Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Costa Rica

1 week - 6 months from

18 + for individuals - families 2+
minimum age

  • Research sea turtles in Drake Bay alongside eco living in a paradise location
  • Take part in ecological food production and sustainable living
  • In your free time, you can have free yoga, Spanish or cooking lessons and learn how to make cosmetics
  • Located in the stunning Osa Peninsula with Corcovado National Park on your doorstep
  • Exceptional family volunteering opportunities available

Food, Lodging & Travel


The programme provides three meals per day for volunteers, plus snacks for night patrols. We are experts in producing yummy and wholesome vegan and veggie food, freshly prepared from ingredients produced in the local area, including from our own farm. Cooking is often a collaborative process and volunteers are encouraged to produce the evening meal together. While the food is plant-based, we do provide locally sourced fish, eggs and goat’s cheese for non-veggie volunteers. As a principle, the community does not support unsustainable industries such as cow-dairy, long-lining or trawling, or intensive animal agriculture.


The volunteer accommodation is in the ‘longhouse’ – a purpose-built station that includes an open-plan kitchen/diner and workspace, hot showers, laundry, a yoga and hammock space, and a mixed ‘jungle dorm’ with screened walls and bunks. The longhouse also features Wi-Fi, a projector for movie nights, and a Bluetooth sound system. There are several tents available for those wishing to camp during their stay.  For families, we can also offer an upgrade to our beautiful “Jungle Bungalows” – please enquire for more details.

Ganado mangroveAmenities

The community is based in a tiny beach village called Ganadito which has no store, although there are a couple of bar restaurants. The nearest village, El Progreso, is a pleasant 30-minute walk away and has stores where snacks, drinks and materials can be bought. The main tourist town of Agujitas is an hour’s walk away, but there are often opportunities to visit the town by taxi as part of tours or planned excursions. There are no ATM machines anywhere in Drake Bay, and no post office or large supermarket. While most purchases can be made by card, it’s recommended to bring some cash in USD or CRC for local purchases and rural tours and excursions.

Working conditions and requirements

Show volunteers nest hatcheryWe’re looking for volunteers at least 18 years of age, physically fit, with at least an intermediate level of either English or Spanish. Volunteers will be invited to work for around six hours per day, five days per week, with two full days off. There is always more work available, so if you are ever bored, please just ask how you can help.

The work at the project can be tough and is not necessarily for everybody. Weather conditions can range from blue skies and strong sun to torrential rain and floods, sometimes during the same day! It will be necessary to adjust to sleeping in the daytime sometimes after night patrols, and the heavy rains can sometimes cause plans to change for work projects, excursions and tours. It’s important to take these kinds of complications in your stride during your stay and embrace the ‘Pura Vida’. It’s just part of the way of life here in rural Costa Rica.

Families with children are very welcome, and we can adapt the work schedule if the children are younger and we also offer a family bungalow upgrade (at an extra cost) for more privacy and comfort for families.

Finca GanaditoHow to get here

Multiple airlines fly to San José (SJO), Costa Rica, via the United States, including United, American Airlines and Delta. From Europe, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Iberia and Condor all fly to San José either directly or with one stopover.

Once in Costa Rica, we recommend either taking a domestic flight to Drake Bay (DRK) or taking the ‘bus and boat’ option:
Two boats leave every day from Sierpe (near Palmar Norte) to Agujitas (Drake Bay) at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm. From San José, you can take any bus that goes to Palmar Norte (5.5 hours) leaving the TRACOPA terminal. Upon arrival in Palmar Norte, take a taxi to Sierpe (15 mins). A ‘colectivo’ taxi is much cheaper ($5) than a private one (up to $20). The boat trip (1 hour) costs $15 or $20 and takes you along the spectacular Sierpe River mangrove park. When the boat arrives at Agujitas (wet landing) you’ll be met by a taxi to take you to the programme free of charge.

Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Costa Rica

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