Volunteering with Sea Turtles in Costa Rica
If you enjoy being at the beach, are hard working, enthusiastic, and love turtles; then volunteering with sea turtles in Costa Rica will be a dream come true! With projects on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, you’ll have the opportunity to help clean & protect sea turtle habitats on the beach, promote turtle conservation education, assist with research & monitoring, and (depending on the season) ensure newly hatched, baby turtles have a safe journey into the sea/ocean.
Sea turtles are one of the most universally at-risk animals on the planet; with nearly all of the species being classified as endangered. Now, more than ever, volunteers are needed to ensure their survival. Sea turtles lay their eggs in nests on beaches where they’re perpetually at risk due to the presence of tourists, poachers, and predatory animals. Despite eggs being laid in large numbers, very few of the baby sea turtles survive to adulthood.
Volunteering with sea turtles in Costa Rica helps to increase the survival rate for these amazing creatures. This is a truly rewarding program and requires individuals who are enthusiastic and dedicated. Some of the tasks volunteers can expect include: monitoring & protection of nests and eggs, control walks, trail & infrastructure maintenance, beach cleanups, and tagging and liberation (release) of newborn turtles. In addition, volunteers may also be notify tourists of the presence of a nest and educate both tourists and locals on the importance of the protection of the turtles.
Below are the locations of our turtle projects and their corresponding “turtle seasons”. Costa Rica’s climate differs significantly based on which part of the country you’re visiting, the “best” time to visit varies.
Outside of the months listed below, there are fewer turtle hatchlings, the seas are rougher; and rains are heavier. Therefore, volunteering during this time is not advised and (depending on the hatchery’s needs) may not be possible.
Guanacaste (Northern Pacific coast) = June/July to December/January
Gandoca (Southern Caribbean coast) = May to October
Playa Corozalito (Southern Pacific coast) = July to January
Room & Board
Your project fee for projects in Costa Rica covers your room and full board in a host family house.
- Shared, single-sex room (occasionally a private room is available) with a fan
- 3 meals per day
- Drinkable tap water
- Hot water is not available (hot water is not common in Costa Rica)
- WiFi access is not available or is very limited (location dependent)
As with all GOAT Volunteer projects, there are 2 primary fees associated with volunteering: the application fee paid to GOAT and the project fee paid directly to the NGO after they accept your application.
Included: Airport arrival transport • Pre-departure information • In-country orientation, training and coordination • Accommodation: private or shared room (location dependent) in a host family house or volunteer dorm-style facility with a fan • 3 meals per day (in most locations*) • 24/7 emergency phone
*In the volunteer houses in Jacó & Heredia, volunteers receive breakfast and lunch. Dinners are not provided as most volunteers choose to eat at local restaurants or cook for themselves and food waste became an issue.
NOT Included: Flights • Travel insurance • Local transport • Return airport transfer • Personal expenses • Bank/wire transfer fees
For custom lengths of stay not listed, please contact us for pricing.
All projects incur a $250 application fee. Please see the The Fine Print page for more information.
Volunteers participating in all projects in Costa Rica have the opportunity to take add-on Spanish language lessons. Click the button below for more information.
Special Considerations | Sea Turtle Conservation
For special considerations regarding all projects in Costa Rica, please visit the Costa Rica page.
Our partner NGO in Costa Rica supports a huge number of projects. In most instances, placements will occur at the location most in need of volunteers at the time. Occasionally, volunteers will be given the opportunity to select which location they prefer.