Costa Rica Turtle Watching: Ostional Wildlife Refuge

Costa Rica turtle watching at Ostional

Looking for the best Costa Rica turtle watching tour? There’s no better place than Ostional Wildlife Refuge.

When was the last time you visited one of the world’s most important anythings? Welcome to Ostional Wildlife Refuge which, according to the World Wildlife Fund, is “one of the two most important areas in the world for nesting of the olive ridley turtle.” Indeed, this is the place for nearly guaranteed Costa Rica turtle watching. The place in the world, specifically.

Every year, millions of sea turtles lumber onto the beaches of Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Every year, millions of sea turtles are born on the beaches of Ostional Wildlife Refuge. And every year, thousands of lucky visitors come to these beaches to witness this spectacular event.

And it’s not just that. While olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are most common at Ostional – up to 150,000 (yes, you read that right!) can come ashore during a single nesting event – leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) are also known to nest here.

Alert, alert! As of this post (September 2018), it’s high turtle season and we’re experiencing one of the largest arribadas of the year.

So, who’s ready for some Costa Rica turtle watching?

Ostional Wildlife Refuge At-A-Glance: 

Location: 65 miles south of Tamarindo

Founded: 1982 (declared a protected area) and 1984 (refuge formed)

Maximum Altitude: Sea level

Area: 180 acres; the refuge is part of the greater Tempisque Conservation Area (= tens of thousands of protected acres)

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone: 2682-0470

Entrance Fee: $15 adults / $5 children

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Property of the Month: Casa Serena

Casa Serena luxury Tamarindo vacation rental

Casa Serena is – yes, we dare say it – one of the most luxurious vacation rentals in Costa Rica

We’re excited to announce (and launch) our new monthly feature: the Featured Property of the Month – one exceptional vacation rental in Tamarindo every month, each chosen for its beauty, or its perfect location, or its uniqueness, or its recent updates, or for any other standout detail.

One incredible home. Three hundred sixty-five nights it could be yours.

Introducing Casa Serena, a beachfront mansion located within the exclusive community of Hacienda Pinilla. A beachfront labyrinth of lavish interiors and exteriors, where no detail, no comfort, and no luxury is spared.

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Looking for a Major Adrenaline Rush? Don’t Miss this Combo Tamarindo ATV Tour + Canopy Zipline!

Tamarindo ATV tour to secluded beaches

You are here: On the best Tamarindo ATV tour, roaring through dusty backroads, carving out your own secret passage to three of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Imagine this: You’re clinging to the side of a mountain, racing up a country background. The wind’s in your hair and the ocean’s at your back. A cloud of dust billows out behind you, a puff of earth to trace your progress up the bumpy dirt road.

Or this: You’re teetering who-knows-how-high above the jungle floor, your toes curled over the edge of a treetop platform. Behind you, your guide chants, “One, two, three – JUMP!” Suddenly, you’re flying.

Or this: You’re speeding through arid countryside, cutting a swath through scrub and sand. It’s your own secret passage – an off-the-road shortcut to a no-road-access nearly deserted beach.

Welcome to the world’s best adrenaline rush, as only Costa Rica can offer it!

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The Ultimate, Can’t-Miss Checklist for Your Tamarindo Destination Wedding

Tamarindo destination wedding couple-min

Planning a wedding in Costa Rica? Then you can’t miss this ultimate Tamarindo destination wedding checklist.

Are you dreaming of a Tamarindo destination wedding? We are too. Always. Because Costa Rica is both a tropical paradise and a photogenic backdrop – the perfect choice for your jet-set “I dos.”

But, let’s sprinkle a dose of reality into the mix: A destination wedding requires serious planning and firm organizational hand. From long-distance decision-making to the possible language barrier, things can get a little complicated.

Advanced planning and reliable local experts are key. So is our comprehensive Tamarindo destination wedding checklist. Together, we’ll send you sailing off into the sunset. Literally, if you’d like!

Tamarindo Destination Wedding: 12-18+ Months Before

Tamarindo destination wedding at Pangas

Plan a reconnaissance visit to choose the Tamarindo locale perfect for your wedding

☐ Set Your Budget

When it comes to destination wedding planning, the earlier you can set a budget, the better. This is probably the hardest part of your wedding equation, as it depends on destination weddings can incur more expenses than their domestic counterparts: Not only do you have to consider your own airfare and accommodations, but you must also consider whether you will cover your wedding party’s accommodations, group activities, and other destination expenses.

Easy button! If you’re looking for some guidance on budgeting for a Tamarindo destination wedding, please get in touch. We’ve worked with brides and grooms for years, and we have connections with some of the best wedding vendors in Tamarindo and Costa Rica. We can offer tips, provide information, and point you in all the right directions for your budgeting needs.

☐ Draft the Guest List

A guest list is even harder for a destination wedding, given all the related costs you and your guests will assume. (Side note: It’s impossible to set a budget without drafting your guest list.) Not only should you create your guest list well in advance, but you also should send out Save the Dates at least 10 months in advance.

☐ Choose Your Locale

Provided you’ve already settled on a destination wedding in Tamarindo, you may think you have this checkbox under control. Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that: You need to lock in not only your destination, but also your ceremony and reception venues, as well as your guest accommodations and honeymoon locale. Especially if you’re getting married during high or midseason, venues and accommodations book up quickly, often a year or more in advance. Don’t miss out on your perfect Tamarindo wedding venue!

Tip: See our section below on When to Plan Your Tamarindo Destination Wedding, for more information (and the pros and cons) of each wedding season in Costa Rica.

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7 Fun Facts about Costa Rican Independence Day (September 15)

Costa Rican flag

Costa Rica’s flag stands for opportunity, peace, and generosity, among other national traits – all key characteristics celebrated on Costa Rican Independence Day

September 15, otherwise known as Costa Rican Independence Day or el quince de setiembre, is just around the corner. And with it, there will be celebration. There will be marching bands. There will be horns, and whistles, and batons – and a downpour of all things blue, white, and red.

There will be pride. There will be joy. There will be a full day-and-a-half of national fun and ecstatic fun. It’s Costa Rican Independence Day!

  1. Our Independence Was (Relatively) Peaceful

Costa Rica’s penchant for peace dates back much further than 1948, when we abolished our army. In fact, the Spanish Constitution of 1812 declared Costa Rica an autonomous province, but it wasn’t until 1821, after the Mexican War of Independence – in which Costa Rica didn’t fight – that Guatemala and the Central American Congress, via the Act of Independence, officially declared Central America free of Spain.

Fun fact: Though the war ended in September, Costa Rica didn’t learn of its independence until October 1821, when the Independence Act arrived in Cartago. A second fun fact: Due to the nature of Central American independence, Costa Rica shares its September 15 celebrations with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

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5 Ocean-View Tamarindo Vacation Rentals with Air-Conditioning

Tamarindo ocean view

The only thing better than this view is this view with air-conditioning!

What’s the only thing better than an oceanview or oceanfront home in paradise? An air-conditioned oceanview or oceanfront home in paradise! For when you want all the benefits of the tropics without the heat, we’ve rounded up five excellent picks for Tamarindo vacation rentals with air-conditioning. In no particular order:

Casa Tranquila

4 Bedrooms | 4.5 Bathrooms | Tamarindo

Casa Tranquila Tamarindo vacation rentals with air-conditioning-min

Lovely Casa Tranquila is one of Tamarindo’s most exclusive ocean-view Tamarindo vacation rentals with air-conditioning

Located within and surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Tamarindo Preserve (Costa Rica’s only beachfront gated community), Casa Tranquila is a spectacular luxury vacation rental. Set high on a bluff occupying sweeping Pacific views, this air-conditioned home is a masterpiece of tropical design: Vaulted wood ceilings, stone floors, artisan ceilings, and other details emphasize the home’s sleek modern lines and complementary rustic details.

The star amenity at Casa Tranquila is full, free membership at the exclusive Tamarindo Preserve Beach Club, boasting a beachfront pool, yoga studio, five-star bistro, bar, and gym, plus a beautiful beach safe for swimming.

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