Olive Ridley turtle in Tortuguero National Park
Olive Ridley turtle in Tortuguero National Park

Turtle nesting season is an important one here in Costa Rica, as the green sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs between July and September. At the Grupo Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero, you can go on a turtle tour to view the nests and explore this truly unique natural occurrence. But don't get too close! Turtles here are very sensitive to light and smell, and it could disrupt the natural nesting process. This location is one of my favorites to visit for a number of reasons, and I think you'll enjoy it too!

Tortuguero National Park

Mawamba Lodge is near Tortuguero National Park, which is a major nesting site for turtles. By 1975, the Costa Rica government and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation joined forced to make sure that this fragile area was sheltered from anything that could harm the native flora and fauna. This is what makes this area so wonderful it's very lush and tropical.

When green turtles arrive, there are very specific regulations to ensure the protection of them. Folks in Costa Rica are dedicated to the preservation of the marine turtles and that is why during the season you can only travel here at night with a guide who knows what areas to avoid and visit for the safety of the turtles.

Marine Turtle eggs on the beach at Tortuguero
Marine Turtle eggs on the beach at Tortuguero

On my trip to Tortuguero, I went on the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. trip there is also a 10 p.m. to midnight trip available along with a few of my human friends. All people must wear black clothing so that they aren't easily spotted by turtles, and absolutely no photos are allowed! I know it's sad that you can't document your experience, but it's for the safety and security of the turtles. Guides and trackers have a special red light to guide you, which turtles don't have a reaction to. Also, you must make sure that you don't wear anything with a strong scent, because turtles have a keen sense of smell and can pick up on perfume or even a strong-odor bug spray.

If you are traveling here between September and November, you may be lucky enough to see some of the little hatchlings venturing out into the ocean! The baby turtles are born about two months after the egg is hatched, and they can be seen right in front of the lodge.

Mawamba Lodge

Located smack dab between the canals of Tortuguero and the Caribbean Ocean, this lodge is one of the most stunning in the region. Visitors can just walk into town if they'd like, or take a few steps and be on the sandy shoreline. On site at Mawamba Lodge, guests have free access to two butterfly, frog and iguana gardens as well as you can imagine, this is where I spent a lot of my time!

The lodge also offers a number of activity packages if you'd like to do more than just visit the turtles. You can go on a daily trip to San Jose, go jungle kayaking or just relax by the beautiful pool. This spot is great for people who want to enjoy all the activities the Tortuguero National park has to offer. But really, you don't even have to leave here. And don't forget tell the friendly people at Mawamba Lodge that Javi sent you!

Tell me about your experience with turtle nesting! Did you see the turtles hatch or watch as the little guys swim out to sea? I'd love to hear about your exciting adventure!

Calm canal in Tortuguero
Calm canal in Tortuguero

Javi the Frog at Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero
Javi the Frog at Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero