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Am I guaranteed to see a sea turtle or hatchling?
As with most wild animals, there is never a guarantee to see a sea turtle (they are endangered of course). However, if you plan to go during the peak of the hawksbill nesting season (mid-June to mid-August), you have a very good chance of seeing multiple turtles. There are fewer nesting turtles early in the season (May) and late in the season (September). Hatchlings start arriving in mid-July and from early August through September, you have a very good chance of seeing hatchlings then.
Is walking on the beach at night safe?
Yes. We do not take people to any unsafe beaches and have never had a safety concern on any of our tours. You will be walking with local researchers and guides who know how to handle any situations that might arise but few people are on the beach and there haven’t been any confrontations.
How does this trip bene t turtle conservation?
SEE Turtles runs sea turtle trips as a way to help save these incredible animals. To participate
in the work and stay at the research station, we pay a fee to the local partner which helps
to cover the costs of the conservation and research efforts. In addition, the volunteer help provided by travelers helps to ensure that the beach is patrolled (no volunteers means the beach is open to poachers to take every nest). Finally, every tour saves at least 100 hatchlings through a donation to the conservation organization through our Billion Baby Turtles Initiative.
Will I get to do every volunteer job on the trip?
As we can’t guarantee that you will see a sea turtle, we also can’t guarantee you’ll get to do every job in the volunteer program. We hope to give every participant the opportunity to do each job but it depends on the number of participants, the number of turtles encountered,
and the individual circumstances with each turtle (sometimes more complicated situations require the researchers to do speci c jobs). Generally the tagging is done only by research staff. If there is one speci c job you really want to do, let your guide know and he will do his best to accommodate your request. Check out the page “Daily Life on a Volunteer Project” for details about the tasks involved in sea turtle research.
How much money should I bring?
We recommend that each participant bring at least $200 in cash for tipping and spending money. US bills of $20 and less are widely accepted in Nicaragua (change given in dollars or Nicaraguan cordobas). Many shop owners are wary of accepting torn or “old-looking” bills – so please bring crisp newer bills if possible! Small bills ($1’s and $5’s) are useful at the turtle projects where there are no banks and people have a harder time nding change for larger bills.
How much should I tip?
Tipping guides isn’t mandatory, but it is customary. We recommend tipping $8 to $10 dollars per day per participant to divide between your guide and driver. (That would be $70 to $100 per participant depending on the length of the trip). Participants will not need to tip anyone else along the way.
Can I call home or check my email while in Nicaragua?
Calling home from Nicaragua can be expensive. For email, you should not rely on or expect to be able to get online while on the trip. Cell phones from the US or Canada often do not work or automatically switch you to a local service which activates international roaming fees. If you plan to bring a cell phone, please check with your provider about coverage and cost.
Are the electrical outlets the same as in the US?
The voltage in Nicaragua is the same as the states. However, most outlets are 2-prong instead of 3-prong, so if you are bringing something that needs 3 prongs you need to bring an adapter. And remember, depending on which turtle project you go to, there may only be solar power, and outlets may not be available during those days.
Can I go to an ATM in Nicaragua?
Although there are ATMs in Nicaragua, much of the time you will be in places where they are not available. You can to go to one in Managua and in emergencies, there is a city about 30 min from Padre Ramos with ATM’s. And in places where they do have ATMs, they don’t always work. The bottom line – while you may be able to get cash from ATMs, don’t count on it.
How should I handle medications I need to bring?
If you plan to bring personal medicine to Costa Rica, please consider the following:
- Carry just the necessary quantity, which is the quantity normally used by a person having
your health problem.
- Bring a prescription or a written statement from your doctor, specifying that the medicine is
being used under their control and that you need it for your physical health.
- Have the medicines labeled or properly identi ed.
Do I need any vaccinations before going?
Since we are not doctors, we cannot give you advice on vaccinations. We recommend speaking with your doctor or visiting a travel clinic. You can also check the CDC website for Nicaragua for the most up-to-date information.
What is the weather like on Nicaragua’s Paci c coast?
Generally, it’s pretty warm (low to mid-80’s F) and rain is possible though dif cult to predict. The dry season is from January to June so most of the nesting season is during the rainy season. However, rainy season does not usually mean rain all day, every day, tropical downpours are more common with plenty of sun as well. Be sure to come ready for the rain.