Turtle Travels

Sea Turtle Friendly Certified

Look For This Seal

This past year was hard. Hard on families, businesses, travelers, and residents. Many have wished to just go back to normal, but some have had bigger plans to reshape the new normal. Sea Turtle Friendly Certified was launched to accredit businesses who take the extra step to ensure their beachfront operations meet sea turtle protection standards and engage their guests in the greater conservation story taking place around them.

Costa d’Este Hotel and Spa


Vero Beach, Florida


Become A Candidate

To earn and maintain your certification status there are some important steps that must be followed throughout the year-long program. These steps include submitting an application, developing unique environmental plans that meet the core standards of the program, and undergoing inspections throughout the sea turtle nesting season. The payoff includes free swag and promotions through CCinc, your Chamber of Commerce, the Sustainable Events Network, and the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation. You will also receive a reputable award for your work towards becoming Certified which will attract eco-minded travelers and recognition for taking the extra steps to protect the environment. Download Application.

Important dates include:

February: Applications Due

Applications include the two-page form, submittal of environmental plans, and fee. Our team is here to help every step of the way. Download your application HERE.

March – October: Inspection Period

No matter if this is your 1st or 15th year in the program, you will undergo on-site inspections to ensure your plans are being followed.

November: Certification Award

You did it! You passed your inspections and you deserve praise. CCinc will host an annual award ceremony in honor of your hard work.

Environmental Standards

The rigorous process of the certification requires candidates to meet the following standards below. For more details of these requirements, please click HERE.


Must provide educational materials about sea turtles on the property and on social media to spread information and knowledge to a broader audience.


Must follow all local sea turtle lighting ordinances and State recommended guidelines to minimize harmful impacts to nesting moms and hatchlings on the beach.


Must show steps to remove single-use plastic to-go containers, straws, cups, utensils, and bags or offer a plastic alternative on property. Recycling is required and must be easily accessible and available to guests on property.

Natural Beaches

Must keep beaches free of human-made debris year-round and must host at least one beach cleanup per year. Must remove all human-made objects like furniture and recreational equipment from the beach nightly to clear space for nesting moms.

“This certification is a great way to ensure visitors and locals alike that the hotels and businesses are doing their part to protect and serve their environment.”

Kirk Funnell
Visit Indian River County

Turtle Trips

Coastal Connections Costa Rica Turtle Trips

Saving sea turtles cannot happen only along the coasts of Florida because sea turtles are found in oceans worldwide and travel thousands upon thousands of miles to eat, grow and reproduce regardless of political boundaries. Our human actions and behaviors to protect the environment are the same. Actions taken in one place can and will affect the environment thousands of miles away. This is why we are so excited about our partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Association, headquartered in Nosara, Costa Rica. 

Both of our organizations are focused on protecting sea turtles and incorporating sustainable behaviors to enhance or restore the coastal ecosystems used by sea turtles to survive. Starting in 2022, together we will facilitate Turtle Trips in Costa Rica. This new experience will immerse travelers in sea turtle conservation, sustainability, and volunteering. Every trip will support local communities, national parks and refuges, and organizations by providing donations and helping hands on important conservation or sustainability projects. Every traveler will receive certification for volunteer hours earned during the trip.


Costa Rica

Activities offered through Costa Rica Turtle Trips are subject to change based on community need but may include: Beach Cleanups, Biodiversity Surveys, Boat Tours, Farming, Hiking, Recycling, Reforestation, Turtle Walks, Yoga, and More!

Partnering with:

Is this a volunteer opportunity?

Yes, the primary reason for this travel program is to participate in volunteer work with charitable partner organizations. Groups will also participate in educational classes, and enjoy being immersed in the local culture.

Why Join our Turtle Trip?

Our small groups will visit three communities in Costa Rica, donate to three national parks and refuges, and work with three or more NGOs that support coastal conservation and environmental sustainability.

Who can sign up?

Brand new in 2022, Turtle Trips will only be available for college students as an alternative spring break option. Additional trips may become available upon special request.
View the Turtle Trips Promotional Packet.