Costa Rica Adventure


Our adrenaline-inducing adventure will take you from the spectacular cloud forests of Monteverde to the sandy shores of Puerto Viejo for an array of conservation work and cultural exposure. Get ready to assist in a variety of inspiring volunteer projects, and, to top it all off, spend a week at a Turtle Conservation Project in Tortuguero. A fantastic balance between guided excursions and sustainable volunteer impact, Costa Rica has something for everyone!

Suitable for: Adventure TravelSummer Programs and Wildlife Conservation.


  • Spend 4 weeks exploring the stunning cloudforests, beaches, and waterways of this beautiful country
  • Learn and master the art of sustainable living practices
  • Develop your understanding and appreciation of a variety of wildlife and environmental conservation
  • Immerse yourself in the fascinating local Bri Bri culture
  • Forge new friendships as you share this incredible experience together

UPDATE: We are excited to announce that this program will resume on 18th February 2022. This trip is now OPEN FOR BOOKINGS! We can't wait to see you on the beach!

    Week 1: Monteverde & Arenal

    On arrival into San Jose you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. After a good night’s rest, you will head to the incredible Monteverde Cloud Forest with its vast array of wildlife as you volunteer at a coffee plantation that promotes the need for sustainable farming and coffee production practices. You can look forward to organic farm tours and eco-field work like tree planting which helps off-set your carbon footprint! Outdoor activities are plentiful, from exploring hidden jungle trails, ziplines and canopy tours. A true adventurers paradise, the options are endless.

    Weeks 2 & 3: Puerto Viejo

    Next, it’s time to pack up your bags, navigate the mountain passes, and arrive in the town of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast, base camp for the next phase of your adventure. In an effort to reverse the decline of the endangered Great Green Macaw, the next three days will be spent making a real difference on a conservation project looking after these magnificent endangered birds. After your hands-on project work, enjoy some well-earned relaxation time on the Caribbean coast. Learn to surf, walk white sand beaches on a coastal hike to Gandoca and sample the colourful local cuisine and chilled backpacker scene. Spend a couple of days volunteering at a local Iguana Farm before concluding your Caribbean adventure living with an indigenous tribe, touring their Cacao farm, take part in a reforestation project, and enjoy a little homemade chocolate!

    Week 4: Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Caribbean Coast

    The next stage of your adventure is spent volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project on a remote stretch of beach that borders Tortuguero National Park. Costa Rica is home to 5 species of turtle, of which 4 are endangered, so supporting local partners on their work to reverse this trend is a powerful and rewarding experience. The remote project sites are beautiful, and your work typically includes beach patrols (during nesting season), hatchery work and site maintenance. 

    If you are excited by the prospect of travel in Costa Rica, and would like a bit more inspiration, check out our Gapforce Costa Rica blog:

    The Basics

    Pre-departure support Airport pick-up Expedition leader All volunteering projects Local project staff All accommodation for the duration of the trip Three meals a day Project equipment and training Program transfers 24/7 emergency back-up • Return airport transfer

    Included Trips & Activities

    Coffee plantation visit • Cloud Forest hike • Ziplining Canopy tour • Surfing lesson • Ara Project volunteering • Gandoca Coastal hike • Iguana Farm volunteering • Chocolate Farm Tour • Sea Turtle Conservation Project

    What is not Included?

    Flights to/from destination • Travel Insurance • Visa & Vaccinations • Spending Money • Tipping & Gratuities

    How much spending money do I need?

    Knowing how much to budget can be troublesome, because it’s hard to predict exactly how many optional activities you’ll want to take part in, and you can do the trip on a shoestring or more opulently depending on your preference. We advise you to budget approximately £40-£60/week to cover items not included in the itinerary such as additional meals, drinks, snacks, and optional activities. 

    What is the food like?

    Typical Central American food includes lots of rice, meat, beans, vegetables, and fruit. Whilst there will be some international options depending on where you are, regional dishes vary, and local specialties will always be made available! Vegetarian and vegans are easily catered for given the nature of the local cuisine.

    What type of transport will I be using?

    You are responsible for your flights to and from San Jose Airport. During the trip, airport transfers are included. Internal travel throughout the trip will consist of a range of transport types, including public and private buses, boats, and taxis. Please give us a call for more information on individual journey details.

    Where will I be staying?

    You will stay in a variety of diverse accommodation throughout your trip including local hotels, hostels, and volunteer guesthouses. Most accommodation will be dorm style with shared bathrooms.

    Who takes part in this program?

    This program is for anyone looking to volunteer and backpack through Costa Rica’s most sought-after destinations. There is no prior experience required, although the minimum age is 18 and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are medically fit to participate. 

    Who will be supervising me?

    Throughout your trip you will be accompanied by a Gapforce Expedition Leader. At various stages of your trip we utilize the services of local support staff including project coordinators, drivers, and guides.

    Recommend to anyone looking for adventure!

    I had a great time on my Costa Rica trip with gapforce. I was really nervous going into it because I had never traveled alone before. Everyone was super nice and supportive, so I quickly made some great friends. I loved every second of the trip and feel that I grew as a person. I spent the first 2 weeks in Quepos on the pacific side learning to scuba dive. That was a lot of fun and our instructors were awesome. Our group stayed at a home stay which allowed us to practice our very beginner spanish and really get a feel for the Costa Rican culture. The last 2 weeks we went to the Caribbean's side. There we volunteered at a macaw sanctuary, a cocoa farm, and a turtle sanctuary. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very rewarding. Overall I had a great experience and met a lot of really cool people. I definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for an adventure!


    Had an amazing time in Costa Rica!

    I had an absolutely amazing time in Costa Rica! Despite being nervous about travelling alone and not knowing anyone there I felt so comfortable as soon as I arrived. The first two weeks of my trip involved learning to scuba dive, getting to see the coral reefs and the marine life that calls it home was incredible, my instructor Sam was so helpful and a brilliant teacher! I loved exploring the area in my free time and had some of the best moments of my life with the friends I met on the trip. The last two weeks of my trip involved volunteering on a few different projects, which was mostly a great experience, especially visiting a indigenous cacao farm, as well as the turtle conservation, despite not being lucky enough to see a turtle. I didn’t really enjoy the volunteering at the Green Macaw sanctuary; it required lots of digging up mud and because the trip is so full on and the hot, humid conditions it was very hard work. Living in the jungle for a few days was an exciting experience, I had a lot of fun especially on solo night, making my own fire and cooking my own food and quickly got used to the many animals and sounds that seemed pretty scary at first! Our group was able to go out for a few nights out to experience the local nightlife and traditional food which allowed us to relax, have fun and get to know each other better, salsa night was a personal favourite of mine! To sum it up I had an amazing experience with some amazing people and I would recommend this to solo travelers who are looking to do the same.


    Amazing Experience!

    I had an amazing time in Costa Rica! I was really nervous before the trip but the minute I got there GapForce made us feel welcome and very safe. The staff are amazing and really supportive all the way through the trip. We travelled all over the country and I did things I never thought I would do and will likely never get the chance to do again. For example, zip lining over ravines, or going to a Coffee Farm. Made great friends and met interesting people from all over the country. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is travelling alone, or who wants to see a whole new culture and lifestyle. Going into the jungle was massively interesting and nowhere near as scary as you’d think (if you don’t mind insects too much). I saw loads of wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths and coatis. An all round wonderful trip!!


    So many once in a lifetime experiences!

    So when I went to Costa Rica I had absolutely no idea what to expect. So when me and my best friend walked off the plan we were filled with nervous energy! Thankfully we walked out of the airport to the smiling face of Joe. Who was not just our leader but a great friend and a massive part of the trip being fun. Throughout my month away i faced so many fears and believe i grew a lot as a person. Whether it was small things like trying rice and beans, as i am an extremely fussy eater, or the big things like zip lining across the rainforest, i made sure to give everything a go. And i definitely would have regretted it if i didn't. Being someone who is extremely scared of heights i was extremely nervous to zip line but due to the support around me i gave it a go and i must say it was one of the best days of my life! There were so many once in a life time experiences throughout the trip and I would not change it for the world . Both the experience and the people. I would not have had the same experience without them, and Joe was definitely a good leader that helped me enjoy the trip to the fullest.


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    View dates
    • Costa Rica
    • Duration: 4 weeks
    • Departures: February, June, October

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