Why are you so much cheaper than other programs?
We firmly believe that volunteers shouldn't pay a penny more than what it takes to make it all happen. We offer a quality experience and don't work with middlemen who take commissions. Please message previous volunteers through FACEBOOK about their experience of us.
What are the daily activities?
You can help with the realization of the project objectives mainly by patrolling the beaches at night (in all weathers) looking for adult nesting turtles together with the local inhabitants in shifts, manning the hatchery and working in the turtle rehabilitation centre taking care of any turtles that maybe unwell. There are daily operational duties too.This means that you will be working irregular hours and no 2 days are the same!!
In the off-season from late November to late February, you can help with maintenance of buildings and the creation of an ideal environment for turtles to lay their eggs. You are also involved with day to day running of the project. Expect to be busy!
In which months am I welcome?
You are welcome all months of the year. The only period in which you can't see turtles is from late November to late February but there are lots of other essential working activities to be involved with during this time. We have to deconstruct the hatchery and then reconstruct another and prepare the sand for the new season. Beach cabins need to be painted and prepared. Beaches need to be cleared of plastic bottles and trash. Day to day operations continue with cooking for volunteers and bathrooms to be cleaned. You will see monkeys, fish, crocodiles, 145 species of birds, iguanas and fresh water turtles. You may also see dolphins, sloth’s, foxes and wild cats.
What is the availibility?/When to reserve?
Volunteers are needed all year and you can check LIVE availibility for your proposed dates by just starting the reservation procedure. We get booked up VERY quickly. As soon as you know your travel plans check availability for the dates you can commit to. La Tortuga Feliz is a very popular project and spaces are limited.
What do I have to bring?
- Some dark-coloured clothing for patrolling.
- High factor Suncream
- Mosquito spray/repellent
- Rain clothing
- Head Flashlight (with red light option for turtle work) with batteries.
- Good shoes/training shoes (old ones are best as they will get wet and sandy).
- Alarmclock (Battery operated)
- Books/playing cards
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Black Bag for your backpack should it rain on the boat. Rain is usually very heavy and starts suddenly.
- Anti-itch cream
- Thick long socks
Do you cater to vegetarians?
Yes we do.
Do I need vaccinations?
Vaccinations are a personal decision. Check with your doctor as to what is recommended for Costa Rica so you can make an informed choice.
Are hiking shoes a must, or is it possible to use firm training shoes?
That depends.... Some people like hiking shoes and others training shoes.
You have to imagine that the sand is not hard, but very soft (old ones are best as they will get wet and sandy).
Can I wash my clothes at the project?
We provide soap powder, buckets and sunshine for handwashing.
Can you make sure I am in the same dormitory as my friend/partner?
Depending on space we can usually make this happen if you mention this on arrival at the project.
Is there a medical service nearby?
We can get you to a hospital in just under an hour but a basic first aid kit helps.
What about Travel//health Insurance?
Travel/health insurance is highly recommended.
Do you have electricity?
No. We have solar power to pump water from our well and it provides lighting in public areas only.
Do you have internet access?
No. Please let family/friends know that you will be out of contact during the period of your stay.
What can I do in my spare time?
After volunteering you can fish, sunbathe on the beach, read a book in a hammock, play several board/card games, play soccer or volleyball, hike, make friends with co- volunteers/world travellers and of course learn spanish.
Do I have to speak spanish?
No, You dont have to speak spanish! But we stimulate you to learn and speak it. It makes it easier to communicate with the local inhabitants because they hardly speak any English. You can download a list of important words you can learn before arriving and you may participate in intensive Spanish lessons fitted in around volunteering.
Are there shops near La Tortuga Feliz?
We are located in the jungle on an isolated beach with no shopping options. On arrival in Bataan there is the possibility to do some last minute shopping at a supermarket before we head off by taxi and boat to the project.
Does my cell phone work at (or around) the project?
There are some spots around the island that sometimes, with much patience, provide you with a small signal that is enough to send/receive text messages. No guarantees.
Is there a phone connection?
Not yet. You will receive Emergency Contact details for your family in your reservation confirmation email after booking.
Where should I go after I arrive in Bataan?You will be met off the bus at the bus stop in the centre of Bataan. If you arrive from Limon you will need to cross over the street to the San Jose bus stop and we will meet you there at 11.30am. WE ALWAYS MEET THE BUS.
My flight home is on the day I arrive/leave the project!
We NEVER recomend leaving or arriving on the same day that your flight is scheduled. Costa Rica suffers extreme rains which sometimes results in long delays in traffic. As you are usually replacing volunteers who have just left the project you will be needed to begin working with the turtles the night you arrive. Arriving tired to the project after flying is not a good idea.
I reserved for 3 weeks but I might leave after 2 weeks?
Breaking your commitment sometimes has negative effects on the turtles, local community and your co-volunteers. If you are undecided as to whether this volunteering opportunity is for you we recomend making a short reservation with a view to extending if you love it.
Do you know of safe budget accomodation in San Jose?
Most volunteers choose to stay the night before their reservation at the La Tortuga Feliz recommended accommodation option in San Jose. La Tortuga Feliz has negotiated a discounted rate for volunteers at a very comfortable hotel in a safe area close to the centre. The hotel offers airport pick-up, complimentary continental breakfast, free internet, wifi and low cost international calls. There are security boxes in all rooms and English is spoken. The hotel website and booking details are contained in your confirmation email that you will receive after reserving with La Tortuga Feliz
Are flights included?/Which airport do I need to fly to?
Transportation costs to and from Costa Rica is your responsibility. You will need to fly into San Jose International Airpost Costa Rica (SJO).
What shouldn't I bring to La Tortuga Feliz?
Surfboards,diving equipment, laptops or anything that relies on electricity.
I am a young female who has never travelled alone before and I love the thought of helping to save turtles but am a little nervous about the trip.
Many of our volunteers fall into this category and we have taken this into account by giving you all the necessary information you need to get here safely in your confirmation email.
I still have some questions that are not answered anywhere on your website.
You will receive intensive training on how to take your responsibility in helping to save endangered turtles whilst they are laying eggs as well as assisting baby turtles as they hatch ....