Protect and track turtle nests

San Jose, Costa Rica

Turtle conservation projects are located in rural beach areas, often alongside impoverished communities. Volunteers provide support to the biologists, biology interns, project staff, and locals involved in protecting turtle eggs and maintaining the turtle nesting grounds.

  • Do beach patrols (day or night) to search for nesting turtles
  • Tag and/or count turtles
  • Move nests into protected hatcheries
  • Count or collect eggs
  • Help with beach cleanup
  • Do project upkeep and maintenance
  • Minimum age of 17 years

    In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.

  • A background check

    Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.

  • Airport pick-up

    We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or at nearby accommodations instead of the airport.

  • Accommodations

    While in San Jose for your orientation, you will stay in a traditional homestay with a pre-approved middle-class Costa Rican family in a shared room. You share with 1-3 other people of the same gender. At the Turtle Conservation project, you will stay in shared, dormitory accommodations on the reserve.

  • Food

    In San Jose breakfast and dinner are included, and at the Turtle Conservation project you will be provided with three meals a day.

  • Orientation

    The Turtle Conservation program begins with a mandatory 2-day orientation session in San Jose, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site

  • Public bus transportation to and from the project site

    Turtle Conservation project sites and accommodations are located 2-5 hours outside the city of San Jose.

  • Airfare

    To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to San Jose, Costa Rica well in advance.

  • Travel insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.

  • Getting around

    Local transportation is limited, and walking is the best way to get around. To travel further for activities or shopping in larger towns, public bus service is available.

  • ATMs

    ATMs will not be easily accessible, if at all. You should take the cash you need with you when you leave San Jose - our local team can help you to budget for the duration of your stay.

  • WiFi

    Depending on your location and accommodations, WiFi may not be available.

  • Medical services

    Medical treatment at the project site is provided by local doctors and small clinics. Our team and the local staff can support you if you require medical attention or have any concerns.

  • Arrival (Sunday)

    Airport pick up, accommodations and basic orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.

  • Orientation (Day 2)

    The Turtle Conservation program begins on Mondays with an orientation session in San Jose, where you will receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site.

  • Transfer to project site (Day 3)

    You will be traveling to conservation program site.

  • Working hours

    Working hours vary according to the needs of the project, but you can expect to work 6-8 hours per day, Monday to Saturday. Your working hours are split into shifts, and you should be prepared to sometimes work late at night or very early morning when patrolling the beach. You have one free day a week. Please notify the project director if you plan to leave the site.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants

    Make sure you don’t mind getting your clothes dirty or even ruining them.

  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking boots or crocs

    These will make beach patrols much more comfortable

  • Gloves
  • Flashlight or headlamp

    You might have a night shift, so we strongly encourage you to bring one or the other.

Price: $1145 / 2 weeks

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