My time with Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary was everything I could have hoped it could be and more.

I had been researching wildlife rescue placements for over a year, looking for hands on work, in a beautiful place in the world, while still being safe since I was traveling alone and then I stumbled upon Alturas. It seemed to be everything I was looking for so I jumped on the opportunity to go. As soon as I stepped on the property I was welcomed with open arms and immediately felt comfortable and happy.

I would wake up every morning to the sound of Toucans and Howler Monkeys in the trees around the property, have tea and breakfast and then start my day which included grounds keeping, food prep, feeding the animals and hands on work with the orphaned baby animals.

The staff is incredible and so knowledgeable about the ecosystem, habitats and the wildlife. They’re always wiling to answer questions, very friendly and I loved just sitting with them on my breaks and learning about their lives and how they got to be there. The passion they have for the work they do is so inspiring and made me want to do more with my life and help others in any way I can. Knowing inside you made a positive impact on another life is the purest happiness that can be felt.

This volunteer experience ignited something within me that I never saw coming. It opened my eyes to the larger picture of life.

Pura Vida


I have never felt so immediately accepted by a group of people like I have with the Staff of the Villas Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. Everybody was extremely warm and happy to work in a hands on environment with you. Everyday was a new adventure. The organization is very connected with the local community and so it is easy to get to know your way around town and the beaches. Flavia, the volunteer coordinator, does a wonderful job of managing the house, your daily responsibilities, as well as teaching a Spanish class. There are always projects going around the sanctuary, like painting murals and inventing new toys for the animals, so you are never bored. I spent a total of eight weeks there and it really felt like it became my home. All of the fellow volunteers I got to live with were great exploring partners for our days off. I really felt immersed in the community, as well as surrounded by good hearted people who wanted to help me learn about the environment and the world we live in. I will definitely be returning to the sanctuary on any future trips to Costa Rica.


I volunteered at Altura’s for 1 week and although it was only a short amount of time I really annoyed every minute of it. I found it to be a great experience! The staff were all very friendly and knowledgable but most importantly always happy to help. The Sactuary itself was very clean and spacious. During your stay there are plenty of things to do. We went out to dinner most nights and explored the nearby town and surroundings, though they also provide you all food invade you’re on a budget. On your days off the staff try very hard to organise activities for you to do. I went to visit an amazing waterfall nearby on my day off. I would 100% reccomend Altura’s to anyone looking for a great experience and wanting to help a great cause! Also, Alice was a wonderful and hard working volunteer coordinator!


The animals and volunteers that come here can call this a safe and wonderful temporary home – regardless of your species you will be taken care of amazingly! My husband and I volunteered for a way to short of a time over the holidays and can’t say enough about the amazing staff at Alturas. The animals were just as amazing and I’ve never felt more honoured to clean poop on Christmas 🙂
The sanctuary has a great set of rules that shows they are focused on the well being of the animals rather than the selfie glorification’s of most volunteer programs trying to make a buck. Enrichment and animal comfort is a huge part of the volunteer role which is great for the animals- and the creative person! Feeding and cleaning is an easy task and wasn’t as dirty as I expected, nor the spider situation – phew!
We stayed in the apartment and found it to be very clean and comfy. A heads up that you will need a 4×4 to get to the sanctuary (learned this the hard way – exhausting walk up with our luggage when the taxi couldn’t get up the hill, but was still worth every step!)

Too many honorable mentions – so a big thank you to all at Alturas for giving my husband and I an amazing adventure and a very memorable Christmas – will definitely see you again!


We really enjoyed our time volunteering at Alturas, the chance to help the animals and get to know them was really rewarding. The staff was very helpful and got us involved in many different aspects of looking after the animal. They also worked hard at combining tasks like gathering enrichment materials with activities for the volunteers, like swimming in the ocean, lunch at a local restaurant, or visit to the reptile sanctuary. Many thanks to Loyal, Alice, Christina, and the rest of the crew.


I spent a week here in February 2018 and it was a wonderful experience. Not only was it amazing just to be learning about the animals there but also the volunteer program is very well organized. They organize outings for you to see the surrounding area, are very helpful in helping you to coordinate your own trips and are always making sure that if anything is a problem, it is fixed right away. Being with a group of people that love animals as much as I do was a real treat. Hope to go back!!


I stayed at Alturas for about 3 weeks, and I had the best experience ever. I have waited really long to work with animals, so I had very high expectations. The sanctuary really focuses on the animals and their wellbeing, and you learn a lot about animal wellfare just from working there. There was a really nice atmosphere at the volunteer house, and everyone were very nice. The staff was great aswell – Alice, Cristina and Jasmin took great care of the volunteers! It was definitely hard work and it takes a few days to get the daily routine down, but after that the work honestly became very enjoyable. My only regret is not booking a few weeks longer!

Sarah F.

Such an amazing place to volunteer. So many opportunities to get involved, learn and to participate in in all aspects of sanctuary life. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful- Rosie, Cristina and Tiffany always ready to answer questions and explain. The lovely vet Sandie takes time too to go through anything you want to know. Animal welfare is absolutely at the forefront here but the staff really care that the volunteers have a worthwhile experience too. Food is fabulous too and the accommodation very comfortable. Very sad to leave. Cannot recommend highly enough.


If you’re wondering if you should visit this place please DO! The place is very well run, the animals are happy and don’t show any aspect of boredom, and you’ll get to see super cute animals with sometimes tough past history so go show them some love! + The staff is amazing and very friendly.


Working here was an honour! I learned so much and I had so much fun. I would recommend it to everybody!