Projects Abroad | Wildlife Conservation

Costa Rica: Primate & Sloth Reintroduction project

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica


Location: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Duration: Minimum 4 weeks, maximum 6 months

Start Dates: Project is ongoing, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability

Cost: $600 USD / £480 GBP for the 1st month (price staggered for longer stays) – see ‘Costs’ tab for further details


  • Hands-on experience in conservation efforts working with Costa Rican wildlife, including options for research, environmental education and community projects.
  • Ideal for those studying animal science, zoology, ecology, conservation.
  • Keywords: wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, environmental education, internships.
Costs Explained


The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is known to be even more laid back than the Pacific side, if such a thing is even possible. This project is located in one of the least exploited areas of South Costa Rica. Due to the low influx of development and tourism, the wildlife here is truly astonishing! However, with the increasing interaction between animals and humans, whether it is through tourism or industrial development, most often these encounters do not end happily for the animals.

The organisation running this rescue centre was founded by a European biologist couple who relocated to Costa Rica after seeing many animals faring badly while on their many trips. Since its inception in 2008, the centre has successfully rescued and rehabilitated more than 400 animals. The centre cares for a wide range of animals, including mammals such as sloths, monkeys, wild cats and coatis, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  The centre operates a very hands-on approach in their rehabilitation method, with a firm belief that direct contact is beneficial in dealing with traumatised and injured animals.

The Primate & Sloth Reintroduction project is a perfect placement for anyone looking to gain hands-on experience working with wildlife, while living in a stunning jungle location.

Daily Life

As a long-term intern at this project, you have a unique opportunity to be closely involved in the rehabilitation and reintroduction of various species that have been brought to the centre.

While short-term volunteers here exclusively work at the centre, as an intern you will also work at a wildlife reserve in La Ceiba, where the NGO has purchased around 50 hectares of primary rainforest to use as an introduction site and also to help preserve and protect the land from overdevelopment. Most animals reintroduced here are felines and monkeys, however other species are sometimes also introduced. You will need to stay at least 1 week at the release centre.

This is a flexible and fascinating project for anyone set on a career in wildlife conservation and a great opportunity to gain serious hands-on experience in the field.

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

You will be given easy-to-follow instructions on how to get to the project location from San Jose International Airport using local transportation. Once in the nearest town, you can get a taxi to the project HQ.

While at the project the easiest way to get around is by bike, which you can buy or rent from a local shop.

You will be staying in a volunteer guesthouse in La Ceiba, where you will live surrounded by beautiful primary rainforest. Accommodation is in shared bedrooms with access to a fully equipped kitchen and a hot water bathroom.

You should budget $15 per day for accommodation and around $10 per day for food.

Fundraising Help


  • Minimum stay of 1 month (1 week at La Ceiba and 3 weeks at the rescue center)
  • Minimum age 18
  • Previous experience is not required but is appreciated. However you are expected to be passionate about animals!
  • Basic Spanish skills are necessary in order to communicate effectively with the team
  • If you plan to work with monkeys you are required to provide proof of a negative TB test
  • Ability to take part in physical labour in a tropical climate.
  • Aware that work includes various different assignments, and not exclusively working with the animals
  • Necessary vaccinations, insurance, flights & visas. Premium support available.
Premium Support Upgrade


$600 USD / £480 GBP* for the 1st month + $350 for each additional month ($210 p/m at the rehabilitation centre + $140 p/m at the release centre + $250 one-off admin fee)

* Currency conversions are approximate.
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** Place is confirmed with the 1st month deposit.

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes;

  • Integration into the project, both at the rehabilitation and release centres.
  • Breakfast and accommodation included at the release centre only.
  • 3 days orientation & training (including a talk on safety from the local Police),
  • Full in-country support
  • Certificate of completion
  • A visit to the ARA PROJECT
  • Project T-shirt
What’s not included:

Food & accommodation (when not at the release centre), flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full support will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

You should budget $15 per day for accommodation and around $10 per day for food whilst at the rehabilitation centre. Laundry costs approx. $5

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.

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Past Participants Say

Krista Stark
Krista Stark
United States
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
Extra Activities
  "I am currently a student at Duke University, going into my second year. I am majoring in environmental sciences and hope to work closely with the environment and species that comprise it. I was researching online for an opportunity to volunteer over the summer in a place that I could work hands on with animals in their natural habitat. W...
Read More
Krista Stark
Krista Stark
United States
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
Extra Activities
  "Overall, my experience at the Center was life changing. By the end of the project, I wished I could have spent more time at the center, as I felt I was only just starting to understand how everything functioned. My month volunteering there went very quickly and I feel the friends I made will be lifelong. The project itself definitely ful...
Read More