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

"An experience not to forget!"

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In the midst of the jungle in one of the most remote place of Costa Rica, we were feeling at home in the project with our family (10-8-4yo kids). Rebe is a real chef and Rob is a great teacher. We got to learn all about the regenerative farming, participated in bio monitoring and, together with the local turtle hatchery, helped baby turtles safe to sea. An experience not to forget!

"We had a wonderful time with Rebe, Rob, and the rest of the volunteers"

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I stayed at the project with my 17-year-old daughter, and although it was only for a week, it was an incredible experience that will stay with us forever. Rebe and Rob were extremely welcoming, and we soon felt at home in the beautiful surroundings. We were lucky enough to stay in an individual accommodation with an ensuite and spacious rooms with all the facilities you need. The mornings were spent helping with various tasks around the property, which contributed to ecological living, whilst the afternoons consisted mostly of education sessions, such as Spanish lessons or making their fantastic soap. The meals that Rebe produced were delicious. Turtle patrols occur during the night, depending on tides. The volunteers collect the turtle eggs and re-house them in a hatchery where, later, you can help release them into the sea. Drake Bay feels extremely safe, and I’d be very happy for my daughter to return to the project sometime in the future. We had a wonderful time with Rebe, Rob, and the rest of the volunteers. I’d thoroughly recommend staying with them and embracing their amazing lifestyle. Thank you very much for letting us stay in your home!

"I would highly recommend it for an off-the-beaten-track stay"

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This Project is a very special place and I would highly recommend it for an off-the-beaten-track stay. Rob and Rebe are so welcoming, the local beach is beautiful, there is wildlife everywhere and the volunteering we did, especially the turtle releases was wonderful. We had our children with us who are 11 and nearly 9 and they loved it. The Jungle Bungalow we stayed in was perfect as we had our own space but could be with everyone at meal times. If you’re thinking of going, we took the boat from Sierpe which was awesome – a great way to see the mangrove river and a quick way to get to Drake. Enjoy!!!

"After Rebe's and Rob's hug and warm welcome, we felt at home"

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After Rebe’s and Rob’s hug and warm welcome, we felt at home. It was not important the difference in age between us and other volunteers. We felt really like family. No pushing, no criticism, no ‘must do’, only goodwill, laughing, music, good food, relaxing and beautiful beautiful flora&fauna! Maks was not so impressed with turtles as me, but he liked very much ‘finca’ and the life there. I think he was more interested in the ecosystem, self-sustainability, green garden, coconuts and soap production! We were walking a lot, swimming in a beautiful sea, doing nothing. It is a healthy community where everybody works as much as he can, but everybody is in a good mood because of that and feels good to ‘deserve’ in a way, a free afternoon or weekend. It is a good opportunity to learn languages – Maks really understands English more now and I have the will to learn Spanish! We made also soaps by ourselves last week at home!

Costa Rica is a beautiful country, still intact with massive tourism and I hope it will remain long like that. I am very active in my everyday life, but there I spent hours not doing anything – just sitting on a terrace and looking at greenery or sitting in the ocean and enjoying the waves. I was even sleeping 8 hours and remembering all my dreams each morning!!!

But the best in the whole adventure are the people: Rebe, Rob and Paul. Without them, it would not be so good. They are warm, good people, positive, enthusiastic, willing to help always, educated and so on.

"We had an amazing week, and I would thoroughly recommend the whole experience."

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I have recently returned from a week at the Deep Ecology & Sea Turtle project with my 2 daughters aged 16 and 13. We had an amazing week, and I would thoroughly recommend the whole experience. We stayed in the family bungalow, which was beautiful, and allowed us to have our own space when we chose. Rob and Rebe were great hosts and made us feel very welcome. Rob ensured that we did a variety of activities during our week; including making fertilizer, gardening, scrapping coconuts for coconut oil and turtle patrols. We were lucky enough to see a turtle on our first night patrol, a very special experience. We ate wonderful food, cooked daily by Rebe, and enjoyed the communal dining with the other volunteers.

When we were not volunteering, activities included yoga, Spanish lessons, swimming in the sea and relaxing in the hammocks. Rob was also very helpful at recommending and booking activities to do on our days off. We all felt it was a wonderful way to experience Costa Rica.

"It was our best week in Costa Rica!"

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We had such a great time. Thanks for encouraging us to go to the Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle programme in Costa Rica.

Rob and Rebe warmly welcomed us into the Finca Ganadito “family”. They were fantastic hosts. We enjoyed the company of the other volunteers and the dogs (our kids loved the dogs!). It was great for our kids to see that volunteering is something lots of young adults do not just their “old” parents! We enjoyed the really varied volunteering activities including the farm work, soap making, and turtle patrols. We loved the location (the jungle and the beach) and the jungle bungalow was a great place to live for a week. Nature was very kind to us and we got to see turtles laying eggs and the hatching and release of baby turtles. The food was delicious or according to the kids the best food in the world! We are eagerly awaiting Rebe’s cookbook!

It was our best week in Costa Rica!

"If you can make it out to the project, I would definitely recommend spending time here"

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My two young kids, 6 and 9, and I stayed a week at The Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Project in July. We discovered the caring and genuine nature of the couple that runs the Deep Ecology Project, Rob and Rebe, from the very beginning. Our boat from Sierpe didn’t arrive in Drake Bay until after dark because of a boat malfunction. I had no cell phone reception on the boat to let Rob know that we would be late and I was worried that we would be stranded in the dark. Much to my relieved surprise, Rob was there in the rain on the beach, waiting with another volunteer all the while staying in constant communication with the boat operators. He knew that we would be late. He immediately greeted us on the sand with his uber-friendly demeanour and gathered my family and all of our baggage and loaded it into his truck. They had been waiting patiently for us for more than two hours. After a long, tiring travel day, we arrived at the Finca. It honestly felt like a beacon of cosiness and warmth. Rebe was waiting for us with a nice dinner and a big, welcoming hug. I knew that we were in great hands.

We stayed in the beautiful private jungle bungalow. It was stylish, jungle-modern if you will, and very clean. We had so much space, a full kitchen, which we didn’t even need, and felt very comfortable. The bug level was very manageable for us, as long as we had mosquito repellant when we were outside.

Our days were filled with very age-appropriate activities for my kids. Mornings always started out with fresh, deliciously cooked food by Rebe, followed by a fun, leisurely walk to the beach to start our work day. Rob introduced us to the sea turtle project and gave my kids a very informative and hands-on session about different sea turtle species and their ecology. My kids had a blast. On another day we helped prepare the turtle hatchery, and on another, we helped paint post markers on the beach. We usually choose to have afternoons as a rest time. My kids were pooped! Typically the rains came in the afternoon, cooled everything down and provided a perfect time for respite.
Rob and Rebe really tailored our time to us. They were so accommodating and thoughtful. There was no pressure to do anything we didn’t feel comfortable doing, eg, sea turtle night patrol late at night with the kids, and I am grateful for this. We did some gardening, helped prepare some meals, helped tidy around the compound, and soaked in the Pura Vida life. Their commitment to giving back to the earth should be an inspiration to us all.

If you can make it out to the project, I would definitely recommend spending time here. Thank you so much Rob and Rebe for sharing your beautiful life with us!

"Our family spent a week at this very special place."

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Our family spent a week at this very special place in July. Rob and Rebe are exceptional hosts – passionate about conservation, sustainable farming, cooking and ensuring the volunteers have a wonderful experience. Our kids, aged 9, 11 and 13 immediately felt part of the ‘family’ and thoroughly enjoyed living as a community together and getting involved in all the day to day activities.

Rob and Rebe made us feel so welcome from the very start and we learnt so much during our stay. Rob was an amazing teacher and so engaging and patient with the kids. His source of knowledge was incredible not just on turtles and conservation but also on the flora and other wildlife as well as the history of the country etc. We learnt so much including some essential Spanish! Rebe was equally incredible with her knowledge and passion for food, sustainable living and yoga. As well as her interest in playing lots of fun card games with us all during the downtimes!

Workwise, we had a wonderful balance of doing some activity in the mornings and often coming back to rest in the afternoons before going on a night patrols in the evenings. We managed to help on the turtle hatchery, put up posts along the beach for the research on the turtle nesting as well as conduct numerous night patrols – during one we were lucky enough to see a mother turtle come up and lay 124 eggs! We also helped out on the farm.

We stayed in the beautiful private jungle bungalow which was perfect for families. It is modern, clean and very comfortable and offered a little bit of space as and when we needed it. My daughter was very nervous about bugs and creepy crawlies but we needed have worried – except for the mosquito bites we didn’t see anything!

Overall we had a wonderful experience – we were lucky enough to spend a whole month out in Costa Rica but the kids agree that this was the best week by far! Rob and Rebe treated us like family, the food was delicious and the location was so remote and stunning tucked away in the pristine rainforest close to the beach. They even took us on some adventures to visit secret beaches nearby – trips we will never forget.

Thank you Rob and Rebe for being such incredible hosts and sharing your beautiful home and passions with us. We hope to come back soon!

"An amazing week, the memories will last forever."

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My daughter and I have just experienced an amazing week at the Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Costa Rica. Rob and Rebe are lovely hosts, warm and welcoming. From the moment we arrived to when we left, we didn’t stop learning. Sustainability is paramount – you’ll be able to help in the garden, enjoy delicious fresh home-cooked food and learn how to prepare dishes by watching and helping Rebe in the kitchen.

We also tried yoga and learnt some Spanish! You are in a beautiful isolated spot surrounded by nature and we were shown hidden, isolated beaches. The best part for us though – was the turtles. We learnt so much talking to Rob, helping to prepare the hatchery and venturing on night patrols. Working with a turtle to protect her eggs is an experience we will never forget.

An amazing week, the memories will last forever.

"Drake bay is a very magical place where you can connect with pure nature."

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I loved my experience! Rebe and Rob are really welcoming and take good care of you and they will let you feel a part of the family and you will have the opportunity to learn about different and new things. Drake bay is a very magical place where you can connect with pure nature.

"I learned many things about permaculture, which was my initial purpose"

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My experience was amazing! I learned many things about permaculture, which was my initial purpose. Rob’s knowledge is so diverse, from biology to Spanish, sometimes even genetics haha. I love Rebe’s energy and they complete each other very well in many aspects!
If you’re looking to be immersed in nature, go to sleep with the frogs and wake up with the howling monkeys, you’re definitely coming home! Can’t wait to see the project evolving and hopefully going back one day!

"I loved the simple way of life and all the biodiversity in the area which brings you back to nature"

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My volunteering experience was great! The nature surrounding the Finca is just absolutely stunning. I liked working with wood and bamboo, in the garden and helping the sea turtle project. I loved the simple way of life and all the biodiversity in the area which brings you back to nature. Also, the vegan and veggie meals prepared by the hosts are great. All fresh ingredients, organic and prepared with lots of love. I am very glad to have spent time volunteering at this project and would always come back.

"My experience volunteering at this project was exceptional"

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My experience volunteering at this project was exceptional! Helping Rob clean the garden, plant food and build bamboo fences was a lot of fun. I thank Rob and Rebe for their hospitality; they make you feel at home and the food they prepare is very good!! I’m also in love with their three beautiful dogs! In conclusion, I give 10/10 to volunteering at this project!

"I loved the daily work, the yoga, the turtle patrols, and cooking with organic and vegan ingredients"

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I spent three amazing weeks at this project with Rob, Rebe and their lovely dogs. I loved the daily work, the yoga, the turtle patrols, and cooking with organic and vegan ingredients. The culture exchange and beautiful location made it a really memorable experience. I will go back for sure!

Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Costa Rica

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