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first hand Costa Rica

Save Turtles in Mata Palo

Patrol along a wonderful beach and help to guard the nests of endangered marine turtles.

About the Program

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

Volunteers play a crucial role in conservation efforts!

The Location

This program is located in the central Pacific coast, south of Quepos and north of Dominical, and it is right in the tiny village of Mata Palo. The beach – dark sand – is about 10 km long and 6 kilometers are patrolled by the volunteers of this camp to find mainly with Olive Ridley turtles and sometimes Green Sea turtles and some Hawksbill turtles. Compared to other turtle programs you will have some infrastructure here – a little supermarket, a little restaurant and there is a school that we plan to cooperate with. The coastline in this area is stunning and also very suitable for surfing. There is a surfschool right beneath the program.

You should be prepared for very simple living conditions and for sometimes physically demanding work at unusual hours as most of the turtle nesting occurs at night. If you love outdoor life ... you will see that every single turtle is worth it!

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.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

Typical day

Your Tasks

You will be working between 4-6 hours every day: 

Typical tasks can include:

  • Patrol walks on the beach, mainly at night
  • Find turtles and their nests
  • Collecting data on the turtles
  • Protect the eggs in safe breeding grounds (viveros)
  • Freeing new born turtle babies 
  • Nest exhumations
  • Your help is very welcome to construct and beautify the camp

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.

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)
Required Documents
Copy of health insurance (valid in Costa Rica)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
If you are 17 years old, then you have to bring the written allowance of your parents - we provide a form for this!
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with first hand Costa Rica straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Any questions? Just ask. We at first hand Costa Rica are happy to help you.

Contact Project Manager

Free-time activities

Your camp is not far away from Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. For longer trips you should save your free days and make a journey at the end of your project time. There are amazing volcanos to visit, more National Parks like Monteverde, Rincón de la Vieja, and others. You can go for adventure tours - canopy or kayaking or rafting or tree climbing ... so much to do and see in Costa Rica! :-)

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
Riding
Contact & Reservation
$285
/week
$285
/week
2 - 12
weeks
2 - 12
weeks
17+
age
17+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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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 Checked Projects
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
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Services by first hand Costa Rica
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.
Accommodation

You will be living with other volunteers in a simple dorm-room while the volunteer house is in construction.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

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

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.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$740.00
3 weeks
$906.00
4 weeks
$1,072.00
5 weeks
$1,238.00
6 weeks
$1,404.00
7 weeks
$1,570.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,400.00
Average fees
$285.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Mata Palo/Costa Rica between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. 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.

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.
Budgeting
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?

Airport
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.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Costa Rica while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Mata Palo, Mata Palo, Costa Rica zoom="6"

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