About This Trip
Sea Turtle Volunteer Trip Highlights
- Volunteer with sea turtles in Trinidad, home to the world’s densest population of nesting leatherback turtles, with roughly 20,000 nests laid annually.
- Help local researchers measure, tag, and monitor nesting leatherback sea turtles each night as a sea turtle volunteer.
- Visit beautiful Caroni Swamp, where you may see Scarlet Ibis, American Flamingoes, silky anteaters and more.
Join us as a sea turtle volunteer on the beaches of Trinidad to see and study the amazing leatherback turtle at one of the world’s most important nesting sites. With roughly 20,000 nests laid per year, Trinidad hosts the world’s densest leatherback nesting colony, and we have timed this volunteer trip to coincide with the peak of their nesting season. Our local partner, the non-profit organization Nature Seekers, will host and train you to patrol the nesting beach nightly and help collect sea turtle nesting data as part of their long-term research. Throughout this volunteer vacation you will not only learn about sea turtles and witness them nesting and hatching, you will also learn about and contribute to the award-winning community-based conservation work of Nature Seekers. Beyond our nightly volunteer beach patrols, we will visit an innovative recycling project that empowers local artisans to create jewelry with recycled and natural materials, as well as Caroni Swamp, a protected wetland that supports more than 100 bird species including the Scarlet Ibis, one of Trinidad’s national birds. Note: Turtle patrols will take place late in the evening till early morning hours. You will be able to sleep-in and relax during the day. Participants must be able to walk on uneven terrains on the beach at night with limited assistance in order to participate in this expedition.
Notes on Trip Costs
There is a single supplement fee of $500 for solo travelers. Trip prices do not include international airfare. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.
click to expand
Founded in 1969, Oceanic Society is America’s oldest 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean conservation. As pioneers of “eco travel,” our expeditions have been designed to directly support our mission. They not only positively impact our travelers, but also the people, places, and wildlife we go to see. A portion of your trip costs on this expedition go to support the conservation and community development programs of Nature Seekers, our local non-profit partner. Your work as a volunteer on this trip also contributes to Nature Seekers' long-term research on the biology, status, and trends of leatherback sea turtles in Trinidad, and your visit helps demonstrate the global importance and local value of these wonderful animals. And Oceanic Society's earnings from this trip are invested back into our global research and conservation programs.
Day 1: Port of Spain - Matura
You will be met at the airport upon your arrival in to Port of Spain, and transferred to the small coastal town of Matura on the northeast coast. This evening we will have a welcome dinner and orientation.
Days 2–8: Sea Turtle Monitoring at Matura
Each evening we will join researchers on the nearby beach of Matura, one of the world's most important nesting beaches for leatherback turtles. This beautiful protected beach welcomes dozens of turtles a night during the peak of the nesting season. As a volunteer on this program, you will undergo training and work side-by-side with researchers to patrol the beach in search of nesting turtles as part of long term scientific research. Duties may include measuring turtles, counting eggs, excavating nests to determine hatching success, and more. Beyond our nightly sea turtle monitoring duties, we will have time to explore some of Trinidad's natural wonders during the day, including beautiful Caroni Swamp, as well as a local recycling program to learn about their innovative efforts.
Day 9: Matura - Port of Spain - Depart
On the final day of our program we will transfer back to Port of Spain in time to catch your flight home. Optional post-trip extensions are available to Tobago, please inquire if interested.
Participants will stay in basic but comfortable accommodations at Susan's Guesthouse in the small town of Matura, just a short distance from the main leatherback nesting beach and next door to the Nature Seekers office.