Volunteer to survey turtles in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.


Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation

: Frontier

Where: Tortuguero National Park, North Caribbean coast, Costa Rica

Focus: Monitoring of Turtles and supporting the hatchery.

When: February-November. Turtle seasons:

  • Mid-February to July for Leatherback sea turtles (high season in May),
  • June to November for Green sea turtles (high season in September).
  • Hawksbill turtles occasionally nest.

Duration: 2-20 weeks

Suitability: Over 18s. Group bookings available.

Cost: The cost gets cheaper, the longer you stay – available here.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Support the local community, known as the Nuevo Pacuare, as a conservation assistant and help them address threats to turtles like marine debris, erosion and poaching.
  • Observe and monitor the nesting habits of female sea turtles.
  • Collect scientific data and monitor turtle populations and behaviour.
  • Patrol the beach during the day or night (2-5 hour shifts).
  • Construct hatcheries where at risk nests can be relocated.
  • Mark adult turtles and release hatchlings.
  • Maintain the centre’s facilities and shelters.
  • Perform beach clean ups and tree planting.

The Base

Accommodation: On arrival, volunteers stay in a homestay in San Jose for two days during orientation training, before moving to the volunteer house at the project site. Access to the project site is by boat. There is no electricity but there is a solar panel that provides lighting in the common area.

Sleeping: Shared, dormitory-style rooms for up to 8 volunteers. Volunteers should bring sleeping bags and pillows.

Food: 3 simple healthy meals a day at project site (two at the homestay).

Support: 24-hour in-country support; International HQ emergency support & back-up; UK residential briefing weekend available

Transport: Airport pick up from San José Juan Santamaria airport on the Sunday and transfer to homestay.

The next step

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