Fodor's Expert Review Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

Nosara Green Fodor's Choice

This wildlife refuge protects one of Costa Rica's major nesting beaches for olive ridley turtles. If you get to go when the turtles are hatching, it is a magical experience. 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 course of several nights, occur from July to December; smaller arribadas take place between January and May. They usually occur around high tide, the week of a new moon. It's best to go very early in the morning, at sunrise. People in Nosara can tell you when an arribada has begun, or check the Facebook page Asociacion de Guias Locales de Ostional (AGLO) Costa Rica. To avoid overcrowding on the beach, visitors must... READ MORE

This wildlife refuge protects one of Costa Rica's major nesting beaches for olive ridley turtles. If you get to go when the turtles are hatching, it is a magical experience. 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 course of several nights, occur from July to December; smaller arribadas take place between January and May. They usually occur around high tide, the week of a new moon. It's best to go very early in the morning, at sunrise. People in Nosara can tell you when an arribada has begun, or check the Facebook page Asociacion de Guias Locales de Ostional (AGLO) Costa Rica. To avoid overcrowding on the beach, visitors must join a guide-led tour of the nesting and hatching areas for $20 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 (82 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, but it's sometimes difficult to get to from the north during rainy season (May to mid-December).

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Green Fodor's Choice Family Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

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

2682–0428

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $20

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