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!!
Volunteered with my teenage son for a week in February 2018. It is such a special place! Beautiful animals and the staff was excellent! They truly care about the animals ! A great experience! Planning on coming back next year with a few friends!!
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.
A real sanctuary!
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 4x4 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!
I went to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in March for 2 weeks and it was the most amazing 2 weeks of my life.
On arrival to the Volunteer house the other volunteers had a big vegetarian meal made and welcome us .
The rooms are clean and basic.
The facility's are great , considering you are in the middle of the jungle.
All the staff are unbelievable helpful and dedicated to the cause.
The work they do for the environment and the animals of Costa Rica is just outstanding and it is all thanks to Tom!
He is actually one of the most amazing people i have ever met in my life.
Loyal , Alice , Rebecca and Laura , thank you for your teachings and care .
I cant wait to see you all next year !
Thank you .
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!
Once in a lifetime
ol This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.. amazing and somthing I never imagined I'd do
Just so glad I did
The emotional attachment you get with the animals is unreal but topping that tom Meryle and Molly Hannah and Amy made my experience even better than I could ever imagine and Laurah the vet she's amazing
Everyone is unreal. Want to be back
Thank you so much!!
I was lucky enough to become a volunteer supervisor together with Ben and absolutely loved my job at Alturas. I felt very welcome from the first day on and I wish I could have stayed longer than a month. My job was to welcome and help new volunteers, take care about personal problems as well as organising their freetime activies. Of course what I benefitted from most from was taking care of the animals (basically feeding and cleaning cages while they watch you suspiciously or peck your ponytail). The vets and biologists did a great job and tought us a lot about all the inhabitants. Everybody was friendly and it totally felt like the right time and place for me. I miss everybody and hope I'll get the chance to come back soon!! Thank you Tom, Mike, Dannia, Ben, Loyal, Laura, Larissa, Eric, Molly, Marina and everybody else for everything you shared!
Villas Alturas was one of the best experiences of my life
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 spent three weeks there at the sanctuary and it was one of the best things I did. It was great to be up close with animals that you may never again have the opportunity to interact with. The staff is absolutely phenomenal and always willing to help and teach you about the animals and their stories. One thing I definitely did not expect was to see a troop of about 20 wild Capuchin monkeys crossing overhead our patio every morning. Honestly one of the coolest things.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will have a LOT of free time. There was a lot of stuff going on during my time there that they couldn't really control. But just as I was leaving, things started to fall more into place. They made a schedule with some pretty cool daily activities which was awesome. There is a beach close by, but the taxis are ridiculously expensive so don't expect to spend everyday there. It's actually quite nice just to sit in hammocks, eat mangoes, and get to know the other volunteers. They're all pretty neat.
Yes, there were a few bumps in the road, but keeping a positive attitude is key. Just remember that you're going there to volunteer, not for a vacation.