Are you interested in wildlife conservation? Would you like to live and work on a beautiful Costa Rican beach and meet lots of like-minded volunteers? Then become a Costa Rica turtle conservation volunteer with us!
Age requirement: 18+
Working Schedule: Monday to Friday for about 6-8 hours a day and NIGHT! Sea turtles nest in the dark, and usually patrolling beaches, taking eggs to the hatchery, and seeing sea turtles happens at night. You’ll get your shifts when you arrive at the project, and you’ll have to different shifts and tasks throughout your stay. So you will have to be flexible and ready to work when you’re needed.
Language Requirement: It would be great if you speak some basic Spanish – but staff on the project also speak and understand some English.
Costs: A one week experience starts from $599, for each additional week add on $229 per week.
Accommodation – Basic Dormitory Style Accommodation (shared)
Food – 3 Meals daily
Location – Different Locations throughout Costa Rica, Pacific Coast season is generally from June – December, and Carribean Coast season from February – July
A turtle volunteer in Costa Rica will benefit from a once in a lifetime opportunity to help the turtles and enjoy the wonderful beaches of Costa Rica. Mainly four sea turtle species arrive at the beaches of Costa Rica: Leather Back Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Green-turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Olive-Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea).
You’ll learn a lot about sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica and methods to preserve them – and at the same time live on a beautiful remote beach in Costa Rica and have fun with other volunteers. During times you’re not helping with the turtles, you’ll have time to surf (the beach is a prime surf spot) and hang out with your new friends.
- Patrol beach daily
- Move nests to hatchery and prepare the nests
- Mark turtles that are nesting and that are trying to build a nest or are returning to the ocean
- Search for marked turtles and gather data regarding the percentage of turtles that return to the beach during “arribada”
- Count all turtles that arrive at the beach
- Help the most amount of baby turtles to get safely into the ocean
- Help build a watering system to help the hatchlings develop during the dry months
- Help patrol the beach to protect nests from illegal extraction and predators
- Taking the sand’s temperature in specific sections of the beach in the morning, at noon and at sunset
- Gather information regarding egg development (or lack of) in all the nests and the and check for the presence of organisms inside them
- Help extract and pack the eggs that are sold legally (only 1% of all the eggs laid are allowed to be sold).
- Translate documents for the office
Examples of other activities you may participate in:
- Clean the beach of tree trunks and other debris that has been washed on the beach
- Clean the beach of all unwanted vegetation that takes over the nesting areas reducing the space available for turtles to nest
- Plant trees in different areas of the beach and the town
- Help with infrastructure activities like building schools, bridges, roads and other similar community activities
The costs for this project are:
- First week’s fee: $ 599
- Every Additional Week: $ 229 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)
Not included in our costs:
- National and International flights
- Travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Additional travel
- Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals
- Other personal expenses
Locations for the Turtle Projects are all throughout Costa Rica. We offer projects on the Carribean Norther Coastline, and on the Pacific Coast on the Nicoya Peninsula and further South near Dominical and Uvita.
All project locations for turtle conservation have different seasons – depending on when you’d like to go, we will place you in a project that needs the most help at that time!
From around February – end of June the Carribean Coast has it’s main peak of turtles. From June – December is turtle high season on the Pacific Coast.
You can also to an internship on one of our turtle conservation project locations! It’s a bit different than doing a turtle conservation project, since you might be the only volunteer on the project, working alongside a biologist. If you’re interested in becoming a turtle conservation intern, please ask us during your sign-up process for the internship options. The internships are usually so that you’ll do a certain research project. You can choose your own research, or work on existing research, and you can use the work you do for the project as credits for your school or to do your major thesis or major paper at University! We’re glad to help you get everything set up!
Reviews of the Turtle Project
Cassie’s Review (taken from Go Abroad): I had such a wonderful time during my month's stay in Costa Rica. Janina was so wonderful in helping me prepare before I left for Costa Rica and every step of the way. She was so reliable and helpful the entire time I stayed and...read more
Jamie’s Review (taken from Abroad Reviews): I volunteered on the Sea Turtle conservation project via Green Life Volunteers and absolutely loved my experience. I was travelling alone, and was a bit worried about finding my way to the remote location where the Sea...read more
Hailie - Age: 28, Nationality: USA, Projects: Organic Farming & Turtle Conservation Hailie's Review (taken from Abroad Reviews): Janina is a very helpful and passionate program coordinator. Upon my arrival to Puerto Jimenez, she took me around the town and helped...read more
Projects: Turtle Conservation & Dog/Cat Rescue. Age: 19. Country: Germany Valentina's Review: I have spent four months in Costa Rica and got to know five different volunteer jobs. My longest stay was with the organization GreenLifeVolunteers. I have first spent a...read more
Lisa and Brenna (Mum and Daughter) - Ostional Turtle Conservation Internship. Aged: 17 (Brenna) and Lisa (55). Lisa's and Brenna's Review AND Video! My daughter and I had a wonderful time volunteering with Greenlife in Costa Rica as Turtle Conservation Interns. We...read more
Katja - Intern at the Turtle Conservation Project in Ostional From: New Zealand Age: 26 My time in Ostional was a fantastic and highly rewarding experience. In search for a location for my Master’s research I skimmed the internet for volunteering opportunities....read more