- Who We Are
- Who You Are
- Jungle Healing Retreats
- Volunteer Projects
Your basic weekly fee covers the cost of your meals, lodging and any related program costs, such as background checks for those working with children.
The Administration Fee covers our necessary expenses of operating our programs. These costs include expenses such as our electricity, rent, water, internet, etc. After operating expenses are paid, 100% of our proceeds go to help fund our non-profit, the Casa Milagro Foundation.
All of our host families are well screened for cleanliness, safety and friendliness. Room sizes and styles will vary from house to house but normally you will have your own private room with private bathroom. Some rooms have fans and television sets. Not all homes have hot water showers. Please inquire for more info.
Some of our host families are Costa Rican and don’t speak any English. More than 90% of our volunteers do not speak any Spanish. This is never a problem. Our families are quite accustomed to finding ways to communicate with our visitors.
. They are always glad to welcome our participants into their homes and appreciate the volunteer work you are doing.
The answer to this question really depends on what you intend to do in Costa Rica apart from your volunteer program. For instance, while at any of our projects you don’t need any extra money for lodging or food. Most of our volunteers, however, do take part in several of our tours. Apart from tours, you may want money for snacks, a meal or two away from your host family or volunteer lodge to try our local cuisine, perhaps some souvenirs, or a drink at the local watering hole.
Children traveling alone are restricted to 18 years of age or 16 and 17 with parent permission. We allow children of all ages to travel with a guardian. We also encourage it.
Costa Rica is a very family-oriented country. There is no better way to get to know the country, culture, language and people than to come and live with another family for a while.
Almost all of our host families have small children themselves. So this cultural enrichment and exchange is not only good for the adults, but it is also great for the children. Some parents have been worried in the past that it would be hard for their children to adapt, but we’ve found the opposite. Their children have adapted much faster and easier than they have.
We suggest people who do not have much experience in traveling outside of their own area to start with something on the mild end. Culture shock is real. It not only affects the traveler, but also the family they are staying with, the community they are volunteering in and the organization they are working with.
So for instance, we might discourage a first-time traveler from signing up for a 2-week volunteer trip to work deep in the Talamanca Indigenous Reservation, and perhaps suggest teaching English in a small town like Hojancha where they would be living with a more “modern” family in a type of house that would be more similar to the kind they are used to.
All that being said, we would certainly encourage volunteer travel, as it is an amazing way to learn more about one’s self and the world around them. We know for us it changed our lives and made us the people we are today.
Costa Rica is a big playground for kids. Between the waterfalls, animals, other children, beaches, butterflies, etc….it’s a living classroom.
They really get another perspective of how other people live and it opens up their minds in a way that they can’t get out of a classroom or a book. It also helps prepare them to be more empathic adults and citizens.
But as far as any other issues go, I really can’t think of any. Children under the age of 12 in Costa Rica often get to stay in hotels free, travel in private shuttles for half-price, eat inexpensively, etc. So plan to stay a few extra days and we will help you plan a great excursion!
Please see here why traveling with us is different.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets. San Jose International Airport (SJO) is the best airport to fly into for most of our projects. However, if you are going to be in a project in the Guanacaste Region only and will not be doing any traveling before or after throughout other parts of the country, then Liberia International Airport (LIR) might be the best choice for you.
Travelers need the following documents to enter Costa Rica:
For more information about visa requirements, please visit the Costa Rica Visa Resource Center.
Ninety five percent of our guests receive no shots or vaccines, nor have any of our guests run into any medical problems during or just following their trip. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control do not require any vaccinations prior to leaving the United States. They do, however, offer some helpful information for travelers to consider on their website.
You might also want to review the Costa Rica Consular page on the US State Department’s website.
We suggest you consider bringing the following items:
If you are participating in one of our programs on the indigenous reservation, Monte Alto, Barra Honda, or Monkey Park, please consider bringing the following:
Some countries require their citizens to get a Yellow Fever vaccination before returning back to their home country after visiting Costa Rica. This is not the case for the US or Canada. For more information please see this chart.
If you want to use your own cell phone, you need to know the following:
Costa Rica has two seasons, dry and rainy. The dry seasons typically runs from late November to late April and represents the high tourist season. In many parts of the country, especially along the Caribbean coast, you can expect some kind of rain year-round (it is the rainforest after all). Most days, however, start out sunny with just a few hours of rainfall in the afternoon and evening.
Temperatures vary primarily with elevations, not with seasons. The Central Valley region feels much cooler, due to higher altitudes. Beach regions such as Puerto Viejo, where our programs are based, tend to feel much warmer and can be very humid. Average year-round temperatures are 75 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night.
The Guanacaste Region in the Pacific Northwest is a more dry and arid area when they are not in their rainy season. They get the most rain between September and October. Between December and April it might not rain a drop.
We will help you plan all the transportation necessary for your trip. There are options to fit everyone’s budget, from public buses to charter flights. We have many years working with safe and friendly service providers and are happy to help you with all the details.
The unit of currency in Costa Rica is the colón (plural is colones). The current exchange rate is approximately 500 colones to the American dollar. We will drive you to an ATM machine or a hotel to withdraw or exchange your money. You will receive the best rate of exchange by withdrawing cash with your ATM card, however, major hotels will exchange money at decent rates as well.
You can bring traveler’s checks with you, but only some banks and possibly some hotels will cash them, and you will be charged a fee. Credit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica.
We are happy to help you arrange special activities and tours, such as:
And much much more!