Affordable Marine Sea Turtle Conservation Programs with IVHQ

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About

Do you want to support conservation initiatives focused on the protection of sea turtles while volunteering abroad? IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable organization for marine conservation volunteering, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer projects in over 50 destinations around the world. Over 110,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 10 years, making IVHQ the world’s most experienced volunteer organization with the best safety record. With program fees starting from only $180, IVHQ makes organizing a volunteer vacation easy and affordable.

This Month Only: Get A Free Virtual Volunteer Course

Register this month for any IVHQ volunteer program and get free access to the Certificate In International Volunteering online course from the Global Travel Academy. More than 35 IVHQ programs have already reopened with additional health and safety measures in place + with IVHQ's flexible booking, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination if your plans change.

Questions & Answers

In order to volunteer, you have to be 18. If you have a group, a guardian, or family member (over the age of 18), then you can volunteer! Hope that helps!

Reviews

9.27 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 81.82%
  • 7-8 rating 18.18%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 8.5
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.2
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 11
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Christina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable experience!

I was so impressed with this program! From the very beginning (online preparation), we were met with so much guidance and kindness. For a group of girls traveling to Indonesia for the first time, we were so grateful for the assistance. When we arrived in Bali, it only got better! We did a two-week program. The first week was in Ubud. The accommodations were so lovely, the food was great and our leaders were incredible. The first week focused on immersing volunteers in the Balinese culture. We loved this part! It was so wonderful to have informative tours of the monkey forest and rice fields. We also had a traditional cooking lesson and art lesson. It was awesome! My favourite part of the introduction week was visiting the Tirta Empul Tampak Siring - Bali Holy Spring Water Temple. Having a guide was an essential part of this experience for us because we wanted to make sure that we were respecting this sacred space. This experience was life-changing. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we headed to Nusa Penida for the week of volunteering. The accommodations and food were more basic here, but still quite wonderful! Here, we cleaned beaches, made signs to raise awareness with locals, and went crab catching. Most notably, we got to learn about and work with sea turtles. What amazing creatures! The staff at the turtle conservation were so kind, informative and fun! We got to experience releasing a turtle back into the ocean! It was so cool to be a part of that moment - truly something that I will never forget! We celebrated our new friends and time together with a dinner and bonfire. I would take this trip again in a heartbeat! I recommend it to anyone and everyone who will listen!

What would you improve about this program?
I feel like a fancier person might complain about the food or the accommodations, but I loved them! We stayed in a small building that was owned by a local family. This made the experience so much better! We got to meet them and learn from them. They were wonderfully kind and downright hilarious!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you, Christina! What nice words - thank you we really appreciate it. I am so glad you had an amazing time and got to release a sea turtle back into the ocean. Lena - IVHQ Program Manager.

Kim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sinply. Amazing.

This was my first time volunteering abroad, as well as my first time being in Bali. Everything was simply amazing! From it being the accomodation, the food, the CULTURE <3, the people, and the animals! I had such a breathtaking time being able to volunteer while submerging myself in a beautiful island full of luscious nature and rich culture. I have recommended IVHQ and it’s Turtle Coservation program to all of my colleagues and family. I look forward to my next adventure volunteering!

Sampai jumpa Ubud and Nusa Penida!

What would you improve about this program?
More turtle time :)
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kim, it is really nice to hear from you and thank you for your review! I am pleased to hear that you had such an amazing time with so many aspects of the program and your trip! It was awesome to have you help us. Thank you very much for your recommendation and we would love to have you back! ^Brigitte - IVHQ Bali Program Manager

A final pic with le turtle sanctuary before packup. :')
Chee Chuan (Cheech)
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bali and Turtles - The Wombo Combo

Life in Bali has not just allowed me to satisfy the wanderlust craving in mine. It has also allowed me to reflect on the life I once lead, and how I should be grateful for the littlest things in life.

With regards to the turtle conservation program, it was a superb one since it combines a 1-week orientation program together with your remaining weeks being put into turtle conservation activities. The 1 week allowed me to settle down, adapt to the culture and life there, and mingle around with other volunteers. Various opportunities to explore around were offered together with simple culture and language classes to ensure that all flows smoothly during our remaining stay. It was indeed a relaxing, zen-like first week which constantly reminds me of my childhood days in Malaysia and how we should strive to preserve all these rich cultures in our respective homelands. It also reminded me about how life should be about interacting with people you meet and not just being on technology most of the time.

Then, with regards to the turtle conservation effort, this really challenged me from the physical and mental aspect. Physical in a sense that a lot of muscle and energy is required to carry buckets of water, transport the turtles around, and wash their enclosures. Mental in a sense that we need to be prepared to get dirty throughout the day with the numerous enclosure cleaning and rubbish collection we do on the beach on the weekdays. Coupled with the scarce resources we have on the island at times, we really had to be appreciative of the littlest things we had. It made the volunteers appreciate each other's presence more, thus leading to banter, card games, and drink nights.

All in all, even though things are not fully developed yet in Bali, it has led me to reminisce about life in the olden days, and to be more grateful than ever with all that we have in our home countries. We must strive to preserve culture, encourage individual interactions, and most importantly help out in causes which are similar to that faced in Bali. :')

What would you improve about this program?
I think the cost for the trip can be lowered further to enable more volunteers from all over the world to go through this experience of a lifetime. Apart from that, I feel that more funding would be good to aid the people there in the provision of medicine to the turtles, as well as help with getting more facilitator help with the place. Lastly, although food was OK at most times, I think more resources can be provided to the staff at Nusa Penida to prepare healthier food options. :)
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chee Chuan, Thanks for sharing. It is great that you had an inspiring and thought-provoking time on the program in Bali. We are glad that you enjoyed the program structure and were able to adapt to the culture and meet other volunteers during the one-week orientation, and then really get stuck into the volunteer work during your second week on the program. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer!
Chloe – IVHQ Bali Program Manager

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Astrid
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A concrete way to make a difference

While on Bali I also taught environmental education and taught at a kindergarten. But at the turtle conservation you could really tell that a difference was being made as you had concrete tasks like beach cleaning, feeding the turtles, cleaning their tanks and giving them medication. All stuff that had to be done multiple times a day.
The project is also very social as there is not a lot of people compared to Ubud, which means that it is easier to get to know everyone.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Astrid, It is great to hear that you were able to get stuck in at your Turtle Conservation project in Bali and really feel like you were making a tangible difference. We are stoked that you encountered very social environment – this is an important aspect of the program for many of our volunteers. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Chloe – IVHQ Bali Program Manager

Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Turtle Conservation

I just recently completed the turtle conservation program in Costa Rica. It was by far the best experience of my life! I got to release a nest of 95 baby turtles, plant trees along the beach, do recycling projects, and just overall make a difference in the community. Living arrangements were tight, since there were many volunteers during my stay, but it honestly added to the experience. I learned so much about different cultures and made life long friends. I would recommend this program to anyone with a love for the environment and looking to make a change.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is that I wish there was more variation in food. We had to eat the same thing for each meal.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your review and recommendation. We are so glad that you were able to really get stuck into the conservation work while on the program in Costa Rica - releasing 95 baby turtles is incredible! Thanks for being an IVHQer.

Default avatar
Karin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica

I have travelled all my life and I've been all over the world, but nothing compares to my volunteer experience in Costa Rica! I spent 6 weeks volunteering in an orphanage, on a coffee plantation and on the Caribbean coast in the turtle conservation program, and nothing is as rewarding as travelling and working as a volunteer, it is so rewarding! You stay with local families and the cultural exchange is so enriching, the volunteer work is a blessing to every community I went to, helping them financially and also making them feel that someone really cares and that their wellbeing does make a difference. Working with the kids was an amazing experience because I felt so much love coming back to me from them , I never expected that and I left with tears in my eyes! I also loved working on the coffee farm, it was a very small organic farm that did not have the means to buy big machinery to sell their coffee commercially and make lots of money, instead they relied on us volunteers to help them and in the meantime also helping them financially by paying them for room and board, the farmer's family expressed their gratitude to all of us volunteers and they really made us feel very welcome! The coffee farm was located in the cloud forest of Montaverde, right in the middle of some spectacular nature! My last 2 weeks of volunteer work were spent at the Caribbean coast on the turtle conservation project, and again here I felt like I could really make a difference because without volunteers coming to help patrol the beaches and stay with local families and thus helping them make an alternative income, these turtles would already have been extinct by poaching, since these poor communities used to kills the turtles and sell their eggs to make a living and now they get an alternative source of income and are willing to contribute to the conservation of the leatherback and green turtles. Seeing these turtles crawl out of the sea onto the beach at night to lay their eggs made such an impression on me, what beautiful, amazing creatures these are and I felt such gratitude that I could experience this and am hoping that my children and grandchildren will also be able to see these creatures in their natural habitat just like I did!
Thanks you so much IVHQ for all your support to make these 6 weeks a success and I can only recommend this organization to anyone considering volunteer work abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that there is not much improvement necessary, the program works very well and the support for the volunteers is excellent!
Default avatar
Kelsie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ostional, Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Conservation

It was my first time ever leaving the country and I went all by myself. I told myself not to expect anything and go with an open mind, and because I did that I had the BEST experience of my lifetime. Being on the actual job site was my favorite part. Going out for 4 hours every night and tracking turtles and getting a hands on experience with animals I hand't ever dreamed of getting to work with was truly amazing. I learned so much in so little and now I go back and chat everyones ears off about sea turtles. Myself and two others were also selected to help national marine biologists on their Olive Ridley study done in Ostional, Costa Rica. Which means I got to be a part of for something that I had no idea was even an opportunity. I also learned and experienced so much of the Costa Rican culture because I wasn't staying at a resort or anything fancy. It taught me about life, experience, and what it really means to travel.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing really. Maybe include more hikes. It was hard because it hadn't been raining when I was there so we couldn't go to any waterfalls or anything because they weren't running.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kelsie, It's great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your time in Costa Rica. We are so glad to hear you had such a positive experience. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ.

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Andrew
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Bali

I signed up for 6 weeks..
I ended up doing one week of intro, one week of teaching, one week of construction and one week of turtle conservation..i decided to take off the remaining two weeks to explore and do some trekking.
Overall it was an awesome experience.. It was a great program to get out of my comfort zone, talk and meet new people.
As for the programs, it was definitely a lot of money for what you got to experience. For example, the construction program was an additional $50 per week, which they say covered the supplies and concrete, but there were about 15 people working on the same project during one week. Thats a lot of money for a bunch of bricks and concrete. Plus the project wasn't that organized as many of us were just standing around for half the time.
The teaching project was not that organized as well. We weren't given ciriculim and were responsible for teaching whatever we felt like each day. Sometimes the students had already learned it.
Overall the teaching was challenging but I think it was a good experience in that it taught me to think on the go, and improvise.
The turtle project was probably the most fun. We got to feed the turtles twice a day, clean their tanks, pick crabs/seaweed and on the Friday, we got to release a turtle. It wasn't that much work since there were so many people doing the same project at once, but the turtle project was the most memorable. Also the food was a bit better than in ubud. There was also a cafe on the beach that you could go to if you got hungry during the day.

Overall I wouldn't say I made a huge difference, as I only did each program for a week. It would have been nice to have stuck to one program, but on the other hand I'm glad I did a variety of tasks while in Bali.

What would you improve about this program?
More organization skills, give the volunteers a rough ciriculim of what to teach for teaching program.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Andrew, thanks for taking the time to review your experience volunteering in Bali and we are glad to hear you had a great experience on the program!

We are sorry to hear that you found some of the projects you participated on to be somewhat disorganized. We are working hard with our partner organization to ensure an effective handover process occurs between Teaching volunteers to ensure progressive learning for the students. In regards to the surcharge on the Construction and Renovation project, please note that this is applied to a collective fund that covers the cost of materials for the project as a whole. This ensure that there is enough capital to cover the ongoing costs of each project and ensure that the initiatives can be carried out to completion. This should have been outlined to you during your in-country orientation, and our local team are ensuring this is clearly communicated to all future volunteers.

Volunteering in a new country is certainly a challenging experience and we are pleased to hear that you enjoyed stepping out of your comfort zone. We hope to see you on another IVHQ program again soon!