Travel to Costa Rica and join a remote wildlife sanctuary where you’ll help care for an array of mammals, birds, and reptiles. You’ll gain practical experience in animal husbandry and get the chance to conduct your own independent research while contributing to valuable wildlife conservation work.

This internship places you with a nonprofit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center and sanctuary in Costa Rica. This organization rescues and rehabilitates injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat. They tend animals that have been injured due to traffic accidents, electrocutions, domestic animal attacks, and the pet trade. In cases where the animals’ issues are too severe, the sanctuary also serves as a refuge for wildlife.

As an intern, you’ll be responsible for tending to the upkeep of the sanctuary’s wildlife. As well as your wildlife husbandry duties, you’ll participate in animal restraint and capturing, managing onsite camera traps, conducting public tours, and facilitating educational lectures and workshops. On top of all that you’ll get to devise and manage your own independent research projects. You’ll build a broad skill set in wildlife care and gain deep insight into nonprofit conservation work.


Based in Costa Rica, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife in the Alturas region of the Puntarenas province. This area loses a lot of its wildlife due to road accidents, electrocutions, domestic animal attacks, and the pet trade.

The organization runs a 24/7 veterinary clinic where they treat injured, sick, or orphaned animals with the primary goal being to release them. In cases where re-release isn’t possible when the animal has been domesticated or disabled, the sanctuary also serves as a refuge. Established in 2014, they have already established themselves as a valuable asset to conservation efforts in the region and have saved over 2000 animals.


A certain portion of your internship will be spent on your own independent research project which will be agreed upon with your supervisors beforehand. Beyond that, you can expect great variety in your daily tasks during the program. The main focus of your work will be the daily husbandry of the sanctuary and rehab for the animals. Additionally, observe necropsies, and participate in community outreach work.


Your duties may include:

  • Participating in daily husbandry of sanctuary and rehab animals
  • Diet preparation and feeding animals
  • Creating and administering nutritional enrichment
  • Feeding juvenile animals and neonates
  • Carrying out an independent research project
  • Writing records
  • Observing routine necropsies
  • Animal restraint and capture methods
  • Participating in animal training sessions at the sanctuary
  • Managing our onsite camera trap program
  • Carrying out public tours
  • Participating in weekly, educational lectures/ workshops put on by our staff


  • Studying for a related degree such as zoology, wildlife conservation or animal care
  • Two academic and/or professional references UPON APPLICATION
  • A passion for wildlife conservation and community outreach work
  • Hardworking and responsible
  • Strong team player
  • Public speaking
  • Fluent English language skills, Spanish is a bonus


Interns will stay in the Wildlife Sanctuary’s on-site volunteer house. Here, you’ll enjoy private or shared bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, laundry services and Wifi. You’ll also be able to enjoy a range of outdoor activities like surfing, yoga, hiking, and waterfall tours.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Costa Rica is generally considered a safe travel destination although you have to keep the normal safety precautions in mind (take care of your valuables, don’t go out alone after dark, etc.). Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before your internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy. Malaria risk is low, but consult your local health on whether or not to take any malaria medication.



Free Wifi is available at your accommodation to stay in touch with family and friends while abroad.



Three vegetarian meals a day from Monday to Sunday are provided. During the week, a chef will prepare lunch and dinner for you. You will need to prepare you own breakfast and meals over the weekend using the food provided (special requests for groceries can be made).

Location details

Location details

The organization is situated in the biological corridor that connects the Pacific Rainforest to the Osa Peninsula. This area houses 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity and contains the highest density in the world. The accommodation for this internship provides an up-close experience of one of the most exciting, and scientifically significant ecosystems on the planet.


Fee Breakdown

Arrival is always on Wednesday or Sunday (mid day to 8PM). The exact start and end dates will be discussed with you during the selection process.

NOTE: this internship has limited availability; it’s recommended to apply at least 4-6 months prior to your ideal arrival date

What you’ll pay (valid until 1 June 2024)

4 weeks USD 2,006

6 weeks USD 2,668

8 weeks USD 3,302

10 weeks USD 3,910

12 weeks USD 4,493

NOTE: Internship applications for 2024 are now closed. Applications are open for start dates in 2025.


  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation based on a double room. If you prefer a single room or A/C, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Three vegetarian meals a day from Monday to Sunday (NB. During the week a chef will prepare lunch and dinner for you, during the weekend you prepare your own meals using food provided)
  • Wifi access
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship


  • Flights to Juan Santa Maria Airport
  • Transfer from the airport to the organization (private taxi, shuttle bus, or public bus)
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Costa Rica.

What can I expect from an internship in Costa Rica?

During your internship, you can expect to gain a mix of professional development and cultural exploration. Also, throughout your internship, you’ll gain hands-on experience in your chosen field, collaborating with locals and fellow interns, building relationships and a strong network.

How will a nonprofit internship in Costa Rica boost my career development?

As you engage in meaningful projects that contribute to sustainable development and environmental causes, you’ll gain a sense of purpose and passion for creating a positive change. Also, you’ll get to use and sharpen your professional skills, as well as your interpersonal skills. If you wish to know more about how doing a nonprofit internship is good for your career, make sure to check this blog out!

While on an internship in Costa Rica can I receive university credit?

Yes, but you must ensure with your university supervisor that the internship meets the needed requirements. You can also choose to purchase transfer credits to supplement your internship experience.

Will I receive compensation of any kind during my internship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any sort of stipend. When interning for a nonprofit organization, you will not be paid, but here are some ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring opportunities for both professional and personal growth and a wealth of new knowledge which is invaluable!


LOCATION: Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
PROJECT FOCUS: Animal Welfare & Conservation NGO
TASK FOCUS: Animal Care, Camera Traps, Training, Feeding
DURATION: 4-12 weeks
COST: From USD 2,006


  • Gain international experience in a nonprofit context
  • Work closely with incredible Costa Rican wildlife
  • Build a broad skill set in wildlife husbandry and care
  • Earn deep insight into nonprofit conservation work
  • Live and work in Costa Rica


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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