This is one of the smallest turtles,
measuring 60 to 75 cm long and
35 to 40 Kg. Their shells are drab olive
green and they are known to
in solitary fashion on more than forty
beaches on the Pacific coast of
Rica between the months of June and
The Olive Ridley is the only species of
turtle that exhibits the
synchronized mass nesting
phenomenon known as "Arribadas". These
arribadas occur at Nancite in
rainy season from May to December and in
Ostional all year round.
Their main food source is shrimp, crustacea
and other invertebrates
such as squid.
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Costa Rica's Olive Ridley Turtles
PLAYA OSTIONAL. This beach, made famous by
Douglas Robinson, is located
at the village of Ostional north of Punta Guiones
close to Playa
Access is via Nicoya to Nosara and from Santa Cruz.
The final stretches
advisably accessible via four-wheel drive vehicles
in the rainy season.
This is the most important Arribada beach in the
world and is the
of the only legal turtle egg harvest. Due to the
fact that such a large
of the eggs are lost to natural causes, Ostional's
(ADIO) controls the legal harvest and sale of about
1,000,000 eggs a
The beach area and marine waters are protected by
the Ostional National
and the project is overseen by strict scientific
control to assure that
is being done to the turtle population.
It is generally accepted that this is one of the
projects in the world, benefiting both man and
National Wildlife Refuge
NANCITE. This 1km long beach is located in
Santa Rosa National
Ridley and other turtles that nest here are totally
this is the second most important nesting beach in
The occurence of the arribada is directly related to
the lunar cycle,
starting with the last quarter of the moon but may
occur with the first
It is impossible to predict the exact time or
possibility of an
but the best months are between May and December.
Access to Nancite is
the park via Playa Naranjo and is possible only on