South America Inside

Help Save Sea Turtles

Camaronal, Costa Rica show on map
Agency
·
founded in 2003
Sergio
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Coordinator | Sergio
Coordinator | Sergio
Protect endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica! Lend a helping hand to protect these beautiful sea creatures.
This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Highlights

  • Explore Costa Rica, one of the most amazing countries in the world
  • Experience the relaxed "tica way of life"! Tica refers to how the Costa Ricans call themselves :-)
  • Boost your CV adding international volunteer experience
  • Make new friends from around the world while sharing with other international volunteers
  • Visit amazing places throughout a country that is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and beaches

During your volunteer work you support a turtle protection project in a nature reserve in Costa Rica. This is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Guanacaste in the northwest of the country and covers an area of around ​​243 hectares.

The area was declared a Natural Reserve by the Costa Rican Government in 1994, as the beach in this region is considered one of the most important places in the country for sea turtles nests. In addition to the turtles, there are of course numerous plant, mammals, bird and reptile species that need to be protected.

As part of your volunteer service, you'll be assisting the local team to monitor endangered sea turtles while they are laying their eggs, secure the nests and dig up the eggs, if necessary, to keep them safely in incubators until the baby turtles hatch after about 45-60 days. The work on this volunteer project is incredibly exciting, as some of the adult turtles can weigh up to 700 kg and really impress with their beautiful, up to 2.5 meter long shells. Despite their huge size, it is extremely impressive how quickly they dig the hole in the sand for oviposition and deposit up to 60 eggs there.

You can get involved in this project with all your energy to help preserve the sea turtles. Here you will get to know volunteers from all over the world and join them in experiencing the breathtaking biodiversity of Costa Rica.

Typical day

At the beginning of the voluntary work in the nature reserve, the newcomers are welcomed with an orientation session. During your volunteer work in Costa Rica, you are involved in a project that protects and monitors the population of the sea turtles in the south of the province of Guanacaste. You will be taking exciting night patrols along the Pacific beaches to observe rare turtle species and monitor their habits and behaviors. The tours are never undertaken alone, but always in teamwork with other volunteers and / or with local project staff. The sea turtles come to the beach all year round for oviposition in the region, however, the period from July to December is considered high season. At this time, up to 30 nests per night can be secured! In the months of January to June, with an average of five turtles per night significantly fewer animals come to the beach, but still enough to observe them closely and to cooperate in the protection project.

It is important to collect and analyze the data collected in order to control the populations of sea turtles. The feeling of being able to see these mystical but endangered creatures up close is incredibly exciting! In this region also the so-called leatherback turtle lays its eggs. It is the largest turtle species in the world, reaching a length of up to 2.5 meters and a weight of up to 700 kg. This turtle species prefers oviposition in the region from October to February. After successful breeding season of 45-60 days the hatchlings search their way to the sea which is a dangerous mission. The aim of this project is to protect sea turtle eggs from predators and illegal abduction (turtle eggs are traded as delicacies).

During the day, volunteers sometimes also take environmental education lessons in the surrounding schools to make the children aware of the sensitive ecosystem, in particular the specificity of sea turtles, and to ensure a more conscious approach to the environment and its fauna. Likewise, the volunteers work during the day in the breeding station on the evaluation of the data that they could capture during the nightly inspection.

Details on Arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningfull volunteer project.


Please Note
Before leaving to the project site, you will receive an orientation from our local staff. It is best if you can arrive in San José on Sundays or Wednesdays. The program includes between 1-3 overnight stays in a single room with a Host Family (incl. half board) in San José.

Free-time activities

Weekends are the perfect time to enjoy an exciting hike through Costa Rican nature since the main attractions of Costa Rica is its system of national parks and protected areas, which cover around 25% of the national territory, in order to protect the rich variety of flora and fauna, which is estimated to contain 5% of the world's biodiversity in less than 0.1% of the planet's land mass. In addition, Costa Rica has countless amazing beaches on both the Pacific and the Caribbean Ocean. 

Costa Rica is the perfect place to combine volunteer work with tourism, enjoy activities like:

- Adventure sport
- Dream beaches
- Ecotourism
- Local culture
- Bird / wildlife watching
- Visits to unique National Parks
- Rural tourism
- Sightseeing and history in San José

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) and English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South America Inside (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by South America Inside

  1. Accommodation in volunteer house
  2. Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  3. Airport pick-up in San José and transfer to overnight stay in San José

  4. Consultation from our experienced staff
  5. Translation of application profile
  6. Volunteer work placement
  7. Advice regarding travel insurance
  8. Advice on local travels
  9. Orientation session upon arrival
  10. Orientation kit
  11. Country handbook
  12. Local support
  13. 24/7 Emergency Number
  14. Certificate of Participation

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

  1. Airport pick-up in San José and transfer to your overnight homestay in San José
  2. Transfer from your homestay in San José to the bus station to start your journey to the volunteer site

You will be picked up at the airport in San José and brought to your homestay (single room) where you will stay one or more nights, depending on your arrival day. After an orienation session with our in-country coordinators you will be brought to the bus station in San José where you will start your journey to the volunteer project site (costs for bus ticket not included).

Note: If you arrive on a friday or saturday in San José you will stay at the homestay in San José at least until monday.

Accommodation

 Volunteers will stay in the volunteer house on the project site. It is located slightly higher than the beach, which offers an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. The houses are simple, but fully furnished. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, large porch, and bathrooms with showers. 

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Volunteers usually cook their meals together and the ingredients are provided by the project.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 870
3 weeks
$ 1,060
4 weeks
$ 1,250
5 weeks
$ 1,440
6 weeks
$ 1,630
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 5,050
Average fees
$ 323 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Camaronal/Costa Rica between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Costa Rica  Camaronal, Camaronal, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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