Pacific Green Turtle Nesting in the Gulf of Papagayo

One of the most unique experiences in Costa Rica is witnessing hundreds of green sea turtles coming onshore to lay their eggs! But, of course, you can do this only at nighttime when the mothers dig their nests during the summer months. 

With the help of knowledgeable local guides, you'll make your way to the turtle nesting grounds at Playa Minas in the Gulf of Papagayo. The exact nesting spot will depend on the tides and predictions of the park rangers—the turtles operate on their own schedule! As you wait for word on the turtles, you'll enjoy time learning more about this natural phenomenon and the endangered sea turtle species as you relax on the scenic beach.

Soon enough, your patience will be rewarded as you witness turtles slowly making their way onto the beach to lay their eggs. First, these enormous turtles (often reaching up to 5 feet long) dig a hole in the sand to lay between 65 to 90 eggs. Then, the mothers cover their nests with sand to protect their precious offspring from predators. Finally, after a 60-day incubation period, the tiny hatchlings emerge and make their way to the ocean, becoming yet another small hope for the pacific green turtle's survival as a species.

Discover more family excursions in Costa Rica and other unique experiences in the Gulf of Papagayo.

Itineraries with Pacific Green Turtle Nesting in the Gulf of Papagayo

Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast: Tortuguero & Puerto Viejo - 7 Days

Perfect for travelers looking to hike and observe wildlife, this itinerary starts and ends in San José and includes many of the Caribbean coast's best destinations—including a famous sea turtle nesting site in Tortuguero and Cahuita National Park. Compared to the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean side tends to be less crowded, with more cultural diversity. From nature treks to pristine beaches, this itinerary offers something for everyone who wants to experience splendid scenery with a laid-back feel. 

Costa Rica Nature Tour: Tortuguero, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, & Corcovado - 14 Days

This two-week nature tour is all about Costa Rica's biodiverse national parks. Begin in Tortuguero, where, depending on the time of year, you can embark on a nighttime turtle nesting tour. In Monteverde, explore the cloud forests via the hanging bridges and ziplines. Manuel Antonio provides the best of both worlds—rainforest and beach scenery–while a tour of the famous Corcovado National Park is a bucket list field trip for nature enthusiasts.