Wildlife conservation, community and environmental volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Pacific Sea Turtle Volunteer Project, Costa Rica

1 - 12 weeks from

minimum age

  • Volunteer and explore the remote pristine wilderness of the Osa Peninsula
  • Research and monitor Green, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill sea turtles
  • Live on a stunning beach and experience the best sunsets in the world
  • In your free time, explore the vast wilderness of the Corcovado National Park

Food, Lodging & Travel

The accommodation is located in at 250m from the beach of Rincon de San Josecito, Osa Peninsula. The camp is located in front of the sea, with one of the best views of the sunsets of the area!  Volunteers stay in mixed cabins with a shared bathroom and fans in rustic but cozy accommodation – this also includes bed linen and three meals per day.  The site is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a swimmable river and trail, yoga and meditation area and several chill-out areas with hammocks.

Los Planes and Caletas are two small towns nearby with only one very basic grocery store (local shop), but it is home to a number of remote hostels and hotels. The wildlife around Rio Claro is impressive, with an extensive virgin coastline surrounded by primary and secondary forests, filled with exotic birds, mammals, amphibians and the four species of monkeys in Costa Rica.

While Caletas and Los Planes do not have much to offer in terms of services, volunteers can visit Agujitas on their day off. Agujitas has the largest population in the area with the highest services, supermarkets, shops, restaurants and sodas and hostels and hotels.

Working Conditions & Requirements

Volunteers crossing on a boat

All volunteers should be at least 18 yrs old age, although we can accept 16 & 17 yrs olders with parental consent. English is required and Spanish is very helpful, even if basic, but a small amount of Spanish would go a long way. A strong interest in conservation is required, as is good team work spirit and flexibility. You should also be in good health and fit – you need to be able to work 2-3 nights per week (rest the next day) and walk several kilometres on soft sand.  The work at the project can be extremely tough and is not necessarily for everybody. Weather conditions can be extreme, especially since the nesting season coincides with the rainy season, with heavy rainfall and localised flooding –  often a daily occurrence (rainy season = turtle season!). The majority of the work is nocturnal and it will be necessary to adjust to sleeping in the daytime, often enduring high temperatures and humidity. It can be very difficult to plan activities too, as priorities can suddenly shift according to what resources are available at the time, and volunteers will often find that the work plan changes with very little notice. The way of life is rustic, but the environment is full of jaw-dropping natural beauty and extraordinary biodiversity. After a little time at the project you will no doubt find yourself adjusting to the life of a local.

Typically, each volunteer will be allocated around five-six work shifts per week, the workload will equate to around 4-6 hours of work per day, six days per week. There is, of course, always more work available, so if you are ever bored, just ask a Coordinator or Research Assistant how you can help.

How to get there?
Multiple airlines fly to San José, Costa Rica, via the United States, including United, American Airlines and Delta. From Europe, British Airways, Iberia and Condor all fly to San José either directly or with a short stopover in the Dominican Rebublic. Please remember not to look for San Jose in California, it is San José International Airport (Juan Santamaria) – code SJO.

Arrival information – We recommend that volunteers fly into Palmar from San Jose (or take a bus) and from there, take a colectivo taxi to Sierpe and then a boat to Drake Bay.  From there, the boat will drop you off at San Josecito beach.

Please email Victoria.McNeil@workingabroad.com for more specifics.

Pacific Sea Turtle Volunteer Project, Costa Rica

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