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Turtle Nesting Nature Night Tour

Duration: Half Day

turtle nesting nature night tour

Book an adventure to remember on your holiday in Costa Rica. This unforgettable night tour enables you to see one of the largest and most amazing reptiles in the world - the leatherback sea turtle - as you witness their fascinating nesting ritual.

Every night from December to February, this spectacular natural history tour is available on the Guanacaste Coast in Costa Rica. Watch in awe as huge leatherback turtles drag themselves up onto the Pacific beaches as night falls, to lay their eggs at the same nesting site they have used for countless generations.

The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest and heaviest of all the living turtle species, and gets its name from the black, leathery skin that covers its shell. The average adult size is about one to two meters long, and weighs from around 250 to 700 kilograms. When away from their breeding sites, leatherbacks swim the oceans searching for jellyfish, their primary food source.

The nesting of sea turtles is one of nature’s truly amazing sights, and the leatherback turtle is no exception. These magnificent marine reptiles nest only on tropical shores, so if you are in Costa Rica around this time, you’ll be in for a treat. Watch literally hundreds of turtles coming ashore at night to dig in the sand and lay their eggs, and look out for baby turtles as they hatch from their nests and race to the sea for safety, to escape their predators.

Sadly, these spectacular creatures are close to extinction in the Pacific Ocean, and are listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Poachers are one of the biggest threats, often stealing the eggs when they are not being watched. Nesting females are also sometimes killed for their meat. Only a small percentage of eggs will actually hatch into turtles and survive, so it is also vital that tourists do not disturb them. No cameras are allowed during the trip, and no rubbish must be left on the beaches. At sea, the threats to leatherbacks include entanglement in fishing gear, especially long lines and nets.

Several of Guanacaste's coastal national parks protect precious sea turtle nesting areas, including Las Baulas Marine National Park which was created to protect the local leatherback nesting beaches − Playa Grande, Playa Langosta and Playa Ventanas. The park also conserves various offshore areas, where the turtles spend their days during the breeding season.

Despite having to be careful around these incredible reptiles, the sight of leatherback turtles nesting is an opportunity not to be missed. This highly educational and rewarding tour is ideal for the whole family.

What to bring: cool comfortable clothes, tennis shoes or sandals, insect repellent. Length of tour: Half day - Limited space.

THE EXACT DURATION & AVAILABILITY OF TURTLE NESTING TOURS DEPEND ON THE TURTLES, OCEAN TIDES & THE MOON. THESE TOURS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS DUE TO PARK RULES. CAMERAS WITH FLASH, VIDEO CAMERAS WITH LIGHTS ARE NOT PERMITTED.

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