Gulf of Papagayo, North Pacific Costa Rica
Jul 09, 2018
Sep 07, 2018
Employment Type
Internship, Volunteer
Salary Type

Job summary

We are a conservation and science-based project. We collect scientific information on sea turtles and protect their nests from natural and anthropogenic impacts. Additionally, we conduct surveys in the area to assess its biodiversity.

Four species of sea turtles nest on this beach: leatherback turtles, green turtles, olive ridleys and hawksbill turtles. The green turtle is the most abundant, but Cabuyal is also an important secondary nesting beach for critically endangered eastern Pacific leatherback turtles. The waters of the Gulf of Papagayo are also important internesting habitats and/or foraging grounds for all four species of sea turtles. Whales, dolphins, rays and many other species are also seen in the Gulf. During the project’s first few years of life, we reduced egg poaching, increased hatchling production and identified hundreds of species in the nearby and highly diverse marine and terrestrial ecosystems.


- Night patrols: These are ~4-8 hours shifts depending on the activity. During night patrols we identify, mark and measure sea turtles, record nesting activities, count eggs and mark and protect all nests.

- Morning walks: (~2 hours) during morning walks we count tracks, verify nesting activity from the previous night and mark nests.

- Other beach daylight activities: these usually take place in the afternoon and include triangulation of nests, nest excavations, taking temperatures and giving information to tourists when they are present.

- Assisting with cooking and camp cleaning.

Camp location

Our base camp is located at Playa Cabuyal, in the Gulf of Papagayo. The Gulf is located in North Pacific Costa Rica and is an extraordinarily rich marine and terrestrial area. Cabuyal is at approximately 1 hour from the Liberia International airport and about 6 hours from the San Jose International airport.

The camp is ~ 1.5- 2 km from the beach. We stay in a small house with three rooms, two bathrooms and one outside kitchen. We can accommodate 10-12 people at the time.


We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers that are willing to work as part of a team and have a genuine interest for nature and field work.

There is not internet at the camp site and there is limited electricity and phone coverage. It is important that the volunteer is looking for this type of experience and can live under these conditions.

Volunteers must be able to walk on soft sand for several hours and work under conditions of sleep deprivation at times.

Minimum age is 18 years old.


The cost to participate in the project is $16 per day to cover for food and other expenses (three meals per day). Volunteers must have their own health insurance and cover their own expenses to travel to and from the site.


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