“unforgettable and special ”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    9 / 10

I loved this volunteer placement and would definitely recommend it. I stayed for one week in Matapalo and saw so many animals. There were sloths in the garden including a baby!, a panther, lots of different frogs, lots of different iguanas, alligators and their babies and cappuccino monkeys. On my first shift, I was very lucky as the baby turtles hatched and it was a very unforgettable and special moment. It was so beautiful to see and then we released them on the beach and made sure they got to the sea.


The village of Matapalo is small but has a well equipped supermarket nearby and a good restaurant too, then about a 20 minute walk away there is the bus stop and a couple more restaurants and shops. The beach and hatchery is only across the road from the volunteer house. I thought it was lovely, I loved being surrounded by nature in a quiet place, plus there was lots of other volunteers and we all got on very well so I enjoyed the community feel.

Project & Staff

Roberto is very knowledgeable and lovely. He knows a lot about turtles and conservation and I learnt a lot from him. He provides all meals and he is a very good cook, I am vegan and he catered to my needs with no issue. He did a wide selection of foods and the vegan pancakes for breakfast were delicious!
The project was well set up, we rotated between doing morning beach patrol, a 6pm- midnight shift and a midnight- 6am shift. We always did it in pairs and usually the whole gang would come down to the beach for a bit. We also did a hike up to a waterfall and swimming hole one afternoon, we did beach cleaning and hatchery cleaning too.
The volunteer house is basic but good, it has a large common area and garden with a hammock, 2 large dorms and 4 small dorms and plenty of toilets and showers. The only reason why I gave it 9/10 is because the kitchen is absolutely off limits- only the staff can go in there. I understand this but I wish that there was just a small stove so we could make tea and coffee during the day and maybe make some snacks if we wished. Though we did have our own fridge.
I also want to mention Nicole from Love Volunteers- I am very grateful to her and impressed with her honesty. I was booked onto another program originally but she emailed me to say that there had been a bad review and maybe I would want to rethink as travelling as a solo woman. I did, and I booked this placement last minute. I thought that was very good and honest of her. I felt that she cared about me as a person especially as this place was cheaper so it meant less money for the company. I would highly recommend Love Volunteers as I felt very safe throughout the two volunteer placements I did with them and thought the process was professional and well- arranged.


Come with cash as there is no ATM
Bug spray and bring calamine lotion for the bites
Go with the flow and enjoy