Marine Life Protector Sea Turtles

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Help endangered marine life and get close to fascinating animals
Show your social commitment while supporting a good cause abroad
Explore a country that is famous for its rich biodiversity and dream beaches
Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
Broaden your horizon while immersing yourself into a new culture
Encountering sea turtles in their natural habitat is an experience that really gets under your skin. Help to protect endangered marine life in Costa Rica. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Seeing sea turtles in their natural habitat up close is a life changing experience that really goes under your skin. It is absolutely impressive to observe these amazing creatures in real life. Be part of this project and contribute to their protection. 

The project is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, in the Guanacaste Province in the north-west of Costa Rica. The capital San José is about 5 hours away by car. The picturesque seaside resort of Samara is the closest larger town and is about 20 minutes away by car / taxi. Samara is a small, sunny town with dream beaches as far as the eye can see.

The Sea Turtle Conservation project was founded in 1984 and serves to protect the sensitive ecosystem on land and in the sea, in particular the habitat and breeding grounds of sea turtles. It includes an area of over 500 hectares made up of a marine and land reserve. The dreamlike landscape is characterized by mountains, small bays, beautiful beaches, mangrove forests and countless small islands. Local communities support and benefit from this project through sustainability work such as ecotourism, environmental education, beach cleaning and similar efforts.

The reserve is located on the coast where the so-called "arribada" takes place. This is a natural phenomenon and describes the natural synchronized mass nesting of the olive ridged turtle. In the high season, thousands of turtles come to the beaches, making the region the second largest sea turtle breeding site on this planet.

In addition to the olive ridged turtle, there are two other sea turtles species nesting in this region (the leatherback turtle and the green sea turtle). 

In this Sea Turtle protection project you will learn a lot about the habitat and threats of these wonderful animals. 

Typical day

All new volunteers will have an orientation session upon their arrival to be introduced in the world of Sea Turtles, their habitat and dangers.

During their stay volunteers will have different tasks. On one side, there are the exciting night patrols on the beaches to observe rare species of turtles and to monitor their habits and behavior. These inspection rounds are always carried out in teamwork with other volunteers and / or with local project staff. Although in this area sea turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs all year round, the high season is from August to January (olive ridged turtle, leatherback turtle).

On the other side there is the project's research program that is extremely important for longlasting sea turtle preservation. Volunteers and local staff collect data on the population and the success of breeding. In order to protect the eggs of the sea turtles from natural and human predators and illegal theft (turtle eggs are traded as delicacies) and to ensure the growth of the animal population in the Pacific, some of the turtle eggs are collected by the volunteers and kept in incubators until the baby turtles hatch after about 45-60 days. After successful breeding, the hatchlings are then released into their natural habitat again.

Beaches have to be kept clean. So, volunteers are also instructed to helf with beach cleaning and collecting garbage. It is very important that the breeding grounds of the sea turtles are free of garbage. Great importance is attached to the recycling of the various materials such as plastic, glass and aluminum.

We would like to point out that mother nature is unpredictable and we cannot give any guarantee about the number of sea turtles for a certain period of participation. This is also why it is not possible to divide a typical work day into predetermined working hours. If volunteers go on patrols after dark, work shifts are much shorter during the day. On the other side, if volunteers do not have beach patrols in the evening/at night, working hours will be during the day. Volunteers do not work longer than 35 to 40 hours / week.

Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time of year, weather, current needs of the project and self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

Free-time activities

The project is located at the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica surrounded by dream beaches and a rich vegetation. Beautiful seaside resorts like Samara and Nosara are close by with dream beaches as far as your eye can see. There you can find a variety of offers to spend your free time, like many kinds of water sports (surfing, snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayak, etc.), sun bathing, horseback riding as well as bars, restaurants and shops.

Water Sports


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 English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)
Required Documents
CV and Application Form
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 and Friday

What's Included

Services by South America Inside
  • Shared room in Volunteer House / host family
  • Full board
  • Airport pick-up in San José with overnight stay/s in San José
  • Transfer from San José accommodation to bus terminal for journey to project site *
  • Professional English-speaking advice
  • Translation of your application documents
  • Volunteer Work Placement in Costa Rica
  • English-speaking in-country support
  • Orientation session in our partner office in San José
  • Handbook Costa Rica
  • Intercultural guideline
  • 24/7 emergency number
  • Information about suitable travel insurance
  • Certificate of participation

*the costs for the bus ticket to the project site are not included.
Volunteers live in the volunteer house on site on the grounds of the natural reserve at the Pacific beach, surrounded by evergreen nature. The Volunteer house has dormitory style rooms, a kitchen and shared bathrooms. The spacious terrace is a popular meeting point and serves as a communal area. The volunteer house is simple but cozy according to local standards.

Internet connection is available, but might not be stable all the time. 

In order to promote intercultural exchange with the local community there are also single rooms available with host families in the vicinity if the volunteer house. This type of accommodation is used in case the volunteer house would be fully booked. The families are only a few minutes' walk away. You will have your meals at the family's house or at the volunteer house.

Note: In Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer projects take place, the cellular or internet connection is not always reliable and fast.
Food & Beverages
The program includes full board with breakfast, lunch and dinner, prepared by the local kitchen staff. Water and fruits are also available during they day. There is also a refrigerator that volunteers can use to store personal groceries.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
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.
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.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The project is up and running all year round. Your arrival to San José is ideally on a Saturday, as the onward journey to the volunteer project takes place on a Monday. Depending on the day of arrival in Costa Rica, the program includes 1 to 2 overnight stays in San José (single room with breakfast, homestay).

In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our local team in Costa Rica located in San José, as well as the volunteer coordinator on-site. Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our local team in San José. 

Please note that the local travel costs from San José to the project site on the Pacific coast are not included in the program costs.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$401 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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.

Why book with Volunteer World

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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Marine Life Protector Sea Turtles

Encountering sea turtles in their natural habitat is an experience that really gets under your skin. Help to protect endangered marine life in Costa Rica.


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