Best Costa Rica Sea Turtle Nesting Sites: Where To Go

Costa Rica is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, attracting millions of tourists every year. However, what many people don’t know is that Costa Rica is also one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites. With its warm waters and sandy beaches, it’s no wonder that these gentle giants come here to lay their eggs.

If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica and are interested in witnessing this incredible natural phenomenon, then you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica, so you can plan your trip accordingly and experience this awe-inspiring event for yourself.

Best Costa Rica Sea Turtle Nesting Sites: Where To Go

Best Costa Rica Sea Turtle Nesting Sites: Where To Go

Costa Rica is known to be a haven for sea turtles. The country’s long coastline provides an ideal breeding ground for different species of sea turtles. If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, you must visit these top sea turtle nesting sites. Here are the best Costa Rica sea turtle nesting sites that you should consider visiting.

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

The Ostional Wildlife Refuge is known for its massive olive ridley sea turtle nesting. It is located in the Nicoya Peninsula and is considered one of the world’s most significant sea turtle nesting sites. The refuge is known for its arribada, a phenomenon where thousands of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The arribada usually occurs between July and November.

The Ostional Wildlife Refuge is a protected area, and visitors can only access the beach with a guide. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting the Ostional Wildlife Refuge are witnessing a natural phenomenon, learning about the conservation efforts, and enjoying the beautiful beach.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is another popular sea turtle nesting site in Costa Rica. It is located on the Caribbean coast and is home to four species of sea turtles, including green turtles, leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, and loggerhead turtles. The nesting season in Tortuguero National Park varies depending on the species, but it usually occurs between June and October.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the park to see the sea turtles nesting. The tours are usually conducted at night to avoid disturbing the sea turtles. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Tortuguero National Park are seeing different species of sea turtles, learning about the conservation efforts, and experiencing the park’s unique ecosystem.

Playa Grande

Playa Grande is a beautiful beach in Guanacaste and is home to the leatherback sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa Grande occurs between October and March.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Grande are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

Playa Langosta

Playa Langosta is another popular sea turtle nesting site in Costa Rica. It is located in Tamarindo and is home to the leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles. The nesting season in Playa Langosta occurs between November and April.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Langosta are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

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Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a beautiful beach in Guanacaste and is home to the olive ridley sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa Hermosa occurs between July and December.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Hermosa are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

Playa Ostional

Playa Ostional is another popular sea turtle nesting site in Costa Rica. It is located in the Nicoya Peninsula and is home to the olive ridley sea turtles. The nesting season in Playa Ostional occurs between July and November.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Ostional are experiencing the beautiful beach, witnessing a natural phenomenon, and learning about the conservation efforts.

Playa San Miguel

Playa San Miguel is a secluded beach in Guanacaste and is home to the leatherback sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa San Miguel occurs between October and May.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa San Miguel are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal is a beautiful beach in Guanacaste and is home to the olive ridley sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa Junquillal occurs between July and December.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Junquillal are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

Playa Mina

Playa Mina is a secluded beach in Guanacaste and is home to the leatherback sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa Mina occurs between October and May.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Mina are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

Playa Buena Vista

Playa Buena Vista is a secluded beach in Guanacaste and is home to the leatherback sea turtles. It is known for its eco-tourism and conservation efforts. The nesting season in Playa Buena Vista occurs between October and May.

Visitors can take a guided tour to see the sea turtles nesting. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides to protect the sea turtles and their nesting grounds.

Some of the benefits of visiting Playa Buena Vista are experiencing the beautiful beach, learning about the conservation efforts, and supporting the local community’s eco-tourism.

In conclusion, Costa Rica offers some of the world’s best sea turtle nesting sites. Visiting these sites not only provides a unique and memorable experience but also supports the local communities’ conservation efforts. It is essential to follow the guidelines set by the guides and respect the sea turtles’ nesting grounds to ensure their survival and protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time of year is the best to see sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica?

The best time to see sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica is from July to December. During this time, four of the eight sea turtle species can be seen nesting on the beaches of Costa Rica. The Olive Ridley turtles are the most common species and can be seen in large numbers during the arribada, or mass nesting event, which occurs between August and November.

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It is important to note that sea turtle nesting is a natural process and can be affected by various factors such as weather, tides, and human interference. Therefore, it is recommended to check with local conservation organizations or tour operators before planning a trip to ensure the best chances of seeing sea turtle nesting.

What are some of the best sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has several sea turtle nesting sites that are worth visiting. Some of the best ones include Tortuguero National Park, Ostional Wildlife Refuge, and Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. These sites offer unique opportunities to witness sea turtle nesting and are also important for conservation efforts.

At these sites, visitors can take guided tours to learn about the nesting process, observe hatchlings making their way to the sea, and participate in conservation efforts such as beach cleanups and monitoring programs.

How can I help protect sea turtles while visiting their nesting sites?

Visitors can help protect sea turtles while visiting their nesting sites by following a few simple guidelines. These include staying on designated paths and avoiding walking on the beach at night, minimizing the use of artificial light, not touching or disturbing nesting turtles or their eggs, and properly disposing of trash.

Additionally, visitors can support local conservation organizations by volunteering, donating, or participating in conservation programs. By doing so, visitors can help ensure the continued survival of these magnificent creatures for generations to come.

Are there any restrictions or regulations for visiting sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica?

Yes, there are restrictions and regulations for visiting sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica. These regulations are in place to protect the turtles and their nesting habitat. For example, visitors are not allowed to take flash photography or use artificial light around nesting turtles or hatchlings.

Additionally, some nesting sites may have limited access or require permits for entry. It is important to check with local conservation organizations or tour operators for specific regulations and guidelines before visiting a sea turtle nesting site.

What other wildlife can be seen at sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica?

In addition to sea turtles, visitors to sea turtle nesting sites in Costa Rica may also have the opportunity to see other wildlife. These may include various species of birds, monkeys, and reptiles such as iguanas and snakes.

Many of these species are also important for the ecosystem and contribute to the overall biodiversity of the area. Visitors can learn more about these species and their role in the ecosystem by taking guided tours or visiting local nature reserves and national parks.

Best Costa Rica Sea Turtle Nesting Sites: Where To Go 2

Sea Turtle Nesting Grounds | Wild Costa Rica


In conclusion, Costa Rica is a true paradise for sea turtle enthusiasts. With its stunning beaches and diverse wildlife, the country offers some of the best nesting sites in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, you’re sure to find a nesting site that suits your needs.

From Tortuguero to Ostional, each site has its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re interested in watching the nesting process, releasing baby turtles into the ocean, or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and head to Costa Rica for an unforgettable experience.

Finally, it’s important to remember that sea turtles are an endangered species and need our protection. By visiting these nesting sites, you can support conservation efforts and help ensure that these magnificent creatures continue to thrive for generations to come. So not only will you have an incredible adventure, but you’ll also be making a difference in the world.

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