Sanctuay of refuge and protection
Macaw Conservation program
Join Our Effort to Protect the Future of Macaws
Discover the magic of wildlife in our sanctuary.
Join our team of guides and explore the world of rescued wildlife on a unique tour. Learn inspiring stories and directly support their care while creating unforgettable memories in lush natural landscapes.
Volunteer Program
Enriching human perception of nature
Great Green Macaw Conservation Program
Support the Protection of the Great Green Macaw
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Welcome to NATUWA
Place of refuge and protection of wildlife
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Guided tours
Empathize with the animals we shelter by knowing their stories.
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Volunteer Program
Enriching human perception of nature
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Wildlife Sanctuary


Place of refuge and protection of wildlife


To offer an exclusive sanctuary of excellence for rescued wildlife from Costa Rica and other parts of the world. We prioritize providing care and protection to those individuals who have lost their ability to survive in their natural environment, ensuring a dignified and secure life.


To be leaders in wildlife conservation and nature restoration in Costa Rica. We seek to foster a deeper connection between people and wildlife through environmental education activities and restoration programs. We aspire to a future where biodiversity flourishes, and communities thrive harmoniously with nature.

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Change Lives - Volunteer and Help Wild Animals


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Discover Costa Rica's Biodiversity with Our Biology Program!

Meet our animals

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Guided tours

Develop and maintain a wildlife sanctuary that provides shelter and protection of the highest quality to wild animals in Costa Rica and other countries that, for various reasons, are rescued and cannot return to nature.

Promote environmental education by executing activities framed in the restoration of nature and the care of wild animals to generate habits in people that help conserve the natural resources of Costa Rica.

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary Costa Rica

Rescate Jaguar: Onka y Baguira
Onka y Baguira, Jaguar (Panthera onca)

Animal rescue Costa Rica.

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary provides refuge and protection to the wild animals that have been victimized by human actions, such as hunting, removal from their environments, and deforestation.

These actions within the natural environments of wild animals increase the species’ vulnerability and cause immense damage to ecosystems. 

Many times, the result is many animals expelled from their habitats, with physical and psychological ailments overcome with much difficulty.

NATUWA Wildlife Rescue Center Ocelote
Cristal de female Ocelote (Leupardus pardalis)

Among the species of wild animals the Sanctuary offers attention to exist in captivity with dignity are Jaguars (Panthera onca), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), monkeys, tapirs (Tapirus baiirdi), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus); also, some homeless exotic animals. 

These animals present physical and behavioral problems. Therefore, the wild animals we rescue need a good place in a natural sanctuary to be conserved and to inspire people to care for nature.

Likewise, for more than 20 years, as an animal rescue center, it has been tasked with returning to its natural environment, the rescued fauna that enters the Sanctuary.

Why these animals arrive at Natuwa?

Unfortunately, wildlife is removed from their natural environments by anthropogenic causes (See Sanctuary of Jaguars).

Voluntariado en Costa Rica con animales silvestres

On the other hand, an animal’s life in captivity demands particular physical and mental health; this implies a lot of space to run or fly and exceptional care by professionals.

Also, they must be free to isolate themselves from other animals or any situation that generates stress.

The sanctuary is home to more than 200 macaws requiring excellent daily care to help them lead healthy lives in captivity.

Besides, we protect and care for wild cats and herbivores among these parrots.

The five freedoms of animal welfare

Therefore, the NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary, besides scarlet macaws (Ara macao), great green macaws (Ara ambiguus), and other exotic parrots, also gives sanctuary to mammals of great biological importance for the ecosystems that need to be conserved. Such as anteaters, tapirs, jaguars, sloths, macaws, white-tailed deer, and spider monkeys. This fauna of Costa Rica is supervised and cared for by a team of specialists to provide them with the following freedoms:

  • From thirst, hunger, and malnutrition.
  • Of discomfort.
  • From pain and illness.
  • To express normal behavior.
  • From fear and stress.
Mono araña
Machita the Spider Monkey (Ateles Geoffroyi)

Macaw Conservation

The Macaw Sanctuary promotes the conservation of the wild populations of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and great green macaws (Ara ambiguus).
Macaw conservation NATUWA Costa Rica.
Scarlet macaw's natural nest (Ara macao)

The most important, the information generate in our animal sanctuary, is being well used to create awareness in the communities about the protection of the macaws. In this way, together we can preserve the functions that the macaws fulfill in the ecosystem, and so, the next generations can enjoy these beautiful birds.

For this purpose, the Macaw Sanctuary make uses the macaws that are under risk, illegally in houses, these are confiscated and brought by the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). Also participate, the Police, the Fire Department and the civilian population with voluntary deliveries.

Lapa verde (Ara ambiguus)
Great green macaw (Ara ambiguus)

The macaws are in the most beautiful group of birds of Costa Rica, its function in nature is to destroy and disperse seeds of a large variety of trees, helping to keep the forest healthy. Therefore, NATUWA executes a management program for macaws, to preserve the functions of these charismatic birds in the wild. This involves rescue, physical-ethological rehabilitation and experimental reintroduction to the environment. Besides, NATUWA investigates aspects of animal behavior in captivity.

Macaw conservation NATUWA Costa Rica.
Manmade nest for scarlet macaw

Exotic parrots

In contrast to the parrots of Costa Rica, we also provide support to many exotic animals that come from other ecosystems: South America, blue and yellow macaws (Ara ararauna), sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis), hyacinths (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus); Australia, Eclectus (Eclectus roratus); Africa, Yacos parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and among other species.

These organisms, being exotic birds, can NOT be released in the natural ecosystems of the national territory of Costa Rica. But, they do require the same care that is given to the native animals of Costa Rica, in addition to due respect. In their original environments, exotic birds suffer the theft of nestlings from their nests to be sold in the illegal pet market. In this way, they are under threat of extinction as are many parrots in the world; these also require help from animal conservation initiatives in their origin countries.

Exotic macaw, blue and glod macaw (Ara ararauna)

International animal rescue

Volunteers play a leading role in the rescue of wildlife

In addition to the support of Costa Ricans, we also have the support of our community of international volunteers. These wildlife conservationists are people who offer their generous help to the animals of the sanctuary. The NATUWA wildlife project acquires part of its economic resources from the International animal rescue Volunteer Program.

The help of the volunteers is vital, since they give support from the arrival of the rescued animals, during the healing process, the rehabilitation and even the liberation of the rescued animals to the ecosystem. All these processes require extensive hours of work (day and night), and the volunteers generously fulfill satisfactorily.

The wild animals of Costa Rica are protected by the Wildlife Law.

The NATUWA Sanctuary works with the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE); under the Costa Rican wildlife conservation law.

Iguanas decommitted by the Public Force (Police) of Costa Rica.
NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica