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Costa Rica – Turtle Conservation Volunteering

  • 2 week minimum
  • 11
    Typical number of volunteers: 10
  • 11
    Wifi Available
  • 11
    Year round
  • 11
    Min Age : 18+
  • 11
    Airport Pickup Included

The goal of our wonderful turtle conservation project is helping to conserve the future of the amazing sea turtle. Due to years of human interference, the population of the sea turtle has reduced so much they are on the endangered species list. Without the help of conservation efforts, the great sea turtle could be lost forever. During the nesting season (August- February) our program focuses on the protection and nurturing of the endangered Green and Hawksbill sea turtle’s nests.

When it’s not breeding season the turtle conservation program focuses on research and conservation, as well as monitoring the local sloth population.  Our volunteers will gain a unique experience in conservation efforts, learn about Costa Rica, and travel the country!

Arrival Airport & Location

Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), San Jose
Project Location: Quepos

Start Dates & Duration

The turtle conservation program is available all year with arrivals every Saturday. The program’s duration is 1 week to 8 weeks depending on your preference. If you wish to stay longer than 8 weeks this can be arranged with the local team. 

Volunteer Accomodation

Volunteers are accommodated in a special volunteer house

Price Includes

  • Airport Pickup
  • Accomodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 local support
  • Project placement and supervision

Price Excludes

Our prices don’t include flights, travel insurance, visas or vaccinations, but we can provide information and support on obtaining these. You may also need additional spending money to purchase additional foods and snacks, local transport, weekend tours and excursions, and return airport transfer.

What to Expect

Like many conservation programs funds are lacking, and volunteers play a vital role in the success of this project. While working with our marine conservation program, you will gain hands-on experience in marine and wildlife conservation. Volunteers support research and conservation work that involves counting turtles, measuring nests, and collecting information.

During the sea turtle breeding season (Aug-Feb) focus is on protecting nests and eggs from human or animal destruction. This requires nightly beach patrols that collect the eggs and take them back to the nursery. There they are cared for and monitored until hatching time. They are then released back on the beach to start their journey! 

You will also get the opportunity to participate in beach conservation and maintenance. These projects help to ensure the safety and well-being of the sea turtle populations of the region.

The location of this program also offers the exciting opportunity to assist with protecting the sloth population and monitoring their activities. 

What's Required

Participants in the program are required to be 18 years or older. If you are 17, you may join us with parental consent. 

When applying to the program you will be required to provide these documents: Emergency contact

You aren’t required to have experience in animal conservation to take part in our program. However, this program is best suited for volunteers pursuing a career in animal conservation or zoological studies. Most importantly is a willingness to help and a can do attitude!

We do not require you to be fluent in Spanish for your time volunteering in Costa Rica. Why not use this opportunity to learn some of the language and immerse yourself in the culture even further? Take advantage of language lessons available to you throughout your placement!

Arrival & Departure

Upon arrival into San Jose airport, our local staff will pick you up and take you to host family accommodations in Santa Barbara de Heredia. It takes around  40 minutes to reach from San Jose, and you will stay Saturday night there. 

On Sunday, there will be a welcome orientation covering your placement, knowledge of the area, and answer any questions you may have. That afternoon you will be transferred to Jaco by public bus. A representative from the local project team will meet you at the bus station and take you to your accommodations. 

Monday morning you will start at your project site and be introduced to your project leader.

  • Arrive: Saturday 
  • Depart: Saturday
Accommodation & Meals

Your accommodation for this program will be in a volunteer house in Matapalo. A wonderful place to meet fellow volunteers and make lasting friendships.

All rooms are dormitory style, split by gender, and sleep up to 4 volunteers. You will have a western style bathroom with a cold water shower, electricity, and wifi. Linens for your bed will be provided, so the only thing you’re required to bring is toiletries and a towel. 

Two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) are provided for you throughout your stay at the volunteer house. Dinner is not included, however it may be arranged with your hosts. You can also cook for yourself in the house’s kitchen or try one of the nearby cafes which have cheap and delicious local food. Volunteers are often expected to help with cooking and cleaning using a roster based system. Bringing a real family feel to this project!


Day 1Barcelona – Zaragoza – Madrid

We’ll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Luzern (Lucerne) for a “Welcome to Switzerland” meeting. Then we’ll take a meandering evening walk through Switzerland’s most charming lakeside town, and get acquainted with one another over dinner together. Sleep in Luzern (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2Zürich–Biel/Bienne–Neuchâtel–Geneva

Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce. Then, leave Zurich and start your Swiss adventure. You’ll quickly discover that Switzerland isn’t just home to the Alps, but also to some of the most beautiful lakes. First, stop at the foot of the Jura Mountains in the picturesque town of Biel, known as Bienne by French-speaking Swiss, famous for watch-making, and explore the historical center. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to lakeside Neuchâtel, dominated by the medieval cathedral and castle. Time to stroll along the lake promenade before continuing to stunning Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland, with its fantastic lakeside location and breathtaking panoramas of the Alps.

Day 3Enchanting Engelberg

Our morning drive takes us from Swiss lakes to Swiss Army. At the once-secret Swiss army bunker at Fortress Fürigen, we’ll see part of the massive defense system designed to keep Switzerland strong and neutral. Afterward, a short drive into the countryside brings us to the charming Alpine village of Engelberg, our picturesque home for the next two days. We’ll settle into our lodge then head out for an orientation walk. Our stroll through the village will end at the Engelberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery with its own cheese-making operation. You’ll have free time to wander back before dinner together. Sleep in Engelberg (2 nights). Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.

Day 4Interlaken Area. Excursion to The Jungfrau Massif

An unforgettable trip to the high Alpine wonderland of ice and snow is the true highlight of a visit to Switzerland. Globus Local Favorite At an amazing 11,332 feet, the JUNGFRAUJOCH is Europe’s highest railway station. Jungfrau’s 13,642-foot summit was first ascended in 1811 and in 1912 the rack railway was opened. There are lots of things to do here: enjoy the ALPINE SENSATION, THE PANORAMA 360° EXPERIENCE, and the ICE PALACE. Also receive your JUNGFRAU PASSPORT as a souvenir to take home with you. The round trip to the “Top of Europe” by MOUNTAIN TRAIN will take most of the day.

Day 5Lake Geneva and Château de Chillon

It’s market day in Lausanne! Enjoy browsing and packing a picnic lunch for our 11 a.m. boat cruise on Lake Geneva. A few miles down-shore we’ll dock at Château de Chillon, where we’ll have a guided tour of this delightfully medieval castle on the water. On our way back we’ll take time to peek into the vineyards surrounding Lutry before returning to Lausanne. Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.


Your base for this project is 30 minutes south of the small town of Quepos on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coastline. The town of Playa Matapalo has a restaurant and store so any everyday needs are covered.

There is no short supply of activities to do in your free time. Surfing and horseback riding are popular in the area. Just a short hike away from you is an amazing swimming hole and waterfall. Not too far away are Quepos town and Manuel Antonio National Park. 

This remote paradise is unpolluted by noise and light, making it a popular nesting ground for thousands of sea turtles each year.


I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

– Austria – Euro (EUR)
– France – Euro (EUR)
– Germany – Euro (EUR)
– Italy – Euro (EUR)
– Netherlands – Euro (EUR)
– Switzerland – Swiss franc (CHF)
– United Kingdom – Pound sterling (£)

Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however.

What is cancellation policy?

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite.

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