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Costa Rican Sea Turtles Adventure

  • Earthwatch Institute Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas Playa Grande Costa Rica (map)

Maine Yoga Adventures is partnering again with outstanding nonprofit conservation organization, Earthwatch Institute, to assist on a 9 day Costa Rican Sea Turtles Expedition.


Following volunteer work, adventurers will head to an awe-inspiring private home, The Sunset, in the rainforest of Nuevo Arenal for yoga, healthy vegetarian food, hiking, sightseeing, playing in the pool and more!

Adventurers are free to choose just the sea turtle expedition with Earthwatch Institute or just the adventure with MYA or both!

Lead scientist Frank Paladino, Professor of Biology, Indiana-Purdue University, has a research team to help gain a better understanding of the ecology of endangered turtles that nest on the beaches of Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas. These beaches host the largest remaining population of leatherback turtles in the Eastern Pacific as well as important populations of olive ridley and East Pacific green turtles. (pics below by Jeff Morey)

The work will consist of... 

  • Observing and monitor nesting leatherbacks. Those working on the beach at night will visit each nesting leatherback to take measurements and record any unusual markings or injuries—in other words, you’ll get as close as a person can to these majestic animals.

  • Release hatchlings in the ocean. When babies start to emerge from the eggs in the hatchery, our team will take the tiny turtles down to the water's edge and release them into the wild.

  • Survey the beach. During the day, our team will count sea turtle nests on the beach, take nest temperatures, and look for signs of erosion that could put nests in danger.

Accommodations are at the Goldring Marine Biology Field Station perched at the edge of the beach. Team MYA will share a bedroom with bunk beds. We'll have plenty of space to lounge at the pool or in the hammock. Typical tasty Costa Rican breakfasts and dinners of beans will be served up as well as ingredients for simple delicious lunches. 

Adventurers can create an expedition fund through Earthwatch to receive tax-deductible donations to cover volunteering costs ($2,845 accommodations & food are included; flight is not included) or use another contribution platform such as GoFundMe. If you can’t commit but are interested in supporting endangered sea turtles, make a donation to support MYA founder, Holly, in her volunteer work.


The former Principal Investigator for this project, Nathan Robinson, is the scientist seen removing a straw from a turtle’s nostril in what is considered to be the viral video responsible for straw bans! More needs to be done in terms reducing the plastic threat in oceans but banning straws is a good place to start. Tamarindo, across the way from Playa Grande, could do with more education in both light reduction and reducing their disposables that end up in the waters that these turtles return to every year to lay down their future generations. The risks are many for turtles, humans can do more to help their plight by refusing plastic and considering options other than convenience.


Nature is abundant in this peaceful place - the Costa Rican sunsets are gorgeous, like none other! Volunteers will have some time to relax on the beach, explore, and soak in the beauty. There will be time for wildlife watching, howler monkey families reside there, anteaters, crocs in the slower waterways, and more...

Post-research expedition, MYA will adventure to The Sunset in Nuevo Arenal for four blissful nights (January 17-21) of yoga, nature immersions (finding a sloth or two!), excursions, rainforest rambling, stargazing, birding (toucans visit the house), and delicious food!


Rachel Hicks, our cook from Virginia, will work her adventure magic in the kitchen again. Rachel comes to MYA with a vibrant passion for the outdoors, sustainability, food, and wellness. A yoga teacher with a masters in nutrition, Rachel has led retreats and workshops in her wheelhouse of health and well-being.

The Sunset, our home, is going to be unbelievable! Located in the rainforest rather than a gated community, surrounded by nature, a 500 hundred acre preserve to the east and thousand acres of protected rainforest encompassing Tenorio National park to the North and West. A spot of peace and privacy with access to amazing excursions both in the forest and on the lake.

The entire property is a showcase of Costa Rican art, decorative tile, stone and craft work. Six beautifully appointed bedrooms featuring artwork, hand carved beds and doors with bathrooms en suite, and two decorative fireplaces are all for MYA. The master suite bathroom features a hot tub built for two (Holly promises to share!). There’s a chef’s kitchen, library/living room area, dining area, and a unique indoor pool with jacuzzi. We can play billiards and ping pong - lounging areas, an inversion table, and a massage table are also at our disposal.

Lake Arenal has so much to offer adventurers - windsurfing, canopy tours, boat tours, jungle hiking trails, kite surfing, horseback riding, kayaking, swimming in an extinct volcanic crater, spelunking and more. We can decide as a group our fav excursions, definitely hanging bridges and hot springs, and still have the option to simply relax and enjoy the tranquility and majesty of your surroundings.


To help the Costa Rican National Park system finance education, outreach and protection, Red Sunset devotes 50% of each commission gained through sales of adventure tours toward this goal. With the benefit of access to individuals in the tour system that make it all work - tribal leaders, guides, and park directors. MYA will take advantage of a couple tours for sure!

This will be MYA's 5th journey to Costa Rica via the airport in Liberia. Founder, Holly Twining, will fly from Bangor, if adventurers feel more comfortable with a travel buddy. Flights are in the $500-$600 range.

To secure your spot on the sea turtle expedition team, Earthwatch will receive an initial contribution, a nonrefundable $300 deposit. Adventurers can use the fund for the deposit as well. If you're ready to commit to the expedition call Zach Zimmerman at 978-450-1226.

Adventure cost including four nights of fab accommodations, daily yoga, nature explorations, stunning sunsets, vegetarian dinners & breakfasts, pool dipping, wildlife viewing, airport transport & more...

$2,200 shared queen ($1,100 per adventurer); $1,700 solo queen; $1,200 bunk bed; secure your space w/ a $600 deposit

Please feel free to contact Holly for a payment plan if need be, MYA doesn’t like to turn down adventurers :)

Costa Rican Sea Turtles Adventure
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Earlier Event: January 3
Snow & Ice Adventure