Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge

The Tamarindo Refuge holds one of the most important nesting sites for the leatherback turtle in the world
The total number of turtles that nest at Playa Grande Beach is not known, but it is speculated that as many as 200 could lay their eggs in one single night.

The part of the beach set aside as a refuge extends 1 km. long and corresponds to the main sector where the turtles arrive every year to dig their nests in the sand. This takes place at night during the months of November to April.

The rest of the refuge, which covers almost 400 Ha., is made up of the Tamarindo mangrove swamp.
The five species of mangrove that are known on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica flourish here.
The red mangrove is the most abundant of all. It grows to heights of over 30 meters and can be found in unmixed formations in many areas.

Black and white mangrove trees are numerous in the region near the mouth of the estuary while there is a comparatively smaller number of the other two species. The abundance of black mangrove has led scientists to believe that there are high concentrations of salt in the soil of the Tamarindo mangrove swamp. This would be attributed to there only being sea water left in the swamp during the dry season, since the few streams that flow into it dry up completely at that time.

Playa Grande Beach, as its name indicates, is very large. At low tide the distance between the sea and the front line of plant growth is 70 meters. It is made up of firm sand which makes it easy for walking, and it is the perfect place to see animals and plants that are typical of tropical beaches.

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Leatherback turtle baby heading for the sea


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