If You Love Nature, You Can Enjoy a Sea Turtle Virtual Tour in Costa Rica
This is not just any kind of tour. It is one of those tours where you are going to witness a unique natural phenomenon: The massive nesting of turtles in Costa Rica.
There is a coastal town in Costa Rica that has a particular relationship with one species of sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, and that town is the community of Ostional in Guanacaste province.
At the end of the 1950s, the phenomenon of the massive arrivals began to occur here, which consists of the synchronized arrival month after month of thousands of sea turtles that arrive to lay their eggs on the beach.
One interesting scientific fact discovered in the 60s and 70s is that this phenomenon can be found at three other beaches around the world, in Suriname, Mexico and India.
Turtles in Costa Rica
Seven species of sea turtles swim in the world's oceans and 5 species of sea turtles and eight species of freshwater turtles have been recorded in Costa Rica.
Some of the species that you can see include green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea).
You can see sea turtles at dozens of important nesting beaches, both on the Caribbean side and Pacific side of Costa Rica.
Why healthy oceans need sea turtles
According to the National Institute of Biodiversity in Costa Rica, unfortunately sea turtles are endangered and two of the freshwater species populations have been reduced, mainly due to poaching, being caught as pets, illegal trade, and through the destruction and pollution of their habitats.
The Oceana.org website explained their importance:
"What we know is that sea turtles—even at diminished population levels—play an important role in ocean ecosystems by maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, providing key habitats for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land."
About the turtles that you can see on the tour
Olive ridley sea turtle
Size: 60 to 70 cm (23.62 in - 2.30 ft); Weight: 50 kg (110 lbs)
• The Olive ridley sea turtle is the smallest sea turtle in the ocean.
• They reach sexual maturity around 10 - 15 years and live between 50 and 60 years.
• The females nest every two years, there are even some that do it every three or year after year.
• Each one lays between 100-150 eggs at least, which are born 45 days later.
• A single female can nest up to 3 times in a single season in a span of 17 to 28 days.
• The main nesting season is from June to December.
Let's talk about the massive nesting phenomenon
So different than what most people would think, while turtles have been on Earth for millions years, they have not always behaved in the way they started to do in the massive nesting since the 1950s at Ostional Beach.
Biologists and scientists have different theories about why turtles nest and hatch massively and simultaneously.
At Ostional, it has been documented that one massive turtle nesting event totaled more than 1 million turtles over 3 days.
Many believe that they have a photographic memory of the beach, which is why they return each year to the same place to lay their eggs.
Why they picked this specific beach in this tropical country remains a mystery.
Symbiosis between humans and turtles
Over time, biologists and the Ostional community were able to observe that up to 40 percent of these eggs were destroyed by the action of the turtles themselves when they excavated the nests and by animal predation.
This led the community to protect the turtles and also to create a symbiosis with nature, where they extract a small percentage for local trade, supervised by the local government.
This allows the community to generate income, and many families in the community work harvesting the eggs once a month when the turtles lay their eggs, also leaving eggs so the natural cycle continues when the baby turtles hatch.
What to expect from the sea turtle virtual tour in Costa Rica?
Besides the obvious answer of Turtles, you will visit the Pacific Beach of Costa Rica, against the backdrop of the beautiful scenery, where at your feet in the sand you will see the turtles walking around you.
Here is what one of our trippers had to say regarding the tour.
Super heavy! Sea turtles breeding as far as the eye can see. There were more sea turtles than I imagined.
Sea turtles as far as you can see.🐢Sea turtles laying their eggs with no concern for humans.🐢
I thought that this was the case since before the arrival of man, but it started suddenly around 1959. Why did it happen!?
It looks like one of the most precious places in the world.
-Male Tripper from Japan
At DOKODEMO Door Trip, one of our core values is helping you safely venture off the beaten track to places where you cannot easily get to on a real trip due to safety concerns or places that just aren't easy to visit.
This tour is a good example of this because you can see one of the biggest massive nesting events that usually happens in October on a specific beach in Costa Rica, and because our guides live there, they were able to record the event after spend time in the area.