Costa Rica is considered to contain the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide. While encompassing less than one percent of Earth’s landmass, this tiny country is home to an estimated four percent of the planet’s species.
Five of the world’s seven existing species of sea turtles come ashore at specific times of the year to dig nests in the sand and lay their eggs on the shores of Costa Rica. Many of the nesting beaches are protected areas and guided excursions provide visitors with unique up-close wildlife observations of sea turtle nestings and hatchings in the wild.
With locations on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, few places in the world have as many sea turtle nesting sites as Costa Rica. We are even beginning to see a small number of the Olive Ridley turtles return to nest on our beaches in Manuel Antonio which is very exciting!
The most popular places and times to see sea turtles nesting in Costa Rica are listed below.
- Olive Ridleys nest in Santa Rosa National Park and Ostional National Wildlife Refuge in Guanacaste from July to December, and to a lesser extent from January to June.
- Leatherbacks nest in Las Baulas National Marine Park near Tamarindo from early October through mid-February and in Tortuguero National Park on the northern Caribbean coast from February to June.
- Green turtles and Loggerheads nest in Tortuguero National Park from July through mid-October.
- Hawksbills nest in Tortuguero National Park and Cahuita on the Caribbean side from April through October.
The size, the strength, and the beauty of the sea turtle is amazing. Visitors who are lucky enough to see one of these incredible sea creatures come ashore to nest will never forget it. Definitely something to add to the bucket list!
Sea turtles are endangered throughout the world due to hunting, death and injuries caused by industrial fishing nets, land development, pollution, and the illegal collection and sale of their eggs. Costa Rica is making efforts to protect the sea turtles and has declared protected turtle nesting areas throughout the country.
For help with planning an upcoming trip to Costa Rica, you may contact us at Tulemar at 1-800-936-9622 or on our hotel website www.4tulemar.com.
Video footage of turtle nesting in Costa Rica: