Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

Costa Rica


Welcome to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer Program

About the Wildlife Sanctuary

For more information on volunteering go to the Alturas Volunteer Website using the link below.

Visit Volunteer Website Here

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The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is a fully, non-profit organization, dedicated to animal care, rehabilitation, and the recovery of the wild life here in Costa Rica.

The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is a new facility set up and created exclusively for the care and assistance of the Costa Rican wildlife. Our ultimate objective is to assist in the recovery of all the native wild life brought to our facility and place these animals back into their perspective habitats once they are ready to return.

Some of our full time resident animals have been exploited as domesticated pets and cannot return to the wild. Others have been mal-treated in some way and are suffering from abuse and general improper care. Others arrive with permanent physical disabilities and cannot be returned to the wild.

Part of our mission at the Alturas Animal Sanctuary is to offer these resident animals a comfortable environment while being in captivity. We try out best to offer them the best possible quality of life possible while residing with us.

One of our objectives at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is to serve as an educational center as we believe educating the local people and future generations about the wild life of Costa Rica is important to help facilitate good cohabitation and a good general understanding of the needs and habits of the wild life in this small country.

The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest and most comprehensive in Central America. We provide quarantine areas for animals that may carry infections, a nursery for the very young and separate rescue enclosures that are for those animals that will be released once healed. We have recently installed a full functioning clinic where all medical procedures can be performed with the proper equipment and procedures. 

The sanctuary is expanding to create a special sloth habitat. Due to an overwhelming increase in admittance of baby sloths, we plan are building four separate habitats exclusively designed for them. Baby sloths will spend roughly two years in our facilities before returning to the wild. Sloth’s need to be separated, the two-toed from the three-toed and the males from the females.

Due to an ever increasing number of injured animals, continuous loss of natural habitat, abandoned babies and confiscation of illegal pets, we are building additional habitats to provide a safe environment for the animals brought to our facility on a daily bases.

All funds collected through our volunteer program along with donations and daily tours go 100% for the care and attention of the animals as the daily costs to operate a sanctuary of this caliber are large. We presently have a paid staff of eleven people, including three veterinarians and a full time animal biologist.

What will I be doing?

Every day will differ, but general wildlife rescue volunteer tasks may include:

  • Feeding and providing water and other nutrients to the animals:
  • Assisting in the general maintenance and cleaning the enclosures, etc.:
  • Preparing specific food mixtures for the animals:
  • Various maintenance work for the facility in general:
  • Assisting in offering tours to the public:
  • Becoming an animal handler where applicable:
  • In general, helping in the expansion and growth of the sanctuary:

When attending the Program, volunteers may find that they are involved in various tasks such as helping to clean the center grounds, assisting with the daily visitors, or perhaps assisting in special projects that are taking place at the time of your visit.

We offer two separate days during the week for orientation for our new volunteers. These days are Monday and Friday. When making your plans to arrive at the Sanctuary we ask that you to arrive at least the day before your scheduled orientation date, but you may arrive up to two nights before your scheduled orientation date and the start of your volunteer experience.  After your orientation all volunteers will be provided a weekly volunteer schedule for the days we will ask you to volunteer. 

Volunteering hours are from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 5 days per week, 7 hours daily. After you have completed your daily volunteering duties you are free to do as you wish. You will have two days per week free depending on your personal schedule to explore the local area, visit the beach, or just relax on your free time at the Sanctuary.

Where you will be staying:

While attending the volunteer program you will have a choice of staying on site in the volunteer house or at the Villas Alturas Resort where the Animal Sanctuary is located within a short walking distance.

On Your free Time:

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is located 7 kilometers south of Dominical. On your free time you may relax on the beach or visit the local restaurants and bars. At night Dominical offers some night-life with dance and live music depending on the season and times of year that you arrive. You can also visit and enjoy the local restaurants and shops while exploring.

There are many additional things one can do in Dominical such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, surf lessons, and so on.

As part of your program we have scheduled additional weekly activities so that you can get out and see a bit of Costa Rica on your free time. At these YouTube links you may view these various locations

Tinnemaste,Farmers,Market, On Tuesday mornings:

Nuayuaca,Falls, Hike and swim every Wednesday: 

Uvita,WhalesTail, Scheduled visit one day per week:.

Dominical, Visiting Dominical two nights per week for a music venue when available:

As an added bonus we offer basic animal care and instructional classes taught by one of our three veterinarians on staff.

Please be advised that the daily and weekly scheduling of these activities are subject to change without notice.

We greatly appreciate and welcome the sincere assistance and the financial contributions that the volunteer program provides for our animals. We also want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all of the generous individuals who have provided assistance in various ways to help insure that the sanctuary can continue providing the care and attention needed for the wild life of Costa Rica at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Come and enjoy the Pura Vida way of it all.

For more information on volunteering go to the Alturas Volunteer Website using the link below.

Visit Volunteer Website Here