Environmental Costa Rica Service Trip For Teens

Hands on wildlife rehabilitation and environmental community service!

This service program brings you into a wildlife refuge, where you volunteer directly with local animals.  You’ll also journey into the stunning Monteverde Cloud Forest and assist in an environmental research project on the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s ecosystem. After an overnight white-water rafting trip, you get to work directly with sea turtles on the Costa Rican beaches! It’s an unbeatable wildlife teen service program!



Our trip begins in a San Jose Central Valley area Bed and Breakfast, where students get to know one another, establish both personal and group goals. Activities include team building exercises, visiting a sustainable, commercial, coffee farm, and hiking the cloudforest near one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular volcanos.


It’s time to embark on a thrilling overnight rafting adventure on the Pacuare River, one of the world’s most beautiful rivers.  We get to spend the night along the river at a permanent camp utilized by the rafting outfitters


Travel via boat to a small village with a Sea Turtle Hatchery. While staying at rustic yet comfortable group accommodations, we engage in community service projects and tours to support both the local community and conservation efforts of native sea turtles. Activities include a tour of the hatchery, environmental research, a night beach patrol, and a kayak tour through canals. Spotting sloths, colorful frogs, toucans, monkeys, and water birds is not uncommon!


We transition to the La Fortuna area where we spend time volunteering with experts at a wildlife refuge and become familiar with efforts to conserve and rehabilitate Costa Rica’s wildlife species. We visit and volunteer at an organic dairy farm owned and operated by our Costa Rica director, Crisley.


Next, we Travel up to a ranger station, our home for the next two nights, in the highly-biodiverse Monteverde Cloud Forest. A resident expert will guide us through data collection and recording techniques related to an ongoing environmental research project. Explore the trail systems, work on your species identification, and support local research efforts aimed at protecting our planet’s plant and animal species.


It’s time to hit the beach and ‘hang ten’ during surf lessons on the pacific coast.  We also enjoy a boat excursion out to see whales, dolphins, and other marine life.  It’s an awesome way to wrap up our fulfilling time in Costa Rica.


Our trip back to the Central Valley gives us time to share our memories before we fly home. We also have a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony at an authentic, local restaurant to reflect upon our last three weeks together.

Global Works will arrange a chaperoned group flight for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. When flights become available, please contact us for the latest airfare pricing or visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page for more information about travel days.

Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, this itinerary is subject to change.

Participants may be subject to additional expenses related to entry requirements to your destination and/or re-entry to your home country. Global Works does not cover these expenses. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to, COVID tests, insurance, or other. See our Covid-19 FAQ’s for more information.   The most up to date requirements can be found via links on your login page on the Flight and Travel Day Instruction form after enrollment.


Sea Turtle Conservation

Volunteer with turtle conservation organization in Tortuguero National Park

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Volunteering

Work alongside experts to rehabilitate and conserve Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife

Field Research

Support local research efforts aimed at protecting our planet’s plant and animal species

Environmental Service Projects

Participate in a beach cleanup to protect marine waterways


Nocturnal beach patrol for turtle eggs

Learn to dance salsa and cumbia

Raft Costa Rica's best white water

Visit a local cheese farm

Hike through primary cloud forest




Global Works Costa Rica participants spend the first and final days of the program in a small and comfortable lodge located in the mountains surrounding the capital of San Jose. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting student groups. It is dorm style with 4 to 6 students sleeping in bunk beds; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.


Our Eco-Lodge is located in the southern part of the Tortuguero National Park on the eastern coast of Costa Rica. It’s just outside of the small, quiet town of Parismina and walking distance to the beach. The lodge is dormitory style with separate rooms and bathrooms for boys and girls. The lodge has solar-powered electricity and is very basic, so please come with the expectation of simple-living! Our meals and volunteer projects are organized through the lodge.


In the La Fortuna area, we stay in a comfortable lodge located in a mountain valley. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting teens and student groups. Rooms are 2 to 4 student ; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.


Our two cloud forest lodges are located within the boundary of the largest private reserve in the country, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest. To reach the lodges, students complete an attainable hike through primary cloud forest and are rewarded with rustic yet comfortable eco-lodges built to exist in harmony with the natural surroundings. Both lodges offer large rooms with bunk-beds and private bathrooms. A large balcony affords expansive views of surrounding volcanoes and the hammocks provide an unbeatable spot to sip coffee and relax after a long day of service work.


Participants stay at an eco-lodge in southern Costa Rica located just steps from the beaches of Marino Ballena National Park. Accommodations are traditional hotel-style rooms shared by two to four students. The lodge is styled with an onsite swimming pool, hammocks, and common areas.

Reviews & Testimonials

This trip has totally changed the way I think of myself and others and it has really made me want to be more a part of community service and traveling around the world and meeting new people and learning!

- Vera P-R., Costa Rica Participant

My trip leader always had a smile and was really good at giving advice and bringing up different perspectives.

- Catherine K., Costa Rica Participant