• Costa Rica
    • San José
4 to 10 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Hostel Tent
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)


Starting Price
Price Details
4 week Expedition $3120
7 week Expedition $4574
10 week Expedition $4900

Fundraising is not essential, but if you choose to fundraise we offer lots of support to help you do that. We have supported thousands of young people to reach their fundraising target.

All our projects are driven by the needs of the communities we work in. If the community does not have 100% ownership over the projects we do, we simply do not do them. Our close partnerships and relationships on the ground, with community leaders, local NGO's, and Governmental departments, ensure that our projects are necessary and impactful.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Accommodation Activities Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Some Meals Transportation Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa Wifi
Aug 11, 2023
Sep 02, 2022
19 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Joining a Raleigh Expedition in Costa Rica is a truly life-changing experience that will not only see you take part in pertinent community and environmental projects, but will equip you with new skills and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Immersing yourself with local communities in one the worlds most biodiverse countries you will work alongside local NGO's, communities, and Park Rangers to preserve vulnerable natural resources, improve access to education for indigenous communities, and take part in a once in a lifetime trek across a truly stunning landscape.

Raleigh expeditions are a truly immersive cultural experience that combine adventure, personal development, and impactful projects to create truly life-enhancing journeys. Do it for you, do it for the planet!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Our programs run for 4, 7, and 10 weeks throughout the year, so you can join during your gap year or in the summer.
  • Be with people your age: Apart from team leaders and staff, you will be grouped with people aged 17-24 from all around the world. Getting to share your adventure with a group of like-minded people the same age as you is unique to Raleigh.
  • Develop essential teamwork, leadership, intercultural learning, and active citizenship skills and knowledge. These are the foundations of becoming an active future leader.
  • Diverse and inclusive: Volunteers join diverse teams of young people from across the globe as well as volunteers from the country you are based in.
  • Real adventure: Raleigh Expedition is an exciting and fun experience that will push you out of your comfort zone. You will get to experience true adventure in a safe and supported way.

Program Impact

So far we have planted over 100,000 trees, given 900,000 people access to clean water & sanitation, all while transforming the lives of over 55,000 young people through the power of volunteering abroad.

Why don't you become part of a global community dedicated to supporting youth-led action on the worlds most important issues?

Raleigh International is all about supporting, equipping, and inspiring young people to create and make change long after Expedition is over. From creating sustainable start-ups, to challenging gender inequality and calling for action on the climate emergency and human rights, the skills you learn on Raleigh will stay with you for the rest of your life.

If we are going to finally overcome poverty and injustice, find sustainable ways to protect our planet, and achieve the UN Global Goals, young people must be the ones taking the lead and driving the solutions.

Program Reviews

4.73 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 84.62%
  • 4 rating 11.54%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 3.85%
  • Impact 4.6
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 4.45
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A truly once in a lifetime experience!

Highly recommend the experience for gap year students. I spent 3 weeks in an indigenous community learning from and supporting them. The community was a 2hr bus then a 5hr trek into the mountains but so worth it. Everyone had the overcome personal challenges whether it was fear of insects or no phone signal for 3 weeks. As a group we came away so close after being there through the highs and the lows. The trek was amazing as well, tough mentally and physically, but such an achievement! Came away with so many friends, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience!

95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I will never forget

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with amazing landscapes and a wide variety of animals. I loved that I was able to join an indigenous community I would have never been able to meet otherwise and prove myself to be capable of anything after completing the Adventure Leadership Trek. The people I did the projects with were all very hard-working, supportive and kind, which made the projects much more fun and easier. The challenging bit of my Raleigh expedition was having barely any personal space, which made me feel overwhelmed and drained from time to time. As an introvert, I need some time to recharge every now and then, but because I was always around other people I did not always feel like I could fully recharge. This, however, did also help me with opening up to other people and communicating my needs to them.

  • Good safety measures
  • Amazing people to work with
  • Beautiful surroundings
  • Lack of personal space + not much space to have some alone time and fully recharge
  • Chaotic/stressful atmosphere on Fieldbase (the place all volunteers meet before Expedition and in between projects)
113 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica

I’ve always been a very quiet and introverted type of person so taking part in Raleigh was a really big thing for me. I knew no one before I arrived and was completely out of my comfort zone! Being surrounded by positive and likeminded individuals helped me to come out of my shell and just be myself. Working in indigenous communities and in wildlife parks was so worthwhile as you can see the positive difference that you make which was so special. Trekking 256km through the heart of Costa Rica was both physically and mentally challenging but also so fun and rewarding as it makes you realise how much you’re really capable of. I have made some of my best memories on Raleigh and was probably THE best thing I have ever done in my life! I have grown so much as an individual and made friends for life. If you’re not quite sure whether or not to take part in Raleigh just take the leap of faith because you will most certainly not regret it!

111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica - February to April 2022

For my gap year before university, I spent 10 weeks volunteering with Raleigh International in Costa Rica from February to April 2022. I didn’t have many expectations before heading out, only that I would be doing a community project, environmental project and a trek. Within 3 days of arriving, I felt really settled and had made friends I’d felt I’d known be years. First, I did the indigenous community project which I absolutely loved. We were so isolated, with no service and connection to the outer world which I loved! It was easy to connect as a group and mix in with the children. We helped repair a turmite-infested building, build a guard house, and then we taught some classes to the children about the environment, English and maths. We also did a few sports days which was really fun, and being able to speak Spanish, I could communicate with the children (who’s second language was Spanish too). We did an action day, in which we taught the community about the importance about keeping the water source clean, and then took part in a football match! The locals gave us a few Cabecar lessons (their language) and taught us about their culture, which was such a privilege! For my second project, I volunteered in a national park. We helped clear the paths of leaves and rocks, dig holes for new fence posts and make a new hot spring. It was a lot harder work, and we often only found out what we were doing that morning which could be frustrating. However, we were camping within a national park, where nobody else could stay and woke up to monkeys in the trees above us, and surrounded by amazing wildlife. It was honestly an amazing experience. Finally, I took part on a 19 day trek. It was a challenging experience, but one I can say that is very doable! We bonded so well as a group, and were always so supportive of each other. The VM’s and Field Base team helped us with any issues we had and made sure to cater for what we needed and when, even if it wasn’t the plan, which really helped when some of our team were ill. The views we had, and the towns we passed through was such an amazing experience, and one I would love to do again! I would so recommend Raleigh to anybody. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, where you make likeminded best friends which you will keep for the rest of your life.

113 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh Costa Rica

I had the most amazing 10 weeks volunteering in Costa Rica for Raleigh. It had allowed me to explore a new country in a completely unique way, whilst at the same time having a genuine and positive impact on the people and the environment. I had the opportunity to camp in a national park; live inside a remote indigenous community and trek 260km across the breadth of the country, experiences that most people will never have access to. Raleigh has also helped me grow in confidence as a leader, and develop my communication skills in social situations. I have met so many amazing people, many of which I will stay in touch with for a long time.

  • Super safe and organised way to travel
  • Opportunity to see remote parts of a country
  • You will meet loads of new friends
  • Sometimes the structure can feel slightly restraining
113 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Raleigh expedition in Costa Rica

I spent 10 weeks in Costa Rica with Raleigh international. My first project, a 3 week trek was incredible. The team was amazing and I definitely learnt more about leadership roles and improved my confidence. My next phase was spent in an indigenous Comunity, helping to build a dining room for a school. This will improve access to education and definitely felt like we were making lasting change. The final environmental phase was so good seeing all the wildlife and helping the rangers. My experience in Raleigh has been so rewarding and made a lasting difference on my life.

  • Meet amazing people
  • Make a lasting change in communities
  • Visit places that are off the track
  • Very quick change overs
119 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional experience developing myself and others

I volunteered as a Project Manager with Raleigh Feb-Apr 2019, it was quite simply the most rewarding, exciting and fun 3 months of my life! I had the opportunity to work on all three different 'stages' from a trek across the country building the confidence of international youth, to digging trails in a National Park to bring tourism to a new remote area, to building a school in an indigenous community.
As a project manager you co-lead a group of 15-20 international volunteers aged 18-25 so your impact is not only on the local communities of Costa Rica but of also on the development of youth from all around the world.
I met friends for life and really came away feeling like a made a different to so many lives, I am proud to continue to support Raleigh as an Alumni and love continuing to watch their impact grow over seas, I couldn't recommend it more.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You will worry about things before you go like; where will I wash? where will I sleep? what will I eat? however, this all becomes a new normal and you do not even think about them when you're there. Don't sweat the small stuff!
Your challenges become; how to I engage 15 18 year olds? which way do I turn on this dirt track? how can I build a new classroom for these children? Put your concerns into perspective and enjoy it.
144 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best experiences ever!

I had such an incredible time on Raleigh. I met people I didn’t think I’d ever meet and did things I never thought I’d get the chance to do! Honestly, couldn’t recommend enough! Working in an NRM project was so beautiful and trekking across Costa Rica was challenging but so rewarding! Working with indigenous communities was so eye opening and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to go there. I have made incredible friends that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life and I really hope that many more people will get to have the experience that I have had! The support and learning you receive throughout your Raleigh experience is invaluable. I feel I have developed so many different hard and soft skills, few of which I would ever have had the chance to develop had it not been for Raleigh. Thank you all so much!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
How much I learned in three months! I now know more about who I am and what I want to achieve in life! The most surprising thing was really how much you can be pushed to your limit and still succeed.
150 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers