Marino Las Baulas National Park
The Tamarindo National Refuge for Forest Wildlife, according to the 17566 MAG decree on the 23rd of June 1987, and is corroborated by law Nº 7149 on the 27th of June 1990 with an approximate extension of 500 hectares along the continent. Later on they would extend Marino Las Baulas National Park, with decree 20518 MIRENEM on the 9th of June 1991 and ratified by law Nº 7524 on the 16th of August 1995 with an extension of 112 hectares. The importance of the area is due to the colony of Baula Turtles (dermochelys coriáceas), that lay their eggs in the beaches of: Langosta, Grande and Ventanas. It is the largest turtle in the world and is in danger of extinction according to Chapter 1 of the book titled Conservation for International Commerce of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). With low tide, Grand beach can be up to 70 m. wide. With 400 hectares of park that is made up of mangroves from Tamarindo, where you will find 5 species of existing mangroves in the Pacific: Red Salado, Mariquita, Botoncillo and the Piñuela. That is the best habitat for caimans, crocodiles and several species of beautiful birds such as the Roseate Spoonbill. The time that turtles lay their eggs is between October and March and more concretely from November to January, when hundred of these reptiles lay eggs on the beach at night. Every season there are more than 2.800 nests. Sometimes you can see other species outside of season. This beach is excellent to go surfing and to its breaks are some of the most uniform in Costa Rica. The park was created to control irregular tourism and to control egg poachers. The park office Ph /fax (506) 2653-0470, is at the northern entrance and its opening hours are from 5:00 a.m a 6:00 p.m. Offering maps and leaflets of the area. Entry to the beach is free where you can go and watch the Turtles.
Costs 13 US$ for foreigners and 4.50 US$ for nationals, the visit is directed by a guide, you are not allowed to use flashlights as it could scare the animals, you have to be attentive at all hours because their arrival is according to the tide, for reservations call the park office Ph /fax (506) 2653-0470.
How to arrive and leave
You can travel by car to Huacas 8 Km west and then 69 Km to Liberia, then, continue on the highway until you get to Matapalo, you will arrive at the village plaza and then take a left hand turn. Continue on a dirt road of 6Km until you get to the beach. If you are going to stay here, you will need to ask to be picked up form the Matapalo crossing, where the bus that comes from San José stops. It is also possible to reserve circuits from Tamarindo or from there, crossing the estuary by boat heading towards the extreme south of Grande Beach, or you can go on foot at low tide.