Family volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

“Our expert partners in conservation volunteering arrange for your family to work alongside marine conservationists and biologists in Costa Rica, helping out with important turtle-protection work, beach patrols and campaigns while staying in traditional, locally-owned cabins near the beach. ”

Highlights

San Jose | One week of volunteering with sea turtles | Options for longer volunteering stays | Local community cabin accommodation | Local cooking | Monitoring turtle nests | Protecting turtle hatchlings | Turtle releases | Costa Rica Pacific coast

Description of Family volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

Take your family off the beaten track on this family volunteering trip, working with sea turtles on some of the most stunning beaches that Costa Rica has to offer. Become part of an important mission to help with turtle conservation, working as a team to protect this endangered species.

In line with the turtle nesting season, you and your family can volunteer between the beginning of July and the middle of December. Join a team working to protect both nesting and hatching turtles off the Pacific Coast. Kids love the hands on nature of this, as well as knowing that what they are doing is going to help hundreds of turtles from each nest to survive to adulthood. Last year 15,000 turtles were released back to the sea.

Much of the volunteering actually happens at night on this project, as this is when the turtles come up to nest. We understand that this can be disruptive for sleep patterns for the youngsters, but the kids are often the ones begging their parents to let them patrol! There is plenty of time in the day for taking a nap and getting in some rest. We will always arrange for your family to patrol at a time that would be best for the kids' sleep patterns.

You will be patrolling the beaches in search of nesting turtles, monitoring turtle nests, protecting new hatchlings and recording observations for the charity’s research. This will be used to help form campaigns to change regulations that endanger the species in Costa Rica.

The communities in which we work are quite remote. This means that they are unspoiled by tourism, and really give you the opportunity to get involved in the local community and enjoy the spirit of Costa Rica and its stunning scenery. There is loads for both children and adults alike to enjoy. Releasing the baby turtles and protecting the nesting turtles is something that captures everyone's imagination. In addition to the volunteering, there are lagoons for swimming in, horse riding, surfing lessons, a butterfly farm, hammocks to relax in, the beautiful beaches to stroll along... and you can even get involved in helping out in the local community with the kids. Our recent volunteer youngsters have loved learning about the lifestyles of their Costa Rican counterparts, and playing on the beaches with them. Any language barriers simply disappear here!

We will arrange private accommodation for you and your family, and will always try to ensure the specifications that you are looking for. Please be aware that we rent accommodation from local families, and these are very traditional cabins. They are basic but comfortable. You are never far from the beach here, and our main project house is just 20 metres from the sea!

Private transfers can be arranged for your family to the project sites major airports and tourist destinations in Costa Rica.

Day-by-day experiences

Tuesday:Project arrival. If you need help with a private or public transport transfer to the project site, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost.
Wed-Mon:Volunteer project.
Tuesday:Departure day from the project site. We can arrange for public transport or private transfer options to your onward destination, either an airport, city or tourist destination.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

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Departure information

Tailor made: Flexible departures July - December (nesting season)
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
Diet:
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.
LGBTQIA+
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Wildlife
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.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Transport
We use public transport as our main means of transportation to the project sites. This reduces emissions and invests in the local economy and infrastructure.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

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. One of our greatest achievements on this project is for local residents to have chosen to help volunteer on this project to protect their environment. This has been a huge change, as traditionally they would use the turtle eggs for cooking or for aphrodisiac purposes.

Climate

11 Reviews of Family volunteering with turtles in Costa Rica

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In depth story review

“Ruth was really keen on working with turtles, and because we live by the sea in Whitby, we thought it would be really nice to have the sea by us again. And it is just a totally different country, different culture, sights and smells, so all that appealed to us. ”

Reviewed on 12 Dec 2019 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was the people who we worked along side, and seeing the mama turtles and the baby turtles.. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2019 by

Five stars - one of the best holidays I've ever had! We had fun with the other people who were working there at the same time, and there was plenty to do to keep us busy, both working and playing. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2019 by

One night we were walking along the length of the beach in the dead of night and could clearly see the Milky Way illuminated and lots of shooting stars, whilst holding the hands of my three little girls and my husband - it was the most magical experience we had and an overwhelming sense of peace and happiness. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2019 by

Totally life changing experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2019 by

We were super blessed to have witnessed every part of the life cycle of the Olive Ridley turtle and even had the chance to see a green turtle! Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2019 by

The whole family had a really great time with lovely people, very helpful and friendly and with much contact with turtles, adults and hatchlings. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2018 by

Most memorable? - The friendliness of the people, the beautiful surroundings, we were on the beach surrounded by lush green. The musical cacophony of all the surrounding wildlife...It really was a fantastic holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2018 by

Absolutely to be recommended. An amazing experience for all of us. Our daughters (age 14 and 9) enjoyed every minute. It's a holiday we will always remember. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2018 by

Going out on patrol late in the evening, with clear skies and being able to see the whole Milky Way and shooting stars, following by finding a turtle and rescuing the eggs as the turtle was laying them...were the most memorable parts of the holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2017 by

The whole holidays was an amazing experience, from seeing the turtles and collecting the eggs to visiting the school for a celebration day and learning to surf. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2015 by

Amazing, so humbling, incredible to think we could do a little bit to help and have fun at the same time. Read full review

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