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Island Turtle Rescue Nicaragua

Experience
Volunteer
Destination
Nicaragua
Duration
2 to 8 weeks
Ages
18 to 85

38 others looking at this too. Next opening is Sep 2024, with limited spots.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Nicaragua, once considered a no-go zone for tourists, has emerged as a flourishing destination in the tourism industry after a period of instability.

As a hidden gem in Central America, you can explore its beauty without battling crowds of tourists!

And what a destination it is: the largest country in Central America, with coastlines on two oceans, home to the largest freshwater lake in Central America (complete with rustic islands to visit), and nearly a fifth of the land designated as nature reserves.

Los Brasiles Island is one of the most secluded and untouched beaches on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, surrounded by pristine mangrove forests, offering a serene environment for living and volunteering.

On this volunteer trip, you’ll contribute to critical conservation efforts in this remote corner of Nicaragua. You’ll receive everything you need, including:

  • Volunteer project placement – You’ll be set up with a pre-approved conservation project on Los Brasiles Island.
  • Comfortable accommodation – Stay at the beachside volunteer house on the project site, immersed in incredible natural surroundings. Enjoy eco-friendly facilities, including a bicycle-powered shower!
  • All meals – Team up with your fellow volunteers and project staff to help prepare three meals a day for you and your new mates.
  • And much more!

When it comes to meaningful travel, nothing beats helping those who can't help themselves—like the declining number of turtles nesting and breeding on Los Brasiles Island.

It’s a story as old as time: human development encroaches on natural habitats, threatening the livelihood of ancient animals.

Well, we’re writing a new story. A story where conscious travelers like you help bring these animals back from the brink so that future generations can share the planet with these amazing creatures.

You’ll spend your days observing and recording data at the on-site hatchery, where at-risk nests and eggs are brought to incubate safely. And yes, you’ll probably hang out with baby turtles.

You’ll spend your nights doing beach patrols—roaming the beach to identify nests for research or moving at-risk nests to the hatchery. 

You’ll also contribute to the ongoing Mangrove Project, undertake small construction jobs, participate in beach clean-ups, and assist with any other tasks needed by the turtles and the program.

Plus, you’ll be living in a remote part of northern Nicaragua on the Pacific Coast, a place of incredible natural beauty and diversity, where the ocean teems with life against a backdrop of lush coastal forests. And when you’re ready for a bit more civilization, the historic colonial city of León is nearby, offering hostels, bars, restaurants, and all the amenities of a vibrant city.

When you go with Global, you get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Our team will help you with the essentials you need to start your new journey with a bang! Including setting you up with our project partner, securing your accommodation, and a whole lot more.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer project placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Return airport transfer
Comfortable accommodation
Meals
Personal Travel Concierge
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip visa guidance
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
Global Emergency Line
gWorld access
Social
Global Academy
Marketplace deals

Qualification

To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

Ask a question

Chat with us online now, or we can call you back for free, 24 hours Mon-Fri.

Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Purpose & impact

On one particular beach of Los Brasiles Island, there’s been a rapid decline of turtle populations, along with their habitat.

In fact, the Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Green turtles hardly nest there anymore – leaving the entire 15.5 km beach to the now-lonely Olive Ridley turtle.

Unfortunately, we don’t know all the complexities of sea turtle biology just yet. So projects like this are invaluable in learning how best to conserve these ancient animals. 

The purpose of this project is to gather enough information to effectively conserve the nesting populations on the stretch of beach that’s most under threat. 

The goal is that the information gathered will be an essential part of establishing the beach as a Protected Area so the turtles can breed in peace. 

Your contributions to this vital conservation effort include:

  • Volunteering at the hatchery during the day
  • Conducting night patrols to identify nests (both at-risk and not)
  • Assisting with construction projects
  • Participating in beach clean-ups
  • Engaging in the mangrove program
  • Completing household chores like cooking and cleaning

 

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, vaccinations, souvenirs & spending money.

Accommodation & meals

Once you’ve touched down at Managua Airport, our project partner will transport you via car, boat, and horse-drawn carriage to your included accommodation in Los Brasiles.

You'll stay at a recently-built field station, sharing a house with other volunteers and project staff. The house offers both shared rooms (maximum of 4 people) and private rooms available at an extra cost.

The fully-equipped kitchen includes fridges and coolers, with coffee, tea, and drinking water accessible at all times. There's also a communal dining area and a chill-out space with hammocks.

Just a heads-up: life on Los Brasiles is about as remote and rustic as it gets, so brace yourself for a big change from your usual routine.

For example, there’s no pumped water. Water comes from a bicycle-powered well (ever cycled to fetch water?), which feeds an above-ground tank that gravity-feeds the showers and taps in the house.

Electricity is also in short supply, with the entire site powered by just two solar panels. That means charging your electronics is a daytime affair only, and there's no electricity in the rooms.

As for staying connected, there's no WiFi at the field station. However, the cell signal is strong, so consider grabbing a local SIM card or popping over to the nearby eco-lodge.

With your accommodation sorted, what will you do about food?

You’ll share the responsibility of cooking with the volunteers, with some help and supervision from project staff. Food ingredients are provided.

Nicaraguan cuisine is a fusion of Spanish and Creole flavors, with local diets varying depending on which coast you're on. Here on the Pacific Coast, expect to indulge in plenty of local fruits, rice, beans, plantains, and corn.

Trip itinerary

Before you leave

Your volunteer placement – including accommodation and 3 meals a day – is confirmed and organised before you leave home.

Arrival

Once you land at Managua Airport, a driver will be waiting to pick you up. They'll drive you to Poneloya, where you'll board a boat to reach the island. From there, you'll complete the last 2 kilometers of your journey by horse-drawn carriage. How’s that for an adventure?! If you arrive after 2:30 PM, you'll head to León for an overnight stay before heading to Los Brasiles Island the following morning. Upon arrival, take some time to get comfortable, meet fellow volunteers and project staff, and familiarise yourself with the surroundings.

Day 2-3

Once you've spent your first night settling in, the next 2-3 days are all about orientation. This includes comprehensive training on turtle biology and the field methodology used to carry out tasks correctly. Your training consists of a mix of theory and practical classes.

Ongoing

Your daily schedule will vary depending on the season and the specific needs of the program. However, here’s an outline of how your days might unfold: Volunteers work 8-hour shifts, with three shifts available per day. Those on hatchery duty may also participate in night patrols. 5:00 am: Sunrise beach patrol to count and recover nests not attended to during the night shift. This typically involves an 8km loop lasting 2-3 hours. Volunteers who were on the night shift skip this patrol. 8:00 am: Breakfast featuring delicious local dishes prepared by team members or community participants. 9:00 am: Clean beach patrol equipment and prepare for the next shift. 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch featuring more tasty local dishes prepared by the team or community members. 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Program meeting. 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Dinner prepared by the team or local participants. 7:00 – 11:00 pm: Night patrol to walk the beach, gather scientific data on nesting females, and protect eggs. Nests are often relocated to the hatchery for safety. Volunteers typically work 8 hours per day with one day off each week to explore the area. Don’t miss Las Peñitas, similar to Los Brasiles but with more amenities. The city of León is nearby, boasting stunning colonial architecture and serving as the gateway to volcano boarding in Nicaragua—where you can descend a volcanic mountain, similar to snowboarding We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support, our team is available to answer your questions. And our Global Emergency Line will help with urgent matters (24 hours, Mon.-Fri.).  Don’t go alone. Go with Global.

Why choose us

Travelling with Global means travelling with the best. We take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in Nicaragua totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 85000+ travellers – giving us 10000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true. 

Most travellers book their trip 6-12 months in advance. Dates are flexible, but spaces are limited. So if you’re serious about volunteering in Nicaragua, don’t delay. 

With our Book Now, Decide Later feature, you can get started with a small deposit today, and take a full year to choose your dates. 

We’ll take over from there, helping you with visas, flights, accommodation, and setting you up with our partner in Nicaragua. 

This is the trip for you if you’re after the ultimate volunteering experience in Nicaragua, complete with everything you need and ongoing support.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are you the best company to choose?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we pride ourselves on providing a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide, and let us assist you with visas, pre-departure preparations, flights, insurance, and tours. Throughout your journey, our cool tech features will support you every step of the way. As a Global Traveller, gain access to gWorld, our personalised app designed to enhance your travel experience. Keep important documents and trip details handy, and take advantage of exclusive Marketplace deals, a vibrant social network, language learning resources, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like having all your favorite travel apps merged into one, but even better! But our support doesn't end there. With four international offices, over 100 dedicated staff members, a 24/5 emergency team, and the backing of over 90,000 Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us, rest assured you're in good hands. We also proudly boast the most and best reviews in the biz, and maintain a massive following on our social channels including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Embark on your next adventure with confidence and ease. Join us and discover the world in a meaningful way!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why should I book now?

After the last unexpected disruption to travel caused by the..c word..people are now more eager than ever to venture out and explore the world, determined not to miss out on any experiences. Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12+ months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend or partner?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/5 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24 hours, Mon-Fri.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

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Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/5.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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