Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
Pacuare, Region Limon
year round, start and end dates are flexible considering that arrival at the project is always on a Monday or Thursday. Arrival to San José needs to be at least 2 days before.
During this volunteer work project, you will support a sea turtle protection project in the conservation area of Pacuare, near the border to Nicaragua. The project area is situated in the province of Limón and extends over 800 hectares (1,977 acres) of rainforest and 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) of beach. Pacuare is located directly on the Caribbean Sea, about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away from the city of Limón. Our partners at the project aim to protect the rare Baula and Lora sea turtles from extinction, since they are endangered in today's marine world. In Costa Rica, conservation of the precious local flora and fauna is a concern of not only the local people, but also international tourists and scientists.
Volunteers will support the local team observing nesting sea turtles, watching the nests, excavating the eggs, and keeping the eggs safe in incubators. After 45 to 60 days, volunteers will help the local staff reintroduce the hatchlings into the wild. In addition, in order to collect data about the turtles, volunteers will also record environmental conditions, such as temperature and the amounts of precipitation. They need to collect as much information as possible about the sensitive ecosystem, so that the turtles can be better protected. Volunteers should be flexible, as they will have to carry out different tasks during this volunteer project.
In addition to the sea turtles, the conservation area of Pacuare is home to over twenty species of mammals, many different types of reptiles, and approximately 200 species of birds. The area is situated right in the middle of a huge protected rainforest that has water channels all around it. The main forms of transportation in the area are small boats, which allow visitors and locals to get around.
In this volunteer program, you will help with the protection of nesting sea turtles in the Limón province of Costa Rica. This region forms part of the Pacuare Conservation Area on the Caribbean Coast. During this volunteer project, you will observe and study rare sea turtles and their behavior on the beautiful Caribbean beaches. The sea turtles (Baula and Lora) nest between February and September. During the remaining months volunteer primarily help with maintenance work and beach cleaning.
During your volunteer work, you will have the opportunity to approach the amazing turtles and admire them up close. Volunteers and local staff patrol the beaches at night (always in groups) to find nesting sea turtles (they only nest after sunset).
Each sea turtle needs to be examined and measured by volunteers and biologists who then record the data. Volunteers also assist in collecting the turtle eggs and keeping them in incubators in order to protect them until the baby turtles hatch after 45 to 60 days. They are then released under strict supervision by the project team that protects them from wild animals and poachers, thereby assisting with their population growth in the Caribbean Sea.
We would like to point out that nature is unpredictable and we cannot guarantee the number of sea turtles for a certain period of participation.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
Volunteers are accommodated together in a small housing complex close to the beach. The house is simple, and has shared bedrooms, an equipped kitchen, and bathrooms. There is no electricity, so gas lamps are used for light. Volunteers usually cook their meals together with gas powered appliances. Ingredients are provided by the project.
Note: In Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer projects take place, the cellular or internet connection is not always reliable and fast.
The volunteer project is located about 25 km southwest of the city of Limon and about 4 hours from the capital of San Jose. However, due to the landscape, Limón is not reachable on a direct way. The closest village in terms of travel time is Batán, about 90 minutes away, reachable by bus and boat.
Due to the lush vegetation and the great biodiversity in this region, large tracts of land have been protected. The rainforest houses stunning wildlife, such as river otters, jaguars and ocelots. However, the most common sightings are howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, iguanas, pizotes and raccoons. Birdwatchers can see colorful birds, including toucans, macaws, herons and kingfishers: A true paradise for nature- and animal lovers!
The Limon region has become an important location for tourism in Costa Rica, in particular due to the ecotourism and the wide range of adventure sports that can be practiced in the middle of evergreen landscapes. The numerous rapids that form, when the Pacuare river descends into the Caribbean plains are ideal for rafting.
The climate is constant throughout the year with a daily average temperature of 27 °C, at night it cools down a bit. The rainiest months are June to October.
In our Wildlife & Nature projects, our volunteers get along well with English language skills.
For optimal program preparation and cultural integration in the destination country, we recommend participating in a Spanish course in Costa Rica (optional).
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us in case of emergency on 7 days a week around the clock.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our partner organization in Costa Rica located in San José as well as the volunteer coordinator on-site.
Depending on the day of arrival in Costa Rica, the program includes one to three nights in San José in a single room with a host family (including breakfast).
Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our colleagues in San José.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project with Sea Turtles at the Carribean Coast includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Full board
- Airport pick-up in San José with overnight stay in San José
- Transfer from San José accommodation to bus terminal for journey to project site *
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Costa Rica
- English-speaking in-country support
- Welcome meeting in San José
- Handbook Costa Rica
- Intercultural guideline
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
*the costs for the bus ticket to the project site are not included.
Application fee: US$ 120
Program fee: US$ 795 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 265
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
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All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
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Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.