Affordable Marine Sea Turtle Conservation Programs with IVHQ
91% Rating
(9 Reviews)

Affordable Marine Sea Turtle Conservation Programs with IVHQ

Join Sea Turtle Conservation programs with IVHQ in Bali or Costa Rica. You can choose to volunteer for durations ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks with affordable program fees, starting from $600 for 2 weeks in Bali, or $675 for 2 weeks in Costa Rica.

  • Sea Turtle Conservation in Bali: Living on the island of Nusa Penida, work alongside a local team to provide hands-on care for the turtles housed at the conservation center, as well as supporting beach clean-ups, waste management and environmental education programs.
  • Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica: Support a Costa Rican biologist in conducting sea turtle studies and protection work, working both day and night shifts. Your tasks can include beach patrols, building hatcheries to protect eggs from predators, counting and tagging sea turtles, locating nesting females, collecting eggs, and beach clean-ups.
Locations
Asia » Indonesia » Bali
North America » Costa Rica
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Project Types
Language
English
Housing
Hostel
Starting Price
$600.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support.

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!

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    82%
  • Support
    89%
  • Fun
    78%
  • Value
    89%
  • Safety
    90%

Program Reviews (9)

A final pic with le turtle sanctuary before packup. :')
Chee Chuan (Cheech)
Male
23 years old
Selangor (Klang), Malaysia
University of Queensland

Bali and Turtles - The Wombo Combo

9/10

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. :')

How can this program be improved?

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
Female
20 years old
Esbjerg

A concrete way to make a difference

8/10

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

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Rebecca
Female
22 years old
Coram
Stony Brook University

Turtle Conservation

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

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Karin
Female
48 years old
Nelson

an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica

9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

I think that there is not much improvement necessary, the program works very well and the support for the volunteers is excellent!

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Kelsie
Female
22 years old
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University

Ostional, Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Conservation

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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
Other

IVHQ Bali

7/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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!

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Ryan
Male
24 years old
Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan

Sea turtle conservation in a small coastal community

10/10

Life moves slowly in Costa Rica ... so does service work. Although we didn't do much work during the day (and spent it mostly with host families, other volunteers, or on excursions in the area, I loved the night patrols - 4 hours each night. Although most nights were very dark, some during rainstorms, I really enjoyed the walk on the beach. Although exhausting walking through soft sand, tripping over stumps and branches, and, on occasion, getting soaked by a rogue wave, nothing could be more rewarding than running into (literally, sometimes almost stepping over) a nesting leatherback sea turtle. Their impressive size and methodical nesting ritual are like no other, and the work of relocating the nests to hide from poachers meant a lot to me and the other volunteers. As frustrating as it would be to find some of our relocated nests poached, or of nests we missed beating the poachers to, I felt we were truly helping make a little impact in increasing the odds of survival of the turtles. More importantly, however, I felt our presence and work in the community contributed to helping show the value that's placed on conservation work like this to the community, and hopefully poaching practices will be nonexistent in the near future.

How can this program be improved?

The program could be more organized, and volunteers' time during the day could better be utilized. However, if you take initiative, you'll be able to get your hands involved in lots of projects. Also, be sure to be assertive in requesting that your guides for night patrols split into two groups to cover more beach ... some of the biggest complaints from our group was that one big group with two guides is chaotic and not in the best interest of the turtles.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ryan, Thanks for taking the time to submit a review of your experience volunteering as a group in Costa Rica on our Turtle Conservation project. It sounds like you had a rewarding experience and thanks for the feedback I’m sure the local team has taken this onboard to improve things. We look forward to having you on another IVHQ program soon :)

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Imogen
Female
24 years old
Devon, England

Amazing Experience Volunteering with Turtles!!

9/10

Absolutely amazing experience with IVHQ and their local coordinators Green Lion. The first week is the orientation programme, where activities include language lessons, cooking class, temple visits and rice field treks. There is enough free time to explore Ubud and you also have the weekend free - I did the Mount Batur sunrise trek (highly recommended!). On the 2nd Monday you are transported to Nusa Penida and start your volunteer programme. The food on Nusa Penida is really good, better than Ubud! The accommodation is slightly more basic but there is wifi! Everyday activities are normally turtle feeding and cleaning (tanks and turtles) and seaweed collection at 9am - 11am, lunch served at 12pm, either beach cleaning or teaching at the local school 2pm - 4pm, turtle feeding again at 5pm. You teach on tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays for two hours - this is compulsory but is very enjoyable! Some children don't have pens and paper, if you are volunteering here for a long time I would recommend bringing resources with you from the mainland to make things easier for yourself! You have weekends free to do whatever you want, the local coordinators can organise boats to take you to other islands if you want. I would recommend this programme to anyone! You are very hands on with the turtles everyday and it is very rewarding seeing the difference you make whilst cleaning and collecting food for them! I wish I could have done this for twice as long, an amazing experience :)

How can this program be improved?

I wish I was made more aware of the teaching before hand, so I could have been more prepared with lesson plans and resources.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Imogen, Thanks for sharing a little of what it is like volunteering in Bali our Turtle Conservation project. Awesome photos also :) We are glad you had a rewarding experience. You may not have been able to stay for longer but you can always come back! We hope to see you on another IVHQ program again soon.

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Annie
Female
24 years old
South Korea

Bali

10/10

Bali is an incredibly beautiful country and the best place to volunteer!! I had the time of my life staying on Nusa Penida, working at the Turtle conservation. This is a fairly new program and is improving day by day. I got hands on experience with the turtles, feeding and cleaning them and also cleaning their tanks. At the start of the program we had two days of presentations where the coordinators explained few things about the turtles and the kind of work we would be doing there. The volunteer house is situated two minutes from the beach which was very convenient and we spent most of our free time swimming and chilling on the beach.

From Tuesday to Thursday we taught at the local school on Nusa Penida. We taught them basic English, starting from numbers, animals and colours to writing and forming sentences. It was difficult teaching the students due to the language barrier but it was rewarding to know that we were making a difference. Every two or three weeks we had the chance of releasing some turtles and this was the most rewarding part of the program. It was truly amazing to see the turtles go back to their natural habitats.

The coordinators were all very helpful and made me feel at home in no time. I made so many friends on this program and it was always fun exploring the rest of Bali on the weekends! There are so many things to see in Bali so you'll never have a boring weekend.

The volunteer house is fairly new so don't expect the best of accommodations. Nusa Penida is not a touristy place so it is very quiet and there's not much to do at night. There is a beach cafe close to the house which is where we mostly spent our nights drinking beers and playing card games. It's a very chill place so if you're looking for a relaxing holiday while volunteering, this is the perfect place!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Annie, Thank you for sharing your experience volunteering abroad in Bali. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

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