Between February and July, four species of turtle - green, leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead - come to nest on the beaches of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park. The park is an isolated refuge for these endangered species, and one of the few places where you will have the unique privilege of seeing them in the wild.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy is doing admirable work in Tortuguero, and you can visit their research programme. There’s a well designed visitor centre with plenty of colourful, child friendly displays to tell you about the turtle, their habits and habitat.
Only one in 5,000 sea turtle eggs will make it to adulthood. It’s therefore of paramount importance that they’re not disturbed when they are hatching. It’s thrilling to walk with a guide along the beach in the evenings, keeping to the marked trail and aiming to avoid pointing your torch directly at the turtle so as not to disturb them. The eggs incubate in the warm sand for seven to 10 weeks, and when the hatchlings do break out from the shells and start making their way to the water, it’s an incredibly magical moment to share with the ones you love.