Best time to travel to Costa Rica

Leatherback Turtles on the Pacific in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is full of spots to watch turtles during their nesting period

Leatherback Turtles on the Pacific
Leatherback Turtles on the Pacific

The largest of all living turtles, the leatherback can measure up to around 2 meters and weigh up to 700 kg! Come to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to watch these huge but cute guys nesting, since this is the time when they are the least scared of people.

Practical info

Where are the places in Costa Rica where leatherback turtles nest?

In Costa Rica, the Pacific coast offers plenty of nesting spots for leatherback turtles. Among the most popular nesting areas are Parque Nacional Marino las Baulas and Playa Grande, both located in Guanacaste. Other locations like Camaronal and Ostional Beaches in the provinces of Puntarenas and Nicoya respectively are also suitable for turtle nesting observation. Show more

During what months is the best time to visit Costa Rica to witness turtle nesting?

September through March is regarded as the best time to visit Costa Rica due to it being the nesting season for the Leatherback turtle. Other types of turtles also have specific nesting periods during the year. Green turtles' nesting season is from July to November, olive ridley turtles' from August through December, hawksbill turtles' from July to December in the Caribbean coast, and loggerhead turtles' from April to September. Show more

What are the dimensions of leatherback turtles?

Among living turtles, leatherback turtles are the biggest. They can weigh up to 700 kilograms and grow measuring up to 2 meters in length. Female leatherback turtles tend to be larger than males, averaging at 1.8 meters long while weighing approximately 450 kg. Besides their size, they are well-known for eating jellyfish by utilizing a unique adaptation that allows them to endure the venomous stings. Show more

Do leatherback turtles always fear human beings?

Even though leatherback turtles are not afraid of humans, they avoid nesting areas with a high human presence. It is important to observe these animals from an adequate distance to prevent disruption. Any human disturbance may cause female turtles to abort the nesting process or forsake nesting altogether. This is why it is crucial to adhere to the regulations established by conservation organizations and national parks. Show more

What are some other sorts of turtles that one can come across in Costa Rica, apart from leatherback turtles?

Costa Rica is home to a variety of turtle species in addition to the leatherback. These species feature specific nesting times throughout the year. One can witness green turtles between July and November, olive ridley turtles from August to December, hawksbill turtles between July and December—specifically in the Caribbean coast— and loggerhead turtles from April through September. Various guided tours are available in Tortuguero National Park where one can observe these fascinating creatures nesting and hatching. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin