Leatherback Turtle Conservation

The project works with the local community, trained in sea turtle conservation who work together with volunteers to protect endangered turtles

Pacuare beach is located on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Surrounded by beautiful nature, Pacuare beach is very remote, only accessible by boat, and it is a nesting site for Leatherback, Green and occasionally Hawksbill turtles. This conservation project works together with the local community, former poachers trained in sea turtle conservation who, together with volunteers protect the critically endangered animals. The project does nightly beach patrols and operates a hatchery to protect the fragile eggs . Volunteers play an important part in Pacuare, as their fees generate an income for the local inhabitants. We strive to increase alternative livelihoods for coastal communities to take the need for poaching and hunting turtles away. From March to October, volunteers help patrol 7.1 km of nesting beach, collecting important data on nesting female turtles and their nests. Outside of main nesting season, volunteers are needed to help with vital hatchery construction and station maintenance


1. Observe giant Leatherbacks, beautiful Green and rare Hawksbill turtles in the wild. 
2. Actively protect endangered species from being poached. 
3. Support a good cause and to contribute to the improvement of local living conditions and the economy, to minimize poaching. 
4. Live surrounded by nature and in a remote place which offers a unique experience for everyone who is used to a modern life style.

Suitable for


Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
letter of motivation
Other Skills
enthusiasm and willingness to work!
prepared to adapt to basic conditions, and live without modern ameneties.
Most work takes place at night.
good level of physical fitness

Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 20:00 - 04:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica? Volunteer World directly connects you with Latin American Sea Turtles

Leatherback Turtle Conservation the rancho the route to the project the nests in the hatchery the beautiful Pacuare beach volunteer accommodation new born hatchlings research the docks at Pacuare Volunteer training

Free-time activities

Volunteers recieve one free day per week, but due to the remoteness of the project there are few activities to do! Time is spent catching up on sleep, relaxing on the beach or sharing with the local community. We often organize football or volleyball games with the locals.
For an additional cost, you can take a boat trip to Tortuguero, and the National Park.
If possible, you can take the boat into the nearest down to use the internet, and visit supermarkets.

It is also possible to kayak on the canals - although kayaks are limited!
There are many areas to walk or hike to , for wildlife spotting - including monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and birds!
Our staff can help with organizing any free time activities.

Water Sports


What's included?
Fee does not include $45 return boat transportation
also includes orientation in San Jose, volunteer manual, on site training, 3 meals per day, shared accommodation at project, all materials used for conservation duties, qualified staff 24/7
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.

shared beach cabins, dorm style, shared bathrooms.
Basic but comfortable accommoadtion
No electricity ( solar energy)
Lockers provided

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Breakfast , lunch and dinner provided. We can cater for any dietary requirements. Local costa rican cuisine is served - expect lots of rice and beans, vegetables, salads, pastas, plantains etc
Cold drinks, tea and coffee also avialable

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Tortuguero/Costa Rica between 1 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Latin American Sea Turtles will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 Latin American Sea Turtles during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Costa Rica

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Costa Rica. Please check the visa regulations for Costa Rica.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Costa Rica and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Costa Rica.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Juan Santamaría International (SJO) in San José. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
What can you do in leisure-time in Costa Rica while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Costa Rica upfront.
Barra de Pacuare, Tortuguero, Costa Rica