Tamarindo Wildlife refuge and Las Baulas National Park, Costa Rica
Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge covers about 400 hectaries (a very large area) was created to protect the vast Mangrove swamps in the area, at the request of the locals who saw the large high rise developments going up near Tamarindo and were afraid that this would continue on up to the Grande Beach and other beautiful and serene beaches to the north of Tamarindo.
There are several species of mangrove that flourish on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The black mangrove, the white mangrove, the tea mangrove, and the buttonwood mangrove. Many birds made their home in these mangroves. The most commonly seen are the great egret, white ibis, great blue heron, and the Muscovy duck.
Las Baulas National Park comprises three beaches, Grande Beach, Ventana Beach, and Langosta Beach. Grande Beach which is part of the Tamarindo wildlife refuge, is one of the most important nesting sites for the leather back turtle, and the park was created in part to protect these turtles. The turtles come here to nest from November through April.
The leather back turtle is the largest of all sea turtles growing up to two meters long and weighing up to 700 kg. It’s the only turtle that has a very thick skin cover, very much like leather. As many as 200 of these turtles may lay their eggs in one night.
Playa Grande (Beach) is popular with tourists because of it’s long span of unspoiled beach with light brown sand. The waters are calm enough for swimming and sometimes the waves are large enough for surfing. You can see animals that live in the beach sand such as hermit crabs, ghost crabs, and mouth less crabs.
Where is Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge and Las Baulas National Park located? In the NW Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Nicoya Peninsula. It is just north of the beach town of Tamarindo.
Many people come here for bird watching. There are so many birds such as sandpipers, brown pelicans, frigate birds, and the roseate spoonbill, plus several different kinds of seagulls. Early morning is the best time to see the most birds.
Howler monkeys also make their home in the park.
Best time of year to visit. Well if you want to see the turtles nesting then November through April.
Year round the weather is nice here, but on the hot side. Around 80 degrees F. This area of Costa Rica gets less rainfall than the other parts of the country so you generally see sunny mornings. May through November you will get late afternoon thunderstorms.
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