Have you been to Camaronal Wildlife Refuge?


The refuge is located on Playa Camaronal, a beach along the Nicoya Peninsula, some 15 km from Sámara.

Its main activity is sea turtle conservation and the protection of forest ecosystems and restoration areas. Playa Camaronal is a nesting site for four of the world’s seven species of sea turtles: the leatherback, olive ridley, hawksbill and black turtles.

Camaronal Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a wide range of recreational activities including surfing and fishing, but its greatest claim to fame is its role in conservation work.

If you’re wondering about the best time to see sea turtles in the refuge, that would be during the rainy season between May and November. Since adult sea turtles only lay their eggs at night, tour guides must be hired outside of visiting hours. You can contact guides near Playa Sámara or Carrillo. You can also speak to local residents in order to get more information on the arrival of the sea turtles and, most importantly, the safety precautions that must be followed to keep the turtles’ environment safe.


In addition to the sea turtle populations that visit the refuge, it’s also a perfect spot to see birds including hawks, cranes, herons, tiger hummingbirds and green kingfishers. There are also animals such as crabs, iguanas, armadillos and monkeys.

In addition, Camaronal Wildlife Refuge has a privileged location that provides access to little pieces of paradise like Playa Islita and Playa Carrillo, where you can stay and relax on incredible beaches with fine sand and crystal-clear water.

It’s a nature-filled place for you to enjoy recreational activities and experience the essence of the region, not to mention everything you’ll learn about its sea turtles.



How do you get there?

You can reach Camaronal Wildlife Refuge by bus from San José to Hojancha or Nicoya, and from there to Sámara and Carrillo.

Ferry service:
Hours of operation:  every day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Entry fee: ₡1600 for Costa Ricans and $10 for foreigners (entry to the park only; night guides charge a separate fee).

Turtle watching hours are at night between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. If you want to see the turtles, you must be accompanied by a certified guide.




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