Tortugas de Pacuare

Sea Turtle Conservation Ambassador

Quepos, Costa Rica show on map
Volunteering saving turtles, making the difference and meet one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Join us in Pacific CR This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+
What we do

Sea turtles are at risk around the globe. They are endangered throughout the world’s oceans, and several species native to the eastern Pacific (where Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation is located) are nearing extinction. Factors that are contributing to this endangerment include pollution, poaching, and low hatchling survival rates. At the Matapalo Conservation, volunteers are key to the preservation of the sea turtle species native to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

What You’ll Do

Sea turtle conservation – As a volunteer with us, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in the entire turtle hatching process. This includes taking shifts patrolling the beach in the evenings to locate female turtles who have come ashore to lay their nests. Nests are then transported to a hatchery, where they can be monitored 24/7 to protect them from poachers and predatory animals. You will take one shift every few days to keep watch of the hatchery. Finally, upon hatching, you will assist the baby sea turtles in reaching the ocean safely to ensure maximum survival rates. You may also help in the general maintenance of the hatchery. 
Other tasks – Volunteers will also participate in sloth walks to monitor and record the migration patterns of local sloth populations. Additionally, you’ll assist us in gathering beach litter once per week. You can expect to help with cleaning the kitchen and bedrooms once per week. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in community service work with local schools and community facilities. 

Accommodations 

You will live in hostel-style accommodations with fellow volunteers. There are both male and female dormitories with bunk beds and an attached bathroom. The site has a personal chef that will prepare three meals per day. There is also a restaurant and convenience store located directly beside the site if you would like to purchase additional food, beverages, or toiletries.   

Free Time Activities 

Volunteers can expect between 3 and 6 hours of work per day 6 days per week. This leaves plenty of time to explore the beautiful country of Costa Rica and experience all of the activities it has to offer. There is a surfing school down the road from the conservation that offers surf lessons and rentals. Beach horseback riding is available just minutes from the site location. By bus you can reach the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park or the gorgeous Dominical beach in less than 45 minutes. However, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy a lazy day on the beach as we are within 100 meters from the ocean in Matapalo. Additionally, there is a soccer field and volleyball net right across the street from the site. 

Location

The conservation is actually found in the small village of Matapalo. Located about 200 kilometers south of San Jose, Matapalo lies on the Pacific coast with the closest city being Quepos. The conservation is situated 100 meters from the ocean. The site is within 30 kilometers of the breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park. Within walking distance is a waterfall in the mountains as well as surf shops, beach horseback riding, and hiking trails. 

Typical day


Meals

Breakfast – 8:00 am 
Lunch – 12:00 pm
Dinner – 6:00 pm 

Volunteer Obligations

Communal Work Shifts

9:30 – 11:00 am
3:00 – 5:00 pm

Hatchery Shifts and Beach Patrols
The hatchery shifts and beach patrols vary depending on the season. 

Information About the Turtles We Work With

The two species of sea turtles that we mostly work with are the Leatherback Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle. Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) long and weighing up to 1500 pounds (680 kilograms). These reptilian relics are the only remaining representatives of a family of turtles that traces its evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years. Once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the leatherback population is rapidly declining in many parts of the world. The green turtle is also a large sea turtle with a wide, smooth shell. It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. They grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and up to 800 pounds (350 kilograms).


Details on Arrival

Details on Arrival 

You can arrive any day of the week except for Sunday. From the TRACOPA bus stop near the San Jose airport, take the bus going to Uvita. Let the bus driver know that you will be getting off at the stop in Matapalo. 
After you apply for our program we will get in touch with more information regarding your arrival. We provide options for transportation from the airport to the site at an additional cost. 

Free-time activities

Here you'll have many different activities to do.
A surfing school is near to the project (100 meters), our beach offers the best chance to go surfing, the waves are awesome.
An amazing waterfall lies within 1 hour walking distance by the mountains.
Manuel Antonio National Park is 45 minutes north by bus.
Dominical beach is 30 minutes south by bus. Here you can also do sports, snorkeling, fishing or recreational fishing.
The beach is just in front of our house, so sunbathe, enjoy the beach and live in a tropical and nice place.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
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 Tortugas de Pacuare 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 Tortugas de Pacuare.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Tortugas de Pacuare (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 Tortugas de Pacuare

Program fees include: accommodation and 3 meals at day.

Accommodation

There are shared rooms with eight people, three people or four people. 

You can also ask for our single rooms with air condition for a higher price.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

We provide 3 meals a day: Rice and beans, spaghetti, pizza, empanada, picadillo, and many more typical local foods.
Drinks will be always tropical flavors.

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. 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.
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
1 week (min. stay)
$ 250
2 weeks
$ 500
3 weeks
$ 750
4 weeks
$ 1,000
5 weeks
$ 1,250
9 weeks
$ 2,150
17 weeks
$ 4,000
30 weeks (max. stay)
$ 7,000
Average fees
$ 242 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Quepos/Costa Rica between 1 week and 30 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Tortugas de Pacuare 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 Tortugas de Pacuare during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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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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