Save Endangered Turtles at Osa In-Water Project

Measuring sea turtles
Sea turtle general exam
In-water sea turtle monitoring
Mangrove and sea-grass bed research
Measuring sea turtles
Sea turtle general exam
In-water sea turtle monitoring
Mangrove and sea-grass bed research
Save Endangered Turtles at Osa In-Water Project

Help save endangered sea turtles in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica!

Volunteers will assist our scientists and researchers in:

• Collecting data on population structure, genetic origin and in-water habitats of endangered sea turtles
• Hands-on experience in conservation efforts, environmental education and community projects

Volunteers will assist with in-water monitoring of foraging sea turtles. Surveys will will consist of capture/recapture of turtles using nets. Turtles will be checked over, biometric data collected, tagged and tissue samples for genetic studies collected. Volunteers will be asked to help with: preparing nets for capture, detect captured turtles and untangling captured sea turtles and deployed nets (snorkeling required), lifting sea turtles into the boat, keep sea turtles calm and humid while aboard, measuring turtles, transporting field equipment, keeping materials tidy on boat, and properly recording scientific data.

Volunteers will also help out with the following in the rescue and rehabilitation center: ensure proper water quality, clean tanks, help medicate and treat turtles and record scientific data.

In addition to directly working with sea turtles, volunteers will participate in the mangrove reforestation program. Mangroves play a very important role in the coastal ecosystems of de Golfo Dulce and provide substantial benefits to sea turtles and other wildlife. Volunteers will help by looking for seeds to sow in our nursery and replant them once they reach a certain size as well as other tasks within the nursery. Monitoring of sea grass beds is also an important element of the project; however, this is usually only done when there are enough volunteers and very low times.


The project is located on Playa Blanca, close to Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Osa Peninsula is a natural paradise, being home to a vast variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects. The Golfo Dulce, one of the four tropical fiords worldwide, hosts additionally a fascinating marine life – including sea turtles. Osa In-Water project works to better understand the dynamics of the local populations of hawksbill and green sea turtles, their genetic origin and in-water habitat use and threats. You will be given easy-to-follow instructions on how to get to the project location from San Jose International Airport. The project is located about 8 hours’ drive away from San Jose and goes through some of the highest points in Costa Rica so be sure to bring a warm sweater as it can be cold in places!


Flexible! You can choose your start and end dates based on availability, but we ask for a minimum of a one week stay (7 nights). Work day hours will vary according to the activities scheduled, tides and weather conditions. Once a volunteer has registered, they will work out a schedule with one of our program coordinators that meets both the volunteer's and project's needs.


Different categories of accommodations are available through our host families, all offering comfortable rooms or cabins and include three delicious traditional meals per day. Not all host families speak English; however, this has never been an obstacle to have a unique and unforgettable experience.

Olive Ridley Category
These accommodations are located further away inland, so you will be travelling with a bicycle to get to the Project in Playa Blanca. The places are located in very calm places surrounded by green and the lush nature of the area. These accommodations’ rooms are individual, sharing the bathroom.
Black Sea Turtle Category
These cabins and rooms have the maximum capacity of 5 people each with private bathrooms or shared bathrooms sharing with 3 people. They are either located close to the beach (1 km) or 2 minutes from the beach and project site.
Leatherback Category
This room has the maximum capacity for 2 people with private bathroom. It is located close to the beach at 1 km bicycle ride from the project and right at the bus stop. This room is close to La Palma and the beach of Playa Blanca. Your meals will be flexible according your preferences inside the possibilities of your host.
Hawksbill Category
These cabins have the maximum capacity for 4 people. All count with a private bathroom. They also present additional amenities like a own TV with SKY-TV and Air conditioner located 1km form the project and beach or with WiFi in communal area of cabins at the beach close to the project.

Cost Breakdown

This program may have a Reservation Fee, which is included in the total cost and is due once you commit to the program, with the remaining Program Fee balance due 30 days before your arrival date.

1 week:     $438 Longer:     +$56 per day

Nightly fee may increase due to category of lodging selected.

Click here for full details about your program costs and how your Program Fee is used.

Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Note: All listed prices are in US Dollars.

How To Sign Up

Signing up is a three-step process:

  • Fill out an Inquiry Form. Please note: submissions must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your prospective start date.
  • A member of the Volunteer Global team will get in touch with you to confirm program availability for your chosen dates, and schedule an interview if needed.
  • Once your interview is complete, you will be notified to submit your Reservation Fee to reserve your program and schedule. Your final Program Fee is due at least 4 weeks prior to in-country arrival in order to reserve your placement.

Important Note

This is a pilot program. As part of our program development process, we ask our first groups of participating volunteers to provide additional feedback to assist us in ensuring the most rewarding experience possible in cooperation with LAST Volunteers for their associated programs.

Registration must be completed at least one month prior to your program start date, so...let's get started!


  • 18 and older
  • Good health
    • Work under extreme conditions
    • Passionate about nature!
    • Good swimmer
Partner: LAST Volunteers
Country: Costa Rica

Duration: 1 week or longer
Fee: From $438
Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Your Program Fee Covers:

  • Registration and pre-departure interview
  • Volunteer handbook (when available)
  • 24/7 U.S.-based staff support
  • In-country housing and certain amenities
  • Training and guidance from host group
  • Host program needs, such as tools or supplies for your project
  • Post-trip thank-you packet
  • Monthly newsletters

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, it does not cover your flight, passport/visa, vaccinations, transportation while in country, exit fees, meals, or personal expenses. Click here for full details about your program costs!