Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica.

Are you interested in working with sea turtles in Central America? Our partner organization in Costa Rica helps sea turtles through conservation, research, sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. This organization is composed of an expert network of biologists, managers, community leaders and educators who are committed to the recovery and sustainable management of sea turtle populations that are dangerously low in number.  Their Nesting Beach project is located in a remote area on the Caribbean coast, bordered by the sea on one side and a canal on the other. These beaches are the nesting site for many leatherback, hawksbill and green sea turtles who come to lay their eggs here. Without the help of this organization, 100% of the eggs laid by these magnificent creatures along the beach would be taken by poachers.  Volunteers are needed to patrol the beaches at night when the turtles are active, searching for recent nests or turtles that have come ashore to lay their eggs. The eggs are then relocated to a hatchery where they are protected by the organization until the eggs hatch and the baby turtles can be returned safely to the ocean. This project is only accessible by boat through the beautiful Tortuguero canals, offering volunteers a unique experience where they are fully immersed in nature.

Includes: Airport pick up and drop off (since these projects are in remote areas, your first night will be spent in volunteer housing in San Jose), accommodation, meals, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual,Partner Organization’s volunteer handbook, Placement Partner t-shirt, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications. Note: the rabies vaccine is not required for this Experience however, if volunteers are interested in becoming rabies vaccinated, the average cost is $600- $1000 in North America.

Accommodation: Volunteers stay in shared cabins at the location of the project. Accommodation is comfortable but simple. During the day, enjoy the hammocks while you rest up for your evening patrols! Solar powered lighting is available in common areas at night, but there is no electricity for personal needs. Cell phone signal is limited and there is no internet access so you will be enjoying Costa Rica without distraction. Three delicious Costa-rican meals will be provided for you each day. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

Volunteer activities: Standard volunteer activities will vary depending on the time of year and the activity of the turtles. Activities include patrolling the beach at night for sea turtle nests, hands-on work helping to measure and tag sea turtles and collect eggs, maintaining and protecting the hatchery, and releasing newly-hatched turtles back to the ocean. There are daily duties to maintain the facility, such as raking and washing dishes. You will be asked to bring a dark clothes and a red head-lamp for beach patrols- both are for turtle safety. The details will be discussed fully during your interview with the volunteer coordinator.

This is an ongoing program with operations all through the leatherback nesting and hatching season. This is from March to November. There are no specific start or end dates. We work with you and your schedule so you can serve this community and help animals when you are available. Volunteers must travel on Mondays or Thursdays. You will need to arrive early on Monday or Thursday or arrive Sunday or Wednesday and prepare to stay in volunteer housing in San Jose. This is an extra $45 and does not include meals.

Classification of Placement: Medical: Entry and Advanced. Standard: Entry and Advanced.

All classifications of volunteers are needed by this Placement partner and we encourage you to apply no matter your skill or experience level. However, if you are looking for a Placement to use your specific skills, the professionals who would be most beneficial to this placement would be volunteers with experience in: veterinary medicine, fundraising and construction.

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OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
2 weeks $ 2290
3 weeks $ 2775
4 weeks $ 3250
Groups of 5 or more: 10% off individual fees.