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Tortugas de Pacuare

Research Assistant at Wildlife Sanctuary

Limon, Costa Rica

It is a research project, focused on the monitoring of animals, such as mammals, reptiles and birds of the Caribbean zone

The project

This is a wildlife conservation project focused to preserve our natural Caribbean of Costa Rica. We want to raise awareness about the importance in the protection of our environment, through the knowledge gained through our work of monitoring the large number of animals that inhabit this beautiful place.

Which kind of animals you will find here:

Mammals like: 3 kinds of monkeys, common ants and pygmy anteater, felines, raccoon, kinkayous, cuernospin, among many others. More than 200 species of birds, amphibians such as poisonous frogs and tree frogs, reptiles such as iguanas, crocodiles , Basilisk, snake among others.

Why our work is important: 

Year after year the human being has been populating many of the habitats that belong to the wild animals. Our objective is: We want to monitor the condition of the health of the different populations of animals that inhabit our Costa Rican Caribbean. Based on the knowledge acquired we want to implement a plan to restore areas affected by afforestation and develop environmental education programs.

What we do? 

  • Build research platforms, located in the different areas of the island 
  • Doing transects for forest monitoring 
  • Study of the cognitive abilities of monkeys 
  • Daytime and nighttime mammals monitoring 
  • Daytime and nighttime reptile monitoring by the river by boat 
  • Monitoring of birds by the forest and by the river 
  • Placement of trap cameras, for video data collection 

We know that protecting our mother nature is not just about knowing about it, we also have to act directly to protect it by means of different actions, such as collecting garbage on the beach for recycling and creating an endemic tree nursery reforest emission areas Which have been deforested by felling or planting monocultures

What volunteers do: 

Work in the nursery of endemic trees, after training, doing  monitoring, participating in our recycling program. 

Volunteers will live in Barra de Pacuare, all around the house are Tortuguero channels, wildlife and the Caribean sea, and will be working around Pacuare, Luis Solano and the biologist Jaco Robles are people in charge, volunteers will collaborate in all the task designed for them.

We hope for the volunteers, motivation, attitude, love for wildlife and for the protection of animals.

What can volunteers expect from us?

 A friendly treatment, staff committed to protection and a friendly atmosphere to work, in addition to the best Costa Rican style Pura vida! 

Typical day

The schedule will have variations 3 days per wake-up at 4:30 am to do monitoring we start at 5 and end at 8:00 am breakfast at 9:00 am

After 9:00 free time at 2:00 pm we do different tasks such as beach cleaning, Sorting the plastic for recycling, working in the nursery of endemic trees or doing maintenance of the volunteers house 

From 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm doing monitoring in different areas dinner at 6:30 and from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm monitoring by the canals of Tortuguero National Park 

We do also recreational sports as volleyball, football, or kayaking 

Details on Arrival

For your arrival to the project from San Jose you have to take bus at 11:00 to Siquirres, from Siquirres you  should  take another bus to Las Vegas de Imperio, at 2:30 and get off the bus in the last stop where the boat driver Minor will be waiting for you to bring you to the project. 

  •  San Jose where you have to take bus to Siquirres
  • Gran Terminal del Caribe
  • You will arrive to Siquirres,  (arrival 1:10) 
  • Terminal de Buses Siquirres 
  • Bus from Siquirres to Las Vegas de Imperio leaves at 2:30 
  • Las Vegas de Imperio (arrival 4:15)

Here you will arrive and you will go from the Pacuare River to the project, boat driver name is Minor (cost for the boat transportation $35 both trip. 

Free-time activities

During your time you can enjoy our beautiful beach, of volcanic send, play football, volleyball, rent bicycle, or rent kayak to enjoy the canals of Tortuguero National Park 

By bicycle you can enjoy around Pacuare 

In front to the project are located a football place, and a volleyball place, there in the afternoons volunteers can enjoy playing with the locals 

Water Sports

Program Requirements

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Health Declaration
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

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at Tortugas de Pacuare are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Tortugas de Pacuare cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Tortugas de Pacuare .
Services by Tortugas de Pacuare

Our goal it's to work for environment conservation, that's the reason our fee is one of the cheapest in Costa Rica the use we give to your fee is:

-Tools for scientific research
-food for the volunteers 
-maintenance for the volunteers house 
-salary for the staff 
Accommodation and food & drink are included in the fees.


The use of resources is very important for us for that our house was made it with logs found on the beach, We got wood from found logs and that way we built the house, electricity for the house we get from solar panels, to this way we are looking to be eco-friendly  it's a house with 2 rooms, for 10 people each room,  2 showers, and 2 toilets, our house is located just in front to the beach with nice views and Caribbean Brice 

Food & Beverages

Typical Costarican food, such as gallon pinto, casado, picadillo, tortillas, empanadas and many more typical food 

Breakfast: coffee or tea,  gallo pinto (that's the most typical food for breakfast in Costa Rica) empanadas, panqueques, enyucados, tortillas, picadillo, and normally in the mornings we have tropical fruits (breakfast will be one of this choices at day) 

Lunch and dinner: rice and beans is our Costarican food so the choices you will normally have They are commonly accompanied by rice and beans as picadillo, eggs in sause, chicken, soy meat in sause, chickpeas soap, lentil burger, Among other accompaniments, sometimes as one or 2 days at week we make bread or pizza. 

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.
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)
3 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
16 weeks
46 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Limon/Costa Rica between 1 week and 46 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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