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Turtle Nesting

Turtle nesting season
Costa Rica is known for its exquisite ecotourism which provides the opportunity to enjoy exceptional possibilities to view nesting turtles in areas with picture-perfect beaches, pristine rain forests and diverse cultures.

Four turtle species found their home in dozens of important nesting beaches across Costa Rica's coast: the Leatherback Turtle, the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, the Pacific Green Sea Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.

  • Nesting Period Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle is one of the smallest sea turtles. Despite their size, they can weigh as much as 45 kg (100 lbs) and have a length of up to 75 cm (30 in). The name comes from the olive-green color of its heart-shaped shell.

    • Location: Along the Pacific coast, specifically:
      - Playa Ostional
      - Santa Rosa National Park
    • Hatching: 50 - 60 days
    • Nesting Period: almost all year, although on many beaches the nesting is concentrated from July to November

 

  • Nesting Period Leatherback Turtle

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest of all living turtles with an adult reaching 183-220 cm (72-86 in) and weighing between 250 - 700 kg (500-1540 lbs). This giant creature can be easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its shield is covered by skin and oily flesh, looking like leather (and explaining the name).

    • Location: Along the Pacific coast, specifically:
      - National Park Las Baulas, Playa Grande
      - Playa Naranjo
      - Playa Ostional
    • Hatching: 50 - 70 days
    • Nesting Period: November to March
    • Location: Along the Caribbean coast, specifically:
      - Tortuguero National Park
    • Hatching: 50 - 70 days
    • Nesting Period: March to July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Nesting Period Green Sea Turtle
    The Green Sea Turtle derive their name from the green color of the fat under the shell. They are the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles with their length of 83-115 cm (32-45 inch) and weight of 110-190 kg (240-420 lbs). The Green Sea Turtle is one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.
    • Location: Along the Caribbean coast, specifically:
      - Tortuguero National Park
    • Hatching: 50 - 55days
    • Nesting Period: November to March
    • Location: Along the Pacific coast, specifically:
      - Playa Naranjo
    • Hatching: 50 - 55 days
    • Nesting Period: October to March

 

 



 

 

 

  • Nesting Period Hawskbill Turtle
    The Green Sea Turtle derive their name from the green color of the fat under the shell. They are the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles with their length of 83-115 cm (32-45 inch) and weight of 110-190 kg (240-420 lbs). The Green Sea Turtle is one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.
    • Location: Along the Pacific coast, specifically:
      - Corcovado National Park
      - Playa Ostional
      - Las Baulas National Park
    • Hatching: 50 - 60 days
    • Nesting Period: October to March
    • Location: Along the Caribbean coast, specifically:
      - Tortuguero National Park
      - Cahuita
    • Hatching: 50 - 60 days
    • Nesting Period: October to March

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The calendar below states exactly which type of turtle can be seen when and in which location in Costa Rica. Consider whale watching as well; the migration of these majestic, giant animals is considered one of the most impressing natural wonders you will ever witness.