Portugal – Marine Conservation in Lisbon

Scuba dive into the surreal waters of the Atlantic Coastline in Portugal to help clean up pollution that threaten local marine life.

Program Highlights

  • Become part of a worldwide movement of passionate people dealing with the global challenge of litter and the impact human development is having on the marine environment.
  • Learn how to dive or improve your scuba diving skills in a certified school.
  • Scuba dive in the Atlantic Ocean and protect the local environment from pollution.
  • Meet other like-minded volunteers from all over the world.
  • Live in a sustainable hostel at a beach town 25 min away from the city center of Lisbon.


First Week Itinerary:

Day 1, Sun: Arrival pickup at the airport by the local team, settle down at the volunteer’s accommodation, get to your group of volunteers.
Day 2, Mon: Welcome orientation and city tour.
Day 3-6, Tue-Fri: Scuba diving lessons and certification. Learn from professionals how to scuba dive and clean the ocean floor of debris. Also, learn the basics of underwater exploration and get certified.
Day 7-8, Sat-Sun: Free weekend. Explore Portugal, take Portuguese lessons, or enroll in other activities we have programmed. Departure is on a Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Cascais, Portugal

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Aeroporto de Lisboa Humberto Delgado

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Volunteers will scuba dive to help clean the seabed of pollution, debris, and help protect Lisbon’s rich marine ecosystem.

Age Age: Minimum 17

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Maximum 8

Important Note Important Note: The MC in Lisbon includes an internationally recognized CMAS (World Underwater Federation) diving certification. There are three different levels according to the volunteer diving experience, from beginners to people with some prior experience to advanced divers. The diving and volunteer equipment will be included.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Accommodation will be at a dormitory, at a sustainable, and social hostel (Private rooms are also available for an upgrade).

Food Food: Three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Local style, Vegetarian, gluten-free, and meals for lactose-intolerant are also available upon request).

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Pick-up at the airport (On the Saturday or Sunday prior to an Introduction Day). Alternate options include a taxi from the airport to the program site for €25.

Orientation Orientation: Held the day after arrival with a responsible guided city tour (2 hours.) This includes free maps, city guides, and the best tips to discover the city!

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, daily transportation from the hostel to the volunteer project (around 5 EUR per day), personal expenses.

Lisbon, Portugal. The diving club, where the volunteer work takes place, is in a recreational port that was opened in 1999 and is located very close to the center of Cascais and the citadel stronghold. It is a place with splendid views and a diverse range of shops and restaurants. Volunteers stay in a sustainable hostel around 30 minutes by public transportation from the diving club.

Volunteers’ daily tasks may vary depending on the time of the year, but can include:

  • Clean-up the seabed to reduce the marine debris, equipped with diving equipment and nets; logging information on items and trash collected.
  • Remove the living marine organisms from the trash collected and put them back in the sea;
  • Document and collect information about fauna–fish and invertebrate species–in a monitored biodiverse area as part of a scientific research project;
  • Last year, our divers collected 588 kg of trash and started a report that is being compiled as more divers join the project. This report helps us raise awareness of waste pollution in the ocean.


A typical weekday will look like this:

08:00-09:00 am | Breakfast at the volunteer’s accommodation.
09:00-12:30 am | Take the train to the project and do your first dive of the week. You will start by learning the fundamentals and after a couple of days you will start the eco-diving.
01:30-02:00 pm | Take the train back to the volunteer accommodation.
02:00-02:30 pm | Lunch time.
02:30-07:00 pm | Relaxing & Travel time. The afternoons are free to travel around the city, learn Portuguese, or relax. Sometimes, you can also dive during the afternoons depending on the specialties or certification you are doing. Your instructor will inform you about this on the first day.
07:30-09:00 PM | Dinner at the volunteer accommodation along with the other volunteers.


Sample of Diving Plan – Depends on your diving level and the number of weeks you join:

week 1 week 2 week 3 week 4
Beginner (No certification) Open Water Diver Certification
(4 dives + confined + theory)
Marine Ecology Specialty
(4 dives + 1 exploration dive)
Advanced Open Water Certification 4 exploration dives
Open Water Certification Marine Ecology Specialty
(4 dives + 1 exploration dive)
Advanced Open Water Certification Fish ID Specialty
(4 dives + 1 exploration dive)
4 exploration dives
Advanced Open Water Certification Marine Ecology Specialty
(4 dives + 1 exploration dive)
Fish ID Specialty
(4 dives + 1 exploration dive)
Deep Sea Specialty
(5 dives)
4 exploration dives


Note: Volunteers with no diving experience will learn to dive before engaging in any underwater conservation activities. The program fee covers the cost of the required online and in-person training, full scuba equipment, and volunteer supervision from an experienced dive instructor. All volunteers complete internationally recognized diving certifications (CMAS). Depending on the current diving experience and the length of the stay, the volunteer will complete a certification ranging from Open Water Diver to Advanced Open Water Diver and specialties such as Marine Ecology and Fish. The project works with a local diving school, therefore the volunteer is always supervised by an experienced dive instructor.

Internet icon Internet: Wi-Fi is included.

Laundry icon Laundry: Available for use, extra fee €5

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in a hostel devoted to sustainable practices. They provide accommodations in dorm-style rooms with shared bathroom amenities. Private and double rooms are available for an extra fee. The communal areas boast a commodious lounge area, a stunning garden and veggie patch, a vast external area, a swimming pool, a dining room and an events space. There is also a complimentary yoga session every Friday!

Food icon Food: Three homemade meals are provided each day. Special diet accommodations (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, etc.) are available.


  • Minimum 16 years old
  • GoEco interview
  • Basic level of English
  • Criminal background check
  • Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good health for diving
  • No other serious medical issues

We want volunteers to know the natural and cultural surroundings and will provide you with helpful tips and tricks that will help discover Lisbon like a local!
The shifts will last between 3 and 5 hours per day, the shifts take place either in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening (depending on the program), which will leave them with plenty of free time to go explore, take a stroll around the surroundings, catch the most important sites, interact with the locals or relax, and of course, weekends off as well! The most popular options are Belém, Lisbon Downtown and Cascais beaches.

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?