Colorful Parot in Costa Rica
Marine Park and Animal Rescue in Costa Rica
Get involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of sea birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Get involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of sea birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Fish in an aquarium in Costa Rica
Breeding fish
Work behind the scenes in the aquarium, cleaning and feeding animals.

Work behind the scenes in the aquarium, cleaning and feeding animals.

Keel-billed toucan in Costa Rica
Keel Billed Toucan
The primary threats to this species are forest destruction and habitat loss.

The primary threats to this species are forest destruction and habitat loss.

Tree Frog in Costa Rica
Tree Frog
View the colourful local ecosystem

View the colourful local ecosystem

Capuchin monkey in Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park
Capuchin monkey posing for a photo

Capuchin monkey posing for a photo

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During the program, you will be working with local staff as they clean, feed and give medical attention to animals at the marine park, both in the aquarium and in the rescue centre. On site training will be given.

Day to day tasks vary greatly. Larger marine animals need to be scrubbed periodically to remove algae, and temperature and pH levels in tanks need to be monitored. Glass tanks and enclosures need to be cleaned, and all the animals fed. If funds allow, you may be involved in constructing new enclosures for the rescue centre as well.

The main of the center is to return animals into the wild. Most of these creatures were previously neglected and mistreated.


  • The main objective of the rehabilitation centre is to return animals to the wild. You will be involved in improving the lives of animals that have been neglected and mistreated, or that would have died of disease or accident. Moreover, the aquarium aims to educate locals and tourists in the importance of marine conservation.


Volunteer experiences have a direct and positive impact on local communities by injecting money into the local economy through the purchase of food, transportation, and tourism activities. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the comunity and make a difference in the world. Depending on the type of volunteer experience you are interested in, your time can be spent improving educational resources and opportunities, providing medical services to underserved communities, or promoting environmental conservation and sustainable farming techniques.

One Tree Planted logo

25 trees will be planted on your behalf for every experience purchased, via our partnership with One Tree Planted.

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1% for the planetlogo

1% of gross sales will be donated to 1% for the Planet-approved charities via our partnership with 1% for the Planet.

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Esparza, Costa Rica

Esparza is a medium-sized agricultural town nestled amongst the mountains above Rio Barranca, in the Central Pacific Coast area of Costa Rica. The area was first settled by the Chorotega and Huetar peoples. The Chorotega people fled from Mexico 1,500 years ago and brought their traditions with them. This is a possible reason why there are Mexican words which jump several countries and turn up again in Costa Rica.

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Saturday / Sunday - Arrival

We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to our center. Saturday arrivals need to book one extra night at our accommodation.

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Monday - Friday

Your schedule will be flexible, but you should be prepared to be active for 4-6 hours a day. You will have lunch with your local co-workers and can expect to be occupied between 09:00 in the morning until just before 16:00, depending on your schedule, giving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the project and to get to know co-workers.

The project site is near the accommodation, on the coast, 100m from the sea.

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Saturday - Departure
Take a bus from Esparza directly to SJO Airport (2 hours). Buses depart every hour for earliest flights on Saturday afternoon.
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  • Shared Accomodation
  • All meals included
  • Free beverages
  • Wifi in public areas
  • Arrival Transfer (included with 2 wk+ trips)
  • Departure Transfer
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  • Extra night accomodation (before experience)$60
  • Extra night accomodation (after experience)$60
  • Upgrade to Private Room - 1 week$120
  • Pick-ups outside of the regular pickup window$60
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More Information


  • minimum age18
  • minimum english levelBasic
  • CRB RequiredOn signup
  • passport copy requiredNo
  • resume copy requiredYes

Other Requirements

  • You must be interested in the work and ready to get your hands dirty! This placement is aimed at those who have a good level of scientific knowledge.
  • Please give as much notice as possible if you are interested in being involved in a project or study beyond the ongoing feed monitoring study. If you are a Biologist or Marine Biologist, or studying towards this, you could be involved in significant projects.
  • You cannot be allergic to seafood.
  • An intermediate level of Spanish would be advisable.

Note: we require a CV and letter of motivation, either in Spanish or English. The placement is not confirmed until the CV is accepted by our partner organization.


Three meals a day on weekdays (two on weekends) are included during your stay. The meals will mainly be a mix of traditional and modern Costa Rican food, so you may experience the Costa Rican take on foods you will be familiar with. Most meals will include either fish, chicken, pork or beef, but vegetarians can be catered for.


Your new home will be one of two newly built eco houses in our centre in Esparza: Jaguar House and Toucan House.

The two houses sleep up to 22 people. Most rooms have bunk beds and are shared on a single gender. One room in each house has a bunk bed with a double bed below, single above, suitable for couples or small families, if needed. (Private rooms can be obtained at additional cost; this must be arranged before arriving for your program).

All doors are lockable, but as rooms are shared, and we carry out regular cleaning, we recommend that you don't lock your rooms.

There is also a large dining hall/games room/communal area shared by both houses, with free WiFi, and table tennis, and a large garden of tropical plants, including coconut palm, papaya, banana, and citrus

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be amended and cancelled 30 days before the program start date without any costs. Bookings that are cancelled less than 30 days before the program start date will be charged the first week of the booking.

Marine Park & Animal Rescue in Costa Rica

Price per person$735/week
Minimum Duration4 weeks