Costa Rica – The Sea Turtle Initiative

A volunteer vacation in Costa Rica that allows you to help endangered sea turtles & experience Costa Rica’s renowned wildlife. Explore the rainforest by zip line & river raft.

The Place and The People

From January to July, we are based on the Caribbean coast. Venture to a rustic fishing village where leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs on picturesque beaches. Listen to the sounds of howler monkeys and be on the lookout for sloths and toucans as we make our way through the lush mountains to the coast.

From July to December, we are based on the Nicoya peninsula in the Pacific Ocean. This is one of the most breathtaking parts of the country and is home to sea turtles, ocelots, monkeys and many other animals.  The trip starts in Liberia and takes you to the pristine beaches of the Nicoya peninsula, immersing you in a kaleidoscope of wildlife, beaches and rainforests.

Regardless of the location, on this volunteer vacation to Costa Rica you will meet inspirational environmentalists, immerse yourself in the local culture and see a slice of Costa Rica that most travelers never visit.

What You'll Do

The population of Costa Rican sea turtles has declined by 90% since 1980. Sea turtles face myriad threats such as boat traffic, domestic animals, climate change, accidental catch by industrial fisheries, and increased trash in oceans and beaches (which they mistake for food). We’ll spend three days volunteering on a turtle conservation campaign. Given the declining population of turtles, every bit of help is welcome and each turtle is precious.

On the Pacific coast (August – December), we’ll dig up hatched nests to determine the hatch success rate, do a beach cleanup, and release baby turtles back into the ocean.  We’ll also do night patrols to gather eggs and collect scientific data.

On the Caribbean coast (March – July) during the female nesting season, you will head out each night to engage in patrols to protect the nesting turtles. While you won’t handle any turtles, you will learn from marine biologists, experience sustainable community tourism, and engage in beach cleanups.

  • baby Costa Rican sea turtle

What You'll See

Besides three days of volunteering, during your Costa Rica volunteer vacation you’ll experience the full spectrum of natural wonders of the region.  Ride a boat through unspoiled rivers and mangroves where you might catch a glimpse of crocodiles and other small mammals rummaging around. Visit an animal sanctuary (on the Pacific side) that takes in injured monkeys, pumas, ocelots, and other animals. Explore the beaches that hug both coasts and be on the lookout for the wildlife Costa Rica is famous for.

After our volunteer project with the sea turtles, stay in a eco-resort  where you’ll experience Costa Rica’s tropical terrain riding a zip-line and also on a river raft.

  • volunteer vacations in Costa Rica
Email Me a Detailed Itinerary

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Itinerary Overview

Caribbean Coast

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. We’ll start in the capital, San Jose, and make our way through the volcanic mountains to a small coastal fishing village. Depending on the season, we’ll assist the community in tracking the nesting leatherback sea turtles and releasing the hatchlings into the sea.

We’ll also venture along the pristine coast exploring the rainforests full of wildlife including sloths, monkeys & toucans. Stay in an eco-lodge tucked in the pristine Costa Rican jungle. We’ll even have a chance to raft down the Rio Pacuare, one of the world’s top rafting rivers (note: children 11 and younger will participate in a beautiful horseback ride through the Costa Rican countryside).

*Note: The Caribbean Coast itinerary is much more active than the Pacific Coast. Please be advised that there is more walking/hiking, more intense river rafting and a more rugged volunteer project.*

Pacific Coast

Set amongst stunning rainforest landscapes and the Pacific Ocean, the Nicoya Peninsula is one of the most breathtaking parts of Costa Rica. We’ll start in Liberia and head down to the coast where we’ll work hand-in-hand with a local turtle conservation organization. Depending on the season, engage in night patrols on the beach, take a boat in the ocean to track turtles or free new hatchlings into the wild.

We’ll also visit a rescue center for injured pumas, ocelots and monkeys, venture into the mangroves and spot crocodiles and relax along the pristine beaches. Towards the end of the trip, we’ll venture into the lush mountain forests via zip-line, inner tubing and horseback riding.

Check out these five reasons you should volunteer to protect sea turtles in Costa Rica.

volunteer with costa rica sea turtles volunteering with costa rica sea turtles
Email Me a Detailed Itinerary

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Rita Q.

Chicago, IL

Traveler's Journal

I loved watching my granddaughter’s eyes light up as she released a baby turtle into its natural habitat. Every time she encountered a new species of animal that she had only previously seen in a zoo, I couldn’t help but smile.  My husband and I also really enjoyed our long walks on the beach.

Dates and Fees

We offer serveral Family Friendly dates, to help families book travel around common school vacation times

Reserve a Spot

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

8 days / 7 nights

Program Cost: US $2,395 *


June 10-17, 2017 (FF)

June 17-24, 2017 (FF)

July 1-8, 2017 (FF)

July 15-22, 2017 (FF)

July 22-29, 2017 (FF)

Aug 5-12, 2017 (FF)

Aug 12-19, 2017 (FF)

Sept 16-23, 2017 (FF)

Oct 14-21, 2017 (FF)

Nov 18-25, 2017 (FF)

Dec 16-23, 2017 (FF)

Dec 26, 2017-Jan 2, 2018 (FF)

March 3-10, 2018 (FF)

March 10-17, 2018 (FF)

March 24-31, 2018 (FF)

April 7-14, 2018 (FF)

June 9-16, 2018 (FF)

June 16-23, 2018 (FF)

June 30-July 7, 2018 (FF)

July 14-21, 2018 (FF)

July 21-28, 2018 (FF)

July 28-Aug 4, 2018 (FF)

Aug 11-18, 2018 (FF)

Nov 17-24, 2018 (FF)

Dec 26, 2018-Jan 2, 2019 (FF)


What's Included?

Here’s a sample of what’s included:

  • All activities: zip line activity, inner tube down a river (Pacific), rafting down a river (Caribbean), boat ride through the mangroves, visit to an animal rescue center (Pacific), and more…
  • All meals included: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 3 nights coastal Home Base lodging near a local conservancy
  • 4 night lodging at 3-star hotel
  • Local volunteer project of up to 15 hours on the Pacific side and 8 hours on the Caribbean side
  • Airport transfers and reliable in-country transportation with experienced drivers
  • Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you
  • Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
  • Gratuities for hotels, meals, baggage & transportation included. Guide gratuity is not included and is at your discretion
  • All land transportation during the trip
  • $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance

Alumni & Family Discounts

Repeat travelers and groups are eligible for discounts and special deals.

Customized Private Trips

Let us create a custom trip for your group. Learn more about custom group travel.

This is only available as an 8 day trip. Trips to Costa Rica for different lengths can be arranged for custom groups.

As Seen In

Los Angeles Times USA Today Road Warrior Blog International Business Times

Request a Catalog

Your adventure awaits! Use the form below to get a FREE catalog by mail or email. Or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

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