Conservation Costa Rica



Gapforce program

Welcome to our unique and exciting new multi-faceted conservation project in Costa Rica! Known for its incredible array of biodiversity, Costa Rica is the go-to destination for global marine and wildlife conservation efforts. Building on our experience of marine conservation we have taken our conservation efforts one step further and, together with our local partner and non-profit organisation, expanded our volunteer work not only under water but also on land! Be part of an amazing, experienced and passionate team, working directly on behalf of SINAC, the National System of Conservation Areas and part of the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica.

Perfect for: Outdoor CoursesAdventure TravelWildlife Conservation.


Highlights

  • Live, learn and contribute to pioneering conservation efforts amongst some of the most spectacular biodiversity on earth in Costa Rica – pure paradise for nature enthusiasts!
  • Be part of a team working directly on behalf of SINAC, part of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy
  • Become a PADI qualified diver, trained by highly experienced staff
  • Swim with turtles, rays, sharks, dolphins and whales!
  • Enjoy spending your free time in a natural eutopia - back to nature in Isla Damas or indulging in Costa Rican life in Quepos

Yearly Schedule

We have set up our yearly projects schedule based on seasons and what needs to be focused on at different times of the year. Generally, we work in phases and modules with one phase being 12 weeks and a module being 4 weeks long. You can choose to take part in single module or whole phase so anything from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer participation may be possible please just ask us for more details.

Each module has one main focus area, but also includes a variety of other project ensuring we get the full picture across all projects over a one-year cycle.

Projects we work on in general are Turtle Research, Coral Rehabilitation, Cetacean Studies, Rocky Beaches, Sandy Beaches, Climate Change and Mangrove Studies.

For the single modules you can expect that these project focuses will be included during your participation:

Phase 1

Module

Location

Focus

February

Coral Research

Quepos

Diving

March

Whale & Beach

Quepos, Isla Damas

Land-based

April

Whale & Beach

Quepos, Isla Damas

Land-based

Phase 2

 

 

 

Mid June – mid July

Coral Research

Quepos

Diving

Mid July – mid August

Turtle Research

Isla Damas

Land-based

Mid August – mid Sep

Turtle Research

Isla Damas

Land-based

Phase 3

 

 

 

Mid Sep – Mid Oct

Turtle Research

Isla Damas

Land-based

Mid Oct – Mid Nov

Turtle Research

Isla Damas

Land-based

Mid Nov – Mid Dec

Coral Research

Quepos

Diving


Coral Research - dive based

We will start this module with your PADI dive training up to Open Water and Advanced Open Water diver to equip you with the skills required to conduct your under-water surveys. After you are dive qualified, we proceed with Marine Conservation Research Training in week two, followed by practical coral research work in weeks three and four. During the four weeks we will also take part in two days of Climate Change Studies.

Whale & Beach Research

This module involves participation in a variety of different studies. You will take part in two weeks of Mangrove studies with a main focus on Turtle Research preparation for the following nesting season, as well as one week of Rocky & Sandy Beaches Studies. In addition, you will spend three days on Cetacean Studies and two days on Climate Change Studies. Please note that this reflects the amount of time you will spend in each study area – the weekly setup will be presented to you once you arrive in Costa Rica.

Turtle Research

This module is timed to coincide with Turtle nesting season, so you will focus the majority of your time on this subject! Mid-July until mid-November is turtle nesting season when you can get involved with research and conservation at our Isla Damas base. Part of your work here will be assisting in nightly beach patrols which start around 8 pm and finish at 12 am, or from 12 am to 4 am. In addition, you will spend one day a week on Cetacean Studies and two days during the module on Climate Change studies to make sure these research fields are covered in detail.  

What is included?

  • Comprehensive pre-departure support
  • Airport pick-up and return transfer to San Jose Airport
  • Local project coordinators and dive instructors
  • Shared accommodation for the duration of your stay
  • breakfast and dinner each day in Quepos
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day at Isla Damas
  • Basic Wi-Fi in both locations
  • Laundry service in Quepos
  • Project equipment and training
  • Diving Instructors (for Coral Research Module)
  • 24/7 emergency back-up
  • Financial failure protection 

Diving - Coral Research Module only

  • PADI Open Water certification
  • PADI Advanced Open Water certification
  • PADI Distinctive Coral Rescue certification
  • All dives and survey dives

What is not included?

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa & Vaccinations
  • Spending Money
  • Lunches in Quepos
  • Personal dive equipment (Coral Research module) - kit list provided upon booking
  • Tipping & Gratuities 

How much spending money do I need?

You will need money for extra drinks and snacks, as well as for any activities not on the itinerary. We advise you to budget for $80 - $100 or £50 - £60 a week.

Where will I be staying?

In Quepos you will be staying at a local homestay close to the dive centre with other members of your group, laundry service included. At Isla Damas you will be staying with a local Tico family in a beautiful cabin accommodation which has shared rooms and bathrooms, a nice living area and a kitchen. Laundry at Isla Damas needs to be done by you. Both locations have basic Wi-Fi.

What is the food like?

During your time in Quepos and Isla Damas home cooked meals will be provided for you. In Quepos you will receive breakfast and dinner every day and in Isla Damas breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided. The food will mostly be local dishes which are known for being flavourful, yet fairly mild and with a high reliance on fresh fruits, vegetables, rice and beans. Breakfast typically consists of toast, fruits, cereals or “gallo pinto” - a local dish that is made of rice and beans. Coffee is available all day. Vegans and Vegetarians can be catered for but please note meal variation will be limited. If you want to make it more varied feel free to bring some additional food along to accompany your dish. Please check with us regarding further dietary requirements and/or allergies. 

What type of transport will I be using?

You are responsible for getting yourself to and from the start point of the project, this being San Jose Airport. During the project program transfers are included. Travel is typically by bus, taxi or boat.

Who will be supervising me?

Your dive training in Quepos will be conducted by a team of highly qualified PADI dive instructors and for your project-related research you will be trained and guided by project coordinators and head investigators both in Quepos and Isla Damas. All staff and instructors are locals with a long history, passion, background and experience in these fields of training and research. Equipped with additional research methodology you will be able to successfully complete your research and make a difference.

Who is this program for?

This program is for anybody with a true passion and interest for nature and feels the need to do something hands-on to protect it for the future. There is no prior experience required to join this program although the minimum age is 18. You should have a moderate level of fitness and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are fit to participate. We look forward to welcoming you!


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Or call us on 0207 384 3028

View dates
  • Costa Rica
  • Duration: 4 to 12 weeks

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