Wildlife Expedition in Tortuguero, Costa Rica (28n+)
- Our saving
- US $ 2,894
- Tortuguero National Park
- Costa Rica Caribbean Coast
- Tortuguero National Park
- Rather Poor
- AAliceWritten on November 21, 20175.0 - ExcellentThe short-term internship at Jalova has given me a kick-start in my career in wildlife conservation, and has given me the confidence and skills to pursue this career. The work undertaken at Jalova is at the forefront of wildlife conservation, and I really felt like I was part of a project that is making an essential contribution to conservation and sustainability. The experience of living and working in a remote tropical environment has been amazing- being surrounded by the life of the jungle meant that there was never a dull moment on base! Volunteering with GVI provides the perfect opportunity to travel and be part of different cultures. Through this experience I've worked with brilliant, passionate people who have the same interests as me- I've made friends for life from all corners of the world. The staff on base were brilliant- they were so enthusiastic about the project, and were very approachable and supportive. I can honestly say that the two months I spent with GVI at Jalova were the best two months of my life. Every day was an adventure that came with its own challenges, accomplishments and unforgettable moments. Completing an internship with GVI has been an invaluable experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in wildlife conservation and the will to make a difference.Show detailed ratings
- D:DianeWritten on November 19, 20174.5 - ExcellentBefore coming to GVI one of the things that drew me to apply was the description and details of the training which would be given on base. I have been away before with other wildlife volunteer programs in the past however the training given has never been as good and in as much detail as here at GVI. At home in Scotland I am a biology teacher teaching 12 to 18 year olds. I am always looking for new ideas to make biology interesting to young people and to get them interested in conserving the local area and wildlife. Before arriving at GVI I was less interested in the bird populations than the other wildlife that I might see, such as the jaguars and turtles, however after spending time with the staff and learning about the birds in detail I have found myself being as interested in them as the other wildlife. This has happened to most of the volunteers here up to the point where a group of us were away on long weekend at Puerto Viejo at the beach snorkelling one day to relax and instead of chilling with some drinks we all ended up staring at a tree because we found a Yellow Crowned Night Herron. Yes, GVI has turned us into dorks! The reason we have all become this way is because the training is so interesting and it makes you look at and notice things you will never have noticed before. The training involved a presentation by staff and the use of flash cards to try and distinguish different features of various birds, anoles, frogs, snakes, and the beautiful mammals that you could potentially see out on survey. You also go out on incidentals which involve looking for the wildlife you have been leaning about in the field, using forest surveys and bird boat surveys. This made it much more interesting, exciting and even easier to learn. Soon you start to be able to recognise things without help. For a while now I have been trying to develop some kind of outdoor learning program for the teenagers that I work with to get them out of the classroom and practicing field skill in their local environment and a way of teaching them more about the local wildlife. The school I work in has forest nature reserves very close, however many of the pupils are more interested in going into the local town than up to the forest park. GVI has given me some great ideas to take back home to the classroom. I am planning on teaching the pupils in the class more about the forest park ecosystem and the different types of mammals, reptiles and birds that they might come across. I will then get them to produce flash cards using the books we have and get them to learn the characteristics in class and as homework. We have contacts with the park rangers and my plan is to prepare them to carry out incidental style surveys in the forest park with the help of the rangers. They can also use sampling techniques such as pit fall traps to monitor insect biodiversity. Classes can then compare their results and look for patterns. By talking to them and showing them what I was doing here in Costa Rica and explaining the importance of the work being done here they will hopefully realise how much wildlife there is right on their doorstep and how important it is to conserve the area. I am leaving here with so much knowledge on field surveying and the wildlife found in the area and I have loved my time here!Show detailed ratings
- IIdaWritten on November 16, 20175.0 - ExcellentSince I was a kid I have had this dream to live in the jungle. I wanted to explore the rainforest and fall asleep to the sound of wild animals. So when I started looking for something to do during my gap year between high school and medical school and came upon GVI’s Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica, I knew instantly that that was what I wanted to do. I went for a month in April 2017 but I wish I could have stayed longer. Life in Jalova was almost completely sealed off from the rest of the world and very primitive and different from my life in Sweden. We went on surveys every day which, for example, could be walking knee deep in mud in the middle of the rainforest looking for wildlife, cruising down the canals in a canoe scanning the canopy for birds or walking 5 hours on the beach at night hoping to run in to a turtle so you could tag it and mark the nest. Every survey was different from the last and I was lucky to see a lot of amazing wild animals. Between surveys the staff and us volunteers had a lot of time to get to know each other. We played games, volleyball and laughed a lot. Even though we all came from different parts of the world we became like a family there in Tortuguero National Park. I learned a lot during my month in the jungle. How to identify the different species of birds and other wild life in the national park, the importance of research and the impact it can have on the environment and a lot about cultures and customs in other countries. I would recommend anyone with the least interest in wildlife or conservation that wants to experience something different to do this. You will not regret it.Show detailed ratings
- JRJessicaWritten on November 15, 20175.0 - ExcellentI had always wanted to volunteer with wildlife as it has always interested me greatly. I was also about to start a degree in Zoology, so I wanted a hands on experience of what my studies could lead me to. It was the best decision I ever made, and has opened up so many doors for me to the point where 5 years following my trip, I am now doing a Masters by Research on sea turtle using the skills I gained from my time at Jalova with GVI The reason why I chose GVI was because the organisation looked so professional, not like many of the scams you may come across as a gap year student. The website and the reviews were very helpful at showing that the organisation was well lead too. Furthermore, the amount of experience and qualification offered out-competed any of the other organisations I was looking at at the time, from getting my first aid course, learning how to use a camera trap to being qualified in biological survey techniques are invaluable, especially for my studies. I was very impressed with all the documents sent out for preparing for your departure, from the kit list to the contact information, and the slides to learn in advance the canal birds we had to know how to identify for one of the surveys. It is hard to chose which experience was my favourite while volunteering with GVI as there were so many. But one of the best must have been the first Jag walk I went on where I saw two jaguars out on the beach. This survey was completed once a week where a team of 6 would trek 15 miles up the beach from base to the town Tortuguero, recording all the turtles which had been predated on by jaguars, what parts had been eaten and when they had been killed. We would also count all the new nests and half moons, as well as jaguar activity on the beach by recording the presence of paw prints in the sand as well as their entry/exit points into the vegetation. We had been walking for at least two hours already when our team leader took out his binoculars form his bag, scanning the horizon for any signs of vultures which are the clue for killed turtles. He spotted some, and then to his astonishment, a jaguar coming out of the jungle! We had to refrain ourselves from jumping with excitement so we could creep up and get a better look at this amazing animal. We went from palm tree to palm tree until we got 50m away, and he still hadn't seen us, too engrossed in eating his victim, a female leatherback turtle who had almost made it back to sea after laying her eggs. We marvelled at the site from our hiding spot, when all of a sudden, a second jaguar emerged from the vegetation! Tortuguero National Park is home to unique behaviour of jaguars which is has not been recorded anywhere else, where these inhabitants seem to be a lot more social then their usually solitary jaguars found elsewhere. It was an experience beyond belief to have witnessed such an event, until the second jaguar noticed us and they both returned to the jungle. We could hardly feel the next 10 miles from all the excitement! The kit list supplied is very useful and you do in fact pretty much need everything on it, and bring as many pairs of socks and insect repellent as possible! Living conditions are not like home, the faster you get to terms with it, the faster you enjoy sharing your dorm with more wildlife than humans. You will have an incredible experience, not only by the things you see and do, but the people you meet will become your family away from home.Show detailed ratings
- LDLauraWritten on October 18, 20165.0 - ExcellentMy experience with GVI on their wildlife expedition in Costa Rica was simply amazing! GVI works in a remote national park called Tortuguero National Park, so you get to see all of Costa Rica's wildlife without hordes of other tourists. You also get to be up close to wildlife, such as measuring sea turtles as they lay their eggs on the beach. I had previously travelled around Costa Rica as a tourist and the experiences I had with GVI don't even come close to what I got to do as a tourist. GVI is also really organized. They help provide you with everything you need before you travel, pick you up at the airport, and the staff are around 24/7 to support everyone on the program.Show detailed ratings
- MmjwWritten on May 23, 20144.0 - GoodWhen you break it down, many of the individual aspects of the trip weren't brilliant- the shared accommodation was pretty basic, communal cooking duties meant some meals were much better than others, there were some quite early starts that were a bit painful.... But if you love the work that you're doing, have an enthusiasm for the brilliant surroundings, and immerse yourself in the outstanding wildlife that was absolutely everywhere then it's an amazing trip that was unbelievable! The staff all knew their stuff and were super happy to answer any questions that were put to them and eventually even the cooking and cleaning duties became quite a laugh. I was there during the turtle season and was lucky enough to see a huge nest hatch during the day, an experience that will stay with me forever, but it was also great to see the adult turtles at night, the many monkey species, sloths, armadillos, interesting bird life, rainforest, 100s of anoles and snakes, and so much more. Overall, if you love wildlife and can live without some home comforts for a while then 10/10 would recommend.Show detailed ratings
ItineraryDownload PDF Brochure
- Day 1: Meet GVI Team in San Jose (Saturday)
- Day 2 - 6: Training & Orientation
- Day 7 - 27: Volunteer program activities
- Day 28: Travel back to San Jose Airport
AccommodationRated Good by past passengers
MealsRated Excellent by past passengers
- The GVI Impact
- Welcome to GVI
- GVI - Costa Rica Jalova
Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.
I need to do an internship as part of my study course, am I able to use this program for my internship
Yes of course you can! We have both Long term (24 weeks) and shorter term Internships ( 6-12 weeks) that run alongside this project, you will have specific training and complete a leadership course and we will give you a certificate after participation on project and this can act as a reference to your University or any future employer. Please do inquire for more information on this program option
What are some tips for volunteers travelling out to the field?
Mosquitos and flies can be very bad so bring plenty of insect repellent, and long sleeve shirts and trousers for the evenings. Try to avoid DEET based repellents.
Work in Jalova is very hot and sweaty, you may want to bring a good supply of deodorants and body sprays
Best to bring 2 headlights/torches as they can easily break (headtorches with red lights are required for turtle night walks), used daily! Bring rechargeable batteries and a charger.
It is best to bring quick dry clothes and towels as the rain can make it very difficul to dry laundry.
Comfortable trainers/crocs/shoes are best for walking on the beach as blisters can be a problem, bear in mind that they will get wet!
Volunteers get a long weekend every 4 weeks, and they are taken to Tortuguero town to visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy visitors center the first or second week of their stay
What are the various durations of this program that are available
This program runs for anything from 4, 8 and 12 week durations, depending on the time of year and specific starting date. Please inquire for information regarding this
What are people saying about TourRadar?
- Anna9th July 2018
Wildlife Expedition in Tortuguero, Costa Rica (28n+)
- Upcoming departures
- October 2018
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- SaturdayOct 13, 2018from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayNov 9, 2018to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayNov 10, 2018from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayDec 7, 2018to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayJan 12, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayFeb 8, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayFeb 9, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayMar 8, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayMar 9, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayApr 5, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayApr 6, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayMay 3, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayMay 4, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayMay 31, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayJun 1, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayJun 28, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayJun 29, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayJul 26, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
- SaturdayJul 27, 2019from Tortuguero National Park28 DaysFridayAug 23, 2019to Tortuguero National Park10+ seats left$121USD $2,894
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About the countries
- ColonCosta Rica
Plugs & Adapters
- Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis A
- Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 months before travel.
- Yellow fever
- Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Costa Rica. Ideally 10 days before travel.
- Start and end in Tortuguero National Park.
- Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
- TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Experiential Education Limited t/a GVI booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 19 November 2018 the full payment of $2,894 is necessary.
- Cancellation policy
- No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $2894 for Wildlife Expedition in Tortuguero, Costa Rica (28n+), but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable. If you cancel via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
- Some departure dates and prices may vary and Experiential Education Limited t/a GVI will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
- Credit Cards
- The following cards are accepted for Experiential Education Limited t/a GVI tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express
- Tortuguero National Park (Costa Rica)
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