The nesting season for turtles in Costa Rica runs from July through late November and if you’re lucky enough to be in Manuel Antonio at this time you may be able to see turtles on the beach at night as they come up to shore to lay their eggs. You might even be lucky enough to see baby turtles hatching!
Boat trips are a fantastic way to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat as they swim and dive in the water along the Central Pacific coastline. You can also book a walking tour along the beaches. It is important to engage in these activities with a guide as these turtles are endangered and must be protected. Poaching, water pollution and loss of habitat have caused these populations of turtles to become threatened.
During the nesting months, hundreds of turtles will come up onto the beach to lay their eggs in the sand. In Manuel Antonio the Olive Ridley is the most common species that you will see but you may also be able to spot Pacific Black turtles or Hawksbills as well.
Tours are a great way to observe these creatures while keeping them safe. To prepare for a night tour on the beach, it is important to remember a few things. Sea turtles don’t like bright lights or bright colored clothing and may even be dissuaded from coming up onto the beach to lay their eggs. When you’re preparing to see the turtles it’s best to wear dark clothing and avoid perfume as turtles have a strong sense of smell. Also keep your cell phones off as noises can distract the turtles and if you’re taking pictures make sure to keep the flash off. It’s important again to remember that these animals are endangered and their nests must not be disturbed. Manuel Antonio is a beautiful place to visit and having the opportunity to see these incredible animals begin their journey of life is an experience you will never forget.