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After Nancite Beach in Santa Rosa National Park, the second most important turtle nesting site in Costa Rica, is the Vida Ostional Silvestre National Refuge on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Province of Guanacaste. The Ostional Wildlife Refuge as it is best known is a 200 meter strip of beach bordered in the north by Punta India and in the south by Guiones Beach and Nosara Beach. This refuge also extends three miles out to sea and includes the tiny town of Ostional. This refuge not only protects millions of turtles that nest annually but also cares for and protects the area’s wild marine life and birds.

Incredible Arribadas

Surrounded by Ostional Beach, Nosara Beach, and Guiones Beach, the Ostional Wildlife Refuge protects the Olive Ridley Sea turtles as well as the leatherback sea turtles and Pacific Green turtles that come to the beach in large numbers every year to mate and lay their eggs during the months of July and December. This phenomenon known as “ambadas” occurs 4 to 10 times during this period and lasts from 3 to 10 days each.

Sea Turtle Laud

A large percentage of the world’s Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtles are thought to lay their eggs in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. To date the largest brood recorded at the refuge occurred in November 1995, when an estimated 500,000 female sea turtles arrived at the beach to nest.

Protection of Turtle Eggs

This refuge was officially created in 1984 and is the only place in the world where the collection of turtle eggs is allowed, legally. This was done to ‘prevent the theft of eggs and at the same time help the Ostional community. With this project, residents are allowed to collect and sell a percentage of eggs from each farm.

How to get

It is reached by road from Nosara or San Juanillo, but it is better to fly to San Jose and from there take a local flight to the Nosara airport. From there, you can rent a car and drive to the shelter. Since many agencies offer tours, it is not difficult to get to Ostional. It is a great place to take the whole family, especially children since the entrance fee is only $ 6. Because the refuge does not have lodging facilities, visitors generally stay in Nosara, San Juanillo or Samara.

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