternoon chores: continued duties around the sanctuary as required such as cleaning, sweeping, enclosure maintenance.

3pm-6pm: Relaxation, reading, swimming, individual projects, free time.

18:00-21:00 Dinner & socializing 

21:00 Bedtime


Upon your arrival to Juan Santa Maria International Airport in San Jose you'll be met by one of our local representatives, who will transfer you to the project site. Please be aware that you will be responsible for organising your own transport from the project site back to San Jose airport at the end of your project. This is pretty straightforward and your volunteer coordinator will be more than happy to help you with your own arrangements.


Throughout your stay on the project you will be living in shared dormitory style accommodation at the biological centre, with volunteer common room and communal kitchen. You will be provided with a mosquito net, bed sheets and a laundry service once a week. Although basic, your accommodation will of course be clean and comfortable and you will soon feel at home with your welcoming hosts.


While you are on the project, all meals are included in the programme (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  These will be based upon a typical Costa Rican diet.  Your food will be fairly basic and consist mainly of rice, beans, corn, meat, pasta, vegetables and seasonal fruits, as well as plenty of gallo pinto.

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

This year I had the pleasure to stay at the wildlife centre - the most beautiful home for orphan ...

Read more

A good insight  | 19 Nov 2019
Having narrowed down my choice of conservation projects I settled on volunteering at a rescue pro...

Read more

Unforgettable memories...  | 18 Nov 2019
I highly recommend this project! Vanessa and everybody else are really involved with helping...

Read more

Beautiful country!  | 17 Nov 2019
I had an amazing time on the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Project, I'll always look back on the p...

Read more

Working with animals  | 14 Nov 2019
Frontier were really great in helping me decide where to go for my trip because I knew I wanted t...

Read more

Hands-on from the beginning!  | 30 Oct 2019
This was a great place to volunteer as you got to be hands-on from the beginning and involved in ...

Read more

The perfect opportunity  | 30 Oct 2019
I chose this project because I love animals and I am aiming for a career in wildlife conservation...

Read more

A pleasure to stay at the wildlife centre  | 13 Aug 2018
  This spring 2016 I had the pleasure to stay at the wildlife centre - the most beautifu...

Read more

The best part of the volunteering experience for me was being able to work hands on with all the ...

Read more

During my two weeks on the project, I encountered and worked closely with many animals, such as s...

Read more


You will have one day off per week, which can be arranged with the centre's administration. San José is situated in the middle of the country making it a convenient location for travelling to other parts of Costa Rica. In San José you will find buses that will take you directly to the Caribbean coast, the Pacific coast, the famous Arenal volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park and many other destinations.

There are many interesting sights and activities on the Carribean coast such as the tourist hub of Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero and Cahuita National Park for incredible wildlife viewing, Uvita Island for relaxing days off and even ziplining and river rafting opportunities nearby for the adrenaline seekers amongst you!

Alternatively many of our volunteers have also helped out at one of the local schools and donated their day off to this incredibly rewarding experience. Please ask your in-country coordinator for more information if this is something that you would be interested in.


1 week $595

2 weeks $795

3 weeks $1,145

4 weeks $1,445

5 weeks $1,795

6 weeks $2,145

7 weeks $2,495

8 weeks $2,845

9 weeks $3,145

10 weeks $3,495

11 weeks $3,845

12 weeks $4,195


Weekly. Please arrive on the Monday.


You can join this project from 1 week


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)


  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup
  • Airport pick-up


Nearest airport(s): San Jose Juan Santamaria Apt (SJO)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

Apply Now Call me back