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first hand Costa Rica

Save Turtles South of Tortuguero

Siquirres, Costa Rica

Help to monitor the habits of marine turtles and work with injured turtles in our rescue center.

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!

The program is located on a remote Caribbean beach, about 30 km south of Tortuguero. Fresh water canals and the tropical vegetation provide habitat for not only an abundant quantity of birds and mammals such as monkeys, tamanduas, raccoons, coati, sloths, but also for manatees and fresh water dolphins, turtles, crocodiles and iguanas. The area is not only unique in every way, but is also a famous nesting site for many Leatherback, Hawksbill and Green sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs. 

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 is a very established camp with rather comfortable facilities – compared to other programs. They have a rescue center for taking care of injured sea turtles. The program site can be only reached by boat.

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. 

The program is available from mid February until November. Until June there will be many Leatherback turtles and from then on it's time for the Green sea turtles. 

Typical day

Your Tasks

Together with local research assistants of the community you will patrol the beach in three sectors (2.4 km each) and two shifts from 8 pm to 12 am and 12 am to 4 am. It takes at least 4 hours to patrol the beach effectively.

If a nesting turtle is found, the eggs are collected and relocated into a hatchery. The turtle work is done following an official protocol and involves tagging, taking biometry and other important data of the turtle. Additionally, you help maintaining the rescue center and take care for injured sea turtles. You will also build new breeding grounds and maybe help building up new camps. Additionally you clean and mark the beaches.

Details on Arrival

This program is available all year. It starts every Monday or every Thursday. Please arrive at least one day before the programs starts.

You can only leave this project on Monday or on Thursday.

Free-time activities

Your camp is in a very remote area - save your free days to go on a longer trip at the end of your Project!

You can travel down the coast to visit Cahuita, Puerto Viejo or our rainforest lodge. Or hop over to the pacific coast and visit us in Sámara! Also, there are many beautiful National Parks to see: Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Rincón de la Vieja ...  

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
Riding

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)
Education Requirements
at 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
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

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

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if first hand Costa Rica cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by first hand Costa Rica.
Services by first hand Costa Rica
Accommodation and meals are included.

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 an cabinas – shared with other volunteers.
The remoteness of the beach and the basic living conditions at the project site offer an exclusive condition. The lack of phone signal, cars, shops, and other modern life facilities enriches the quality of an extraordinary experience and allows a connection between people and nature, creating the best environment for making a difference in the life of these amazing creatures – the marine turtles.
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
Sorry, no 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)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$960.00
3 weeks
$1,224.00
4 weeks
$1,488.00
5 weeks
$1,752.00
6 weeks
$2,016.00
7 weeks
$2,280.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,600.00
Average fees
$390.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Siquirres/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.
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 first hand Costa Rica during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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