5 independent reviews for Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Reviews for Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

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review 9 Jan 2019

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

The most memorable part of my trip was getting to release hundreds of baby turtles after watching them hatch and peek their heads out from the sand. Then having the opportunity to release them safely into the ocean and watch them make their way to the water.

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

Drink plenty of water because it will be hot! Other than that, allow yourself to be bored having nothing to do but relax in a hammock on the beach and work with some turtles and new friends. The experience goes by fast, and is once in a lifetime so embrace every moment!

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

I felt like my vacation did all three. The local people were always so excited to see you and were invested in the project. People, no matter where they are from, just like to connect with each other and know that others care about their culture. Also, the project gives them work which is desirable anywhere. We reduced environmental impact by improving fishing methods, raising awareness about light pollution, and cleaning the beach by hand.

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

It was one of the best experiences Iíve ever had and I canít wait for a chance to go back and to share the trip with others who would enjoy it!
Unsure if needs op to clarify their stance on 'handling' turtles in case it's not clear from this? Chris informed 16/01/19 LJ

review 21 Aug 2018

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

Playa San Miguel the most beautiful unspoilt beach, it's very magical. I enjoyed the night patrols, walking by moonlight, seeing the constellations, milky way, shooting stars & some of the lightening storms were spectacular. The other volunteers, researchers & locals were all lovely & really good fun and their commitment to the project was truly inspiring. The food was incredible too, we ate very well!

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

Consider why you want to volunteer on this project and go prepared with an open mind. I was there for 10 days and loved being involved but only saw one adult turtle. Part of San Miguel's beauty is that it is so remote and this is a wonderful experience, you need to be resourceful about keeping busy during the day as most of the work & excitement is on the night patrols. I walked along the beach most days, sketched & took inspiration for my artwork, giving me another purpose for being there and loved having a WIFI detox. If you can surf you'd love it! On night patrol, you'll be out walking up and down the beach in the majority of weather conditions, you need to be reasonably fit with good protective shoes, I sprained my ankle whilst we were seeking shelter in a pretty bad storm during rainy season. Although I tried to find out about and arrange the mentioned trips such as horse riding or kayaking prior to and during the trip I was very disappointed at how difficult it was and communication was very slow, taking days to get an answer. There were no trips during the time I was there, so I wouldn't go with the hope that this will be part of the experience. Organise your own trip afterwards which is what I did. At San Miguel there is little in the way of independent or public transport unless you have hired a jeep & local taxi's are very expensive.

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

Yes, it was great to support a local conservation project and meet local people employed by its work. The leaders and researchers were passionate about reducing environmental impacts such as plastic waste and light pollution. Local children came once or twice a week for English lessons and learnt about the project. There was a lovely local restaurant Locos Cocus who showed support to the volunteers.

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

Overall I would definitely recommend this trip, although some elements may not have been as expected, I loved the experience and have some wonderful memories, I'm sure I'll treasure for ever. I will definitely look into doing more similar projects. I would suggest that looking into organising an optional trip once a week for the volunteers would make it more of a holiday (as that is what you refer to in your question).

review 3 Dec 2014

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.

review 2 Sep 2014

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.

review 25 Sep 2013

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!

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