Welcome to Costa Rica! Arrive into San Jose by 3pm and transfer on your own to our first nights accommodations. A group orientation is held at 5pm in the hotel where we’ll get acquainted with our ConservationVIP® trip Leaders and fellow volunteers and receive an overview about the exciting week ahead. After the orientation, the group will share its first dinner together at the hotel. Dinner included.
After breakfast, we will load up our gear, board our private bus and drive for approximately 1.5 hours to the Carara National Park near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Carara National Park is a favorite with bird watchers and home to many scarlet macaws. We will cross the Río Grande de Tárcoles via the Crocodile Bridge at the main entrance of Carara National Park where our first volunteer project will begin. We will work with our Costa Rica nonprofit partner, ProParques, along the accessibility trail. After lunch, we will drive to Dominical, along the Central Pacific Coast where we will check into our hotel before dinner. All meals included.
Volunteer activity: 4 hours; Driving: 5 hours, broken up with the work project.
After breakfast we will drive south for half an hour to Marino Ballena National Park for another volunteer project with ProParques. We will spend the morning clearing underbrush, maintaining trails or cleaning the beach. After lunch, our bus will take us on a 3-hour drive to the end of the road in southern Costa Rica where we will check into our lodging for our five-night stay in Punta Banco. In the evening, we will have an orientation briefing on the volunteer work projects ahead. All meals included.
Volunteer activity: 4 hours; Driving: 5 hours, broken up between the work project and lunch.
During these volunteer project days, the group will participate in late night and early morning beach patrols to locate, excavate and relocate sea turtle nests to a protected turtle hatchery. Project work will also include working in and around the turtle hatchery, painting signs, recording scientific data, as well as beach cleanups inside the project area and surrounding rivers and beaches. All meals included.
Volunteer activity: Projects will vary trip to trip and timing of patrols will depend on the tides.
After breakfast and morning volunteer projects, we will say goodbye to our Punta Banco partners and journey north to the highland forest area near Cerro de la Muerte. This region is very likely the best place in the world for observing resplendent quetzals, birds so spectacularly beautiful there were considered divine entities by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. We will have lunch along the way and then drive to our hotel in Cerro del Muerte. All meals included.
Driving: 8 hours, broken between lunch and interest stops.
In the morning after breakfast, we will hike along the trails within Los Quetzal, cleaning paths as we go. After lunch we will drive to our hotel in San José, approximately 3 hours away. Our hotel is in the old historical section of San José where we will have our final dinner together, sharing memories of our past days together. All meals included.
Hiking: 2.5 hours; driving: 3 hours.
The Costa Rica Volunteer Trip ends this morning. You may transfer to the San José airport for homeward-bound flights or opt to extend your stay in Costa Rica. Breakfast included.