Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica


Sea turtle volunteers in Costa Rica  will be living and working on the Pacific coast of this beautiful country. 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 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. On this project, you will be working with one or various species of sea turtles including olive ridley turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, green turtles, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Each turtle is endangered to a different degree and is handled differently according to their numbers and habits.

As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you will not only get to experience tropical life as it is lived in Costa Rica but also get a chance to work closely with other ocean enthusiasts, both international and local.Some elements of the project include teaching the local populace about the importance of turtle conservation, conducting awareness campaigns in the community and hosting sessions with tourists from nearby resorts to raise further awareness about turtle conservation.

Our marine programme and projects are extensive, and relies on volunteer support to achieve all our conservation aims.  Cleaning and feeding of our turtles requires time and energy, and without the help of volunteers we would struggle to do this every day! Night Patrols during nesting season and monitoring work is time consuming and extensive so we require all the help we can get from volunteers. July to December, is the turtle nesting season and the best time to volunteer on this program. Baby turtles start hatching from early to mid August onwards. 

Volunteer in Costa Rica Gallery

What is involved

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

  • Hands on turtle husbandry experience including cleaning and feeding the rescued turtles and hatching turtles
  • Assisting with administrating any medical care for any injured turtles
  • Organising and assisting with community beach cleans, land clean ups and marine awareness sessions for children
  • 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

Pickups are available from 8 am-10:30 pm on specified dates at designated airports or hotels near
Participants not arriving on these dates will have to meet with the local team independently.

If you arrive on dates of your choice there is a pick up charge of $100
Note: Easter week from March 24-March 31st - Holidays in Latin America .
Projects close from Christmas until new years.

Turtle season is from June to March

Jan 7,14,28
Feb 11,25
Mar 3,10, 17
Apr 7,14,21
May 5,12,19
Jun 2,9,16,23,30
Jul 14,21,28
Aug 4,11,18,25
Sep 8,22,29
Oct 13,20,27
Nov 3,10,17,24
Dec 1 , 8

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.


best volunteer abroad program
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!

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