Pacuare Reserve

We are a working reserve established in 1989 with almost 2000 acres of tropical forest and 6 kilometers of beach, which is one of the most important nesting sites in the country of the endangered Leatherback Turtle.

Volunteering Activities

Animal Care
Conservation Work

What We Need

Volunteers are a vital part of our existence. They help us to run our long-term monitoring projects as well as helping to take care of the Reserve itself. From March to September they provide us with the critical manpower required to send multiple teams on the beach at night, to collect data and safeguard the nesting turtles. We also count on volunteers to help us with the seemingly endless list of chores around the reserve: maintenance and upkeep of the organic garden/plantation, beach clean up, trail clean up and maintenance, cleaning of the investigation equipment, to mention a few.

When & Who

All year round.
Yes, we require a minimum of 1 Week
At this point, all the long term positions have been filled and we can only accept volunteers on a weekly basis.
Individuals, Family with Kids, Groups

What we Provide


Volunteers receive free boat transportation from the dock in Matina to the Reserve, free housing in our cabins and 3 meals a day. Coffee, tea, water and natural beverages are available throughout the day. For scheduled group volunteer activities, we will also provide lodging at our Heredia campus and bus tranportation from Heredia to the Reserve.


Our Fees

$35 daily
$20 One-time

The weekly cost is $560 per person.

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Contact Person

Esteban Lobo
Pacuare Reserve / Reserva Pacuare, Matina, Costa Rica.
95% response rate , 52 hour(s) response time.

Other Ways to support us

We recommend that all volunteers bring rubber boots to wear during their stay. Donations of those rubber boots to the reserve are always welcome.

Additional Info about Us

10 to 20 people

From March to July, every volunteer, student and visitor is welcome to join us with our conservation efforts and the marine turtle monitoring program. We perform nightly turtle census, take biometric data from the nesting turtles, document the location of the nests and relocate them if necessary. To witness and partake at close range in the nesting process is an unforgettable experience for all who have seen it. Since the reserve was founded, the poaching rate has been reduced from 98 % to less than 1 %.

From June to September thousands of baby Leatherback Turtles hatch. Yet another great spectacle of nature to behold. Pacuare Reserve and the surrounding canals are rich in wildlife with over 300 recorded species of animals; 3 species of monkeys, over 200 species of birds, and rarer species such as jaguar and ocelot.

Pacuare Reserve has a north and a south station, from which the scientific and investigation activities are coordinated. Dorm style cabins for groups and a dining hall are located in both stations., and Casa Grande Eco Lodge at the south station.

Pacuare Reserve is now under the stewartship of Ecology Project International and is a not for profit organization. All proceeds go straight back to the Reserve.