Reserva Playa Tortuga

Become A Volunteer

Your support is important to implementing, maintaining and growing the programs of research and education that our organization carries out with the purpose of conserving Costa Rica’s natural resources.


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Volunteering At Reserva Playa Tortuga

What To Expect

As part of our volunteering with sea turtles program, you will have the opportunity to learn about the biology of sea turtles, especially the Olive Ridley or ‘Lora’ (Lepidochelys olivacea) which is the most common on Playa Tortuga. You will see adults, babies and eggs, and learn about its life cycle.

How Volunteering Works

By helping this project you will be part of a serious scientific research project, which provides important data for the conservation of sea turtles. Upon arrival, sea turtle volunteers will receive training about the research project in which they are participating, how to use the equipment, and what work they will do as well as proper behavior in the field. The volunteer groups will always be working with experienced staff members, who will show volunteers proper scientific methods for working with sea turtles, hatchery work, handling nesting females, eggs and data collection. 

local Volunteers

By volunteering your time, you are helping to support these efforts, joining a community of committed individuals, and gaining an opportunity to learn about and protect the local environment, and essentially all you have to do is walk down one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.

Click here to read the Local Volunteers Guide (English)

Click aquí para leer la Guía de Voluntarios Locales (español)


Frequently Asked Questions


We have a handicap-accessible room, one room with a queen bed, another room has a bunk with a single and a full bed, while all other rooms are singles. All rooms are spacious with quality mattresses and fans. Each room has storage, drawers and screens in the windows to keep out the bugs. All rooms are available on first-come, first-serve basis.


All food is included in the volunteer fee. Available food may include rice and beans, tortillas, salads, chicken, fish, beef, pastas, soups, cereals, sandwiches, cheese, fruits, veggies and fresh tropical juices. Meals will be prepared on your own with the assistance of the volunteer coordinator. Additionally, volunteers are responsible for maintaining the kitchen and dorm rooms clean and orderly.


1 Week        $400
2 Weeks       $800
3 Week        $1200
4 Weeks       $1600
5 Weeks       $2000
6 Weeks       $2400
7 Weeks       $2800
8 Weeks       $3200
9 Weeks       $3600
10 Weeks     $4000
11 Weeks     $4400
12 Weeks     $4800
*Get 10% discount by staying 5 weeks or longer

Work vs Free Time

RPT requires that you volunteer 5.5 days for every week you stay and 6 hours each day. Volunteers may choose to work more hours and may select which projects they would prefer to work on. Spaces are limited, especially on the turtle project, no more than 8 people may be patrolling at once (Couples may not always be able to work together).

During a volunteer’s free time, there are many tours and activities (at volunteer’s own cost) in the area to choose from: surf lessons, horseback riding, zipline tours, photography lessons, hiking, waterfalls, local beaches, snorkeling and diving among many others. 

Travel & Visa Info

To work as a volunteer at the project, you need only have a tourist visa. Most North American and European nationals automatically receive a ninety-day visa upon entering the country and are not required to obtain one in advance.

Nationals from several South American countries, however, are required to obtain a tourist visa from the Costa Rican embassy in their country prior to arrival.

Reserva Playa Tortuga is located just 3.5 hours from San Jose. Please arrange to fly into SJO (Juan Santamaria is San Jose Costa Rica’s International Airport). There are options for all budgets to travel to RPT once in Costa Rica – bus, taxi, private transfer, or short hop flight by air.


How To Apply

Interested? Please make sure your dates are available on the calendar below and start the application process…

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*White= 1 room or more available
*Red= No Availablility
Please contact us directly to check availability for groups larger than 1

What’s Included/What To Bring

What’s Included


At RPT you will be provided with three meals a day, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. We have WiFi internet access, so you may wish to bring your laptop. Each week volunteers are given one free use of washing machine and we have a solar dryer.

What’s Not Included


Suggested Packing List
– Good-Quality poncho- we like ponchos as they are not hot, or a rain jacket.
– BPA Free or Stainless Steel Water Bottle (at least 2)
– Alarm clock
– Waterproof watch
– Binoculars (if you have them- good ones pref. waterproof)
– Flashlight, LED head lamps are ideal w/red light,with rechargeable batteries (we have chargers)
– Quick drying clothing for a warm/hot tropical climate (cotton can a long time to dry) -bring clothes that you are not worried about ruining.
– Black or dark colored clothes for night time beach patrols/walks
– Several t-shirts, shorts, light long pants w/pockets, light long sleeve shirt-enough clothes for a week-we have a washer.
– 2 pairs of sturdy shoes for walking the beach at night (water shoes work great for the beach walks) and hiking in the area (bulky hiking boots are not necessary) day hikers, rubber boots, or tennis shoes.
– Sandals (good ones!), Rubber Boots and or water Shoes.
– Swimsuit(s)
– Insect repellant – (not to be used on the beach with turtles)
– 2 Beach/Bath towels
– Waterproof sunscreen
– Biodegradable shampoo, soaps etc., personal toiletries
– Sunglasses
– Camera. (waterproof is always good).
– 2 Photocopies of your passport.
– Entertainment: books, games, music, guitar, paints, soccer balls, etc