Turtle Conservation

Help to monitor the sea turtle population of Costa Rica and to release hatchlings back into the sea! Work on hatchery management, beach patrols, beach clean-up, data collection, and community education. For those who love animals and have a passion for the environment, this is an exciting project.

we need you in Costa Rica

  • Around 30% of the population in Costa Rica sits below the poverty line
  • The majority of poverty is seen in rural areas, where there may be a lack of resources and limited job opportunites
  • Although Costa Rica has a national educational system, those in the poorer rural areas often lack teaching staff and resources
  • Climate change and deforestation are damaging Costa Rica's natural biodiversity

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in about 5 min.

placeholder - Turtle Conservation

NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

placeholder - Turtle Conservation

SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date to chat

can you help?

  • Help to to increase the birth rate and survival of turtle hatchlings
  • Assist on beach clean ups to help protect the area
  • Work on environmental campains and educate on conservation efforts
  • Enjoy working as part of a team with your fellow volunteers

can you do?

  • Support the local biologists and researchers
  • Assist with turtle nesting grounds and daily duties
  • Learn how to identify turtle species and monitor them
  • Take part in nightly beach patrols
  • If you’re lucky, release the babies back into the wild!

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Organisation & Charity
  • Over 30 Years Expertise Globally
  • Low Program Fees - From US$295
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee - Multiple Countries
creative lesson drawing

  PROJECT NAME: TURTLE CONSERVATION

LOCATION: OFFSITE LOCATION

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY (SHARED ROOMS)

  MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS

  MIN AGE: 18+ (16 with guardian)

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A

  PROJECT COSTS: (Please enquire)

Overview

The sea turtle population in Costa Rica is sadly in danger of extinction. The turtle species can vary, and each species distinctively affects the local environment, ecosystem and habitat. They play an important part in preserving the health of our oceans. The turtle conservation project in Costa Rica is run by both local and international environmentalists and biologists. The main focus of this program is to increase the birth rate and survival of turtle hatchlings. You will also be taught how to collect data and educate the local community about environmental and conservation issues, as well as how to maintain this precious marine ecosystem.

You will work with a supervisor who will teach you how to do everything such as hatchery management, beach patrols, beach clean-up, data collection, and community education. You will help to support local biologists and researchers who are involved in overseeing the turtle nesting grounds.

Location

The turtle projects are situated offsite from the volunteer centre. These locations may not have reliable internet, but a phone is available in case of emergencies. Our local coordinators will check in with you by phone and in-person throughout your project.

Project Tasks

  • Night patrols on the beach
  • Tagging turtles
  • Relocating nests into hatcheries
  • Counting eggs and turtle numbers
  • Beach clean-up efforts
  • Community education

Food & Accommodation

The majority of our volunteers will stay with a pre-approved middle-class Costa Rican family. You have the option of a shared or a private room. For shared rooms, you are placed with 1-3 other people of the same gender and age group. In San Jose, the host families live in the San Pedro area, which is around a 10 to 60-minute walk or bus ride (depending on where you’re placed) from the volunteer centre. You’ll be given a key to the house and are free to come and go as you please, but you must respect the house rules and practices of your host family

The host family can help you with washing laundry. There is a small charge of ₡2,500 or $5 per kilo (2.2 lbs) which is paid directly to the family. If you are staying at a student residence, hostel, hotel or apartment that does not have a laundry service available, you can use a nearby laundrette (lavanderia).

Breakfast and dinner will be served 7 days a week and will usually be local cuisine, cooked by your host family. The food in Costa Rica is a mix of African, Italian, French, Chinese, and Spanish cuisines. Common food are grains such as rice, corn, and beans and different meats mixed with spices like coriander, saffron, parsley, oregano, thyme and nutmeg. The food is usually mildly seasoned and has plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Below images are of the volunteer hub/ centre (not homestays)

Testimonials...

FAQ...

If you have a love for the ocean and wildlife, there is not better project for you! This is a great way to help on the important issues of climate change and turtle conservation. You may be placed on accommodation that is quite remote and so must be willing to be able to live without your usual luxuries. You must also be prepared to work late night time shifts, as well as daytime shifts.

 

  • Airport pick-up
  • Host family accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
  • 1 day orientation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Walking tour
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Spanish language tutoring table
  • Tandem Conversation Program
  • WiFi and computer lab
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
  • Volunteer centre open 7 days/week
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Daily transportation
  • Travel and tours
  • Transfer back to the airport
  • Personal spending money

Each project will include a 1-day orientation to familiarise yourself with the local area, rules, safety advice and general information. Your host family will show you the best way to get to/from your accommodation to the volunteer centre. Orientation will include health and safety advice, do’s and don’ts, cultural norms, activities and tours you can do on weekends, and a short walking tour, showing you the local area. You are also able to take a free Spanish placement exam. On your first day the local coordinator will take you to the placement, where you will be introduced to everyone and shown around the project.

Most volunteers either walk or take the bus, depending on how far their project is. Journey time varies widely from project to project, and you should expect to spend 15-60 minutes traveling each way. You might also need to change buses during your trip. Taxi’s are also widely available but do cost more than buses. It can be hard to change your project after you start volunteering, so please be ready to travel to your designated project every day. 

We will explain to you how to get to your project site and you will be given transportation tickets. You will leave on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning to reach your offsite project. Transportation back is included and this will usually be Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Sunday – Arrival / Welcome and Home Stay Introduction

Monday – Orientation day

Tuesday to Saturday

Here is a rough guide on what to expect:

  • Breakfast at the accommodation
  • 5-6 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon or evening
  • Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
  • Free time
  • Dinner at the accommodation

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city and has plenty to do from city tours, watching a show at the theatre, markets, museums, parks, and city walking tours. You can also take day trips to mountains, volcanoes and the beach.

Arenal Volcano

Situated about 90 km northwest of San Jose is Arenal volcano, measuring 1,633 metres high. This scenic volcano is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with daily tours walking around it, plus it’s proximity to the nearby rainforest and waterfalls make it a popular place to visit.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Close by the where a lot of our projects are, this National park is one of the most popular in Costa Rica. With beautiful beaches, rainforest walking trails and an abundance of wildlife, this is a must visit for any traveller!

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Another stunning destination to visit and a lush oasis of green rainforest and misty fog and clouds sitting at the top of the canopy. There are around 420 different types of orchids, ferns mosses, as well as a large bird population- perfect for nature and wildlife lovers. There are also night time walking tours.

Corcovado National Park

A stunning national park with plenty of hiking trails, natural swimming holes, waterfalls, rainforest, wildlife, flora and fauna and camping. Here you will find more than 400 bird species, monkeys, sea turtles, over 40 frog species, 100 butterfly species and perhaps even a jaguar.

Adventure activities

Costa Rica has so much to do for those who like to live on the wild side! From ziplining, white water rafting, canyoning, surfing, snorkelling, diving, horse riding and paddle boarding. This is a nature and adventure lovers paradise!

Beach Hopping

There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. From white sand, black sand, beaches that meet jungle and all with crystal clear, blue waters. Many of the beach town have cafes, restaurants, accommodation and places to grab a fresh coconut juice, the perfect way to chill out after a hot day!

Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Those under 18 are welcome when there is a faculty leader, parent, or guardian present
  • Have a good level of fitness (the work can require manual labour)

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America and is bordered by Nicaragua to the North, Panama to the South, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the Caribbean Sea to the East. The country has a population of 5 million people and is roughly the same size as a large city in the USA! Costa Rica offers incredible mountain trails, coffee plantations, lush rainforests and some stunning beaches, with a huge variety of landscapes.

Volunteer projects are situated in the beach town of Manuel Antonio and in the capital city of San Jose. Some projects are situated in areas further afield, offering a more ‘off the beaten track’ option. These areas are Guanacaste (beach), Caribbean (beach), and Monteverde (cloud forest).

Manuel Antonio: Located at sea level, you can expect average temperatures from 19 degree Celsius to 28 degrees. The dry season is from December to April with hot and humid weather. The wet season is from May to November. The weather will be humid, with showers throughout the day. The plus side of travelling during this time is that everything will be so green!

San Jose: At 1170 metres above sea level, temperatures can range from 20-30 degrees Celsius. December to April has little to no rain, moderate temperatures and can get cooler during the evenings. May to November experiences warm days, cool nights and short intermittent bursts of rain and sun.

Costa Rica still has much of its Spanish heritage (the national language), with a vast amount of the population being of Afro-Caribbean descent. There is also a small population Jewish and Chinese communities. A large proportion of the country is Catholic and Latino music and dance are enjoyed throughout the country, as well as a love for soccer. Cost Rica disbanded their armed forces in 1949, as the area is so safe. The people are happy, laid back and welcoming.

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.
 

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Costa Rica?

placeholder - Turtle Conservation

APPLY NOW

Ready to Volunteer abroad? Complete your application in about 5 min

placeholder - Turtle Conservation

NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

placeholder - Turtle Conservation

SCHEDULE A CALL

Let's talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date.

Some of Our Partners