It’s turtle season in Playa Grande! At last, the triumphant return of the mighty leatherback sea turtle! Every year, between October to March, our coastal community waits patiently for the arrival of these gentle giants. Weighing up to a whopping 700 kilos, the leatherback sea turtle is an impressive sight to experience up close. Turtle watching in Playa Grande is must do for travelers who visit. Witness a female leatherback sea turtles make her way up shore and carefully lay 50 to 200 fragile eggs in the soft sand. Leatherback sea turtles are an endangered species, therefore the entire Playa Grande coastline is devoted to the protection of this rare nesting ground.

See Turtles in Playa Grande in Las Baulas National Park

As the second largest nesting site for leatherback sea turtles in the world, Playa Grande locals took a stand in 1991 to preserve the beach and surrounding shoreline as a recognized National Park. Named in homage to the majestic creature it protects, Las Baulas National Park includes the entire beach of Playa Grande and Playa Ventanas. With special supervision devoted to the the soft sand, upper portion of the beach, walking on this area is prohibited as it could damage a nest of incubating baby sea turtles. National Park rangers and preservationist take leatherback sea turtle nesting and hatching very seriously. Just a friendly reminder: the entire beach is off limits between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. during turtle watching season (October through end of February).

How to Schedule a Nighttime Tour

Leatherback sea turtles return to the 5km sandy shoreline of Playa Grande every year in hopes of participating in a nesting ritual millions of years old. To ensure the leatherback sea turtles return and survive dwindling numbers, it is vital for tourists not to disrupt the sensitive rhythm present and protected by Las Baulas National Park. It is for all of these important reasons that every visitor must schedule a nighttime tour with a national guide to enjoy turtle watching. Registering is easy, simply visit the MINAE office with your passport and $25 in hand. For more information, visit our Turtle Tour page.