Starting at $1 per night

Overview

This tour is an opportunity to see giant sea turtles nesting in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Available from November through late January, the Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Tour is taken at night during the nesting season when the female turtles leave the Pacific Ocean and lay their eggs in the soft sand on the beach.

The Pacific Green Turtle is a large sea turtle with an oval shell that can grow to 5 feet long and weigh from 150 to over 400 lbs. It gets its name from the green layer of fat between the body and the shell. Mature turtles spend their time in shallow waters along the coastlines eating seagrass. Only the female will leave the safety of the ocean in order to lay up to 200 eggs, depending on the age of the turtle. She will dig a hole up to 2 feet deep to accommodate the size of her clutch. When she is finished laying, she will cover the nest and return to the ocean. The entire process can take up to 2 hours. She will repeat this process up to 5 times in a season. In 50-70 days, the hatchlings will dig their way out of the sand and instinctively make their way to the surf. The Pacific Green Turtle is considered endangered and an occasion to watch a female lay her eggs is a rare and delightful experience.

Your tour begins in the evening with transportation from your hotel in Playas Tamarindo or Flamingo, and the Papagayo area. After reaching the beach, an expert scout will locate the female turtles as they exit from the surf and head to the beach to lay their eggs. As soon as a turtle is located, your group will start walking to the nest to observe this phenomenon. Due to the delicate nature of the Tamarindo turtle nesting, cameras are not allowed on this tour.

The tour includes a naturalist guide, transportation, all fees, and bottled water. The combined time of the tour plus round trip transportation can take 3-5 hours depending on where you are staying. The scheduling time of the tour is tide dependent as the females will leave the ocean only at high tide to ensure that the nest cannot be washed away. One way transportation takes from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the location of your hotel. It is recommended that you wear warm, dark clothing and sandals or hiking shoes.

Important Note: The Turtle Nesting tour is not available from March 11th until October 31st

What to Bring

  • Enclosed Shoes Or Water Sandals
  • Passport
  • Warm Dark Clothing
  • No Camera

Location and Availability

The Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Tour at Night is available from Flamingo and Conchal Area, JW Marriott Guanacaste, Papagayo Peninsula, Papagayo and Hermosa Area, Playa Grande, and Tamarindo

Tour Time

  • 5:00pm

Tour Type

  • Adventure
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Learning Family

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

Recommended Ages

6 and up

Location

Latitude: N 10°19'9.21". Longitude: W 86°9'35.68"

Reviews

  • Overall 62.9% (12 Guest Ratings)
  • Experience: 63.3%
  • Expectations: 60.0%
  • Guides: 65.8%
  • Logistics: 62.5%
  • Value: 63.3%

12/03/2016

No turtles but this is not really controllable.

01/14/2016

I got what I came for...seeing a turtle lay eggs. The experience itself needs to be clarified. This is a night tour which has it's own hazards and much of the time we were told not to turn on our flashlights. We ended up hiking (fairly strenuous) over a mountain to another beach and some of us were not prepared. The guide could have done a better job of explaining what we were going to do, why it is necessary and more about the turtles before we actually stood on the beach for about an hour before seeing the turtles. Being forewarned that there were actual biologists on -site and that they would be taking the eggs would have caused a lot less stress on the group. The tour group was also too big for the viewing of the turtle, lots of pushing and jockeying for position and at times even yelling to people in the group.

01/05/2016

At first we didn't think we would see anything but our guides managed to find a turtle laying eggs and we got to see something really amazing. More hiking than expected, you might want to let people know...it was a little more tiring than we thought it would be. Otherwise, though very worthwhile.

12/19/2015

We saw one turtle but she returned to sea without nesting. There was more hiking than anticipated.