With the turtle nesting season fast approaching, we need all hands on deck! We are offering a massive £100 reduction on placements of four weeks or more- click here to find out more
Live in a remote village community on golden sand beaches, helping to protect nesting and baby turtles. Really get to the heart of conservation whilst living in a beach paradise and enjoying the laid back "Tico" lifestyle.
Costa Rica is home to stretches of lush turtle nesting beaches all along its unspoilt coastline. It is hard in such a tropical paradise to imagine the extinction of the turtles however the sea turtle population here is rapidly plummeting. Due to natural predation from animals and severe human interference such as turtle egg poaching, industrial fishing and selling turtle shell products, all turtle species from the Pacific Coast are, to some degree, in danger of becoming extinct.
Working alongside a growing NGO, the local community and other volunteers, you will be protecting nesting turtles and their eggs, and ensuring that more adult and baby turtles can make it safely to the sea. The hard work of volunteers over the past few years has resulted in thousands more turtles making their way out to sea- with more of them surviving to promote future development. This is a vital project, set in one of our most stunning backdrops on the Pacific Ocean
Costa Rica is a stunning country, offering plenty of opportunities for surfing, horse riding along the beaches, exploring the mountains, rainforests and waterfalls. The sea makes natural lagoons for swimming and for those wanting to improve their Spanish, you are encouraged to help out in the local schools. With the amazing wildlife on your doorstep, this project feels a long way from the hustle and bustle of life in busy San Jose.
What will I do in Costa Rica?
By night you patrol the beaches, watching for nesting turtles coming up out of the sea. This is an incredible sight - one which many volunteers will never forget. Research and measurements on the turtles are recorded, and the eggs transported to a hatchery, where they can hatch in safety. This all takes place under the Milky Way, seen in incredible clarity due to lack of light pollution.
In the day time you check the hatchery for hatching turtles and help with the background research for the campaigns. The research is linked to a worldwide study, and helps with campaigns to end industrial fishing close to land. It's not all work though, with plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful beaches, taste the delicious Costa Rican cuisine and relax in the hammocks between the palm trees.
You will be based in a small local community based on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The accommodation is basic yet comfortable, and just a mere few metres from the beach. Waking up to the sounds of the birds and the chattering monkeys is unforgettable!
There are three project sites in which you can volunteer, each with its own charm and beauty. You can choose to volunteer at as few or as many sites as you please.
- The community project: A small beach in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, it boasts high numbers of turtles throughout the season. There is an excellent community spirit here, and you can really get involved with many other community based activities other than turtles.
- 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 excellent surfing and other outdoor activites, a few bars and restaurants, and lots to explore.
- The rustic project: The newest project site based in a small community on the beach opposite the paradise beach project. Food is brought in to be cooked on site by volunteers and water is pumped from the garden. This is a beautiful, rustic and simple base, not for the fainthearted!
You will fly in to San Josť, where you will be met by a member of the team. You will be put up in the capital for a night before making your way out to your project location the next day.
You will be living in simple Costa Rican houses or cabins, sharing with other volunteers. The accommodation is on site, usually in the centre of the community, so you are always surrounded by plenty of things to do and people to meet.
Your meals will be prepared by the local community, who will offer a variety of traditional Costa Rican foods as well as more western influenced foods.
Cost and what is provided
Volunteers may choose a date between July and December, as this is the nesting season of the sea turtles. The total cost of a placement at all sites starts at £677 for one week including a first and last night in a hotel in San Josť but excluding flights. Additional weeks are at £215 p/w. We are currently encouraging people to volunteer for as long as they can, with a discount of £100 for all volunteer periods of four weeks or more
What is Provided?
- Phone or face-to-face interview and informal briefing
- Pre-departure advice covering medical, safety and placement advice
- Help and advice from our UK office 24/7 whilst in Costa Rica
- Advice on obtaining a visa
- Full orientation and induction to project before you begin
- Meet and greet at San Josť airport and transfer to accommodation.
- First night hotel accommodation in San Jose (does not include meals)
- Transfer to the project site from San Jose on arranged public transport
- Shared accommodation with en-suite facilities at the beach project
- Food (three meals a day)
- Return transfer with public transport to San Jose
- Final night hotel accommodation in San Jose
- Return transfer to the airport
- Free access to InterHealth's Travel Health Advice Service
- Free myTsafe secure document storage account - worth £39!
What do I need?
- A full passport valid for the duration of your stay
- If you will be flying through the USA you need to comply with US regulations- make sure you have an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) at least 72 hours before you leave
- Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel)
- Return flights to San Jose. We can help organise these.
- Cost of changing your return flight date if you need to
- Independent travel costs
- Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow maybe £25 per week depending on lifestyle)
- Departure tax from Costa Rica is $28. This is not included in your flight. Make sure you have enough money left over, as you are not allowed to take Costa Rican currency either into or out of the country.
- No visa is necessary for under 90 days from UK and most western European countries
- No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hep A&B jabs are up to date
One more thing...
Costa Rica is a stunning country with lots on offer in the way of tourism. Consider extending your trip for a week or so to take in the incredible Monteverde cloud forest, walk up the Arenal volcano or chill out at the beautiful Montezuma beaches.