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


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.

Conservation, Culture and Cross-Country Hike

from £9200

85 days

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama

Hike from the Caribbean to Pacific Coast while immersing yourself in the local culture with homestay families, experience whitewater rafting...

Costa Rica Sloth & Animal Rescue

from £599

14 - 56 days

Costa Rica

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

Wildlife Rescue in Costa Rica

from £1095

14 - 84 days

Costa Rica

Join a wildlife rescue team and care for the animals in the sanctuary, home to a variety of animals including...

In-Class TEFL Course in Manuel Antonio

from £1315

20 days

Costa Rica

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Manuel Antonio and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign...

Costa Rica Teaching

from £395

7 - 140 days

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most breath-taking countries in the world. Travel to this tropical paradise and take part...

Teaching English / Education Internships

from £1035

28 - 168 days

Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers unparalleled natural beauty within a rapidly developing economy. Looking for an internship which combines adventure travel with...

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 Wildlife Conservation

from £695

7 - 180 days

Costa Rica

Carry out groundbreaking survey work in Costa Rica's remote habitats and help combat the effects of Global Warming as you...

Teaching & Community Internship

from £1719

60 - 140 days

Costa Rica

Teaching English in local schools will give you a real insight into Costa Rican culture. It's a world of adventure...

Latest advice and inspiration for Costa Rica

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


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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