Sea Turtle Volunteer

Family Volunteering in Costa Rica


When it comes to family volunteering holidays, our sea turtle conservation trips are some of the best projects out there. The general recommendation is for children to be aged eight or above – although we are happy to take on children as young as five. This program is operating in the Nicoya Peninsula. Costa Rica is home to stretches of lush turtle nesting beaches all along its unspoilt coastline. In such a tropical paradise, it is hard to imagine the extinction of the turtles, however the sea turtle population 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.

As a family volunteer on the sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica you will join a local team of community and volunteers that works hard to ensure more baby turtles make it back to sea. Daily – and nightly – tasks are the same, whatever your age, so kids will be out patrolling the beach, measuring turtles, marking nests and gathering up eggs, which is fabulous – as they really are playing an essential role in protecting the turtles. Do bear in mind that you are not going to be living in luxury – something that children may take to naturally, although anxious parents may fret about more. But the simplicity of life by the beach means that the lessons learned here are not all about conservation – children will learn about life in rural communities in the developing world, and that tablets and TVs are not the only form of entertainment.

Volunteer in Costa Rica Gallery

What is involved

Family Volunteers in Costa Rica on our sea turtle conservation project can expect to do varied activities. This includes:

  • Hands on turtle husbandry experience including cleaning and feeding the rescued turtles and hatching turtles
  • Organising and assisting with community beach cleans, land clean ups and marine awareness sessions
  • Beach Patrolling and egg collection during nesting season. Research and measurements on the turtles are recorded, and the eggs transported to the hatchery, where they can hatch in safety.
  • Releasing hatchlings into the ocean
  • Ad hoc research or data collection tasks

You will get to work with a team of dedicated enthusiasts who work hard to save the turtle population. You will volunteering at a turtle centre where there are many turtles under our care. These turtles are from a number of different sources. Some are rescued from people trying to sell them as pets to tourists and locals alike. Some are donated to the centre by locals who have purchased them as pets; usually as hatchlings. Some are rescued from the ocean after being discovered injured by locals or by nearby resorts.

Injuries are usually sustained from entanglement in ghost fishing net, or are suffering from buoyancy syndrome from internal problems such as ingestion of plastic, which can then result in being hit by boats. Once a turtle is brought to the Centre you, as our turtle conservation volunteer, will be helping with the general care of our turtles. This includes everything from daily feeding, cleaning of turtles and tanks, swims in the ocean for rehabilitation, and our favourite part;
turtle release!

July – December, is the turtle nesting season and the best time to volunteer on this program. Baby turtles start hatching from early – mid August onwards. 

Volunteer in Costa Rica for Sea Turtle Conservation

Some details

2022 2022 2022 2022 2023 2023
January April July October January April
9, 16, 23, 30 17,24 3, 10, 17, 24 16, 23 8, 15, 22, 29 9, 23
February May August November February May
6, 13, 20, 27 8, 22,29 7, 14, 21, 28 6, 23, 20, 27 5, 12, 19, 26 7, 14, 21, 28
March June September December March June
6, 13, 20 5, 12, 19, 26 4, 11, 18, 25 4, 11, 18 5 , 12, 19, 26 4, 11, 18, 25

What your first week looks like

Arrival day

Senior volunteer in Costa Rica
On arrival at the airport we will pick you up and transfer you to a hotel in San Jose. Depending on your time of arrival, the next day you will be transferred to the project location by public transport. Our team will meet you and give you a local orientation, health and safety briefing, and project training before we take you in for your program.


Volunteer in Costa Rica Day to Day life
Your project coordinator or a member of the team will be taking you to the project and after introductions you can get started. Your two meals breakfast and dinner are included. Lunch is at the project site and you can pick up something locally. In the evenings most volunteers spend exploring the area, relaxing at the accommodation or preparing for projects.


Volunteers enjoying surfing
During your free time in Costa Rica, we encourage volunteers to explore as much as possible. There are some phenomenal pristine beaches where you can surf or swim, volcanoes and biodiversity such as rainforests and waterfalls. Volunteers generally book trips in country with other and our local team can help you book weekend trips.

Weekend activities

Monteverde Rainforest

Monteverde Rainforest Costa Rica
This is the most famous cloud forest in Costa Rica with hiking, zip lining,& long suspension bridges.

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast Costa Rica
The central Pacific coast is home to beaches & national parks. You can also visit North & South coast.

Tabacon Hot Springs

Tabacon Hot Springs
Because of the active volcanoes in central Costa Rica, there are lots of natural hot springs.


Costa Rica sunset surfing
Costa Rica has some of the best surfing beaches in the world suitable for beginners or pro level!

Testimonial Videos

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