A Gap Year in Costa Rica

Why go backpacking in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a gap year paradise, and offers backpackers myriad tropical travel experiences. From Caribbean and Pacific beaches to rainforests, temperate forests, high mountains, volcanoes and marshy lowlands, backpacking in Costa Rica has it all, whether you want to relax or have an epic adventure.

This is an awesomely forward-thinking and progressive country. They abolished their army decades ago, and regularly place highly on global quality-of-life indexes and leagues tables for health, education, environment and democracy within Latin America. Costa Rica has also been rated one of the ‘greenest’ countries on Earth, and its government intends to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country.

Things to do in Costa Rica

Check out our current top picks

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Volunteer with Kids in Costa Rica

from £945

14 - 84 days

Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture when you travel to Quepos and volunteer on a community project helping disadvantaged children.

Volunteer in Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

from £570

14 - 168 days

Costa Rica

Volunteer on the Turtle Conservation volunteer project in Costa Rica. Located in any one of four amazing coastal locations.

Animal Rescue and Conservation

from £780

14 - 84 days

Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica at an animal rescue center!

Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica

from £1145

14 days

Costa Rica

Discover the rainforests of Costa Rica and assist in the protection of the elusive and endangered Jaguar.

Adventure, Leadership and Outdoor Certifications

from £7500

65 days

Costa Rica, Panama

Discover your strengths, goals, and leadership style as you earn seven international certifications while hiking, rafting, diving, and rappelling your...

Conserve Turtles, Forests & Teach English

from £1895

42 - 70 days

Costa Rica

Program includes a unique mix of turtle and forest conservation with community teaching, surfing and Spanish. Whilst learning Spanish and...

Volunteer with Kids in Costa Rica

from £945

14 - 84 days

Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture when you travel to Quepos and volunteer on a community project helping disadvantaged children.

Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

from £430

14 - 168 days

Costa Rica

Live beach-side in Costa Rica while working with a local biologist to assist with sea turtle studies, conservation, protection work...

Volunteer with Children in Costa Rica

from £945

14 days

Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture when you travel to Quepos and volunteer on a community project helping disadvantaged children.

Costa Rica Journalism Internship

from £1719

60 days

Costa Rica

Live in the a research camp based deep in the rainforest and gain valuable professional travel journalism experience and references.

Latest advice and inspiration for Costa Rica

Check out what our writers have been up to in Costa Rica

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Why go?

It’s a great place to volunteer on your gap year, with loads of options to teach or work on conservation projects with big cats, monkeys and turtles. Adventurous travellers will not be disappointed either; you can surf, go white-water rafting, wildlife spotting, hiking and trekking.

Costa Rica, which literally translates as ‘Rich Coast’, is an ideal one-country destination or an amazing place to visit as part of a trip through Central America.

Please note: It’s now a legal requirement that all volunteers must obtain a scientific permit to conduct research within Tortuguero National Park. A number of documents will be required to apply for this permit. If you’re interested in volunteering in Tortuguero National Park, please ask one of our consultants for more information.

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