Volunteer at Las Tunas Sea Turtle Beach Center

A Turtle-y Awesome Experience!
FromUSD$95
A Turtle-y Awesome Experience!
FromUSD$95
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Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

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  • Duration2 Days, 1 Night
  • All year roundStarts at 9am
  • Bookings At least three days in advance
  • Starting point Your hotel in downtown Puerto Lopez
  • Group size1 - 10 pax

Looking to make a meaningful impact while enjoying one of Ecuador’s most beautiful regions? Volunteer at the Las Tunas Sea Turtle Beach Center and help maintain a healthy environment for different species of turtles. The local community of Las Tunas is very welcoming and together with a dedicated team of volunteers, we can create a brighter future for sea turtles and the planet we call home. Are you ready for this egg-citing adventure? Let’s go!

The community of Las Tunas

Nestled 11.9 km (7.3 miles) south of Puerto López is Las Tunas, a stunning beach line in the southern region of Manabí. This small village, home to around 1600 inhabitants, is renowned for its natural beauty, crystal-clear sea waters, delectable gastronomy, and its warm-hearted community of farmers and fishermen.

For over a decade, this dedicated community has been actively involved in creating and managing various community tourism projects, with a focus on conserving and preserving the forests and their surroundings.

Las Tunas offers an ideal nesting ground for sea turtles, thanks to the tranquility and cleanliness of its beaches. The most notable project in the area involves monitoring sea turtle nests found along the beaches of Las Tunas. Here, four different species of turtles come to lay their eggs. The number of nests varies, sometimes plentiful and at times few and challenging to locate. Nonetheless, each nest matters and contributes to the conservation of these magnificent creatures.

This turtle-y cool volunteer opportunity is for anyone with a love for animals, nature and the beach.

 

Discover more Puerto López Tours & Activities

Puerto Lopez is an enchanting destination that provides a range of tours and activities to explore. Want to actively participate in conservation efforts? Why not try our unique experience: Whale Watching in Puerto Lopez: Isla de la Plata Tour? Or perhaps you’re seeking to unwind and immerse yourself in the captivating aroma of Palo Santo while witnessing how commercial profit can coexist with responsible practices. If that’s the case, join us for the Sustainable Palo Santo Factory Tour: Ecuador’s Sacred Wood.

 

Curious about additional volunteering opportunities in Ecuador?

Join us for an enriching journey into the Ecuadorian Amazon. Volunteer at a wildlife rescue center to contribute to endangered species rescue and rehabilitation. Experience nature and make a lasting impact.

Day by Day

Day 1Welcome to Las Tunas

On the first day of your adventure, you will be picked up at your hotel in Puerto Lopez at 09:00 am and travel via private transportation to Las Tunas. This breathtaking beach will be your base for a full day of meaningful conservation work and adventure.

Upon arrival, delve into the fascinating world of turtle ecology with a 30-minute presentation about the program. The Project Coordinator will then guide you through the tasks at hand, which include monitoring turtle nesting, beach cleaning, and reforestation efforts. These activities typically span 4 to 5 hours, and if luck is on your side, you might witness the enchanting process of sea turtle eggs hatching and the newborns’ first journey into the ocean.

After a day filled with learning and excitement, savor a well-deserved dinner and rest up in a cozy bed at our selected conservation-supportive homestay —a perfect way to shell-ebrate this fulfilling day!

Day 2Closure

On the following day, after a hearty breakfast, we’ll transport you back to Puerto Lopez, where you can embark on your next adventure. Your time and efforts in Las Tunas will not only contribute to the preservation of sea turtles but also support the local community’s sustainability initiatives.

Small version of transparent round logo of RESPONSible Travel Peru

What makes this experience Impactful?

Conservation of Sea Turtles: The tour’s main focus is on the conservation of sea turtles. Volunteers monitor turtle nests, contributing to the survival and well-being of four different species of turtles that choose Las Tunas as their nesting ground. This direct involvement in conservation work supports biodiversity and helps maintain the health of ocean ecosystems.

Beach Cleaning and Reforestation: In addition to monitoring turtle nests, the tour includes beach cleaning and reforestation activities. These efforts help preserve the natural beauty and health of the environment, ensuring it can continue to support a diverse range of wildlife.

Support for Community Sustainability Initiatives: The tour supports local community sustainability initiatives. This not only contributes to the local economy but also encourages sustainable practices within the community. By choosing accommodation that supports conservation, the tour further aids sustainability efforts.

Education and Awareness: The tour includes a presentation about turtle ecology, helping participants understand the importance of conservation work. This educational aspect raises awareness about environmental issues and promotes responsible tourism.

Details

Price Includes

  • Transportation from your hotel in Puerto LopezPickup time: 9AM
  • Activities related to monitoring nests and handling turtles/eggs
  • Lunch and dinner on day 1, breakfast on day 2
  • Shared accommodation in a local family’s homeSee the FAQ section for more details.
  • Donation to the project

Price Excludes

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the tour Volunteer at Las Tunas Sea Turtle Beach Center

Which sea turtle species will I see at the nesting beach? and What’s the peak season?

There are 4 species of sea turtles and each of the species nests at different times of the year. In general, the peak months are from July to February and the lower season is from March to June. However, there is still much unpredictability, as many times turtles arrive in times that are not “regular” nesting season.

The Olive Ridley Turtle is present all year round, but it is in the months of June to December where more nests are registered.

Then there’s the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle that mostly come from December to March.

Can I stay and volunteer for longer?

Yes, of course! Many stay here for weeks. Stay longer to make a stronger impact and reduce your carbon footprint.

Let us know how long you’d like to stay and we’ll arrange that for you.

What's the accommodation like at the local hostfamily? Can I have a private room?

You will stay in the home of one of the community members, where they have a living area for themselves and a separate area to accommodate volunteers. You will all share common spaces like the kitchen and dining area.

As for the private room: yes, just make a request. For an additional cost, you will get a private room only for you or your travel buddies.

Is this a private excursion or will I share the experience with other travelers?

Apart from your transfer from Puerto López to Las Tunas, everything is shared here. Let’s hope there will be many more volunteers around to learn more and share the experience!

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

On the coast, the wet season from December to May brings warm temperatures and tropical showers, typically in the afternoon. During this period, daytime temperatures range from 25-31°C (77-88°F), falling to a comfortable 20-24°C (68-75°F) at night. From July to November, the ‘garua’ season brings cooler temperatures and cloudy skies, with occasional drizzle.

Find more info about climates in Ecuador in our blog “Best Time to Travel to Ecuador“.

Is this tour physically demanding?

No, not really. 

How can I see the prices for this tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select an amount of travelers (number of adults, children, etc) on the right side of the website (or the top, on mobile). You will then see that total price for your party right above it. For some tours, the price will change according to the amount of people. 

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Reviews
Your Host
The Olive Ridley turtle is the most present species at the Las Tunas Beach, where you can come and volunteer for a day to help with the preservation of this beautiful sea turtle. | Impactful Travel | Picture copyright WWF

Olive Ridley turtle

I’m the Olive Ridley turtle from the beautiful shores of Las Tunas, a small village where the community is actively engaged in preserving us and our 3 other fellow sea turtles. But you know what makes this place truly special? It’s an ideal nesting ground for my kind, and we have a dedicated project that focuses on monitoring and conserving our nests.

I’d like to extend an invitation to you to join us here in Las Tunas and learn about our life and our world.

So, why not join us and make a real difference? Your time in Las Tunas will be a meaningful contribution to the survival of my species (as well as for green, leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles) and the sustainability of our environment. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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