I am wondering about the rules for WWOOFing (working in an organic farm for a part of the day in exchange for a bed and sometimes a breakfast/multiple meals) or work exchange (same thing but for other types of tasks) in Costa Rica.

I have read some question here for long-term residents in Costa Rica wanting to work. This shows that one cannot steal the work of a Costa Rican, in short, which is a rule common to many countries.

However, I would like to visit Costa Rica as a tourist, I will travel for most of my trip but I saw one hostel offering work exchange, a couple hours per day of work in exchange for a bed (I would not get paid). I am thinking it could be a good idea to extend my trip for a couple more days but I do not want to go against the law. It would not be my main activity. Also I do not need a visa as a tourist (I am a French citizen).

I have tried to find information on the WWOOF Costa Rica website but beside saying they do not provide a visa, they do not say if I need a specific visa for work exchange.

So I am wondering, could I do some work exchange (no money received) in Costa Rica as a tourist?

  • 3
    Maybe you should ask that hostel. They ought to understand the laws they are bound to follow. Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 1:06
  • @JohnZwinck yup that's my next plan, indeed. I checked here before and as the question has not been asked before, I added it.
    – Vince
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 1:22
  • 1
    Suggestion: I think it would help if you added some context/links on the term "wwoof". I'm a fairly experienced traveller, but I just had to look it up. Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's a good idea to extend your trip on a little cost. When I was in Costa Rica I looked for same thing and I found offers to work in exchange for accommodation on this website: www.workaway.info and www.helpx.net

And you don't need visa cause it's like volunteering.

Good luck!

  • 4
    Hi Marika, i think this does not really answer the question, that is specifically about the legal aspect of work exchange there
    – Vince
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 22:16

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