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Osa Institute offers projects in which you can come for volunteering, internships, service learning abroad, or group trip.


We offer programs that include accommodations and meal plans transportation, in-country support, field coordinators, and additional aspects upon request such as excursions, learning courses, and language immersion.

Our team is happy to assist in customizing any program to specific needs. 

Our projects focus on long-lasting social and environmental benefits by combining citizen science, education, outreach, and conservation. Volunteering with us will give you the opportunity allows you to participate in conservation efforts, connect with local communities, and immerse yourself in the splendor of the virgin rainforest.
The coastal and marine ecosystems of Osa support extensive marine resources including dolphins, whales, sharks, coral reefs, and important fish stocks. Osa's coastal and marine ecosystems  The peninsula is separated from the mainland by one of only four tropical deep-water fjords in the world, the Golfo Dulce. Rich in marine mammals and sea turtles, this gulf supports a vibrant artisanal fishing and ecotourism industry.

Our goal is to successfully engage society in ecological sustainability to ensure the survival of Osa’s ecosystems and the economic success of its residents. We accomplish this goal by providing environmental education to Osa residents and reaching out to local communities to strengthen environmental awareness and engage citizens in protecting their natural and economic resources. Our environmental education program is dedicated to increasing society’s engagement with the natural world through science and exploration and to training a new generation of citizen stewards. We engage in community outreach through collaborations with schools, community groups, and government bodies through environmental events, activities, and celebrations.

Marine Conservation: 

Puerto Jiménez location

Encompasses activities related to dolphin and whale data monitoring via kayaks and drone technology, beach clean up, and sea turtle conservation.

Monday: Beach Clean-Up 

Tuesday: Kayak Monitoring of Dolphins & Whales

Wednesday: Sea Turtle Conservation

Thursday: Kayak Monitoring of Dolphins & Whales

Friday: Beach Clean-Up

Language requirement? No

Qualification requirement? Good physical condition helps and being able to swim



Ciudad Cortes Location

Participate in our free community health fairs under doctor supervision, assist at the elderly home under professional supervision in pre-med nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. 

Language requirement? No

Qualification requirement? No, skill set with certification may be necessary if participant would like to perform specific tasks that requires so


Sea Turtle Conservation:

Ciudad Cortes Location

Work with the in-risk of extinction Caray- Hawksbill Turtle and 2 other species.

Participate in Tagging of turtles as well as GPS monitoring of route of hawksbill turtle in Costa Rica

Take biometric measurements of eggs, nests, turtles, etc. depending the investigation

Record data on turtle tracks and nest location

Perform nest excavations when needed and relocate vulnerable nests to our hatchery or safer sectors on the beach depending the time of year and investigation

Evaluate hatching success rates.

Monitor nesting sites for hatchlings and predators.

Carry out nest protection techniques and assessment of potential risk factors.

Mark and nest protection with bamboo net, method to stop predation by dogs to nest

Move nests of eggs to nursery for care until hatched and released back into the ocean

Take care of nursery/hatchery of baby turtle eggs

Release baby turtles back into the ocean


After patrols, you will:

Enter and check data on our database.*

Ensure equipment is cleaned and ready for the next patrol.

Other tasks include:

Training patrol leaders for a partner organization.

Giving presentations to various groups and local schools, as well as the eco-tourists.

Language requirement? No

Qualification requirement? No, physically fit to participate in patrols



Location Puerto Jiménez

As a civilian scientist, support our team of local and international on-staff biologists and their ongoing research and scientific investigations in flora and fauna, birds, bats, snakes, frogs, mammals, etc.,

Help with the rewilding project, nursery and sustainable garden, general sustainability projects at the research station, and lead workshops or activities at our community center to share conservation information with locals. We also have an ongoing roadkill study and snake rescue program. Field Research Centers, & Educational Centers Support 

Research Projects & Sustainable Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism 

Language requirement? No

Qualification requirement? No

Community Development:

Location Puerto Jiménez location

Help run our Community Center or local schools through educational workshops or teaching English or a specific skill set of interest. We also participate in Construction projects for community development and improvement overall.

Language requirement? No

Qualification requirement? No

General Program logistics:


What start dates are available?

Every Monday

What is the required arrival date (first night of accommodation which is included)?

Arrive to program housing no later than the Sunday before the Monday start date

What is the check out date?

Saturday at 10am, of the final week (accommodation covered from Sunday to Saturday)

What is the cost of extra nights of accommodation (per night, meals included?)


What is the minimum duration requirement?

1 week

What is the maximum duration requirement?

12 weeks

What is required, if anything, for a visa?

Most nationalities can enter on a tourist visa and stay for up to 90 days. Tourist visas can be extended for another 90 days if the traveler departs the country for at least 72 hours and returns. Travelers must always enter Costa Rica with evidence of onward travel. (No one-way ticket entries). 

Required notification time?

At least 2 weeks.


Program Fees:


Office Area and Operations Base:

Casa 4A, Barrio Canada, Ciudad Cortes, Osa, Puntarenas

Osa Institute, 400mtrs de Liceo de Agujas, Agujas, Puerto Jimenez




Fill Out Registration Form (click here) and pay registration (click here)

Send passport, flight information, with the scanned and signed code of conduct, orientation, and waiver  to

Pay remaining invoice for program costs minimum 2 weeks prior to arrival 


Group Housing-

Dormitory hostel style bunk bed rooms divided by gender. Upgrades to private rooms are available for additional cost to participants.

The main office is on the same property in both.



Two light typical Costa Rican meals are included, per day. Should you have any allergies, this will be taken into consideration and accommodated. 


Program schedule:

What is the typical Program schedule and weekly routine like? Monday orientation M-F 4 to 5 hrs daily either morning 8 to 12 or afternoon shift 12-5

What time commitment do they make during the week? M-F 4 to 5 hrs

What typically happens outside of Program hours and during the weekends? Beach, excursions, tours, language classes

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