Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Description of Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for glorious beaches and adventure activities. Experience more of this diverse country and join a project that gives you the chance to enjoy areas of unspoilt coastline whilst helping to protect the precious marine environment and its shelled inhabitants – sea turtles! Turtle populations are under threat from natural predation and human interference and your help is needed to ensure their survival.

About the project
Become part of a non-profit marine research organisation working hard to protect turtle populations where they are in steep decline. You will become an important member of the team by protecting turtles during the crucial nesting and hatching stages and even ensuring the baby turtles successfully reach the sea.

What will I be doing?

Get a daily dose of vitamin D and feel the sand under your toes as you spend your time on some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches taking part in the following activities:
• Patrolling the beaches in search of nesting turtles
• Monitoring turtle nests
• Protecting new hatchlings
• Recording observations for the charity’s research project that will be used to help form campaigns to change regulations that endanger the species in Costa Rica

The wildlife and scenery in Costa Rica is quite literally breath taking, so it’s no wonder it’s a dream destination for animal lovers and eco-tourism enthusiasts. On this project you are likely to regularly spot not only turtles, but whales, dolphins, crocodiles, macaws, toucans, monkeys, butterflies and more, all in their natural habitats.

Choose from four great locations, or if you can’t decide, then spend time at all of them! Accommodation will be in simple hours or cabins.

The Community Project – located on a small beach in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica that boasts high numbers of turtles throughout the season. There is an excellent community spirit here, and you can become really involved with lots of other community based activities in addition to the turtle work.

The paradise beach project - A buzzing community of both Costa Ricans and American expats, this project site has a stunning white sand beach and plenty to keep you busy. With your daily reptile repertoire as well as excellent surfing, outdoor activities, bars and restaurants you’ll want to stay all year!

The rustic project - A remote camp on an uninhabited stretch of beach boasting incredible sunsets! Not for the fainthearted, this camp has an outdoor toilet and bucket showers but offers an unrivalled opportunity for real outdoor beach living!

The tropical project – A breath-taking sandy beach shadowed by rainforests provides the setting for this project site. The project is just over the estuary from the paradise beach project, and has excellent community ties.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

Check dates

Flexible departures July - December (nesting season)
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Environment

Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this - but we make sure that the project directly benefits local people and wildlife too.

Animal welfare
The threat of extinction for sea turtles is very real. Projects such as this are playing an important role in stemming this decline. You will be working with a well-respected marine conservation and research organization, staffed by biologists and enthusiastic volunteers. Turtle protection is an important aspect of its work, but it also campaigns against pollution, unsustainable and inhumane fishing practices too.

Environment
While in Costa Rica, participants will be helping to protect the marine environment and limiting their own impact by living basically and eating locally sourced food. Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.

Community

Meeting local needs
Many in the local community rely on the marine environment for their livelihood (whether through fishing or tourism). The work of charities such as this is essential to safeguard their future. The organisation provides some paid work locally, but has to rely on extra help from volunteers to be able to protect the turtles effectively. As well as protecting the turtles, you will also contribute directly to the local economy, eating, shopping and using leisure facilities in the surrounding area.

Cultural sensitivity
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in Costa Rica’s rural communities.

Reviews of Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the turtles nesting and laying eggs was incredible. Releasing the baby turtles was also brilliant and analysing the nest contents was fascinating and really interesting.
The wildlife on this coastline was exceptional- bird life and reptiles were abundant every day. We were also very, very lucky to see a male and female turtle mating which is so rare as they mate out at sea usually. Every day there was a highlight!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Learn some Spanish so that you can converse with the locals.
Definitely hire body boards whilst there as the surf is unreal!
Visit the hotel for a superb meal and night out.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I would highly recommend this project- the volunteer project leaders are doing a
fantastic job for a really worthwhile cause. The project is clearly helping the turtle population survive in the face of poaching. The project is very scientific too which I was pleasantly surprised about.
I felt our presence there was welcomed by the locals and also helped some of them to earn a living.
This is a really sound conservation project with some clear tangible benefits and as a volunteer you really fee like you're making a difference.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.
The coast line there is beautiful, the project is brilliant, the wildlife is everywhere!
Would highly recommend this project to anyone.

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing all the baby turtles and watching them make their way into the ocean.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The location is very secluded and there is not that much to do there. If I were to go again I would maybe book to go to some other places in Costa Rica aswell so that I could see a bit more of the Country.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, very much so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I would give the holiday 7/10. It was a very relaxing an beautiful beach and I learnt so much about the culture and turtles.

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


a) Working with sea turtles: seeing turtle nesting and releasing baby hatchlings was absolutely fantastic
b) The team spirit between volunteers and locals was great

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book today and do not think twice!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I did contribute to see turtle conservation, while the team has collected > 6000 eggs and has released over 3000 hatchlings during the five weeks, when I was there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


5 stars! My best experience abroad in the last 30 years.....

Reviewed on 23 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being able to work with sea turtles. The whole process from the turtle laying its eggs, to the release of the baby turtles was just pure enjoyment! To me, it felt like more of a holiday than a work placement, as I was the most relaxed I have ever been.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for what you are going to. Not that I think that anyone would be disappointed with the project, but being prepared makes the experience even better! Know what to bring in advance, know what sort of tasks you will be doing at the site etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It definitely did. I felt the project benefited the local people in several ways. 1. We were there, eating in restaurants, buying snacks from the shops. 2. Educational purposes, by teaching little children about the turtles. 3. Giving jobs to the locals, by letting them participate in the project work.
I would also definitely say it supported conservation, as we support turtle conservation. We also saw that it gave results, which was fun!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Amazing! Would go back in a second if I had the opportunity to do so.

Reviewed on 08 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole experience is something I will never forget, it's there in my mind's eye forever and I also have some amazing photos and video which I have shown to family and friends. It's impossible to pick out one incident or event, but certainly my last day there, coming across in broad daylight an Olive Ridley turtle and watching her lay her eggs and then go back into the sea was really special.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go for as long as you can possibly manage - it's a long journey and the more time you spend on the project, the more you learn. I went at the end November/beginning of December and the weather was great. But if you really want to see more turtles, then it would be better to go earlier in the season, say September or October.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


There were several local people working with us on helping the turtles, and we ate in local places and brought food and drink locally, so that was a direct benefit to local people. We were given a good briefing on how to reduce the impact on the environment while working there. While I was there, we released hundreds of turtle hatchlings which otherwise may well have been poached, or not made it safely to the ocean. So there was a clear conservation benefit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was quite simply the best. You felt part of the community in San Miguel which was so much better than just being on holiday and you learn so much about these amazing sea turtles. I'd thoroughly recommend this particular project for anyone with an open mind, who relishes enjoying a simple way of life in spectacular, unspoilt scenery.

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Coming face to face with nesting turtles in the very early hours, on a pristine deserted Pacific beach, was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. We felt that although we were only there for a short period of time, we were making a
serious contribution to the conservation of a sadly endangered species of turtle. Coming across the intervention of poachers on our final night, brought the reality of the projects work home to us.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take plenty of reading matter or things to occupy you during your stay. We went in the rainy season and most places were closed. Although general transport from the project wasn't straight forward. Be prepared for blistered feet from trekking up and down the 4km beach on the nightly patrols and be aware of the numerous insect waiting to take bites out of you.
The 6 hour bus ride is fairly gruelling, you might consider flying from San Jose to an airport to the north of the project instead. Although this would still involve some form of bus ride.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The local people, although initially opposed, have started to realise that the projects work can bring foreign money and consequently prosperity to the area. The conservation work speaks for itself. Whether it can bring the species back from an uncertain future... Only time will tell!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The whole trip was one of our favourite lifetime experiences.
Our only issue was the first hotel we stayed at in San Jose (Hotel Cacts). It wasn't that great...
We decided to go somewhere else on our return to the city.
The whole adventure is billed really as a 'Gap Year' experience...
We were a good 20 years older than anyone else, but don't get me wrong we can rough it with the best of them!

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I think most of us have seen it on the telly and it really was such a special privilege to be able to release baby turtles into the sea. The scenery and wildlife in Costa Rica was absolutely gorgeous and it was really heartwarming and inspiring to meet all the people with the passion and caring for the preservation of wildlife there.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't forget your camera!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. I learned a lot about turtles and their preservation during the visit. We also visited a local primary school to educate local children about turtle preservation. I was particularly impressed by the dedication of the local people who gave such a lot of their time for the turtles in their communities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent! Would not hesitate to recommend to anybody. Such a beautiful place, lovely people and a great cause! And I did not expect to be eating so well, too!

Popular similar holidays

Family volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

Family volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

Family turtle conservation volunteering in Costa Rica

From £582 7 days excluding flights

Costa Rica turtle conservation experience

Costa Rica turtle conservation experience

Help protect turtles by volunteering in Costa Rica

From £465 - £3075 7 days excluding flights

Family turtle watching tour in Costa Rica

Family turtle watching tour in Costa Rica

Exciting turtle watching for all the family in Costa Rica

From US $280 2 days excluding flights

School expedition volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

School expedition volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

Forest, leatherback turltles on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast

From US $70 4 days excluding flights

Convert currencies