Sea Turtle nesting in Costa Rica is an incredible natural event that will be a highlight of your vacation – for both adults and children. Just as human opposites meet here, mate and never really say goodbye, so too do the turtles, who somehow always return to the same Costa Rica shores. Having the Pacific and Atlantic oceans a short distance apart makes it possible to experience nesting and/or hatching turtles virtually any time of year in Costa Rica. Of the 7 species of Sea Turtles 6 of them love Costa Rica so much, they now consider it home, making it one of the largest Sea Turtle nesting sites in the world. As the saying goes in Costa Rica, “Pura Vida” (“pure life”).
The inspiration behind this blog is the “Ostional Sea Turtle Nesting Adventure,” a special tour available to guests at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs. Along the Pacific Ocean’s Playa Grande (beach) inside the Ostional Wildlife Reserve (Guanacaste’s Nicoya Peninsula), about a 2-hour drive from the Resort, an ‘Arribada’ (in Spanish, ‘arrival’) takes place, where hundreds to thousands of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles steadily arrive, make their nests in the sand and lay eggs; then head back into the ocean.
So, to give our guests a better appreciation for Costa Rica’s nesting Sea Turtles, here is the story of their lives.
To help navigate this blog about our reptilious friends, here the topics that follow:
One of the popular Eco-adventure tours at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs is the “Ostional Sea Turtle Nesting Adventure” along the Playa (beach) Grande in the Ostional Wildlife Reserve, about 2 hours away in Guanacaste province’s Nicoya Peninsula. The setting is along a beautiful, moon-lit tropical beach in Costa Rica. Trained Park Rangers greet visitors and familiarize them with the Park’s regulations. These guidelines protect the nesting Sea Turtles by making visitors aware of issues that may disrupt their natural activity.
After sunset, in the moonlight, the ‘Arribada’ (in Spanish, ‘arrival’) commences and soon there are hundreds to thousands of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles arriving in a steady stream, making their nests in the sand and laying their eggs, before heading back to sea. Experiencing this phenomenon first-hand is a moving experience for the entire family; adults and children gain a hands-on appreciation of one of nature’s wonders.
Throughout the year, the Ostional National Reserve protects 15 km (9 miles) of pristine coastline and everything within it. The area is preserved, guarded and supervised by wildlife caretakers; many of whom are volunteers with funding, in part, through private fundraising efforts.
The best time of year for viewing the Olive Ridley or Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle Nesting is during the arribas, though the Ridleys nest throughout the year. Arribadas take place once to twice a month all year. However, during the wet season, from June to December the Arribadas are in the thousands and in the dry season Arribadas are in the hundreds.