Projects Abroad | Environmental Conservation

Costa Rica: Conservation Education and Research Internship

San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica


Location: San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica

Duration: Minimum 10 weeks commitment

Start Dates: This project is ongoing and you can join whenever suits you best, depending upon availability.

Cost: $17 per day + $250 admin fee


  • Gain hands-on conservation experience
  • Help to protect a rich biodiverse environment
  • Work alongside a passionate and highly-skilled team
  • Keywords: Costa Rica placement, Research internship, Costa Rica research, environmental research, environmental conservation, Costa Rica research internship
Costs Explained


Gain excellent hands-on research experience in a private Costa Rica nature reserve. This project is dedicated to teaching visitors more about the local wildlife and environment, aiding in conservation efforts. Education and research plays a huge role in the reserve, which is where your internship proves invaluable.

Students, graduates and professionals are all welcome to apply. You will gain great conservation research experience while immersing yourself in the natural landscape of the majestic Talamanca mountains. There are 400 species of vertebrates living within the reserve, 15 of which are listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

You will be trained how to conduct research which can be used for conservation purposes, along with the general protection of rainforests and the reserve. Working alongside a passionate and educated team, you are required to commit to the placement for at least 10 weeks.

For more skilled applicants, you will conduct research into cloud forest ecosystems, reforestation, and/or the flora and fauna of the area. For those just starting out in research, as a research assistant, you can support studies from scientists from all around the world and/or take on responsibility for some of our smaller ongoing research projects. As the reserve’s reforestation project was such a success, less work is now required on planting trees. Instead, more effort is now being placed into research and education.

The reserve is hoping to start publishing its research results within scientific journals. They study a wide variety of topics including geology, forestry, climatology, biology, sociology and ecology. The reserve’s location is largely understudied, giving the opportunity for researchers to make new, exciting discoveries along the way.

This placement would best suit those who have practical or academic experience in research. If you do not, you may be better suited to our volunteer, rather than internship placement.

Daily Life

You will typically be working 30 hours per week from Monday through to Friday, which equates to around 6 hours per day. However, hours can vary depending upon the type of project you are working on.

The tasks you carry out on a daily basis can also vary but will typically include conducting field work, maintaining in-depth field notes and inputting data results into computer records. You will work on 1-2 projects throughout the placement, with the option to undertake short-term or long-term studies, depending upon the length of your placement.

Potential projects you could end up working on include long-term camera trap deployment and monitoring of mammals. An example of a short-term project includes habitat assessments and setting live butterfly traps and sweep netting.

Examples of long-term potential projects include: tropical bird monitoring, camera trap deployment and monitoring of mammals, reforestation technique assessments, and tree inventory. Examples of previous short-term projects include: live butterfly trapping and sweep netting, effect of trail activity on bird behaviour, effect of introduced conifers on soil chemistry, and an assessment of the suitability of the reserve for reintroducing sloths.

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Travel & Accommodation

You will be given easy to follow instructions on how to reach the project from the airport.

Accommodation is on-site, and includes shared rooms with access to shared bathrooms (with hot showers) and a kitchen. There is Wifi available at the site. Private rooms are available for an additional fee. 

You will need to buy and prepare your own food, which is often done with other volunteers and interns. You can eat a basic, mostly vegetarian diet for around $5 USD per day

Fundraising Help


  • Minimum age 20.
  • Minimum 10 weeks commitment.
  • Practical or academic experience in flora and fauna
  • Physically capable of walking up and down steep hills and steps
  • Practical or academic experience in your desired area of study
  • Self-motivated with the ability to meet realistic deadlines
  • Have good time keeping skills
  • Comfortable living within a close-knit community
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance – full assistance provided in arranging everything you will need if you choose our Premium Support
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$17 USD per day + $250 one-off admin fee

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** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a $250 deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes accommodation, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

What’s not included:

Food, flights, airport pickup insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate