insyte to the programme

caribbean turtle nesting

“I am exhausted! And exhilarated and buzzing and already planning to go back!! It was absolutely incredible. I loved that it was a proper, research driven project and feeling like I was making a small yet real impact. The team out there are absolutely amazing and I've definitely made some friends for life. I would highly highly recommend it!!” Sara NZ

Be part of this remote conservation project which aims to protect and preserve the depleted populations of sea turtles on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. A challenging but hugely rewarding experience awaits you as you play a role in all project activities. You’ll join night time beach patrols to ensure the protection of nesting turtles and her eggs, you’ll work in the hatchery and you’ll be part of important data collection and general beach clean-up activities. 

This unique and isolated tropical location is where rainforest dwellers like sloths, monkeys and raccoons meet aquatic wildlife such as manatees, freshwater dolphins, crocs and of course turtles !! Nowhere better exemplifies Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” – pure life.

If a remote and off-grid experience helping to tackle a genuine ecological issue is your idea of heaven, then look no further than Costa Rica and Caribbean Turtle Conservation

itinerary

Day 1 & 2 - (Sunday & Monday)

Arrive at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (airport code SJO) and say a big Hola to Costa Rica. After clearing customs and immigration, you’ll be picked up and taken to a guesthouse for your first night. No matter the time of arrival we’ll be there for you, so no worries regarding your flight time. 

Early next morning, you will meet our coordinator who will welcome you and run through an orientation/briefing. Then we’re off - by taxi, public bus, 4WD and finally a boat until we reach your new home in the rainforest alongside a remote Caribbean beach. Relax, meet the on-site team and settle in to the project station.

Project Work

Patrol - in a group, you’ll be responsible for patrolling a 2.5km section of the beach by night this means long walks in search of nesting females. Once a turtle is encountered the action starts – you’ll measure the female and her nest and you’ll collect the eggs to be moved to the hatchery. Important data such as the turtle ID tag no., nest location and no. of eggs is recorded before the task is complete. Expect to cover around 14kms each patrol.

Hatchery - the hatchery is a secure, protected section of the beach where eggs stand a much higher chance of making it to their exciting conclusion. In-depth training is provided of course before you get to work. The main volunteer tasks in the hatchery are the relocation and ongoing monitoring of nests, maintaining security from predators, collection of data and hatchling release. 

Eggs incubate for around 60 days, and there is a surge of hatchlings midway through the season. All nests must be checked regularly day and night, with hatchlings released to the ocean the same day they are born - it is your responsibility to keep an eye on them until they safely reach the water. The hatchery has to be rebuilt each year and this means plenty of digging, fence-building and general preparation of the area.

Your last day (Monday/Thursday)

Oh no …… whether you’re here for 1 week or 10 weeks one of these days it will be time to say goodbye to paradise. Your journey back to reality starts with an early boat through the jungle waterways, back to town to catch the bus to the capital San Jose, arriving late morning. If you are flying straight home, then book a departure after 3pm – even better, spend an extra night or two in the big city before continuing to explore this incredible country – we’ll be glad to help with your overnight accommodation and/or your onward travel. 

your digs

Your home is a remote and rustic project station accessible only by water. Think location, location, location !! With the black sand beach at the front and inland waterways behind, your neighbours are the birds of the rainforest. 

meals

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in your program cost. Meals are a social scene, with volunteers and project staff eating together. We will do our best to work with dietary requirements, but please check this prior to booking.

snapshot

start date

Sundays & Wednesdays March until November

minimum age

you gotta be 18 to do this program

important info

  • Duration : 8 or 15 nights. Longer durations also available
  • Fly In & Out : San Jose (SJO)
  • What’s included: 8 nights accommodation, all meals, airport pickup, briefings andtraining from on-site biologist, all materials, equipment and permits, local guides and24/7 support
  • What’s not included in cost: Flights, transfers, drinks and snacks, travel insurance
  • *Prices start at £669pp for a 1 week program. Prices will be confirmed in writing prior to confirming.

* if you want to work with sea turtles during the nesting off-season, then ask about our other
project in a different area of Costa Rica which focusses on the research and protection of
mature turtles through in-water monitoring, field rescue and the operation of a rehabilitation
centre. This location also has the advantage of a choice of comfortable, private-room
accommodation.

apply

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Great! We will be in touch asap to confirm your volunteer escape!

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