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Tortugas de Pacuare

Sea turtle conservation ambassador

Quepos, Costa Rica

Volunteering saving turtles, making the difference and meet one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Join us in Pacific CR

Working with Turtles
Working with the turtles means that you will be doing walks by night at the beach. Together with local guides and a group of people you will patrol the beach to collect turtle eggs and relocate them to a turtle hatchery where they will be safe from poachers. Furthermore, you will be working at the hatchery, taking care of the turtle eggs and the freshly hatched turtles and making sure that they are well prepared for their dangerous journey back into the sea. Our main concern goes towards the endangered species of the leatherback and the green sea turtle.

The Leatherback Turtle - Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to seven feet (two meters) long and exceeding 2,000 pounds (900 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. Thisis partly becaus of their shell. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. This makes it more vulnerable to predators and poachers. Furthermore, their eggs are often taken by humans from nests to be consumed for subsistence or as aphrodisiacs. 

The Green Sea Turtle - The green turtle is a large, weighty sea turtle with a wide, smooth carapace, or 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. Weighing up to 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world. While most sea turtles warm themselves by swimming close to the surface of shallow waters, the Eastern Pacific green turtle will take to land to bask in the sun. This habit makes them extremley vulnerable to predators and poachers that want them for their meat and eggs

Other work

Volunteers will work also in the maintenance of the camp, beach cleaning and in our recycling program. 
Our program it's a communal initiative and we work closely with the people from Mata Palo. You will learn lots about our culture because we promote contact with locals. In return they will be offering the opportunity to do fishing tours and many different sports activities like surfing.

We also spend our time to do community service work and help to maintain community facilities, local schools, sports fields, and execute beach cleanups in conjunction with the Blue Flag committee. In addition we help the local population with construction of gardens.

Location

Located in the Pacific of Costa Rica, Mata Palo is one of the most beautiful places, 30 km north you'll find Manuel Antonio National Park. South of the camp you'll find Dominical Beach waterfall, wildlife, surfing spots and the most important, turtles to save. Mata Palo offers many things in one project. 

Typical day

Your schedule as a volunteer can vary each day, but mostly it will look like this one:

Meals
  • 8:30 am: breakfast 
  • 12:30 am: lunch 

Communal work
  • 9:30 am: communal work
  • 2:30 pm: communal work 
The total communal work during the day is approx. 2 hours 

Turtle hatchery
These are the different shifts that have to be covered at the turtle hatchery. Of course, you won't have to do all of these at one day.
  • 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • 10:00 pm to 4:00 am
  • 4:00 am to 8:00 am

Beach patrolling 
The most important time to patrol the beaches is at night. This is when the turtles usually come ashore to lay their eggs and thus, the most dangerous time for them. 
  • 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • 12:00 am to 4:00 am

Details on Arrival

Arrival it's available any day except Sundays

From San Jose in TRACOPA bus stop take the bus going to Uvita ask to bus driver you get off the bus in Matapalo town, we will be waiting for you with pleasure. 
After you apply for our program we coordinate your arrival with more details. Ask for our options for transportation from the airport to the camp. 

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. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
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

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

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

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
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

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)
$200.00
3 weeks
$600.00
4 weeks
$800.00
5 weeks
$1,000.00
9 weeks
$1,800.00
17 weeks
$3,400.00
30 weeks (max. stay)
$6,000.00
Average fees
$200.00/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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