Las Baulas National Marine Park

Las Baulas National Marine Park

Las Baulas National Marine Park was established in 1991 to protect nesting “baulas” leatherback turtles. About 800 female giant leatherback turtles nest per year between November and April on the beaches of this protected area. The park consists of 4 beaches: Ventanas, Carbon, Lagosta, and Grande, as well as the Tamarindo estuary and mangrove.

Playa Grande is the home of the largest nesting site in Las Baulas National Marine Park for the giant leatherback turtles and during the nesting season, the beach is off-limits from 6pm – 5am. You can only visit in guided tours during this time. About 60 days after the giant turtles lay the eggs you can view hundreds of the hatchlings scrambling towards the ocean waters. There is an interesting museum (El Mundode la Torguga  “turtle world”) where you can see the life cycle of the giant leatherback turtle for $5. It starts at 4pm till the last tour group returns (closed from May – October).

Another reason to visit Las Baulas National Marine Park is Playa Grande’s consistent surf breaks some of the best barrels in Costa Rica! This brown sand, Blue-Flag beach is a surfer’s paradise and a sun worshipper’s dream!

The best and fastest way to get to Las Baulas National Marine Park is by boat – a 5 minute ride across the tidal estuary from Tamarindo. The park is located just north of Tamarindo (in the Guanacaste Province) across the estuary. Admission is $10 after 6pm with a guided tour. Las Baulas National Marine Park consist of 936 acres on land and 54,400 maritime acres that include a coral reef. The GPS coordinates are Lat – 10.30888, Long – 85.8795.

Aside from beach activities, you can also kayak, canoe, fish offshore or inshore in Las Baulas National Marine Park. Wildlife includes green marine iguanas, dolphins, pacas, capuchin monkeys, crocodiles, and 174 species of birds.

There is no camping on the park. Make sure to pack light clothing as it is usually hot (but comfortable with the ocean breezes) and of course your swimsuit!

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