Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Sights

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre Ostional)

  • 7 km (4½ miles) north of Nosara Map It
  • Nosara
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Fodor's Review

This wildlife refuge protects one of Costa Rica's major nesting beaches for olive ridley turtles. Locals have formed an association to run the reserve on a cooperative basis, and during the first 36 hours of the arribadas (mass nesting) they are allowed to harvest the eggs, on the premise that eggs laid during this time would likely be destroyed by subsequent waves of mother turtles. Though turtles nest here year-round, the largest arribadas, with thousands of turtles nesting over the courses of several nights, occur from July to December, though smaller arribadas take place between January and May. They usually occur around high tide, the week of a new moon. People in Nosara usually know when an arribada has begun. The mandatory guide-led tours of the nesting and hatching areas cost $10 per person. Stop at the kiosk at the entrance to the beach to arrange a tour, or at the Association of Guides office, 25 meters (80 feet) south of the beach entrance on the main road, next to Cabinas Ostional. A new bridge over the Río Montaña has made access easier from Nosara.

Sight Information


7 km (4½ miles) north of Nosara, Nosara, 50206, Costa Rica

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $10


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.