Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation FAQs
December to April is the dry season in Costa Rica. The wet / green season is from May to November and typically experiences sunny mornings and afternoon rain showers. The climate of Costa Rica varies greatly by region. The coasts are warmer, and the highlands are cooler.
Volunteers are expected to work six days per week at this project. You will also have a few hours off during the day as much of the work is done at night. You can also spend time touring and sightseeing after your placement. Whilst working at the projects volunteers additional activities are limited as the locations are remote, have curfews at night and restricted access to other locations.
Volunteers are expected to work six days per week at this project. Generally you will be working 6-7 hours per day. Your hours will vary depending on the needs of the project. Some days you may be working 3-5 hours at night with only a few hours of work during the day whereas other days you may be working mostly during the day.
The common language for staff and volunteers at this project is a mix of English and Spanish. It is beneficial to be able to speak some Spanish.
The Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation Project will typically have between 8 and 10 volunteers at a time with more during the summer months of June to August. These volunteers will come from various countries and a variety of backgrounds. Ages range with the majority aged between 18 and 30. The majority of volunteers are from the UK, United States, Canada and Europe. The majority of volunteers travel alone to the projects, although we also accommodate couples and groups.
There are local internet cafes within a few kilometres of each project. If you sign up with a local mobile service provider you will be able to access the internet on any internet enabled phone. The Costa Rican cell phone provider, Kolbi, has service at all the project sites. If you would like to access the local Kolbi network we recommend bringing a 3G unlocked phone and purchasing a SIM card in-country.
Yes of course, in fact we have a page all about how you can fund raise for your trip here.
Volunteers at the Conservation Project on the Pacific Coast 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. Volunteers on the Caribbean coast stay in shared cabins a few blocks from the beach. Volunteers are expected to hand wash their clothes. You should make sure to bring lots of light clothing and bio degradable detergent for hand washing your clothes. There are laundry sinks for washing and clothes lines for your clothes to dry. Volunteers are responsible for keeping the common areas, rooms and bathrooms clean and tidy. You will need to bring a mosquito net, sheets (or sleeping bag), and a pillow for your bed as bedding is not provided.
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, lunch and dinner consist of beans and rice with salad and a meat dish. Vegetarians and other dietary restrictions can be catered for. There are nearby stores where you can purchase snacks.
We request that you use your common sense and respect for others if you smoke. Because the project is a licensed research facility, drinking alcohol is not permitted at the project itself or within three hours of working with the turtles as the smell can affect the nesting females and the hatchlings. Otherwise you can drink alcohol off site.
The currency in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón. ATMs are available throughout the country for all major credit cards. US dollars are widely accepted. There are also currency exchange shops so you can also carry US dollars.
Generally speaking Costa Rica is a very safe country for travellers but as ever you should be on your guard and act sensibly. Be careful in crowded areas such as markets and bus terminals and on public transport. You can plan before you go by purchasing a money belt that goes underneath a T-shirt, or even a belt that has hidden zip pockets. Thousands of tourists visit Costa Rica every year and have no problems whatsoever, so don't be paranoid. Just take the basic precautions and you will have an amazing and trouble-free trip. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
We recommend that you let your health professional know that you will be volunteering on remote beaches in Costa Rica and discuss the various vaccination options. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
Finding the right insurance to cover your travels can be daunting, confusing and time-consuming, however – travel insurance is a must. You never know what could happen, and if you are unlucky enough to get ill or find yourself in a sticky situation, being uninsured can be really expensive and downright dangerous. This is why we strongly recommend that all our volunteers take out suitable travel insurance. We also recommend that your purchase your insurance and soon as you book your trip to cover you for all up-front costs in the event of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances. Globalteer has formed a partnership with a leading travel insurance provider to help you through this process.
There is no dress code at this project, you will need to wear clothes suitable for the work and beach environment.
Costa Ricans are very friendly and often interested in you as someone from a different country. Expect to exchange kisses on the cheek with people you know (opposite sexes and between women). A hand shake is always exchanged when meeting new people. In the Western world we are very hung up on time, with our meetings and schedules. Costa Ricans do not stress over time and it is not uncommon for things to happen later than arranged. Just go with the flow and forget stress – it’s better for you anyway!
No, a love of animals is the main qualification. You will be given guidance and training, and will initially be supervised by the project staff and work with the experienced volunteers. A certain amount of independence is required to be a volunteer.
Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from the project coordinator, giving local information and advice. Basic training will be given to ensure you achieve the project objectives. You will continually be learning from the staff.
Volunteers arriving at San Jose international airport will be collected and taken to the accommodation.
Globalteer is fully committed to ensuring that your volunteer placement is responsible. More information can be found on our Responsible Volunteering Page.
As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is financially transparent, our accounts are independently audited and posted online. You can read a full report on where your money goes here.
We understand what motivates volunteers and what makes a memorable volunteer experience. We have been placing volunteers at our projects since 2006 and have built up a wealth of knowledge in those years about what makes volunteering rewarding for volunteers as well as impactful for the fantastic projects we work with. You can read here why we think you should choose Globalteer.
You can read more about this project on our blogs page.