Ostional National Refuge for Forest Wildlife

Ostional National Refuge for Forest Wildlife

This coastal extends as far as the Nosara and Ostional beaches, to the mouth of the Río Nosara and Ostional village. The reserve is a strip 8 km long and only a few meters wide. The protected land has an extension of 352 hectares and 587 hectares of sea. The main attraction is the annual egg lying of the Lora Turtle in Ostional Beach, whose sands are next to Nancite, in Santa Rosa National Park, they are the mist important and preferred areas in Costa Rica where this phenomenon occurs. The nesting period is from June to November, and is more intense between August and October. The rocky Punta India, in the northeast area of the protected area, has several natural swimming which are home to an abundance of sea creatures such as Anemone, sea urchins, Star fish, crustaceans and fish. Along the beach there are almost transparent Ghost Crabs, as well as crabs, red crabs and different varieties of lizards. The vegetation is dispersed around the beach and basically consists of deciduous trees such as Jazmine de las Antillas or frangipani and cactus. The best time to see the turtles is from May to December, when there an annual rainfall of 2.000mm is registered; its average temperature is 28°C. There is a biological investigation station that belongs to the  University of Costa Rica; and there is also a local committee of local guides, you can call this number for more information Tel (506) 2682-0428, entry is   2 US$ for nationals and 7 US$ for foreigners, to be paid at a small office at the entrance to the park, its timetable is from 5:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m (24 hours) from Monday to Sunday, if it is the nesting season then you can only enter via this entrance and there are always people guarding the area. You will need to be careful as there are strong currents that mean this beach is not suitable for swimming.


Pacific Ridley Turtle

Interesting Information

Known scientifically as “Lepidochelis olivacea”, this amazing species is the smallest marine turtle. It is characterized by its heart shaped shell. It is 67.6 centimeters long with a body mass of 38.1 kilogram’s; females are usually heavier but shorter than the males; on average. The Pacific Ridley Sea Turtle is the most common of the marine species. Costa Rica has been characterized as being a concentrated area for the reproduction of this turtle. Approximately, 400.000 turtles arrive on the Costa Rican coast every year to lay their eggs; because the physical aspects of the area are ideal for their complete development. Between 5.000 and 150.000 females congregate in these areas; at what is commonly known as entry ports in large groups., which every year decrease by a quarter. The majority of these turtles lay their eggs at night time. The strategy of producing thousands of eggs, is fundamental to protect the future of the turtles from predators as well as other turtles laying eggs in the same nest. The Pacific Ridley Sea Turtle Turtle, characteristically always arrive at the same beach: it is because of this Ostional beach is the ideal place to lay their eggs. The incubation period ranges from 45 to 65 days depending on factors such as temperature and humidity. The sex depends on the temperature, 28 degrees for males and 32 degrees for females. The birth of turtles is put at risk by human activity, weather conditions, predators and diseases. The collection of eggs in order to sell is illegal in Costa Rica; Ostional Beach has an association for the protection of this species and they also carry out scientific studies about this fascinating marine species: “Lepidochelis olivacea”.


How to arrive and leave

By Car

The refuge begins in Nosara beach, 8 km to the south east of Ostional beach.  The road is not asphalt but it’s transitable, but you will need to cross several streams and during the rainy season you will need a 4X4 and it is not always possible to pass. To follow the route between the village and Nosara beach you will need to turnoff shortly before arriving at La Paloma supermarket. After driving for 400 meters, take a right turn and continue of a further 400 meters and then cross a bridge over the Río Nosara. There you will find a triple crossing; take the right turn and continue for another 1.2 Km until you get to a new triple crossing, you will need to take a left turn here. Drive for a further 6km north until you reach Ostional. The road that runs from Santa Cruz shortly before Paraíso, and that runs to the south until you get to Ostional, is in similar conditions: it is transitable during the dry season, although you will need to cross several streams, but in the rainy season you will need a 4X4 and it is not always possible to cross.


By Bus

The route from Santa Cruz to Ostional leaves everyday at 12:00 m.d, from the Central Market, passing by the village of  27 de abril, Río seco, Lagarto beach, Marbella, and Juanillo and Ostional, the journey takes 2:30 hours, and costs 2.30 US$. Leaving Ostional at 5:00 a.m, departing from opposite the Cabinas Guacamaya.