Costa Rica Turtles

Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Olive Ridley

Free Travel Guide

Viewing Seasons and where to see Costa Rica Turtles?

It can be rather complicated to know when to come to view the nesting of each Costa Rica turtles species but check out the map. It rounds down approximately the best time to come see these amazing specimens. Although you can see them pop up periodically year round, there are a few peak seasons to come and see them.

Turtle Map Costa Rica

Safety and Conservation of Costa Rica Turtles

Costa Rica Turtles are a stunning spectacle to see, and if you have the chance to, it is more than worth while. What a lot of people don’t know is how endangered they are. Almost all species are labeled as endangered, and fall victim to poaching for their meats, shells, and eggs. This is why programs like the Corcovado Foundation and many others have made a special effort towards protecting them. When you visit to see them either laying eggs or hatching, you are actually helping to support their safety from endangerment. 

Areas like the Corcovado National Park, Tortuguero National Park, Cahuita National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and other have been set up to help preserve the future generations of these species. 

Some tips before you visit Cost Rica Turtles:

– Make sure not to interfere with nesting, by staying out of the turtle’s pathway. 

– Only use a low flash or no flash at all with your camera in order to prevent hatchling wondering off of the path. 

Knock down or move obstructions anything that might be in the way, for example, sand castles.

Deter pests like stray Dogs, Raccoons, Pizotes. 

Join an organized tour if you want to enjoy the see tule nesting or hatching, we can help you plan this with a Custom Itinerary.


Types of Sea Turtles

Not many know this but there are several different types of Costa Rica Turtles that come each year. Four types to be exact. The first one and possibly the most popular is the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Second, being the Hawksbill. Thirdly the Green Sea turtle and lastly the Leatherback Sea turtle.

Olive Ridley

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

The Olive Ridley is widely known to people from all over the world. They grow up to two feet in length and can weigh almost 100lbs (50kilgrams) but they rarely reach over that. You will see these amazing turtles on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. A favorite meal that these majestic turtle love to eat is Jellyfish. The stinging tentacles do not affect it making it one of the jellies only predators. They also love to feed on sea urchins, snails, shrimp crabs and more. 

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle is on the worlds critically endangered animal list. They are double the size of the Olive Ridley reaching sizes of 3 feet or (1 meter) in length and weighing 110kg (200 lbs). The hawksbill is easily identifiable more so than others because of its unique pointed snout, very similar to a hawk. You will find the Hawksbill on both sides of Costa Rica. Coming to the far north and south on the Pacific side and almost the whole Caribbean side

Red List Critically Endangered

Green Sea turtle 

Green Sea turtle 

The Green Sea turtle is found on both sides of Costa Rica and is larger than the last two turtles. They can grow up to 4 feet or (1.5 meters) in length and weigh up to 300 kg (650 lbs). Unlike the Hawkbill the green turtle doesn’t have a curved snout but rather a very flat one. These particular turtles are herbivores only eating algae and seagrasses. With this diet, they take quite a while to reach their full size.

Red List Endangered

Leatherback Sea turtle

Leatherback Sea turtle

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is notably the largest sea turtle out of the four species. They have a fin span of 2.5 meters or (8.5 feet across), weighing up to 1500 lbs. This rather large specimen has been listed as endangered at all inhabited points. A notable feature is a leathery back with several spinelike points popping out on each ridge. Leatherbacks show up on the Pacific and Caribbean sides of Costa Rica. 

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Above all, else helping these awesome creatures to keep healthy and coming back each and every year is the goal. Why not come and visit this year?

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