Volunteer for Sea Turtle Conservation in the Beaches of Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica

400 People are researching this program

Maximo Nivel

(174 Reviews)
  • From $1105 for 2 Weeks

  • 2 - 12 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 17 And Older



Travel on a sea turtle conservation project in beautiful Costa Rica! Support local biologists and researchers performing important conservation work at turtle nesting grounds on either the Pacific or Caribbean coasts. A few of your tasks can include taking part in nightly beach patrols, tagging turtles, relocating nests into hatcheries, counting eggs and turtles, and much more. You also will be able to take part in a community outreach program.

You must be at least 17 years old to sign up. This program is best for travelers who are flexible and willing to take on different tasks depending on the season and project needs, as well as those who are physically fit and ready to live and work in a remote area. You do not need to know Spanish to apply.

Arrival and Orientation

With locations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, you’ll get a unique taste of Latin America--literally. Upon your arrival to your chosen country, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver--they will be holding a big yellow, smiley face flag so you can’t miss them. Depending on the time of your arrival, your driver will either take you directly to your homestay or to the Maximo Nivel institute. Either way, you receive a thorough orientation at the institute where you learn the details about your project, tips about the local neighborhood, safety guides, culture, expectations, and project rules.


Volunteers have the option of living in a homestay with a local family. Homestays are typically middle class households. All homestays are equipped with electricity, hot water, and wifi. You may share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Volunteers of different programs are sometimes accommodated in the same homestay.

Families provide breakfast and dinner 7 days per week, and it is during these meal times when volunteers and families get to learn about one another. Lots of laughs are shared and cultural exchange is fostered.

Other accommodation options include dorms, hotels, and private apartments. Meals are not included with these options.

Field Conditions

During this project, which last two weeks’ minimum, you can expect to work 5 to 6 hours a day Monday through Saturday. Your working hours will be split in two shifts, and shifts can take place during late nights or daytime. Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and is home to 5 of 7 different sea turtle species. You will be based on either the Pacific or the Caribbean coast, depending on the season and project needs.

Your Impact

Through your volunteer work in Costa Rica, you will help researchers and biologists to protect these animals, which are at risk of extinction. You will take an active role in conserving sea turtles’ nesting areas and helping to ensure their survival through nightly beach patrols to find nesting turtles, move eggs to hatcheries, tag sea turtles, and much more. Community outreach programs also help to educate locals about important conservation practices.


San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Where you will be volunteering
    San Jose, Costa Rica

    Volunteers will work alongside biologists and researchers to help with sea turtle conservation.

  • Where you'll be staying
    San Jose, Costa Rica

    Volunteers can stay with a host family or in other accommodations.

  • Nearest Airport
    San Jose, Costa Rica


This program starts from $552.50 per week (minimum of 2 weeks).

2 Weeks
12 Weeks
2 Weeks


What’s Included

  • Program management

  • Emergency contact number 24/7

  • Free salsa dance classes in San Jose

  • Free office-wide wifi and computer lounge in San Jose

  • Letter of recommendation

  • Official certificate of volunteer service

  • Walking tour

  • Program and safety orientation

  • 3-4 hours per day of volunteer work

  • Breakfast and dinner 7 days per week

  • Dormitory style housing at turtle project

  • Host family accommodations (shared room) in San Jose

  • Airport pickup

What’s Not Included

  • Personal spending money

  • Airport drop-off

  • Travel and tours

  • Daily transportation

  • Travel insurance

  • Flights

Project Start Dates

Project start dates are every Monday, year-round.


Maximo Nivel is dedicated to providing an unforgettable travel experience to students, volunteers, and adventure seekers. Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been assisting international clients with coordinating their vacations and gap-years in Latin America to include study abroad and volunteer opportunities. More recently, the organization has added internships, adventure and culture programs, scuba and yoga certifications, and more. Over 4,000 participants choose Maximo Nivel every year for their local, in-country presence, exceptional client support, community outreach and volunteer projects, and their free tandem-language exchange-program. Maximo Nivel has been featured in the Washington Post, Matador Network, and Huffington Post.

Reviews (174)

Adam Tawakkol

Aug 29, 2016

I can honestly say I wasn't expecting to have as much fun as I did during this certification course. The instructor (Claudia) is amazing and her teaching style is very straightforward and accommodating. The course is intense, I won't lie, but if you've ever taken a college ... +more

Kaiman Lan

Aug 25, 2016

Volunteering with Maximo Nivel was amazing! I worked as a medical volunteer during my time in Peru and was blown away by how much healthcare was lacking in many parts of the country. Through the efforts of the volunteer program, these medically underserved populations were given the opportunity to receive ... +more

Lizzie Hogan

Aug 23, 2016

Brilliant course, high energy and good vibes, despite it being really intense and at times stressful. The team were so great, and the rapport between both the teachers and the classmates was really strong. I felt supported and encouraged the whole time. I don't like being in a school ... +more

Sherin Shali

Aug 19, 2016

If you're considering TEFL with Maximo, DO IT! It is a very challenging but rewarding experience and the instructor makes what would be potentially dry material unbelievably fun. The instructor is one of the best teachers I've ever had in any classroom. The entire staff at Maximo is ... +more

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