Sea Turtle Conservation Internship in Costa Rica

Travel to Costa Rica and gain hands-on experience in sea turtle conservation

Travel to a tropical paradise along the shores of Costa Rica and work on the frontline of sea turtle conservation. This is a chance for aspiring conservationists and field researchers to join a highly-skilled, dedicated team and gain unparalleled experience in turtle conservation.

Based in one of the busiest stretches of the South Pacific Costa Rican coastlines for sea turtle activity, this organization is committed to bolstering protection of sea turtle beach habitats through a multi-layered approach with a special focus on community involvement. They have established a range of community-driven initiatives educating, empowering, and incentivizing locals to protect natural resources. All their work is underpinned by their independent research into needs of turtle conservation and its greatest threats.

As an intern, your role will be focused on supporting and maintaining their manifold conservation projects but with the option to orient your work more towards research and even devise your own research projects. You’ll receive training in data collection and in-field conservation research, developing extensive knowledge on sea turtles and their behavior. All the while, you’ll gain experience in a variety of conservation work including rescue and rehabilitation, habitat monitoring, and community outreach.


This fast growing organization works to protect turtle nesting beach habitats along the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Established in 2018, they now manage an 8 kilometer stretch of coastline where they register over 7000 nests from which nearly 250,000 hatchlings travel to the ocean each year.

They take an all-rounded approach to their work with a heavy focus on community engagement and development. The majority of their many conservation projects are community-led and they have also developed a number of initiatives on the periphery of turtle conservation, such as marine plastic upcycling and female empowerment groups, that now provide locals with paid employment. At the core of their work is their independent research that fills information gaps in conservation science, influences local policy makers, and informs their educational community outreach programs.


You can expect a great scope for variety in your work on this program. Some days will be spent on beach clean-ups and marine plastic upcycling projects, others days will be devoted to supporting turtle tagging or hatchery management, then you will also work on data-collection and habitat monitoring. On top of all this, there is an array of education and community outreach programs for you to involve yourself with.

What you’ll do
  • Data collection of biometric measurements on nesting females
  • Conducting patrols and census-taking of beach habitats
  • Assist with sea turtle tagging (you won’t be tagging the turtles yourself)
  • Nest excavation
  • Managing sea turtle hatcheries
  • Processing and analyzing data and managing databases
  • Organizing and facilitating education and outreach programs
  • Participating in beach clean-ups, marine plastic upcycling, and other community-led initiatives
  • Studying towards or completed a degree in biology, marine conservation or related field
  • Fluent English or Spanish. Basic Spanish is required for community involvement programs
  • Independent worker and team player
  • A passion for conservation
  • An interest in community outreach and development
  • Flexibility and willingness for a range of hands-on work


You’ll be based in a rural coastal town, Carate on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, which is nothing short of a tropical paradise. As well as an impressive variety of turtle species you’ll find a staggering array of flora and fauna here. It is also right next to Corcovado National Park, and incredible rainforest and marine areas where you can enjoy horse-riding, waterfall hikes, and whale and dolphin tours. The nearest beach to the camp is one of the most pristine in the world, but also one of the wildest and the ocean is too strong for surfing or swimming. However, you’ll be a short distance from Matapalo where a selection of watersports and swimming locations are available.

Interns stay at two camps, moving between the two throughout their internship. Both camps are designed to have the lowest possible impact on the environment. They are open to the natural surroundings, powered by rudimentary solar panels capable of lighting the camps, charging appliances, and providing limited WIFI. Each has a well-equipped kitchens, western toilets, and showers. You’ll sleep in the middle of nature and within earshot of the ocean in airy, semi-enclosed dormitories in bunk beds fitted with mosquito nets.


Internships start on a Monday, so you need to make sure to arrive on Sunday in Puerto Jiménez. Exact start and end dates will be discussed with you during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

6 weeks USD 1,756
8 weeks USD 2,132
12 weeks USD 2,508
16 weeks USD 2,884

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Shared accommodation in one of the camps with access to basic WIFI (buying a local sim card is recommended though)
  • Three meals a day (you will have cooking shifts)
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your internship
  • Regular check-ins and feedback from your supervisor.
  • Access to workshops with a focus on career development
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights to Puerto Jiménez
  • Transfer from Puerto Jiménez to the camp
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Carate, Costa Rica
Turtle conservation NGO
Data capture, Marine conservation, Education, Research 
6-12 weeks
From USD 1,756
  • Gain international experience in a nonprofit conservation context
  • Build skills in data collection and in-field research
  • Develop extensive knowledge of sea turtle conservation
  • Work closely with sea turtles
  • Live and study in Costa Rica
6 WEEKS USD 1,756
8 WEEKS USD 2,132
10 WEEKS USD 2,508

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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