country flag Costa Rica

Sea Turtle Volunteer in Costa Rica – Save Baby Sea Turtles on the Caribbean Beach

Volunteer Program in Costa Rica at a Glance:

  • Available from March to October when turtles are nesting

  • Start dates of the volunteer programs: Every Mondays

  • Accommodation: homestays – all meals included

  • You can choose to volunteer from 1 to 24 weeks

  • Program fee includes: orientation, accommodation, meals, placement and program coordination, 24×7 emergency support, and a donation to support the sea turtle project

  • Fees from only $275 for 1 week

  • Special fee working as an intern for volunteers staying 8 weeks or more


Wildlife Volunteering in Costa Rica: Save the Sea Turtles in a Caribbean Paradise

If you choose to work as a wildlife volunteer in Costa Rica with the sea turtle project, you will accompany local guides on 4-hour night patrols searching for nesting sea turtles.

Nightly Patrols on the Beach to collect the Sea Turtle’s Eggs

Morgan Bureau France Saving Baby Sea Turtles
Morgan Bureau saving Baby Sea Turtles

The eggs are collected and relocated to the project’s guarded hatchery. These patrols play an important role in an on-going scientific investigation where turtles are measured, checked for diseases and tagged while the eggs are collected and relocated to the project’s guarded hatchery.

The presence of more people on the beach means less opportunity for the poachers, who will steal the turtle eggs and kill the turtles to sell the meat illegally.

It is a small country that spans the Central America isthmus and has the Pacific Ocean on the west coast and the Caribbean on the east. The north is bordered by Nicaragua and the south by Panama. It is probably the most progressive country in the region because of decades of political stability. The army was abolished in 1949 and in 1950 it became a democracy.


As a Wildlife Volunteer in Costa Rica, you will walk 6 km on the Beach in the Moonlight

For the night patrols, volunteers should be in good physical condition to walk 6 km of beach and back. They should also have good night vision as most of the work is done in the dark with only red-lensed flashlights.

When volunteering in Costa Rica you need to be careful while walking on the beach during the patrols because some nights you will be soaked by heavy rains, other nights high tides will spray you, and always driftwood is there to trip you in the dark. But there will also be beautiful nights with a full moon, the sky full of stars and best of all nesting turtles.

Day work involves hatchery duty, beach cleaning and assisting in nest exhumations and release of hatchlings. There are also a lot of other environmental projects to help with around the village.

By the way, you can also work with sea turtles in Sri Lanka.


Costa Rica – A Leader in Social Development

The country is considered a leader in social development. In fact, it is the only country in the region to have universal public education and an obligation for children to attend school. It has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index.

Ranked as “The Happiest Nation in the World”

Costa Rica has been ranked as the happiest nation in the world in 2009 and in 2012, as well as the “greenest” country in the world.

Every year, Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill turtles come to lay their eggs on the beaches from March to October. Poachers steal the turtles and their eggs to sell on the black market Although this practice is illegal in Costa Rica, it is hard to enforce without the help of the local community’s participation and volunteers.


Volunteer in Costa Rica on the Paradisiac Caribbean Coast

Seat Turtle Conservation Costa Rica
Baby sea turtles

This project is located in a remote village on the Caribbean coast. It is an excellent opportunity for volunteers to be immersed in the local culture and to learn Spanish staying with locals in homestays.

Volunteer on Animal Conservation and Save the Sea Turtles

Volunteers in Costa Rica are very important to keep this project by saving the turtles. Volunteers come from all over the World and help us accompanying local guides on four-hour night patrols, searching for nesting females to collect and relocate the eggs to our guarded hatchery.
To contribute to the ongoing scientific investigation, turtles are also measured, checked for diseases, and tagged. The presence of more people on the beach decreases the opportunity for poachers.


Join us to help us save more sea turtles and for the experience of your lifetime!



Wildlife Volunteers in Costa Rica Saving Baby Sea Turtles

Volunteer in Costa Rica: Enjoy Beautiful Beaches

I had an amazing time volunteering on Costa Rica’s beautiful coast. Where at night we went on patrols to search for nests/turtles, scare off poachers (who aren’t always bad) and simply survey the beach. During the day we went on hikes to see the islands natural life and meet new people, cleaned up the beach, cleaned and prepared the hatchery and much more. I’d definitely recommend this conservation project for your next volunteer opportunity. The people were so welcoming and treated us as if we had lived there our whole lives. Everyone had a cool story and a nickname to go with it. Like mechudo and his baby blue jean poisonous dart frog…  – Nikita Barnard


Paige about her experience volunteering with the Sea Turtles in Costa Rica:

Paige volunteering with the Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica with the turtles and I met many people and created memories I will never forget. I definitely recommend Iko Poran and the Sea Turtle experience in Costa Rica and I cannot wait until I volunteer with them again. Pura Vida!
– Paige, 19 years old, Costa Rica

You’ll get to see turtles coming slowly from the ocean

The patrols at night were fine, you have to walk for four hours on the beach with guides, and if you’re on a lucky night you’ll get to see turtles coming slowly from the ocean, crossing the beach and laying eggs just in front of you. It’s something you want to live in your life, and something you want to protect. – Marine, 21 years, Switzerland

Day work on your volunteer schedule

Day work involves hatchery duty, beach cleaning and assisting in nest exhumations and release of hatchlings. There are also a lot of other environmental projects to help with around the village.

Go for it! Wonderful Costa Rica is waiting for you!!



Cheap Wildlife Volunteering in Costa Rica – Fees

Please Note:

  • The program fee is paid directly to the local organization.
  • All of the programs incur a registration fee of U$ 149 on top of the program fee.

Volunteer in Costa Rica program fees

What is included in the program fee?

  • Orientation 
  • Accommodation in homestays
  • 3 meals per day
  • Support from local staff & Program supervision
  • In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay
  • Local administration costs
  • And a donation to strengthen the sea turtle project

There are no hidden costs. These projects are the most affordable to volunteer in Costa Rica.

Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Participants in our Costa Rica programs normally find US$ 30 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.

The program fee should be paid to the local organization and it is due 30 days before the project start date.

Please bring small bills to the community; it is hard to find change sometimes.


Special fee working as an intern for volunteers staying 8 weeks or more!!

These volunteers will also be helping the project as interns. They stay the first week in a homestay and then from the second week to the end of the program they stay in the project “Station”, a big wooden house near the beach.

At the Station, they get one meal per day (lunch) but can use the kitchen to prepare breakfast and dinner and may also use the washing machine. Volunteers can have their own room, but if the project receives a special group they might have to share with other volunteers for a while.



Volunteer in Costa Rica – Project details

Location of the volunteer programs in Costa Rica

This project takes place in a small community located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is accessible only by plane or by boat. The population is about 400 residents. Volunteers enjoy a simple and relaxed life.

There are schools, churches, bars, restaurants, small hotels and general stores that are owned by locals. Most of all, there are amazing people waiting for you and what you have to offer. We guarantee you will fall in love and it will be hard to leave.


Accommodation & Meals for Wildlife Volunteers in Costa Rica

As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you will stay in homestays and are provided with a private room, three traditional meals per day (vegetarian available) and laundry service. This is a unique opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and to develop Spanish language skills while becoming part of the community.

Each house has safe drinking water, lockers on the rooms, electricity, fans and mosquito nets in the rooms. If you do not speak any Spanish, we can try to arrange a homestay where a family member speaks English, but there are only a few of those homes available.


Start & Duration of the Sea Turtle Volunteer program

Programs in this project start every Mondays of the month. You have to make your own way from San Jose to Siquirres where someone from our team will meet you and accompany you to the second leg of the bus trip and then on the boat to the community.

You can choose to volunteer from 1 to 24 weeks. Volunteers staying 8 weeks or more have a special condition to work as project interns.



Orientation takes place on Mondays, or the next day after the arrival if you arrive on a different day.


Requirements to Volunteer in Costa Rica

You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement, but exceptions can be made for under 18’s accompanied by a guardian or with parental consent.

All participants must have adequate travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival at the village or during orientation.


Language Requirements for volunteers in Costa Rica

The knowledge of basic Spanish is desired but not a pre-requisite. You will already learn a lot staying with a local family. There are English-speaking people at the project.



You will have a competent support and advice from the local team and project leaders. The local coordinators will give you all the information to have a safe and unforgettable experience.

With 1.9 million travelers visiting Costa Rica annually, travel is quite popular and common. Still, travelers to Costa Rica should exercise caution before you get to the community.



Read the testimonials of our wildlife volunteers in Costa Rica!

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