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Marine Conservation - Whales and Turtles


Marine Conservation - Whales and Turtles

About Your Location

The Turtle project is located in Las Tunas. Las Tunas is a beach located south of Manabí, 11.9 km (7.3 miles) south of Puerto López. It is a small village with around 1600 inhabitants. Las Tunas beach is known for its natural beauty, its crystal-clear sea waters, its gastronomy and for its community of friendly farmers and fishermen.

The Whale project is located in the town of Puerto Lopez in the province of Guayas.

You will have to travel first to Ecuador’s biggest city, Guayaquil and then on to Puerto Lopez.

Work Schedule

Turtle Project
Upon your arrival in Las Tunas (Sunday) the Project Coordinator will be waiting for you to give you an orientation about your accommodation and explore the village. You will also have a 30 minutes’ presentation about the program schedule and turtle's ecology and environmental programs. In the evening, a welcome dinner will be organized for you. Early in morning of your first day, the Project Coordinator will take you to the workplace for the first time and give you an orientation in situ. The activities are: Turtle nesting monitoring, beach cleaning, reforestation, community empowerment, making handcrafts of recycling and natural materials. You will be working each day between 4 and 5 hours in the project. In the afternoon, you are free to enjoy the beach, surf, play volley or soccer with locals or relax. It’s possible to book optional Spanish classes, surf classes and salsa dance classes for the afternoon. On Thursday evening, a cocktail is organized for the volunteers. For the following days, the schedule is similar. The coordinator will indicate you where you will be most needed, and of course if you have ideas, these are always welcome.

Turtle Project Activities
Cleaning Las Tunas beach and cleaning the Ayampe river
Reforestation plan of more than 100 hectares in a reserve in Ayampe
Permaculture and development of recycling systems
Direct interaction with the community, education programs environment for people in the community and for volunteers
Watching and monitoring the turtle's nest (You could see the eggs hatching)
Compost making

There’s presence of 4 species of sea turtles and each of the species nests at different times of the year
Golfina is present all year round, in the months of June to December it is where more nests are registered.
Green, from December to March
Carey, from December to March
Lute, from March to April, according to this year's record.
With wild species it is not known, many times they surprise us in a time that is not nesting.

Whale Project
Depending on your program, you will work sometimes in the weekends as well. It is a full program with much variety in activities and an average workday of 6-8 hours. It is important that you are on time and punctual to work.

During the week (Monday to Friday) you will get to work hands on with data collection and analysis. You will have four outings to the ocean to collect data varying between a half and full day trips depending on the schedule. Afterwards you share and analyse all the research material (cameras, GPS, sound recording etc.). Spanish lessons are held at the project location and will be distributed during the week depending on when you go out to the sea and how the weather is. On Saturday you will go over the results and conclusions.


Please remember that all the activities are necessary for the well-being of the animals and rescue center. Also, the more involved you get in your work the more responsibility you will be given as a volunteer once you have built a certain level of trust with the turtles and workers.

- Be willing to have a life changing experience
- Please check with your local doctor regarding any vaccinations that you may need before travelling to Ecuador; however rabies and tetanus vaccinations are recommended. A PCR test negative on arrival in Ecuador is also recommended.

This project is for animal lovers who do not mind getting their hands dirty!!

Public Holidays

No work days on the following public holidays:

26 May
11 August
09 October
02-03 November
25 December


What is included

Project donation
Administration fee
Orientation meeting
24/7 Local Volunteer coordinator emergency contact by Phone / Mail / WhatsApp
Welcome dinner at Turtle Project
Weekly cocktail at Turtle Project

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance
Basic English is necessary
Basic Spanish is an advantage, but not required

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.

What’s included?


Arrival Package in Guayaquil
An Arrival Package in Guayaquil including transfer from the airport to your accommodation in Guayaquil, 1 night accommodation in private room, and private transfer from accommodation to bus station is included.

Accommodation in Puerto Lopez
Accommodation is a volunteer house and you will be staying in same-gender dorm rooms. The rooms have their own bathroom. There is also a shared kitchen and a social area with hammocks and swimming pool. You will be provided with bedding and have wi-fi. The accommodation is basic and it is your duty to keep your living area clean.

Accommodation in Las Tunas
Accommodation in Las Tunas is in a shared room (same gender) at Wipeout Hostel. The hostel is located in front of the sea, with a spectacular view of the Los Ahorcados islet, 100 meters north of the boardwalk, and 30 minutes north of Montañita. There are 3 same-gender rooms (9 people) with bathroom inside the room (can also be requested on private basis). Facilities include free Wi-Fi, a bar, a shared kitchen where volunteers can prepare their own meals, hammocks, hot water and a restaurant.

Local transport

This project is available with or without an arrival transfer from Guayaquil Airport.
You can also choose an Arrival Transfer Package including private transfer to Puerto Lopez.


Meals are self-catering at the volunteer house. There is a fully equipped kitchen available for you to use, or you can choose to have dinner at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the town where you can eat delicious meals for very low prices.
One shared dinner with the whole group is included during the week volunteering with the whales.

Additional info

The climate on the coast is hot and humid. The weather can change however it is often quite hot and sunny.

What to Bring
Lightweight, long & fast-drying work trousers, shorts, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, rain jacket, cardigan
Sunglasses, sunblock & swimwear
Mosquito repellent
Small daypack
Prescription medication (if applicable)
Work gloves
Rubber boots

Evenings & Weekends
In your spare time you can relax at the beach or take a trip to nearby Isla De Plata with much of the wildlife you will find on the Galapagos Islands.

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