Costa Rica Green Turtle Research Expedition

On this unique journey, you will work with researchers to catch and study green and hawksbill sea turtles to study and release. These turtles forage and grow in the gulf and nest elsewhere, so catching these turtles is the only way to study them. You’ll also help restore mangroves that are critical to the growth of fish and sea turtles and visit an organic farm that grows and makes its own chocolate (yum). There will also be free time to explore the area; take a rainforest hike, rent a kayak, or swim in the gulf (cost not included). This a private trip and requires a minimum of four participants.

The Highlights:

  • Head to the South Pacific Coast (approx. 5 hour drive), stop for lunch along the way and arrive at the Osa Peninsula research project.  Researchers from LAST, Latin American Sea Turtles, will provide an orientation to the turtle research.
  • Overnight at Delfines de Golfo, a simple family lodge with electricity, private bath with hot water, and tv’s.
  • Head out in a shaded boat with researchers to help set nets in key turtle spots (timing dependent on the tide). Once caught, researchers will bring them to the beach where you will have the opportunity to help carry in the turtles, measure them, weight them, and perhaps even tag them. You’ll be looking mainly for green turtles and hawksbills, which are both endangered.
  • Protect sea turtles by land, by supporting reforestation and organic farming.  Participate in LAST’s mangrove reforestation program by working in the nursery and planting young trees.
  • Have a chance to take a swim, rent a sit-on-top kayak to paddle around on the gulf, visit Puerto Jimenez to souvenir shop, or other options.
  • Spend a day studying hawksbill turtles, collect data including their length and width, check their shells for parasites (not a risk for humans), and weigh and tag them before releasing back to the water.
  • Visit a nearby organic farm to taste a variety of fruits from around the world and to learn about the origins of chocolate, which is native to this region.

Trip Details

  • Where:
    Costa Rica
  • When:
    Private trips available for private groups of 4+ participants from December - August.
  • Trip Length:
    8 days
  • 2021 Program Fee:
    $2,195/per person based on double occupancy (requires minimum of 4 people)
  • Program Fee Includes:
    In-country transport, meals, lodging, activities, guides, and a donation to turtle conservation.