Conservation volunteers work within a non-profit biological research and education centre, and all food, lodging, training and research will be provided within the reserve.
Within the Reserve, there are more than 11 species of mammals – the most common being raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, weasels, River Otters, Tayra and Monkeys. Capuchin Monkeys are easy to find into the Reserve forest, others such as Anteaters, Oposums, and Sloths are also common in the area but hard to observe. There is also evidence of an Ocelot (detected by trail cameras) in the Balso River. The trail cameras are an excellent tool to determinate the presence, abundance and the density of mammals in the area. The mammals are important for the forest dynamic balance, and by getting data on their behaviour (diet) and local movements offers information that can be used in reforestation plans for the coastal area to establish Biological Corridors.
Playa Tortuga is located just 3.5 hours from San Jose, in Ojochal de Osa on the Southern Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica. The Reserve offers an ideal environment for researchers and volunteers. It is located in the tropical rainforest and just outside of Marino Ballena National Park. This park is named after the humpback whales that migrate there from August – October and December – April. Three species of dolphins are also common visitors to the waters. Visitors can explore miles of deserted beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs. On days off you can take a bus to visit Dominical and Uvita, local towns where you can go surfing, or arrange a full day snorkelling trip to Cano Island, go whale watching or do a mangrove tour by kayak. In addition, you can find local souvenirs and ice cream parlours, which are a favourite with the volunteers!
Conservation volunteers live at the research centre – the property itself is on 42 hectares of reserve which borders the Pacific ocean and the Terraba. The facilities currently hold 15 people in the main centre, in addition to a private residence used for conferences and training. Facilities are of high quality. Volunteers live in large, spacious and clean rooms, all have fans and new orthopaedic mattresses. You also get free internet usage, 1 free laundry wash per week, a purified water system, education and a small research library area is also available for volunteers. From Monday to Friday, all lunch meals are provided for you, but you will need to prepare your own breakfasts and dinners and weekend meals alongside other volunteers/staff members. All food will be provided.
Projects at Playa Tortuga run all year round. Volunteers can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks, while there is also the possibility to intern for up to 6 months.