Protect Sea Turtles in the Caribbean

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.


Learn more about the unique biodiversity of Costa Rica
Explore a country that is famous for its amazing national parks and dream beaches
Improve your Spanish skills by practicing on a daily basis
Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
Make new friends with volunteers from around the world
Support sea turtle protection efforts in Costa Rica at the Caribbean coast by patrolling beaches, rescuing turtle eggs, observing sea turtles, and collecting data. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

In this volunteer program you support a turtle project in the northeastern area of ​​Costa Rica on the Atlantic coast near the border with Nicaragua. The sanctuary is located north of the province of Limon and covers an area of ​​800 hectares of rainforest and 6 kilometers of beach. It is located directly on the Caribbean Sea and is approximately 25 kilometers from the city of Limon.

The conservation project has set itself the goal of protecting the endangered Baula and Lora turtles. Every year, many thousands of turtles come to the Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica to lay their eggs there. As a volunteer, you'll help the local team watch the turtles lay eggs, guard their nests, and dig up the eggs to store in incubators until the hatchlings, if needed, so that they can be released back into the wild. The work in this project is incredibly exciting, as the turtles weigh up to 700 kg and impress with their beautiful huge shells.

Volunteers work together with local staff and from time to time with marine biologists to observe not only the animals, but also the environment and record the climatic conditions in the region. It is important to collect and analyze the data in order to identify changes early and to learn more about the sensitive ecosystem. In addition to the turtles, various mammal species, many reptile species and about 200 species of birds are protected and observed in this area. The reserve is surrounded by a vast rainforest and the frequently used means of transportation are small boats to navigate through the many channals. Around the sanctuary is the famous Tortuguero National Park.

Typical day

Along with other volunteers or the project supervisors, during the nights you will be taking exciting tours along the Caribbean beaches to observe the rare turtles and monitor their habits and behaviors. The patrols are never done alone, but always in groups.

The Baula turtle comes to the beaches for nesting in the months between February and July, while the Lora turtles can be found in the months of July to October. So, sea turtles can be observed and protected in this volunteer project almost all year round, sometimes you will be able to see more sometime less.

You will be able to get close to the animals weighing up to 700 kg to admire their huge shells. Each sea turtle is examined and measured by volunteers and marine biologists, and their data are logged. The turtles' stored eggs are collected by the volunteers and placed in incubators, where they are kept safe until the hatchlings hatch. Subsequently, the hatchlings are released under guard.

The aim of this project is to protect the eggs of sea turtles from natural predators and poachers in order to favor the growth of the Atlantic population of animals. A large part of the turtle eggs are victims of poachers because the eggs are considered a delicacy, others do not make their way back to the sea once hatched due to natural predators. In addition, the adult sea turtles in the oceans are exposed to many dangers of modern humanity, especially pollution and fishing.

We would like to point out that nature is unpredictable and we cannot guarantee the number of sea turtles for a certain period of participation.

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

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


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) or English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV and Volunteer Questionnaire
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

What's Included

Services by South America Inside

  • Accommodation in volunteer house
  • Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Airport pick-up within San José and 2 overnight stays in San José
  • Consultation from our experienced staff Translation of application profile
  • Volunteer work placement
  • Advice regarding travel insurance
  • Advice on local travels
  • Orientation session upon arrival
  • Orientation kit
  • Country handbook
  • Local support
  • 24/7 Emergency Number
  • Certificate of Participation

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

  • Airport pick-up San José and transfer to your overnight homestay in San José (2 nights in San José).
  • 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 overnight. The next day, after an orienation session, our local staff will bring you to the bus station 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 until monday or even tuesday.


Volunteers will live together in the volunteer house, which is located very close to the beach. This style of accommodation offers a wonderful opportunity to meet new people. The house is furnished and has a fully-equipped kitchens and shared bathrooms. There is no electricity, so gas lamps are used for light. Volunteers usually cook their meals together with gas powered appliances. Ingredients are provided.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Internet Access
Limited 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.
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 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.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$391 /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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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

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Protect Sea Turtles in the Caribbean

Support sea turtle protection efforts in Costa Rica at the Caribbean coast by patrolling beaches, rescuing turtle eggs, observing sea turtles, and collecting data.


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