Do you love wildlife conservation? Would you like to live and work on a beautiful Costa Rican beach? Then become a volunteer on our amazing Turtle Conservation projects!
Our Turtle Project is one of our most popular projects!We have locations all throughout Costa Rica and depending on the season we will place you in a project where you'll be able to help out most.
- Quick Facts
- Volunteer's Duties
- Accommodation & Food
- More Info
- Apply Now
Age requirement: 18+
Dates: The projects run year around.
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.
Location – Different Locations throughout Costa Rica, Pacific Coast season is generally from June – December, and Carribean Coast season from February – July
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 and mixed-gender)
Food – 3 Meals daily
We collaborate with Costa Rican turtle conservation organizations with years of experience with volunteers and sea turtle conservation. They are in urgent need for more help! They receive thousands of sea turtles each year – but they have few volunteers to help cope with the amount of eggs and turtles. Throughout the project you’ll learn everything about sea turtle conservation and methods to preserve them – and at the same time you’ll live on a beautiful remote beach in 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).
- 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
An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for animal conservation and biology, enjoys physical labor and loves being outdoors! You should be 18 years of age or older to participate. You don’t have to speak Spanish for this project, as project staff and other volunteers speak English.
We have several project locations on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and some on the Caribbean Coast. Depending on the season we’ll place you where help is most needed at the time.
The Caribbean season is usually from around February until late July, and the Pacific Coast season goes from June until March.
Our locations on the Pacific Coast include Refugio Romelia close to Montezuma, Nombre del Jesus in Bahia de los Piratas, Camaronal, and Playa Matapalo near Quepos. The Caribbean locations include Pacuare and Parismina, both closely located to Tortuguero National Park.
The turtle projects offer shared mixed-gender dormitory rooms with bunk beds. You’ll share the accommodation with your fellow volunteers. Food is Costa Rican typical food cooked for you and prepared by a chef. You’ll all eat together in a common space at certain hours. Breakfast is usually around 8am, lunch is around 12pm, and dinner is around 6 -7pm.
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)
Our organizational fee of around 299$ is included in the first week’s fee and covers the “behind the scenes costs”, such as staff salaries, office space rental, transaction and bank fees, and more. Our weekly fee for additional weeks covers the costs of your host family or project accommodation and food, the local staff on your project, and a donation to help with the daily running costs of the program you will help on.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE:
First and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose – We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.
Reviews of the Turtle Project
Jannae, Age: 41, Volunteered with her husband Tim and 10-year old child Callum, in December 2017. We were thrilled with our family vacation to a sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica, coordinated by GLV. The employees and volunteers at the project were...read more
Jazzy was part of a student volunteer group in December 2016 who volunteered in Refugio Romelia one of our turtle project locations. Definitely a great experience to have in life. The slow-pace tropical life made everything become so relaxing. I enjoyed every second...read more
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 me...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 few...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