Welcome to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer Program:

We are located at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical Costa Rica.

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The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary has been established exclusively for the care and assistance of the Costa Rican wildlife. Our ultimate objective is to assist in the recovery of all the native wildlife brought to our facility and place these animals back into their native  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 maltreated in some way and are suffering from abuse and improper care. Others arrive with permanent, physical disabilities and cannot be returned to the wild.

Part of our mission at the Alturas Wildlife 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 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 wildlife of Costa Rica is important to help facilitate good cohabitation and a good general understanding of the needs and habits of the wildlife in this small country.

We also provide quarantine areas for animals that may carry infections, a nursery for the very young and separate rescue enclosures for those animals that will be released once healed. We have a full functioning, fully equipped clinic where all medical procedures can be performed with the proper equipment and procedures. 

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 basis.

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 two veterinarians and biologists on staff as well as additional employees for various tasks.

The Volunteer Program: 


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.

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When attending the Volunteer 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.

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. 

New volunteers start the volunteer program on either a Monday or Thursday, so please plan your travel accordingly to arrive on a Sunday or Wednesday.  We provide all new volunteers with a comprehensive induction to the work we do, an orientation of the center, a volunteer T-shirt, on-the-job training and a work and free-time schedule.

On Your Free Time:

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While experiencing the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer Program all volunteers will be staying on site with all food and housing included in the package you select. Please visit our Lodging & Rates  page for more information.  The small beach town of Dominical is a very popular beach location for surfing and travelers who desire to visit the southern zone in Costa Rica and enjoy the beach. 

The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is located 10 kilometers south of Dominical. On your free time you may relax on the beach or visit the local restaurants and bars. Dominical offers some night-life and daily activities 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 offer additional weekly activities depending on the amount of volunteers present so that you may get out and see a bit of Costa Rica on your free time.  At these YouTube links below you may view these various locations.


Nuayuaca Falls,   

Uvita Whales Tail, 


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

Come and enjoy the Pura Vida way of it all.  

 Our Staff: 

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At the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Volunteer Program we work together as a team with the sole purpose of helping the animals in need. Above are some of the people you may work with should you want to volunteer with us.

Staff and Volunteers:

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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. 

Thank You!  The Staff:

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