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Marino Las Baulas National Park

Marino Las Baulas National Park

Location
Las Baulas National Marine Park of Guanacaste is located, within the bay of Tamarindo in the canton of Santa Cruz, in the districts of Cabo Velas and Tamarindo. It has an extension of 175 km2; 7.7 in the land sector, 171.36 km2, or 12 nautical miles in the marine sector. Annual precipitation is 1811.2 mm. 95% of the precipitation is concentrated in the months from May to November and 4.2% correspond from December to April. This wilderness area was created in order to provide protection to the leatherback turtle populations that come to nest at the Grande, Ventanas and Langosta beaches. This is also a site of global importance for the Estero de Tamarindo and its mangrove forest, in addition to other smaller estuaries but of equal beauty such as the San Francisco estuary and the Ventanas estuary.

Schedule
The National Park is open to the public every day of the year from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Except for the turtle nesting season (October-February), the stay on the beach is allowed until 5:00 PM.

Accessibility
You can get to the National Park through two main routes:
-San José-Liberia-Filadelfia-Belén-Huacas-Matapalo-Playa Grande or Tamarindo.
-San José-Las Juntas de Abangares-Puente La Amistad-Santa Cruz-Villa Real

Services and attractions
Park Attractions
Biological Resources: About 117 species of trees and shrubs have been identified. 139 different species of birds, of which 55 are latitudinal migratory and 8 make seasonal migrations or movements within the country, 34% of these species need mangrove forests, 52% of these birds need forested areas. Las Baulas National Marine Park is visited by three species of turtles: leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), parrot turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), black tortoise (Chelonia agassizii).

Floristic Associations: Las Baulas National Marine Park are among others:

Deciduous dry forest (tree species that dump foliage in the dry season): in which it is common to find species such as; pore pore, laurel, naked indian, pochote, strawberry tree, among others.
-Semi-deciduous dry forest: in this sector the vegetation is more diverse, since it presents evergreen species (species that maintain foliage all year round), the most representative species are: guapinol, guanacaste, black olive, rum-rum, tempisque, laurel, carao and others.
-Cliff vegetation: mainly around Cerro Morro, the vegetation is bent upwards by the action of the winds. The tree species found in this sector are: bare Indian, yayo, nance, white flower, cactus, cabochons.
-Gallery forest: these forests are formed by the combination of deciduous and evergreen species.
-Mangrove forests: these are located in the estuaries, within the protected area there are around 5 types of mangrove: mangrove, piñuela mangrove, red, white or ladybug mangrove, swamp mangrove.

Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea): It is par excellence the main attraction of this protected area, this being the main reason for the creation of this National Park. The leatherback turtle is a species in critical state of extinction worldwide, in the National Park This species has the Langosta, Grande and Ventanas beaches as nesting sites.
Wetlands: Among the wetlands is the Tamarindo estuary declared of world importance, San Francisco and Ventanas.
Surf, Sun and Sea: Within the National Park there are beaches for the enjoyment and practice of water sports such as surfing in Playa Grande and Playa Langosta, surface diving in Playa Carbón.

Services
-Basic Services: Information Center, in the ranger house (basic services are available). Checkpoint on the beach. Control post in the mangrove swamp. Mangrove tour. Local guides.
-Scheduled Activities: Information in the booth. Natural history talk to people who come to the turtle tour.

Recommendations:

-Spawning Season: October-February.
-Clothing: Light clothing for hot weather, glasses, sunscreen, repellent in the day, long pants for mosquitoes are recommended for the night, enough water. Please ask park rangers about danger spots in the Protected Area.

Regulations

-The season to see the turtle nesting begins on October 20 and ends on February 15.
-The maximum quota per group is 15 people, who must be accompanied by a tourist promoter or local guide.
-The beach has two official entrances, booth # 1, at the MINAE offices and booth # 2 at the edge of the Tamarindo estuary. Between both booths, the loading capacity will be obtained, which will be limited to 120 people (60 per booth).
-It is not allowed to photograph the turtles, nor to touch them, it should only be observed from the back and in silence.
-The focus can only be used by the guide; he must have a red filter.

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