Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation

Volunteer to Help Save Sea Turtles in Costa Rica. Help protect these magnificent species!

Volunteer at the Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation Project to help protect and conserve magnificent Sea Turtles populations!

1 to 12 weeks from £504/ US$605

Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

Volunteer at the Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation Project and assist in helping to preserve Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity by protecting the nests of magnificent endangered sea turtles and releasing turtle hatchlings into the wild. Work in a tropical paradise and make a difference an this Ethical Rescue & Release Project!

Project Overview

Volunteer with Turtles in Costa Rica to help save species of sea turtles by protecting their nests from poachers. Located on two pristine beaches on the coast of Costa Rica, this project is the perfect opportunity to enjoy tropical paradise while volunteering with turtle rescue and release! Be a part of important Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica sea turtles are under threat from poachers who raid beaches searching for turtle nests so they can poach and sell their eggs. The trade of sea turtles' meat, shells and skin is still common, posing further threat to the species. The project focuses on conserving 4 species of sea turtles common to the area - the Pacific Black, Olive Ridley, Leatherbacks and Hawsbills. The project's main object is to protect sea turtles by alleviating both human and natural threats to the species.

Volunteer with Sea Turtles in Costa Rica and assist with beach patrols looking for turtle nests to protect the eggs, and laying mothers from poachers! Volunteers also assist in the hatchery and with turtle releases!

Learn More About Sea Turtle Conservation!
Project Summary

The Project: The project focuses on the conservation of four species of sea turtle - the Leatherback, Green Sea Turtles and the occasional Loggerhead and Hawksbills. The main objective is to alleviate the natural and man-made threats that affect sea turtles’ nests on the beaches in Costa Rica. 

Project Location: The project is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Main Volunteer Activities: Night Beach Patrols for Sea Turtles, Relocation of Nests, Maintenance of Turtle Hatchery, Releasing Hatchlings.

Hours: 6 days per week, 6 hours per day, usually a combination of day and night shifts.

Duration: Volunteer placements are from March - October and for 1 to 12 weeks.

Accommodation: Shared rooms, in simple, rustic conditions just minutes from the beach.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers at this project must be aged Aged 18+, with a passion for conservation, and have a reasonable level of physical fitness.

Project History

This wonderful project was set up to improve the chance of survival of these beautiful marine creatures which are seriously under threat from poachers who trade in the turtles’ eggs, meat, skin and shells, from the destruction of their natural habitat and from accidental capture in fishing lines. The project’s main objective is to alleviate the natural and manmade threats that affect sea turtles’ nests on the beaches in Costa Rica. 

How the project is helping

Beaches are patrolled on a nightly basis during nesting season to protect sea turtles from poachers, predators and other threats. All identified nests are removed to hatcheries where the eggs are protected until they hatch and the tiny hatchlings can be safely released into the ocean.

Unfortunately without programmes like this, the extinction of these wonderful and ancient sea turtle species could be imminent. The programme gives hatchlings the opportunity to successfully grow into mature sea turtles and hopefully, the females will in turn return to the same beaches to nest once they reach maturity

Why the project need volunteers

Volunteers at this project play a key role in ensuring the safety of hatchlings and therefore the future of Costa Rica’s sea turtles. Without state funding, the project relies volunteer support, private donations and grants to be able to undertake its vital work in protecting these amazing, but sadly endangered sea turtles.

Volunteer with Sea Turtles in Costa Rica to make a difference and support the local staff in their mission to save the sea turtles.

Typical Volunteer Duties

Volunteers work six days a week with one day off for relaxing and sightseeing. You will normally work during the day and at night with specific work schedules varying depending on the needs of the project. Each day, you will undertake a range of duties at the project – beach cleaning, maintenance on the hatchery etc and will normally also have one night shift for beach patrol for turtles OR a shift working in the hatchery to monitor nests and release hatchlings.

There is always a range of tasks to be carried out by volunteers and other general volunteer duties may include:

  • Releasing baby turtles into the ocean.
  • Beach cleaning
  • Construction of hatchery
  • Nocturnal Beach Patrols to look for nesting adult female turtles and data collection
  • Collection of data relevant to nesting activity (collection and transferal of eggs to the hatchery, tagging and measurements of turtles Maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings).
  • Registering information about the hatchery and exhumations (digging up nests that have not hatched)
  • Monitoring and security of hatchery
The daily volunteer schedule includes:

8am: Breakfast
9-10am: Cleaning Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom and Common Areas (Volunteers are expected to maintain the common areas clean)
11-1pm: Free Time
1pm: Lunch
2-5pm: Hatchery Shift
6pm: Dinner
9-12am: Night Patrol
*volunteers generally do EITHER the hatchery shift OR the Night patrol but not both.

Please keep in mind that the activities will vary depending on the time of year. The main conservation work done directly with the turtles takes place from June to December. If you come to the project at the beginning of the season or during the off-season you will be doing more preparation work to ensure that the facilities and beach are ready for the reception of nests in the hatchery.

If you come during nesting season most of your time will be spent on night patrols and transferring nests into the hatchery. Coming at the end of the season you will likely not see mother turtles lay eggs but will mostly be working to release hatchlings into the ocean.

Please be aware that nesting dates and numbers are never exactly the same each year so there is no guarantee you will see turtles during the start and end of the nesting season.


The project is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the Limon Province. The location is quite and remote and only accessible by boat. There are no shops or services in the area so you will need to make sure you are prepared before heading to the project.

For this project you need to fly to San Jose, which has direct flights from many cities including Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Charlotte, Madrid. Volunteers should arrive to San Jose on a Sunday or Wednesday for this project, they will spend one the night in San Jose before their orienation and heading to the project location.

Volunteers live in shared houses that consist of shared bunk rooms, shared toilets and cold water showers, and a large common area only a few minutes from the beach.

You may spot native wildlife near the project and can doze off to the sounds of exotic birds and ocean waves. Rooms are well ventilated and whilst windows are screened it is recommended that you bring your own mosquito net.

Electricity at the site is provided by solar panels and therefore needs to be used rationally. There is no WiFi at the project but if you get a local SimCard (Kolbi only) you can get a weak signal at while at the project.


Three meals per day are prepared by the project staff and are based on a Costa Rican diet of beans and rice. Breakfast is generally Gallo Pinto - a traditional Costa Rican dish of rice, beans and eggs. Lunch and dinner consist of beans and rice with salad and a meat or fish dish. Vegetarians and volunteers with other dietary restrictions can be catered for, just let us know in advance of your placement.

There are no washing machines or dryers at the project. Volunteers can wash their clothes by hand. It is best to bring lightweight clothing as it dries more easily in the humid conditions.

Free Time at the Costa Rica Sea Turtle Project

Volunteers will have one day off per week. Due to the remote location of the project volunteers just spend their free day/s relaxing around the project site.

There are many sightseeing and touring trips available before or after your placement throughout this amazing country including the following:

  • Chill out on the beaches and rainforest of the Nicoya Peninsula.
  • Visit El Arenal, one of Central America’s most active volcanoes.
  • Enjoy wildlife and bird spotting in the Manuel Antonio or Corcovado National Reserves.
  • Marvel at the unique biodiversity of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
  • Indulge in surfing and nightlife at the Caribbean village of Viejo Puerto de Talamanca.
  • Spot crocodiles, jaguars and sloths in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.
  • Bathe in the hot springs at Tabacon near El Arenal Volcano.
  • Snorkel in crystal clear waters off Isla Tortuga or many of the other beautiful beaches.
What’s Included:

Included in your volunteering package are all accommodation on site at the sanctuary and all main meals at the project site.

        √  Accommodation on site at the project
        √  Three meals a day at the project.
        √  Induction on arrival
        √  In-country support from local staff.
        √  All necessary project equipment and materials.
        √  All project training by experienced project staff.
        √  Project donation.

Financial Transparency

As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is required to be financially transparent to our donors. You can therefore see a full breakdown of where your money goes and our independently audited accounts by clicking below:

Where Your Money Goes

To discover why you should consider choosing Globalteer, please visit the following page:

About Globalteer

Why do we charge a fee for volunteering?

Globalteer requests a donation from volunteers to allow us to achieve our charitable objectives and support our partner programmes. In return, Globalteer provides volunteers with an amazing, responsible and ethical volunteer experience. Ensuring that your placement is responsible as well as rewarding, safe and enjoyable takes a good deal of work.

A summary of Globalteer’s total expenditure for the last financial year is shown below:

Donations and Grants 60% – This includes a share of volunteer placement fees, grants we have secured for our projects and donations managed by Globalteer that are made by individuals and groups to our projects and partner projects.

Support Costs 29% – This includes volunteer accommodation, volunteer transport, support staff costs, travel costs and some volunteer meals.

Operational Costs 11% – Costs of running Globalteer.

What’s not included
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and inoculations
  • Meals, drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Personal kit
  • Visa costs
What do everyday items cost?

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colon, and there are approximately 750 Colones to the pound and 570 Colones to the US dollar. The cost of living in Costa Rica is low compared to most countries in the developed world. The costs of some typical items are:

  • Bus ride up to half an hour - 800 Colones
  • Taxi journey up to 10 minutes - 5,000 Colones
  • Meal in a market - 5,000 Colones
  • Bottle of soft drink - 800 Colones
  • Coffee - 2,000 Colones
  • Meal in a restaurant - 10,000 colones
  • Bottle of domestic beer - 2,000 colones

Quick Summary of the Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation Project

The project focuses on the conservation of four species of sea turtle - the Leatherback, Green Sea Turtles and the occasional Loggerhead and Hawksbills.

The main objective is to alleviate the natural and man-made threats that affect sea turtles’ nests on the beaches in Costa Rica.

Volunteers can join the project to help the project's Sea Turtle conservation efforts.

The project is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, in the Limon Province.

The location is quite and remote and only accessible by boat. There are no shops or services in the area so you will need to make sure you are prepared before heading to the project.

Volunteers need to arrive to San Jose at the beginning of the project. After your orientation in San Jose, you will head to the project from there.

Volunteers support the project's conservation work by helping with Night Beach Patrols for Sea Turtles, Relocation of Nests, Maintenance of Turtle Hatchery, Releasing Hatchlings.

Volunteers work 6 days per week, 6 hours per day, usually a combination of day and night shifts.

Volunteer placements are from March - October and for 1 to 12 weeks.

Volunteers stay in shared rooms in simple, rustic accommodation just minutes from the beach

The accommodation has common areas to relax and socialise with fellow volunteers during your down time

The electricity at the site is provided by solar panels so needs to be used rationally.

There is no WiFi or Internet at the project, but if you get a local SimCard (KOLBI) before going to the project you can usually get a signal and use data from there.

Three meals per day are provided at the project.

Volunteers at this project must be aged Aged 18+, with a passion for conservation, and have a reasonable level of physical fitness.

What’s Included:

√ Accommodation at the project √ First night's accommodation in San Jose √ All main meals while at the project √ 24 hour in-country support at the project √ All necessary training by English speaking project staff √ All necessary project equipment and materials √ Project and location orientation guide √ Arrival induction √ Project Donation.

Add Airport Pickup

We can organise your airport pickup from San Jose to take you to the first night's accommodation. Volunteers pay for this service directly to the driver

We have a list of answers to questions frequently asked about the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can come to the Sea Turtle Conservation Project & Help and help!

To apply click here: Apply now

You can also donate to support the Conservation Projects in South East Asia & Latin America!

Donate Now!

Real Reviews of Globalteer on Volunteer's Social Media
  • The trip has changed my outlook on life and I believe that this is only the start of my volunteering career! Mid-life crisis? Mid-life adventure? It could have been either.....or even... read more

    Geraldine Parkin Avatar Geraldine Parkin
  • I think it speaks volumes for the quality and impact of the experience, that I returned for a second trip! I first volunteered at Picaflor House Children's Community Project in... read more

    Katharine Hughes Avatar Katharine Hughes
  • I met a fab group of people and they made the trip even better! I had the best time volunteering, especially with a background... read more

    Hope Wilson Avatar Hope Wilson
  • This trip was very well organized by Globalteer. I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Globalteer at... read more

    Kayla Lynne Kiteley Avatar Kayla Lynne Kiteley
  • The whole experience was fantastic from start to finish. All the Globalteer staff made me feel really welcome. I spent a couple of weeks volunteering at the Helping... read more

    Holly Bygrave Avatar Holly Bygrave
  • It was a huge eye opener and I would do it again in a heartbeat! I volunteered with Globalteer in Cambodia last year and I... read more

    Fiona Mehmet Avatar Fiona Mehmet
  • If you go there, you would definitely love it. I stayed in Picaflor House for like one month and... read more

  • Would highly recommend them to anyone considering volunteering abroad. A wonderful organisation that's truly dedicated to helping the communities... read more

    Anna Hilbert Avatar Anna Hilbert
  • If you’re considering getting involved, just do it! I guarantee you won’t regret it. I had an AMAZING experience volunteering on two different projects... read more

    Jess Robinson Avatar Jess Robinson
  • Wish others would also be as lucky as I am to have such an amazing experience! I can’t stop talking & thinking about this amazing experience... read more

    burcu eren Avatar burcu eren
  • 100% recommend to volunteer with them Globalteer is a great charity that will help you every... read more

    Elise Mousset Avatar Elise Mousset
  • They are great in every way. I have worked with them twice and I am counting down the days until I return next. Working with Globalteer and Picaflor house is amazing. They're great... read more

    Jeff Bartlett Avatar Jeff Bartlett
  • I had an amazing time and look forward to volunteering with Globalteer again in the future! I volunteered with the Peru Community Project out of Cuzco... read more

    Lauren Franklin Avatar Lauren Franklin
  • Great organisation making a real difference. Great organisation making a real difference in Peru.

    Nick James Avatar Nick James
  • All the staff and volunteers I worked with were very friendly and supportive. My time spent volunteering in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with Globalteer... read more

    Colin Elkington Avatar Colin Elkington
  • The Globalteer staff was extremely friendly, helpful, and made me feel right at home. One of the best experiences I've ever had! The Globalteer... read more

    Anna Von Foerster Avatar Anna Von Foerster
  • Each morning I woke up excited and full of energy to meet the other amazing volunteers and start our work! This experience was one of the most rewarding things I... read more

    Robert Bisson Avatar Robert Bisson
  • It was organised so well and I felt so comfortable throughout the whole process. Late last year I was able to spend a month... read more

    Tiarne Biviano Avatar Tiarne Biviano
  • All the Globalteer staff I have worked with have become friends and I value their support and encouragement. I have volunteered with the Globalteer Cambodia Community Project in... read more

    Sally Bateman Avatar Sally Bateman
  • Great program, great volunteer opportunities, would recommend to anyone. I volunteered for a month with Globalteer in Peru and... read more

    Eli Joshua Echt-Wilson Avatar Eli Joshua Echt-Wilson
  • The staff working there are dedicated but also good fun. What an amazing experience! We spent a week with this... read more

    Hercules Moriarty Avatar Hercules Moriarty
  • Anyone wanting to volunteer I would 100 percent recommend Globalteer!!!! I had the pleasure of volunteering with Globalteer at Picaflor... read more

    Katrina Baxter Avatar Katrina Baxter
  • Everything was well organised from day one and any special requirements were met with ease. Volunteering with Globalteer at Picaflor House was an incredible experience... read more

    Hannah Verity Stone Avatar Hannah Verity Stone
  • Would absolutely do it all over again! Amazing! They matched me with the perfect project and went... read more

    Casey Scholl Avatar Casey Scholl
  • Well organised, really helpful and welcoming staff. I had an amazing experience volunteering with Globalteer earlier this... read more

    Jessica Robinson Avatar Jessica Robinson
  • It was a life-changing experience for me, one that I will never forget. I absolutely loved my time volunteering in Cambodia with Globalteer!... read more

    Ann Quinlivan Avatar Ann Quinlivan
  • Globalteer employ members of staff who themselves have a passion for travelling. Having chosen to spend three-weeks volunteering on a Cambodia Community... read more

    Nathan Crook Avatar Nathan Crook
  • Had a great time and was happy to support such a worthwhile project. Having done lots of research on volunteer projects, I decided... read more

    Diego Alonso Avatar Diego Alonso
  • Globalteer were there every step of the way to help facilitate everything. Such a rewarding experience. Candice and Globalteer were there every... read more

    Peter DiFrancesca Avatar Peter DiFrancesca
  • Plenty of people you can ask for guidance. Great place to do your internship. Good atmosphere in the... read more

    ragnhild helgesen Avatar ragnhild helgesen
  • The staff really made me feel welcome. I had a great experience with Globalteer in Peru. The... read more

    AJ Rodney Avatar AJ Rodney
  • Accommodation was perfectly chosen and I made friends for life during my month working there. Learnt so much in an authentic and safe environment. Accomdation... read more