Get involved in Costa Rica to protect sea turtles. A fabulous experience in a country that is a pioneer in environmental protection in Central America.
Costa Rica : Sea turtle protection
Sea turtles have become synonymous with protecting our oceans. Watching these amazing sea creatures lay their eggs on the beaches is an immersive experience. It is indescribable to see these huge creatures in real life and to contribute to their protection. As an Eco Volunteer in this conservation project, you will help protect sea turtles on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
A 500-hectare marine and land reserve
The project in Costa Rica was founded over 30 years ago and works hard to protect the the sensitive ecosystem and breeding grounds of sea turtles. The project site includes an area of over 500 hectares made up of marine and land reserve. The dreamlike landscape is characterized by small bays, beautiful beaches, mangrove forests and countless small islands.
Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Green turtles
The volunteer mission takes place at the "arribadas" site. Arribadas are the massive, synchronized nesting of the olive ridley turtle. It's a fascinating natural phenomenon that only happens a few times a year. In fact, during the high season, from around August to January, an average of 200,000 turtles come to the beaches, making this region the second largest sea turtle breeding site in the world. In addition to the Olive Ridley turtle, two other turtle species nest here: the Leatherback turtle and the Green turtle.
The role of the eco-volunteer with sea turtles
To support sea turtles, volunteers carry out exciting night-time patrols along Pacific beaches. Their role is to spot sea turtles, observe their behavior and make sure their nests are protected. These night patrols are always carried out in teams with other volunteers and/or local staff. Sea turtles only come to the beaches after dark, between 6pm and 6am. Although sea turtles come to the beaches of this reserve all year round, the peak season is between August and January.
Protecting turtle eggs
To protect sea turtle eggs from natural and human predators (turtle eggs are marketed as delicacies), and to ensure the growth of the turtle population in the Pacific, volunteers collect certain eggs. These eggs are kept in incubators until the baby turtles hatch after around 45 to 60 days. After successful reproduction, the baby turtles are released back into the wild.
In addition to night patrols, volunteers take part in beach clean-ups during the day, collecting garbage to keep sea turtle breeding sites clean.
- Natural cycles are unpredictable. Consequently, the organization can give no guarantee as to the number of sea turtles observed for a given participation period.
- The tasks entrusted to ecovolunteers can vary. They depend on various factors such as the number of volunteers, the weather, the season, the current needs of the project, as well as motivation... Not all volunteers can be fully involved in all these tasks.
- Minimum 2 weeks, all year round
- Sea turtles come to the beaches of this reserve all year round, but the peak season for sea turtles is between August and January.
- Application fee: €150
- Program cost: €825 (for a minimum 2-week stay)
- Additional week: €280
Included in price
- Shared room in the volunteer house
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Pick-up at San José airport with 2 overnight stays in San José
- Transfer from accommodation in San José to bus terminal for journey to project site (*bus ticket not included)
- Professional advice in English
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer internship in Costa Rica
- English-speaking support in the country
- Manuel Costa Rica
- Intercultural guide
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information on suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Not included in price
- Airline tickets and travel insurance
Volunteers live in shared rooms in the volunteer house, in a magnificent natural setting surrounded by beautiful beaches. Each room is equipped with bunk beds. There are showers and toilets with running water. The volunteer house also has a spacious terrace, electricity, drinking water, WIFI and a good signal for cell phones.
The program includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Local cooks prepare mainly local dishes, and there are also vegetarian and vegan options.
This turtle conservation volunteer program is located on the beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Guanacaste, in northwest Costa Rica. San José, the country's capital, is about 5 hours' drive away. This region is one of the most beautiful areas that the country has to offer with lush vegetation and dream beaches. The sea turtle project is close to Nosara, a very fancy beach resort. Nosara is a small, sunny town with sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets. It has a good infrastructure with supermarkets, restaurants, shops and leisure activities.
About the partner
Our partner has been a specialist in foreign trips to Latin America since 2003. A multilingual team provides specialized advice and support. Volunteering in the fields of social work, ecovolunteering, wildlife and nature, development, as well as Spanish courses, farm stays and working vacations throughout this extraordinary continent. Over the past 20 years, South America Inside has helped thousands of participants realize their dream of an exciting and rewarding stay abroad.