costa rica's parks and beaches

Costa Rica's Parks and Beaches Featured Destination:

Santa Rosa National Park
Guanacaste, Costa Rica

There's something magnetic about the shores of Costa Rica for the olive ridley sea turtle. Could it be the silky sand, perfect for lounging or the high-powered waves, perfect for surfing out to sea? Either seems like a perfectly good reason for turtles or humans to flock to the coast of Costa Rica.

While the olive ridley has a more primal reason to hit the beach, procreation, your reason is simple recreation. But getting a glimpse of the sea turtle in its natural nesting environment at Santa Rosa National Park could be a part of your recreational plan. Playa Nancite, the beach where thousands of turtles congregate one night a year to deposit their eggs is closed for research. However, there have been sightings at another nearby beach at the Bahia Junquillal Wildlife Refuge in the park, a sanctuary for the frigate birds that like to eat their young.

Beyond its shoreline, Santa Rosa National Park is a collection of habitats, including wetlands and forests that are home to 250 bird species and 115 species of mammals.

Best Time to Visit:

If you want a shot at seeing the olive ridley, visit during its nesting season in September and October. Some turtles have been known to surface August through December.

What to Do:

Make like a sea turtle and hang out on Playa Naranjo, a beach known for its legendary surf. Nearby rocks draw other beach guests, monkeys and iguanas. If you venture to the swamps at the southern end of the beach, you'll meet other reptilian friends, crocodiles. Get Directions

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