Overview

Experience marine and rainforest conservation in this biodiversity hotspot.

On Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast you will join a team of international volunteers as an expedition member. Our expedition base camp is located in the Tortuguero National park of Costa Rica. Your hands on work will contribute to the long-term management and conservation of this stunning rainforest.

Overview

On Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast you will join a team of international volunteers as an expedition member. Our expedition base camp is located in the Tortuguero National park of Costa Rica. Your hands on work will contribute to the long-term management and conservation of this stunning rainforest.

Gain a thorough understanding of the Costa Rican rainforest and this important ecosystem whilst participating in important research on species’ population studies as Jaguars, aquatic birds, and sea turtles (depending on nesting seasons). Professional development is very important, and as such a range of practical skills and practical knowledge are key parts of the expedition through additional training and field experience.

Please note, this program offers durations up to 24 weeks. It is a fairly simple process speak to your Country Expert for more details of extending your stay in-country. Also, due to the fact that we are working in a National Park, we need to have a special scientific permit to conduct research so your Country Expert will ask you for some papers to be able to process it.

Highlights

Getting the chance to go on this unique adventure in a Costa Rican National Park; enjoying life at the research station; learning about the wildlife and their habitat; seeing unique wildlife in marine and coastal rainforest environments, including sea turtles, monkeys, neo-tropical birds and amphibians; exploring the area by boat and canoe, including remote Caribbean beaches, gaining a wide variety of skills, including learning survey techniques and gaining real field experience, joining the research team to undertake turtle nesting surveys and monitor nesting sites during turtle season; participating on jaguar surveys; setting up and checking camera traps and tracking in the rainforest.

Our Award-winning Partner

Conservation Careers has teamed up a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).

Their award-winning projects receive over 2000 participants every year, and we’re proud to say that the vast majority of them describe their experience with us as ‘life changing’. Our approval rate from over 20 000 participants since 1997 is over 95%.

A key component of the success of their community development and conservation projects is the participants who join our programs. Opportunities include high impact volunteering from one week and up, internships for those looking for career development opportunities, Challenges that allow a one week adventure all for a good cause and a range of programs for school groups and younger volunteers.

If you register your interest below, you’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!

To see all our Internship opportunities, please click here.

 

Testimonial

“Surrounded by amazing, rich and diverse rainforest is surreal. Whether its trudging knee deep in mud or working a leatherback, it is truly a rewarding and unforgettable experience!! Plus, there aren´t many opportunities to meet people from such different walks of life.” – Josh Haley (United Kingdom)

Location – Jalova

Our partner’s research station in Jalova is found in the stunning Tortuguero National Park, surrounded on three sides by protected rainforest and on the other by the Caribbean Sea and a beach that is home to one of the largest nesting colonies of Green Turtles in the world. Spend your time surrounded by the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of the rich canals, tropical rainforest and Caribbean beaches. There is no road access to this location, so all transportation is via canoe and motor boat, through the stunning canal and river system surrounded by tropical rainforest and wildlife.
 

Life on the Internship

This expedition is the essence of remote adventure as there is no road access to the base, you will truly be surrounded by the amazing natural beauty of Tortugero’s Caribbean beaches and rainforest, with all transport via canoe and boat, courtesy of the green canals. Although challenging, you will find the work extremely rewarding as you work on research projects and receive training on field skills.

With enough room for research and relaxation, the base is small but comfortable; and provides a great environment for volunteers to get to know their fellow participants. Camp duties are shared rotationally amongst all the expedition team.

Project Details

The expedition will provide a solid base of personal training and development whilst getting you immersed in the ongoing conservation efforts. The program is engaged in a number of key areas, including the study of jaguar predation of sea turtles and assessment of any possible impact on turtle populations, jaguar tracking and prey monitoring, turtle nesting studies and conservation (during the nesting season), migratory/resident bird species long-term trend data, and biological assessment surveys in specific habitat areas.

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How This Project Makes a Difference

The volunteering carried out by our partner in Costa Rica has provided critical data to the Costa Rican government to help them make important conservation decisions and ensure the survival of the biodiversity of this unique area of the rainforest. Our parner works closely with the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET) and partners with world-renowned organisations such as Sea Turtle Conservancy and Panthera to provide data and collabourate on conservation efforts in Tortuguero. Having volunteers in place not only allows more areas to be surveyed, and in greater detail, covering areas of beach and forest not previously under regular study, but also helps greatly to decrease poaching of sea turtle nests by maintaining a constant presence at the park boundary

The work carried out by our partner in Costa Rica has provided a huge amount of critical data to the Costa Rican government to help them to make important conservation decisions and ensure the survival of the biodiversity of this unique area of the rainforest.

For example, much of our work has been used to achieve massive reductions in sea turtle nest poaching.

Free Time

Volunteering not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with our partner. Our Jalova field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Costa Rica!

Optional Side Trips

Given your isolated location, a lot of your down time will be spent on base, the rainforest is not a place to go wondering! However there are still some possibilities in the immediate area for you to make the most of your time in Costa Rica. You can visit Tortuguero Village, browse its small souvenir shops, visit the delicious bakery and just watch the world go lazily by. For longer term volunteers on long weekend breaks, you could decide to head off base and further explore the Caribbean region. Hiking, snorkelling, fishing, or canopy and zip-line tours are just some of the activities that are possible in the area. For something a bit more intense, you could raft on the white waters of the famous Pacuare River on class III to IV rapids over the course of 1- or 2-day trips. And if the adventure activities are not for you, then simply relax in a laidback Caribbean village!

Further Travelling Opportunities

Costa Rica is an amazing country with an abundance of travel opportunities further afield with the following just a snapshot of the many possibilities!

Admire the famous and active Volcan Arenal from a distance and relax in the natural hot springs; surf the Salsa Brava – a hotspot of the Caribbean for the advanced surfer; ride horseback on the beach in Puerto Viejo or simply enjoy miles and miles of beautiful beaches kissed by palm trees; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages to learn more about their amazing culture; discover the cloud forest at Monteverde, visit the hummingbird gallery, enjoy the locally made ice cream and other fresh dairy products or walk among the treetops on the hanging bridges; enjoy the organised wildlife tours of Braulio Carrillo National Park; travel across the country to discover the beautiful Pacific Coast with its hidden white sand beaches; visit Volcan Irazu and discover coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theatres or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.

Dates and  Costs

The programme lasts between 4 to 24 weeks as follows:
  • 4 weeks £1,555
  • 6 weeks £1,965
  • 8 weeks £2,375
  • 12 weeks £3,195

Start Dates

2018 – 18 Aug 2018, 15 Sep 2018, 13 Oct 2018, 10 Nov 2018

2019 – 12 Jan 2019, 09 Feb 2019, 09 Mar 2019, 06 Apr 2019, 04 May 2019, 01 Jun 2019, 29 Jun 2019, 27 Jul 2019, 24 Aug 2019, 21 Sep 2019, 19 Oct 2019, 16 Nov 2019

What’s Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Camera trap use
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • GPS training
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Scientific techniques in collection of biometric data, transect work, incidental observation, tourist and human impact surveys, camera trapping and, track identification
  • Transfer to rainforest location
  • Tropical forest ecology
  • Welcome meeting
  • Wildlife identification skills

What’s Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Reserve your place or ask a question

About Conservation Careers - Internship

Conservation Careers has teamed up a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).

Their award-winning projects receive over 2000 participants every year, and we’re proud to say that the vast majority of them describe their experience with us as ‘life changing’. Our approval rate from over 20 000 participants since 1997 is over 95%.

A key component of the success of their community development and conservation projects is the participants who join our programs. Opportunities include high impact volunteering from one week and up, internships for those looking for career development opportunities, Challenges that allow a one week adventure all for a good cause and a range of programs for school groups and younger volunteers.