Marine conservation at Caño Island Biological Reserve

Project name:


Project purpose:

Marine conservation at Caño Island Biological Reserve

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • scuba diving

  • teaching

Weekly cost (approx USD):




Costa Rica

Central America

1 Ratings


Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

  • report writing

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • publishes work


Ecolodge in a mangrove at the Sierpe River. Also some nights will be at the Caño Island, something only offered to researchers

When does the project run?


accommodation included, food included, electricity, local shops, nearby medical facilities, refillable drinking water, shower (bucket/cold/hot), toilet (western), toiler (drop), wifi. In Sierpe we will stay in bungalows for two nights by the river, in Caño Island we will stay in the rangers house (only house in the island) where there are beds and facilities for volunteers. We will also spend two nights at Drake Bay in a hostel.

How long can I stay?


  • Advanced scuba diver (or equivalent)

  • Ideally a marine biological background

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

  • You will have the opportunity to live in a Biological Reserve working hand by hand with the rangers. You will also discover the most rural parts of Costa Rica and you will have the opportunity to undertake anphibians tour, or other terrestrial tours to Corcovado for example. Also you will be diving during the whale season in a place were most of the shark species have been seen. 

  • Journey by boat through mangrove forests to open ocean, and on to Cano Island

  • Conduct scuba diving surveys to continue creating a baseline inventory of different species, physical parameters and other data used in long term conservation analysis

  • Attend lectures about marine biology, marine engineering and the archaeological and natural history of Cano island

  • Meet and work with local rangers - these rangers guard and protect Cano island 24/7 and work to protect endangered species

  • Humpback whales, reef sharks, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, corals nudibranchs, and more - macro and micro fauna alike call the reefs at Cano home.

Reviews & ratings



Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday



It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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