Turtle Conservation Intern on the Pacific Coast
Are you eager to protect endangered species and the environment? Would you like to gain professional experience for your studies or career? Or would you just like to help at a great project? If so, the turtle internship might be the right for you!
up to 15 days in advance
- Duration: 6 hrs
- Available Days: Every day
- Schedule: 7:00 AM
- Inquire for Transportation
- Free cancellation up to 15 days prior
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
This project is located at Ostional Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula. Ostional is near Nosara.
The turtle conservation internship is similar to the turtle conservation volunteering projects, but is different in the sense that you may be the only volunteer alongside the resident biologist. The resident biologist has been working here for over a decade and you will work closely with him. You’ll help with research and will learn about turtle conservation in Costa Rica.
Responsibilities includes patrolling the beach, moving nests to the hatchery, preparing nests, marking nesting turtles, gathering data on the percentage of marked turtles that return to the beach during an arribada, counting turtles that arrive at the beach, helping baby turtles get safely into the ocean, building a water system to help the hatchlings develop during the dry season, protecting nests from illegal extraction and predators, taking the sand’s temperature throughout the day, gathering information on egg development, translating documents in the office, cleaning the beach of debris, and planting trees along the beach or in town.
Turtles arrive at the beach throughout most of the year. During arribadas (large arrivals) there can be hundreds or even thousands of sea turtles arriving on the same beach. The arribadas usually happen once a month and are larger during the rainy season (from May until November). During arribadas many volunteers are needed, so groups are especially encouraged to volunteer during these times.
Turtles usually arrive at night, but can sometimes arrive as early as 2:00 pm. Therefore, volunteers need to be flexible and work when needed. Most of the time volunteers work from Monday to Friday for 6 hours a day (maximum). During times when the sea turtles hatch there are shifts protecting the turtles. These shifts usually last from 4:00 pm until dark and from 5:30 am until 9:00 am in the morning.
You will work closely with project coordinators and the resident biologist. You will have the support and guidance of volunteer coordinators and will be provided with a 24/7 emergency number.
When you’re not helping the turtles, you will have time to explore the surrounding area. The surfing here is great, the beach is beautiful, and the community is friendly.
Food & Lodging
You will stay with a host family that lives close to the beach. You will receive three meals a day, which usually consist of rice, beans, vegetables, and juice.
Volunteers should have a passion for animal conservation and biology and also enjoy being outdoors. You do not need previous experience for this project, but you must be at least 18 years old. Knowing some Spanish is helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Families, couples, and groups are welcome to apply for this project. You may volunteer for a few days or for several weeks or months.
The application process is simple. Supply your basic information (name, age, address, medical history, etc.) then choose a project and select the dates that you would like to work. Next, write a brief background and describe any relatable experiences (volunteering or employment). Finally, explain why you want to volunteer and what you can contribute.
After submitting your online application, you will receive a response within a week. Once your enrollment is confirmed, you’ll be given additional information to help you prepare for the project.
What to Bring
Homestay, 3 meals a day
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.