Come protect sea turtles and sloths while relaxing by the beach on Costa Rica's Pacific coast.

Like all of our sites the main focus of the Matapalo site is the conservation of sea turtles such as leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea), green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtles. The site also closely monitors the movement of local sloth populations so volunteers can expect to participate in 4 or 5 "sloth walks" per week. Another important responsibility of the project is the cleaning of the local beach and recycling of bottles and cans. 

project information


The Matapalo site offers hostel-style accommodations. There are mixed gender accommodations with shared bathrooms.

Three meals per day are provided at 8 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm. Coffee is served at breakfast and juice is served at lunch and dinner. 

There is a restaurant and bar located nearby the site if volunteers would like to go there for a meal. The building beside the restaurant is a convenience store which is ideal for volunteers wanting a small snack or necessities such as shampoo and deodorant. 

free time activities 

Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday are free for volunteers to explore the local region. There are surfing and beach horseback riding lessons available within 100 meters of the site. Additionally, if volunteers wish to do longer trips, the nearby city of Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park are among the most popular choices. There is also a beautiful swimming hole and waterfall about a 30 minute hike from the site. 

a typical day

Volunteers can expect six to ten hours of work per day (depending on the season and the current projects). There are rotating duties such as sea turtle patrol, hatchery watch, kitchen cleaning, and room cleaning.