Save Turtles in Osa

founded in 2006
first hand Costa Rica
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Coordinator | Frank
Coordinator | Frank
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.
Help to collect and record data for research and conservation of marine turtles in an extraordinary nature surrounding. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

About the Program

On breathtaking beaches you and other volunteers protect the marine turtles that are in danger of extinction. 

Volunteers play a crucial role in conservation efforts!

Illegal egg poaching and hunting for sea turtles, pollution and beach erosion are threatening the survival of the already critically endangered animals. This has caused an alarming decline in turtles being born on this beach.

This program aims to sensitize local communities about the importance of protecting and preserving sea turtles by trying to create direct incomes from contracted work at the conservation program and the development of community-based ecotourism initiatives. In this way, it aims to achieve a reduction of the consumptive use of the sea turtles in the region through the preservation of this natural resource.

During this time the volunteers will live a period of time with host families from the village. If the volunteers would like to they can also move to the camps where they will live under very basic conditions, sometimes without water and electricity. Your food - breakfast, lunch, dinner - will be prepared in the camp and consists of the typical costarican cuisine: rice, beans, vegetables, meat and fruit.

The Location

It is a very long journey from the airport to this program in the south pacific, but you will be enjoying one of the most spectacular spots in Costa Rica – the Pensinsula de Osa. It is a very humid area but absolutely stunning in terms of wildlife and vegetation. The main camp is in Rio Oro where you will start. During your stay you can decide wether you also want to stay for a time in the other camp at Drake's Bay.

Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers should have a love for nature and fun with outdoor-living. They should be prepared for sometimes physically demanding work and work at unusual hours as most of the turtle nesting occurs at night. The volunteers should bring a sleeping bag, repellent, mosquito net, flashlight, batteries, rain protection (May - November), sun protection and a hat or cap. 

Typical day

Your Tasks

You will take part in various conservation activities as a member of a team of investigators in the program, between 4 and 6 hours a day. 

Activities include:

  • Night patrols
  • Relocation of nests to the hatchery
  • Recording scientific data
  • Tagging of turtles 
  • Looking after the hatchery
  • Construction activities
  • Nest exhumations
  • Freeing of hatchlings
  • Taking part in environmental education
  • Ecotourism activities

Free-time activities

Peninsula de Osa is one of the most amazing National Parks in Costa Rica and it is very, very remote.

So, after your project you can plan to visit other places: see us in Sámara and enjoy the beaches in Guanacaste or travel to the caribbean coast and chill in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo. There are fascinating volcanos like the Arenal, Irazú or Poás ... and lots of adventure tours like canopy, rafting and much more!

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)
Required Documents
Copy of health insurance and valid in Costa Rica
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 first hand Costa Rica

We provide accommodation and food. We organize the journey to the project and we also do hostel reservations in San José if needed (mostly it is needed!) - and, if you will combine projects, we will also organize the transportation between the projects. You will have to pay the cost for the pickup and the transport.

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

You will be picked up at the airport by our driver with a sign with your name and you will directly get in contact with your german, english, spanish speaking coordinator via phone. The driver will drive you to the reserved hostel (if necessary). The cost will be around 60 US$ plus the hostel night (between 10-12 US$ (dorm) and 30 US$ (single/double room).
This project is in a very remote area and there are two options to get to the project - via bus or via airplane. We will get in contact to plan the best option for you.


All volunteers will stay with a guest family for at least 7 nights and are encouraged to remain in homestay throughout the duration of their stay. There is also a shared dormitory in the main camp with limited space and you can apply to stay there for a time. This will be decided when you are there. Whether homestay or main camp – the cost is included in the fee. Both options include three meals per day plus snacks for night patrols.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Your food - breakfast, lunch, dinner - will be prepared by your guest family or in the camp and consists of the typical costarican cuisine: rice, beans, vegetables, meat and fruit.

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.
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

This program is available from July until December. It starts every Monday. Please arrive at least one day before the programs starts.

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
$390 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. first hand Costa Rica 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 first hand Costa Rica during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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 first hand Costa Rica 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 first hand Costa Rica.

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Save Turtles in Osa

Help to collect and record data for research and conservation of marine turtles in an extraordinary nature surrounding.


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