A sea turtle is swimming on the water surface of the Caribbean Sea.

Your trip at a glance


  • Receive hands-on training in species conser­va­tion at Costa Rica’s Pacuare beach
  • Support the survival of endan­gered sea turtle species
  • Live and work as part of an inter­na­tional volunteer team
  • Experi­ence the fasci­nating biodi­ver­sity of the country
  • Actively contribute to preserving this biodi­ver­sity


Caribbean Coast

Plan your trip

  • Included in the programme fee
    • Placement in the programme
    • Assistance with travel arrangements
    • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
    • Assistance with booking flights
    • Risk coverage certificate

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Meghan, your travel expert for Costa Rica

Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more about this journey! I answer all of your questions and assist you before, during and after your adventure abroad.

Conservation volunteering: A large sea turtle on a beach in Costa Rica
Drone shot of our species conservation project's site on the Caribbean Coast in Costa Rica
Looking at a turtle hatchery on a Caribbean beach in Costa Rica
Voluntary helpers of our turtle conservation project at work in Costa Rica
Volunteers in Costa Rica broaden their conservation knowledge about sea turtles.
A sea turtle is swimming on the water surface of the Caribbean Sea.
Volunteers in Costa Rica holding a basket full of young sea turtles.
Volunteers in our turtle conservation project in Costa Rica being involved in beach cleaning
Voluntary helpers of our turtle conservation project at work in Costa Rica
A volunteer in our species conservation project in Costa Rica is measuring a young sea turtle.
The cloudy sky above a Caribbean Bay in Costa Rica is covered in soft, warm colours.
Conservation work in Costa Rica: Fresh sea turtle eggs which just got discovered by a volunteer
Species Conservation in Central America: Volunteers in Costa Rica removing garbage from the beach

Volunteering on the Costa Rican coast

As a volunteer in this turtle conservation project you’ll become actively involved in species conservation and support the study and survival of endangered animals on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

A newly hatched sea turtle in Costa Rica on its way into the ocean

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in Central America

After your arrival at Juan Santamaría airport in the capital San José on Sunday/Wednesday, you will spend a night in a hotel/hostel in the city (our partner recommends Hostel Finca Escalante). You can arrive at your hotel via taxi, or a private shuttle arranged by the project partner for $45. The following morning, the project director will meet you at your accommodation to give you a brief orientation and clear instructions on how to arrive at the project site. You will then take public transportation to get to the meeting point in Bataan. Volunteers are responsible for reserving and paying for accommodation in San José, and for transportation from San José to Bataan (around $15), where a project staff member will meet you and accompany you for the remainder of the journey to the project site in Pacuare.

Conservation work in Costa Rica: Fresh sea turtle eggs which just got discovered by a volunteer

Volunteer activ­i­ties in Costa Rica

This voluntary project is devoted to protecting sea turtles in order to maintain the Central American country’s natural biodiversity. As a volunteer, you will play an active role in the species conservation project and work together with other volunteers from around the world to research and conserve these animals on the Pacific west coast of Costa Rica. This project focuses on protecting the animals which come to lay their eggs on the beach as well as the eggs themselves in the nests along the beaches.
The second important aim is to acquire a better understanding of the animals themselves through detailed data collection. You document the behaviour of various species and record data regarding their clutch.

Volunteers on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast release young sea turtles into the ocean.

Together with your team you document which turtle species can be found on the beaches at which time, collect information regarding the number of laid eggs and the hatchlings. The findings made can be used to enable artificial breeding grounds to be improvised at more suitable locations.
To monitor and observe the animals, beach patrols will be organized every day but also at night. You and another group of volunteers walk the beach together with an experienced patrol leader and look out for nesting female turtles. Once you find one, you record measurements and data and relocate the eggs in the project’s own breeding ground. The work in this breeding station involves monitoring the nests, keeping away enemies, and measuring and releasing the hatchlings. There will also be small volunteer tasks like maintenance work, cleaning the beach etc.

Looking into the volunteer accommodation of our species conservation project in Costa Rica

Accom­mo­da­tion during the conser­va­tion project

The accommodation that you share with other volunteers is a basic guesthouse where you sleep in multi-bed rooms and use shared bathrooms with a cold water connection. Furthermore, the house offers lockers for personal objects; electricity is produced via solar cells and should be used economically. You will receive three meals per day – these are either already prepared or need to be cooked by yourself using the provided food. Drinking water will be provided from a well. To get in contact with friends and family at home you should buy a Costa Rican SIM-card.

A young sea turtle in Costa Rica on its way into the ocean

Leisure time on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

It is difficult to say in advance just how much free time you will have during your volunteer period as the tasks and the time spent on the project depend on the season and the weather. You will work together with the team between 6 and 10 hours per day, so that there will be plenty of time left to explore the location and surroundings, or just relax in the house or on the beach. The project is located quite remotely, surrounded by Costa Rican rainforest with no shopping facilities available. However, you can make excursions into the exotic natural environment and surrounding sandy beaches, participate in wildlife-tours on the canals or take a look at the production of coconut oil.

FAQ – Learn more about this trip

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

Die bunten, einstöckigen Häuser im Regenwald mit Nähe zum Meer dienen als Unterkunft für Volunteers wie Maria.
Die Brutstation auf dem Sandstrand im Costa Rica Meeresschildkrötenprojekt ist im Schatten und hat eine Aussicht aufs Meer.
Review Volunteering Costa Rica Turtle Conservation - Maria

“I had hoped that the work would be so much fun that it wouldn't feel like work at all, and that's exactly what happened.”

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Review Volunteering Costa Rica – Stefanie

“The feeling I had when I saw "my" first mama turtle was indescribable. I will certainly remember that for many years to come. I met many special people there, had many good conversations and protected small and large turtles. What more could you ask for???”

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Die Hatchery (Brutstation), welche sich auf dem Strand befindet, wird tagsüber von den Freiwilligen bewacht.
Das Camp des Schildkrötenschutz-Projektes in Lateinamerika befindet sich recht abgeschlagen im Regenwald, nicht weit vom Strand entfernt.
Review Volunteering Costa Rica Turtle Conservation - Thomas

“The everyday meals and the games, were always the highlight of the day for me, because you could exchange experiences with everyone.”

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Review Photos Internship Abroad Costa Rica – Fabienne

Internship in Central America: Fabienne joined our species conservation project in Costa Rica to help protect the country's endangered sea turtles. Check out some of her impressions here.

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Eine Babyschildkröte, die gerade geschlüpft ist, befindet sich am Strand
In der Nähe des Forschungszenturm in Costa Rica findet man Kokusnusspalmen
Review Volunteering Costa Rica Turtle Conservation - Emily

“The highlight of the project for me was seeing the baby turtles making their way out to the ocean and getting pulled in by the waves.”

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Sandstrand am Regenwald mit blauem Himmel
Seraina ist auf einer Bootstour auf ruhigem Wasser umgeben von vielen Pflanzen
Review Volunteering Costa Rica Turtle Conservation – Seraina

“The location of the project is unique. To be able to live away from civilisation and see how little you really need was a great experience.”

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Eine Schildkroete auf dem Weg ins Meer	Artenschutzprojekt in Costa Rica: Eine Schildkroete zurueck ins Meer
Freiwilligenarbeit mit Schildkroeten in Costa Rica: Schildkroetenjungtiere am Strand
Review Volunteering Costa Rica – Leon

“One of the project highlights: to see one of the adult turtles laying their eggs.”

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Review Photos Internship Abroad Costa Rica – Varina

Education and outdoor adventure in Central America: Varina went to Costa Rica and spent eight weeks as an intern protecting endangered sea turtles. Here you can find some of her stunning impressions:

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  • reiseorte-costa-rica-karibikkueste-schildkroeten-natucate
    1. Caribbean Coast

    The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica stretches from the border with Panama to the border with Nicaragua. Above all, it captivates guests by its unique climate, its cultural variety and a breathtaking nature including an immense biodiversity.

    Travellers will find the country's most lush tropical jungle, with its diverse flora and fauna. In addition to fascinating rainforest, picturesque coral reefs, fantastic beaches and colourful coastal towns ensure an unforgettable travel experience.

Purpose of the turtle project in Costa Rica

Sea turtles are found in tropical and subtropical seas across the world. Their fins make them perfectly suited for life in water. However, because they are descended from land turtles, they have to come on land to lay their eggs. To do this, they dig deep holes on the beach before laying up to 100 eggs in them. Their eggs are then incubated by the heat of the sun. Ultimately, only 1 out of a 1000 newborns will reach the age at which they can reproduce. Because of this low fertility rate and the additional threat posed by a loss of habitat, pollution, fishing and illegal egg gathering, it is particularly important to monitor clutches and register as many animals as possible to ensure that sea turtles breed successfully.


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