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