Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteering Costa Rica

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


The Corcovado Foundation sea turtle conservation and volunteering program is now in its 14th year and we need all hands on board!

We offer the opportunity for people who wants to make a difference and actively participate in the conservation of endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica’s spectacular Osa Peninsula and the Caribbean.

As a volunteer, you will take part in conservation, environmental education and ecotourism activities. You will meet new people and can immerse yourself in pristine wilderness and genuine Costa Rican culture. Our successful strategy works to combine environmental education and conservation activities to give local communities a viable socioeconomic alternative to poaching.

Your financial contribution not only will be used for your room and board, but also will help us pay for supplies, and the salaries of biologists that will work with you. You will be contributing with your talent and your financial support to maintain the program.

Thank you for sharing your passion and experience about the turtle program, ecotourism and the community. It has been an amazing, enriching experience. Mikhaila, Australia

About the Work

As a volunteer you will take part in sea turtle conservation activities, including night patrols, relocating nests, recording scientific data, tagging of turtles, nest exhumations and the liberation of hatchlings. You may also be required to work on eco-tourism, environmental education and construction activities.

What about Free Time?

We know that volunteers come not only to work but also to discover the incredible nature. The project offers the possibility of unforgettable tours and activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, rural tourism and farm activities.  In the Osa Peninsula you can take trips to Isla del Cano and Corcovado National Park, or simply hiking around on surrounding rainforest trails… countless opportunities for the nature-lover.  In Laguna Urpino there is also a wide array of options to discover.

How much does it cost?

Rates starting at $35 U.S.D per night, per person. Ask about our discounts for extended stays.

This amount covers accommodation, three meals per day and training. It does not cover the arrival and departure costs to the project location, nor tours and spending money.

At the RFS Laguna Urpiano, the cost of the boat to the project is included.

Important Note:

There are no ATMs in any of the places, so we recommend that volunteers travel with enough cash for possible tours. If you want to buy snacks or sweets, better buy them in San José or on the way to the project.

Apply Now!

Please complete the Volunteer Registration Form and send via email to at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival.

You will receive a confirmation email, along with a comprehensive Volunteer Orientation Manual with detailed information about transportation, what to bring and what to expect.

Payment for your stay must be received before you arrive. In order to pay, please use this secure link and select ‘Volunteer Program’. Please note that payment for the first two weeks is non-refundable.

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Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest Today!

Volunteering for the 2019 Season

In 2019, we will continue to focus our activities on the Mama Carey turtle conservation project located in the Osa Peninsula, Rincón de San Josecito.Visit us and once there, you will be part of and collaborate directly with the organization and the community.

This year we will work also work in the Caribbean! With great enthusiasm we will be giving support to the leatherback sea turtle conservation project Laguna Urpiano Wildlife Refuge (RVS)! It is a pleasure to be able to help these majestic animals

Placements are available from now:

Mama Carey, Osa Peninsula: 01 July – 31 December.  Starting every Tuesday

RVS Laguna Urpiano, Matina: 1 March – 31 October. Starting every Wednesday

Minimum stay:

Two weeks. In order to optimize the orientation and training process.


  • Age: 18 years old or more
  • Good physical condition,
  • Basic Spanish or English.
  • You must be friendly, communicative.
  • Able to work in extreme weather conditions for 4-6 hours per day.
  • You must have a medical travel insurance policy for the duration of your stay.



The project has been protecting the turtles of the area for more than 10 years, Jonathan Miller, ethnobotanist and owner of Guaria de Osa together with people from the community, have been commiteed to patrolling the area since 2008. In 2017, due to lack of funding the project was not going to operate. The Corcovado Foundation has decided to join the cause and help maintain the program active. The camp is located in the Hotel Guaria de Osa, on the beach of Rincon surrounded by extreme wild nature. You will stay in co-ed rooms with private bathrooms. 3 meals are offered, you can also help to cook.  The camp has several common areas, and it is located a few steps from the beach.  There is electricity in the area but the telephone reception is limited as is the internet.

The project site is locate in Playa Rincon beach.  This beach harbors the endangered hawksbill seaturtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the Green Turtle  (Chelonia mydas) and  the olive ridley (Lepidochelys kempii).

The project has a nursery in which we relocate and protect the nests, to prevent their looting and loss by the tide.


The Laguna Urpiano Wildlife Refuge is a flora and fauna conservation project located in the Matina canton in the province of Limón, Costa Rica

The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nests in these beaches being one of the most important nesting beaches in the world for this endangered species.

The beaches of the Costa Rican Caribbean have suffered enormously from the seaturtle turtle eggs poaching and their slaughter, but in the last 40 years, thanks to monitoring and protection, the poaching has been greatly reduced.  However it is still a problem.  Around 80% of the nests are still been poached by locals.

The RVS Laguna Urpiano project has been the last to join the Caribbean leatherback sea turtle conservation and protection project system and the work on that beach is extremely important and necessary.

Johnny, the director and owner of the refuge, is a native of these beaches, and with the help of his companion Barbara, has been fighting for many years for the conservation and recovery of the leatherback population in this area.

Donate to our causes

Donations made through Globalgiving are tax deductible from the USA.

Corcovado National Park Rescue Project!
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Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
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Sea Turtle Conservation & Environmental Education
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Osa Community Support Fund
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Fundación Corcovado


San José