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Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

Practical information


  • An opportunity to work hands-on with sea turtles
  • Witnessing the entire nesting process
  • The area where we work on is closed to tourism, we are the only people allowed to live there due to the nature of the research we do
  • Observe Costa Rican wildlife species in their natural habitats
  • Visit an incredibly jaguar-dense area and one of the only locations in the world where jaguars are known to prey on adult sea turtles

Program description

Our in country program partner runs the project in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and have committed to running ethical and sustainable projects. 


Each year during season (April through to October) mother turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach in the Tortugeuro National Park. In the park,  jaguars will predate the turtles and so the objective is ensure protection of turtles in Costa Rica.


After receiving training by highly skilled staff, you will conduct night-time patrols on the beach looking for nesting mothers. You may assist in collecting & recording data on the turtles by measuring them, counting the effs being laid, looking for previous tags and distinctive markings.


This project works closely with the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment, Energy & Telecommunications.   


All this data will help researchers to determine the number of turtles who return to the beach to lay eggs as well as the number of new ones, how they spread out in nesting season and also how migration between beaches work.


During the mornings you will continue with patrols. Depending on the season, you may also be lucky enough to see and record the baby turtles emerging from the nest and record data on hatchling success, poaching rates, and mortality rate.


You might also have the opportunity to conduct jaguars and aquatic birds research, as well as carrying out biological assessment surveys of the area, contributing to long-term conservation efforts along Costa Rica.

Download the program description

Where is your project

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Included in the price

  • Airport pick-up
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Safe and basic accommodations
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)

Not included in the price

  • Flights
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Extra local excursions

Your accommodation

The base in Tortuguero National Park is the perfect way to unplug and get in touch with the natural environment. It is located in the heart of the jungle on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, an hour’s boat ride from the nearest small town. Field work includes walking the the protected beaches looking for signs of turtles and jaguars, traveling on canoe through the foliage-draped canals spotting aquatic bird species, and, if you are lucky, a manatee in the water below, or trekking through the jungle spotting and noting everything from howler monkeys, sloths, tamanduas anteaters, and toucans. Don’t forget to pack your camera.


Some patrols are conducted in the morning or at night, which means you could experience spectacular sunsets and sunrises over the Caribbean sea. In your free time, relax at our small camping-style base, which is solar-powered and designed to have as minimal an impact on the natural environment as possible. We are much like a big family on base, and share cooking and tidying duties.


Additional information


- Up to date CV/ resume

- Copy of return flight itinerary

- Police clearance

- Intermediate level of English; understanding and speaking

- Acceptance subject to availability of position


Scientific Permits:

Since this program is located within a national park, you will need to apply for a scientific permit. This is done on your behalf by our project partner, they will require the following: CV professionally translated into Spanish, ID copy and 2 passport size photo copy. Processing time takes on average 6 weeks, please bare this in mind when applying for the program. 

A deposit of 300 € must be paid 7 days after sending your reservation and then the balance must be sent to us no more than 12 weeks before the start of your project.
For stays in less than 12 weeks: the full amount must be paid to confirm the reservation. 


A 50% deposit is required for booking. Balance payment is due 4 weeks prior to departure. In case of cancellation before start date, all fees will be refunded, except the deposit. In case of cancellation after start date, there will be no refund.


Founded in 1998, our partner organistion run award winning programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each manned by their own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs as well as the objectives of local partners. 


As an organisation, their aim is to constantly develop an understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, they aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Their Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better.


Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica
From 2495 EUR

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Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

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