Arrival Procedures: Costa Rica

Our volunteers arrive in Costa Rica at San Jose International Airport (airport code: SJO). The airport is located about 12 miles from downtown San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

When you arrive at the airport in San Jose, you will get your passport stamped by Immigration, collect your luggage, go through Customs, then exit into the arrivals area. A Cosmic Volunteers staff member will meet you in the arrivals area, holding a large sign with your name and Cosmic Volunteers on it. At this point you will contact family back home to let them know you arrived safely.

If you are staying in Heredia, our staff will take you directly to your host family in Heredia. If you are volunteering in Jaco Beach, our staff will take you to a hotel for the night. The next morning, you will take a 4-5 bus ride to Jaco Beach where your host family will meet you upon arrival at the bus station. If your flight arrives early enough in the day, there is a chance that you will travel the same day to Jaco Beach. 

On your first day in either Heredia or Jaco Beach, you will get to know your host family and meet any other volunteers staying in the house. They will set you up with WIFI and serve you your first home-cooked Costa Rican dinner. 

On your first full weekday in Costa Rica, our staff will give you an orientation and tour of Heredia or Jaco Beach. If you arrive Monday-Thursday, this will take place the next day. For weekend flight arrivals, it will be on Monday. Our staff will take you on a tour of local landmarks, explain health and safety info, show you how to take public transportation, do errands like exchange currency, and introduce you to Costa Rica’s customs and culture.

The day after your orientation, our staff will accompany you to your volunteering placement and introduce you to the staff and managers. You will receive your working hours and work duties. You can also ask any questions about the project. Most volunteers are then ready to start their volunteer work the next day.