Costa Rica Adventure

Adventure and animal-lovers rejoice! Alongside its stunning jungles, beaches and volcanoes, Costa Rica is known for its astonishing biodiversity, the country accounts for as little as 0.03% of the earth’s surface yet contains nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity. Although such a small country, Costa Rica has ample opportunities for adventure, offering everything from surfing, hiking, ziplining and snorkelling!

Our adrenaline-inducing adventure will take you from the spectacular cloud forests of Monteverde and the volcanic slopes of Arenal, to the sandy Caribbean coast to test out your sea-legs on a surfboard. Get ready to assist in a variety of inspiring volunteer projects, and, to top it all off, spend a week or two at a Turtle Conservation Project. A fantastic balance between guided excursions and sustainable volunteer impact, Costa Rica has something for everyone!

Suitable for: Adventure TravelSummer Programs and Wildlife Conservation.


  • Volunteer on a variety of wildlife and environmental conservation projects
  • Get active in the Arenal National Park - Ziplining & Volcano Hike
  • Spot exotic wildlife in the jungles, beaches, and waterways of this beautiful country
  • Soak up some sun on golden Caribbean beaches and learn to surf
  • Understand the origins of your chocolate, touring a Cacao Farm 
  • Immerse yourself on a Sea Turtle conservation project at a famous nesting site

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. Next, the trip heads to La Fortuna, a picturesque rural town at the foot of Costa Rica’s largest volcano, Arenal. Included outdoor activities are plentiful, from volcano hikes, to ziplining, to swimming in hidden pools fed by natural hot springs. A true adventurers paradise, the options are endless.

Week 2: 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, the jumping off point for the second week of your adventure. A day rafting down one of Costa Rica’s wide and panoramic rivers ensures the week starts with a splash, before spending a day volunteering at an Iguana Farm. In an effort to reverse the decline of the endangered Great Green Macaw, the next couple of days will be spent making a real difference on a conservation project looking after these magnificent endangered bird species. After your hands-on project work, enjoy some well-earned relaxation time on the Caribbean coast. Learn to surf, walk white sand beaches to Manzanillo and sample the colourful local cuisine and chilled backpacker scene. Conclude your Caribbean adventure by visiting an indigenous tribe, touring their Cacao farm, take part in a reforestation project, and enjoy a little homemade chocolate!

Weeks 3 & 4: Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Caribbean Coast

The next stage of your adventure is spent volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project ona remote stretch of beach that borders Tortuguero National Park. You can spend either one or two weeks at this project. 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:

We are currently anticipating that we will be able to welcome customers back onto this program from January 2022. You can keep track of the current travel situation for all Gapforce programs on our Coronavirus Travel update page which we will be updating each week.

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 Volcano hike • Natural spring and hot spa visit • White Water Rafting • Surfing lesson • 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 thetrip 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 lookingto 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.

After submitting this form, we will try and get back to you within 24 hours

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Or call us on 0207 384 3028

View dates
  • Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
  • Departures: January, March, July

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