Funding Available

Wildlife Expedition Costa Rica

4 week summer project
Key Info


This adventurous expedition gives you the opportunity to work, explore and live in one of the most remote regions of the Costa Rican rainforest on the Caribbean Coast, whilst volunteering with animals abroad. If you're studying Zoology, Biology, Marine Biology or any of the Natural Sciences at LJMU this is your chance to gain some incredible hands on practical experience monitoring some of the world's most beautiful animals. Or perhaps you're studying Outdoor Education or Geography and you're looking to spend your free time on the project exploring the beauty of Jalova. The main projects involve conducting marine turtle monitoring and conservation, study of jaguar predation on marine turtles, aquatic bird monitoring and jaguar, large mammal and prey species studies - all in one of the most beautiful places in the planet. You will be based at a specially created research station that sits in the heart of the National Park forest running behind the Caribbean beach. It is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest filled with a variety of wildlife and regular sightings of monkeys and even jaguar prints around the base.

Who is it for
Natural Sciences
Outdoor Education

Key Info

Project training
Expedition equipment
First aid-course
Airport Pick Up

Additional information

With some crash-course training, you will spend the majority of your time on the expedition conducting exciting research projects, collecting and collating data, whilst working with the other volunteers to maintain the research station.

Not only will you be volunteering as a eco-researcher, but you’ll have the chance to adventure into the surrounding landscape, canoeing down jungle waterways and trekking up mountainous trails to discover the spine-tingling views from the top.

If you’re a fan of extreme or adventure sports, then this programme will fill your flippers with more than enough excitement, with the opportunity for hiking, biking, snorkelling, fishing and more. And afterwards you can hit the chalet, or spend time relaxing on some of the finest sands you will ever introduce your feet to.


What are the project start dates?

This 4 week project is open year round; here are the 2017 start dates:

07 Jan 2017

04 Feb 2017

04 Mar 2017

01 Apr 2017

29 Apr 2017

27 May 2017

24 Jun 2017

22 Jul 2017

19 Aug 2017

16 Sep 2017

14 Oct 2017

11 Nov 2017

What's included?

What's Included?

  • All food and accommodation
  • In country transportation to base
  • Expedition equipment and training
  • An emergency first aid course
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour emergency phone line.

What's Not Included?

  • International flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
Am I eligible?

You must be at least 18yrs old. Spanish is not essential, but a benefit. Spanish speaking participants find it beneficial as they are able to interact with other volunteers and locals. All volunteers should be physically fit for the demanding environment.



What's the accommodation like?

Accommodation is pleasantly rustic and dormitory-style in a beautiful clearing of the forest which has wildlife viewing opportunities that are second to none. There is a generator for electricity part of the day in the main buildings, hand washing laundry facilities, and running (cold) water, which means there are flushing toilets and refreshingly cool showers. You will sleep in dormitories, with up to 6 people per room.

Are meals included?

All food is cooked and cleaning is done by the expedition team on a rotational basis. The food is basic, containing a lot of traditional rice and beans (Gallo Pinto, the national dish of Costa Rica), yet meat or fish is supplied around once a week, and most volunteers go to town to buy a pizza on the weekends. Supply trips by boat to the village of Tortuguero offer access to all basic amenities.

What can I do in my free time?

The long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips. The Jalova field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Costa Rica!

Optional Side Trips

Given your isolated location, a lot of your down time will be spent on base, the rainforest is not a place to go wondering! However there are still some possibilities in the immediate area for you to make the most of your time in Costa Rica. You can visit Tortuguero Village, browse its small souvenir shops, visit the delicious bakery and just watch the world go lazily by. For longer term volunteers on long weekend breaks, you could decide to head off base and further explore the Caribbean region. Hiking, snorkelling, fishing, or canopy and zip-line tours are just some of the activities that are possible in the area. For something a bit more intense, you could raft on the white waters of the famous Pacuare River on class III to IV rapids over the course of 1- or 2-day trips. And if the adventure activities are not for you, then simply relax in a laidback Caribbean village!

Further Travelling Opportunities

Costa Rica is an amazing country with an abundance of travel opportunities further afield with the following just a snapshot of the many possibilities!

Admire the famous and active Volcan Arenal from a distance and relax in the natural hot springs; surf the Salsa Brava – a hotspot of the Caribbean for the advanced surfer; ride horseback on the beach in Puerto Viejo or simply enjoy miles and miles of beautiful beaches kissed by palm trees; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages to learn more about their amazing culture; discover the cloud forest at Monteverde, visit the hummingbird gallery, enjoy the locally made ice cream and other fresh dairy products or walk among the treetops on the hanging bridges; enjoy the organised wildlife tours of Braulio Carrillo National Park; travel across the country to discover the beautiful Pacific Coast with its hidden white sand beaches; visit Volcan Irazu and discover coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theatres or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.