PMGY volunteer in Costa Rica participants are based in Coronado. This is a very popular suburb of San Jose and home to nearly 60,000 residents! It’s a small tico town with a very typical way of life. The city is set at the foot of Braulio Carrillo National Park, a virtually untouched location home to over 150 different species of animals.
Right in the centre of the city lies the most beautiful cathedrals in Costa Rica, San Isidro de Coronado. Aside from the beauty of this location, you can find yourself at a prime spot to take a boat tour through the rainforest, hike to the Locos Por el Bosque cloud forest reserve, eat at Kaffa Café and visit the La Paz Waterfalls Gardens.
Participants generally volunteer on a Monday-Friday basis and the weekends are free to relax or travel further afield. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend. Our local team are able to arrange activities, transport and accommodation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core program.
Coronado is located 10km from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Take off after your morning Spanish lessons to visit for a cappuccino or fresh juice at the local cafe, hope on a bus to the San Jose for a movie at the cinema or even join a tour to Irazú Volcano. Be sure to plan out your time volunteering so you don’t miss some of the best attractions in San Jose including the National Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, the up and coming Escalante neighbourhood with cool bars and restaurants and the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden.
MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
Captivate your senses with walking trails surrounded by wildlife, or relaxing on beautiful beaches. The magic of the beach and the greenery of the forest come together in one place; the result is a natural paradise! Manuel Antonio National Park is the Protected Wild Area that receives the largest number of international and local tourists. In addition to beaches, the Park offers a very humid tropical forest where species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction coexist, a mangrove, marine environments, islands and a lagoon of 14 hectares.
This place is a paradise dream! The laidback attitude of the coastal town off the shores of the Caribbean Sea has every visitor in paradise. The crystal-clear waters, tropical vegetation, unique culture and opportunity for hikes overlooking the coast are just a few of many reasons why you have to visit. Rent a bicycle and ride through the streets of the town. During the days spend your time horseback riding, turtle watching, night hikes, joining Caribbean cooking classes, having a dance lesson or simply relaxing on the beach watching the sunset!
The surf city! The year-round constant surf will be the perfect place to learn or enjoy the waves. The town is the closest to San José, making it perfect for a day or weekend escapade. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains where you can hike and explore for yourself or hop on an aerial tram to the top only to descend by zip-lines. You can easily rent a board or book a surf lesson to get wet at Jaco Beach. After that, you can enjoy cheap-but-delicious local meals or a more fine dining in one of the many international food restaurants.
Jacó is a beautiful, energetic beach town that’s located within 2 hours of Costa Rica’s capital and is known for its carefree party atmosphere and exceptional aquatic activities. Jacó hosts both national and international surf tournaments during the year. However, if surfing it’s not your thing, there is still plenty to do around. Combine this with a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park or hike the nearby Carara National Park for a more relaxed experience in nature, looking for monkeys and Red Macaws.
The incredible sight of a perfect conic volcano reflected in the Lake will be the setting for your visit to the Arenal region, the adventure capital of Costa Rica. Hike to impressive waterfalls, visit the lush rainforest and walk on top of the canopy on hanging bridges, and relax in the mineral hot springs. Arenal offers many options to rest during adventures, including a hotel in the middle of Arenal volcano national park. You can combine your visit with other locations such as Río Celeste or Monteverde, two truly natural wonders of Costa Rica.