The Reserve is active all-year round!
Join us in active research, data accumulation, species monitoring, and community education and outreach programs!
Note to Prospective Volunteers: TURTLE SEASON IS JULY THROUGH DECEMBER, with September and October being the best months to have a chance of seeing turtles nesting on the beach.
However, turtle “off-season” offers much for volunteers as well, with birding, caimans, butterflies, river otters, and multitudes of other species that inhabit this region of Costa Rica. There is always something happening here!
Projects At Reserva Playa Tortuga
Environmental Education + Outreach
The curriculum seeks to be adapted and correlated with the school curriculum emanated by the Ministry of Public Education. read more
Sea Turtle Conservation Program
Since 2009, we have realesed more than 50000 baby turtles and saved on average 100 nests per season. read more
Tree Boas Population Study
As part of the research, we are conducting night walks in the forest to spot and catch boas, measure them and tag individuals by use of pit tags. read more
Mammal Inventory Project
Mammals are important for the forest dynamic balance, and by getting data on their behavior, diet and local movements, it offers information that can be used in reforestation plans to establish Biological Corridors. read more
Crocodilian Monitoring Project
The main objective of this study is to collect real-time information about the Crocodilians at the Reserve area: their distribution, relationship with the environment, and the human impact on the ecosystem. read more
Birds Monitoring Project
Bird observations are made in the surroundings of the Reserve and Ojochal town, in order to maintain a good record and an updated list of the different species of birds that inhabit or frequent nearby areas to the Reserve. read more
Butterfly Garden Project
Teaching about concepts such as the life cycle of insects, the ecological role they play in nature and the biological and cultural relationships they maintain. read more
Sea Turtle FAQ
What kind of Sea Turtles visit Tortuga Beach?
Tortuga Beach is an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle nesting beach, though there are reports of green turtle and leatherback turtles nesting here as well.
Can I see baby turtles, and when?
The best time to see baby turtles is after September when we have our first hatchlings. Some public turtle releases will be done throughout the season. Follow us on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on the latest announcements.
Is there any way I can see the turtles lay eggs?
It is possible to join the Reserva Playa Tortuga’s patrol team every night from August 1st to November 30th. If you are local, call us at 2786-5200 to set that up. If you are visiting RPT as a volunteer or intern, this will be part of your duties. Go here to learn more about how to volunteer.
Are kids allowed, and if so, what ages?
The minimum age is 10 years old to join us on a beach patrol, and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. In order to join our volunteer program, you must be at least 18 years old. All ages are welcome to join when there is a public release of baby hatchlings.
How many turtles visit Playa Tortuga each year?
The number changes every season, but an average of 40 adult Olive Ridley females arrive to nest each year.
How many eggs can a female turtle lay?
At Playa Tortuga, we’ve recorded Olive Ridley turtles laying on average 98 eggs per nest.
What are the best months to see turtles nesting?
The peak of nesting season at Playa Tortuga is from August to October. If you are most interested in helping us record nesting turtles, this is the best time of the year to volunteer with us.
How many baby turtles are released, per season, at Playa Tortuga?
On average, around 4,000 baby turtles are released each season.
Come participate in our volunteer program and learn in the company of a trained staff about the riches of the South Pacific of Costa Rica.
Consider making a donation to help us continue to protect the sea turtles that nest on Tortuga Beach as well as our other research projects.