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Costa Rica Rewilding

Wildlife + Cloud Forest

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Looking for more flexible dates?See our current dates

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Rescue, rehabilition and release

Showcases the best of Costa Rica

UPDATE (For British Citizens): Costa Rica is currently on the UK Hotel Quarantine Red List so our plan is to add 10 days in a non-red list destination on your way home to the UK.

Embrace the ‘pura vida’ and join a team of volunteers on a wildlife conservation based adventure that’ll take you right to the heart of Costa Rica, where you’ll meet some dynamic characters determined to make a difference to Costa Rica's incredible and unique animals and birds.

Your adventure will journey through 3 different locations, starting at the Sun Rescue Wildlife sanctuary on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica’s north west Pacific coast. Here you will see wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release in action before you head to Santa Teresa to practice your yoga and surfing. After this you'll head to Cirenas for a spot of turtle conservation before the grand finale of Monteverde - where you will explore the cloud forest and tackle their amazing zip wires - got to be done.

This is what we have planned…

Embrace the ‘pura vida’ and join a team of volunteers on a conservation based adventure that’ll take you right to the heart of Costa Rica


Program Itinerary

Welcome to our Costa Rican Rewilding programme.

The following is a sample itinerary.

Arrival

San Jose Meet the team

Arrival in San Jose

You will all be picked up at San Jose Airport and taken to the Rosa of America hotel to decompress after your flight. There is a little pool here, cute little bungalows and the surround sound jungle noise so you will instantly feel the tropical vibe of this stunning country.


Accommodation

Rosa of America Hotel

Food

Breakfast and supper included.

Costa Rica Rewilding
Weeks 1 + 2

Sun Rescue Wildlife Sanctuary Rewilding and Conservation

Welcome to Sun Rescue Wildlife Sanctuary

Week 1 and 2
You’ll be up early to head out to Sun Rescue Wildlife Sanctuary. This is one of those very special places which we have been wanting to support for years...and has been suffering through lockdown as they rely heavily on volunteer income to feed the animals and employ their staff.

Their main ethos is to rescue, rehabilitate and release their wildlife, so you will see satisfying process in action, whilst enjoying guided beaches walks, clean ups and waterfall hikes on your day off.

They are delighted to have you all to stay and have lots of jobs for you to help with such as:

  • Daily feeding of the wildlife
  • Daily cleaning out the cages
  • Basic renovations




Accommodation

Really lovely cabana style accommodation with bunk beds.

Food

3 meals a day provided.

Costa Rica Rewilding
Week 3

Santa Teresa + Turtle Sanctuary Turtles and Downtime

Beach Time and Turtles

5 nights
So, you’ve explored the jungle, helped the wildlife now it’s time to hit the beach and find the turtles. Heading to the epi-centre of the Leap operations in Costa Rica – that being Santa Teresa. It is a very cool, hip town with a great surfing, yoga vibe.

What we have planned here is to stay beachside but within this time you will nip off for 3 nights to live and work at Cirenas. They can only take 12 at a time so you will split into two teams and head out back to back.

Whilst you’re at the beach – you will have some down time, 2 x surf lessons and a spot of yoga thrown in for good measure.

3 nights
Cirenas is one of Costa Rica’s main wildlife conservation NGO’s. Their base is focused on turtle conservation who need our help to protect the eggs and hatchlings of Olive Ridley, Black Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species, who visit this ‘semi-intensive’ nesting beach at night to nest.

The principle objective is to protect adult female turtles and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to high amounts of rainfall in nesting season. This is achieved by the construction of a ‘hatchery’.

Here you will work between 4 and 6 hours per day with occasional night shifts.

Typical jobs will include; maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean.

We are also trying to protect them from the effects of plastic in the ocean, so the beach clean ups are vital.



Accommodation

Santa Teresa beach – hip little beachside hostel.
Cirenas – you’ll live in a very chic volunteers bungalow in the middle of the jungle, just a 10 min stroll from the beach.

Food

Santa Teresa – Breakfast and lunch included.Supper will be extra in one of the beachside cafes.

Cirenas – 3 meals a day provided.

Costa Rica Rewilding
Week 4

Monte Verde Cloud Forest Cloud Forest Adventure

Monte Verde Cloud Forest

Set on top of the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide, Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns that dot the country's famous shoreline. It is a place of cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity.

Due to its high altitude – some 4,662 ft (1,440 m) above sea level – Monteverde is privileged to receive a steady supply of clouds and the life-giving moisture that they contain. This moisture, often in the form of fog, catches on branches of the tallest trees and drips down to other organisms below. This helps to support a complex and far-reaching ecosystem that harbours over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants.

Each day here, you will walk and explore this amazing location via guided hikes, zip wiring across canyons or join a hanging bridge tour.

Accommodation

Local hostel in the center of town

Food

2 meals a day - supper is out and about in the town

Costa Rica Rewilding
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Red List Response Save Responsible Travel

Travelling to a Red List Country

We want to reassure people that whilst the UK has added Costa Rica to a red list we closely monitor the COVID situation and have effective covid safety policies in place and whilst COVID is a risk in any country it’s not hampering our ability to safely run the programme and not affecting any activity.

Whilst the rates have recently increased in Costa Rica, rates are steadily dropping and their vaccination rate is being effectively rolled out – they have vaccinated approx. 29% of the population (1 st dose).

The government has taken local initiatives to reduce COVID numbers, such as maintaining a curfew from 9 PM and closing various establishments that do not abide by their COVID laws. These initiatives are working. None of these restrictions stop us from delivering the programme or itinerary and with a like-minded team of people at the camp, being back in camp before 9 PM doesn’t affect the ability to socialise in camp either.

Costa Rica has an excellent medical system and there is no risk of a lack of beds in hospitals, especially in the numerous private hospitals which would be the hospitals that Leapers use through their travel insurance.

They have an effective trace system and no known variants of concern (that we are aware of). All of which surprises us that the UK government has made this decision.

The Costa Rica government welcomes UK travellers who comply with their entry requirements and they are made very welcome in our project locations by the communities who are so pleased with the help that Leapers are providing, not just to the projects we support but also the local economy.

To minimise risk, we provide comprehensive COVID safety protocols (risk management) pre-departure outlined in the placement guidelines, in our briefings and on the website and during the programme we carry out induction briefings, provide safety instructions: hygiene/washing etc to comply with any local laws (social distance, curfews etc).

Much of the programme takes place outside in well-ventilated spaces in a warm climate, all of which significantly reduce the transmission of COVID.

In the six months we have successfully sent volunteers to Costa Rica we have not had one Leaper become seriously ill or hospitalized due to COVID.

To safely and responsibly avoid UK hotel quarantine, we add on 11 nights in an amber country on the way home.

Flying to another country for 11 nights is also safe as it's based on complying with that country's entry requirement (such as a negative PCR test) before you can enter.

We will continue to run our programmes for those who would like to go and will endeavour to find safe and responsible solutions to get you home.

Costa Rica Rewilding
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Covid Protocol Responsible and safe travel

Social Bubble
The Leap team and staff in the camp will create a social bubble. Handwash and cough and sneeze protocol as stipulated by WHO will be respected.

When outside the accommodation in each location, everyone will have to respect the social distancing rules and wear masks when they are in shops, cafes and supermarkets.

Airport Transfers
The whole team will be picked up in our sanitized air-conditioned minivans, with support vehicles for luggage. The drivers will all be part of the volunteer bubble.

Symptoms - Sick Bay
Anyone showing any mild symptoms will be housed in separate accommodation in each location. If we feel the symptoms are COVID related Chris will get the patient and team tested and protect everyone accordingly.

If someone tests positive, we will follow the government regulations, but this will involve isolating the whole group for 8 days to make sure no one else gets sick. In this case, we will make sure everyone is kept busy with projects in the phase, before moving to the next phase.

Costa Rica Rewilding
Costa Rica Rewilding
Costa Rica Rewilding
Costa Rica Rewilding
Costa Rica Rewilding
Costa Rica Rewilding

Program Details & Costs

This is a dynamic fast paced program, lead by our experienced Costa Rican team. For those interested in the Rewilding program for 2022 please look at the Adventure program as we are putting Rewilding on hold.

Options and costs

Our 2022 dates are being worked on currently, get in touch on info@theleap.co.uk if you would like to enquire.

Whats included?

National Park

Live in one of the most iconic National Parks in the world.

Social Life

Team of 24 volunteers, who come from all over the world, so it's busy and fun.

Wildlife

Help save the wildlife center.

Environments

Three different environments to explore.

Free time

You will have free time interwoven into your 4 week.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Downtime in one the local yoga retreat.
  • Surfing in Samara.
  • Kayaking & Snorkelling.
  • Zip wiring through the National Park.
Costa Rica Rewilding

Jungle Surf Camp - it's so much more.

This program is run by the dynamic Chris Patterson who has been our Costa Rican partner for over 10 years.

Chris has run travel and Spanish courses since the 1990’s and has become increasingly passionate about the crisis of plastic waste in our waters and the damage it is doing. Seeing dolphins and turtles time and time again, washed up on the shoreline wrapped up in discarded fishing nets was enough to break him into action.

So, Chris now welcomes volunteers into his home, lovingly named the Jungle Surf Camp, who will set about learning Spanish with the aim to get out into the community to bang the drum about plastic. Backed by the Oceans of Plastic campaign and documentaries he wants our leapers to teach, explain and steer changing attitudes.

In addition to the above Chris has planned this adventure for us, in response to the demand of gap year students who want to travel responsibly.

Costa Rica Rewilding

"An experience not to be missed!​​"

The Leap took all the responsibility and stress out of the gap year experience. Would advise that all teenagers do this part of their gap year before they 'free' travel. The Leap are highly professional and inclusive of parents.

- Sara

"Thank you for making this possible despite COVID."

Thank you for the update. As expected George has maintained radio silence so good to hear that they have arrived ok. Also wanted to say how useful your video updates have been. I’m so envious of them launching on their travel adventures. Seems like only yesterday that I was heading off with a backpack. No phones, only a weekly blue airmail letter home. Thanks to all at The Leap for making this possible for them despite COVID.


- Romney Lewis

"You are amazing organising it all"

How exciting for them!! - Trip of a lifetime. Inigo has been stuck at home since last March as I suppose they all have - so what a wonderful, exciting, fun and not to mention horizons broadening time they will have. You are AMAZING organising it all - I don't know how you do it. Huge thanks for everything


- Rose (mum)

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