National park beach conservation and wildlife protection

Nicoya peninsula, Costa Rica

This volunteer project is located on the extreme southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The size of the reserve includes both land and ocean areas totaling around 3 million hectares, only 5% of which is open to visitors by way of the trail system. The remaining 95% is an "absolute reserve" allowing for the complete protection and preservation of the flora and fauna. The Natural Reserve's mission is to protect, manage, and research the park's ecosystems as part of Costa Rica's cultural and historical heritage.

  • Trail cleaning and maintenance
  • Cleaning up the beach
  • Reviewing footage from trap cameras
  • Direct observation of wildlife on the park's trails
  • Receiving and orienting visitors to the park
  • Preparing educational materials for school visits or special activities
  • Minimum age of 17 years

    In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.

  • A background check

    Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.

  • Airport pick-up

    We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or nearby accommodations instead of the airport

  • Accommodations

    While in San Jose for your orientation, you stay in a traditional homestay with a pre-approved middle-class Costa Rican family in a shared room. You will share the room with 1-3 other people of the same gender. At the Beach Conservation project, you will stay in shared, dormitory accommodations on the reserve.

  • Food

    In San Jose breakfast and dinner are included, and at the Beach Conservation project you will be provided with three meals a day. A vegetarian diet can be easily accommodated. For certain other dietary restrictions, you may want to budget extra for supplemental snacks.

  • Orientation

    The Beach Conservation program begins with a mandatory 2-day orientation session in San Jose, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site.

  • Public bus transportation to and from the project site

    Project sites and accommodations are located 5-7 hours outside the city of San Jose.

  • Airfare

    To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to San Jose, Costa Rica well in advance.

  • Travel insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.

  • Getting around

    Local transportation is limited and walking is the best way to get around. To travel further for activities or shopping in larger towns, public bus service is available.

  • ATMs

    ATMs will not be easily accessible, if at all. You should take the cash you need with you when you leave San Jose - our local team can help you to budget for the duration of your stay.

  • WiFi

    WiFi is usually available at the ranger's station, but not in the dormitory. It will likely not be as reliable or as fast as you are used to and may be unavailable some of the time.

  • Medical services

    Medical treatment at the project site is provided by local doctors and small clinics. Our team and the local staff can support you if you require medical attention or have any concerns.

  • Arrival (Sunday)

    Airport pick up, accommodations and basic orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.

  • Orientation (Day 2)

    The Beach Conservation program begins on Mondays with an orientation session in San Jose, where you will receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site.

  • Transfer to project site (Day 3)

    You will be traveling to the conservation program site.

  • Working hours

    Working hours vary according to the needs of the project, but you can expect to work 5-7 hours per day, Monday-Friday.

  • Weekends

    Your weekends are free to relax, explore the reserve, or travel to nearby towns. If you intend to leave the reserve, please notify the staff.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants

    Make sure you take clothing that you don’t mind getting them dirty or even ruining.

  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking boots or crocs

    These will make beach patrols much more comfortable

  • Gloves
  • Flashlight or headlamp

    You might have a night shift, so we strongly encourage you to bring one or the other.

  • Light and warm clothing

    When packing for Costa Rica, you should consider both cooler, nighttime temperatures and hot, humid days. Loose, cotton clothing that can be layered and also protect you from the sun is a great option for both the beach and city climates.

Price: $1145 / 2 weeks

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