The beaches of Ostional welcomed the arrival of hundreds of Ridley turtles last weekend. Their presence served to further beautify the scenery of the beaches.

Yesterday, during the darkness, may have been the last arrival of the month, but never fear. Spectacle can be witnessed once again during the first week of October.

The Olive Ridley Turtle

The Ridley is the smallest among all marine turtles, having a shell that measures between 55 and 70 centimeters and a total weight of 35 to 45 kilograms. It reaches sexual maturity between 10 and 15 years of age and lives approximately 50 to 60 years. It reproduces for a little more than 21 years, and it is estimated that each turtle lays approximately 100 eggs during the visit to Ostional.

Ostional, a renowned example

According to legislation overseeing the National Wildlife Refuge of Ostional, a trained guide is required to be able to view the turtles. Foreign visitors pay $10.00 and nationals pay approximately $4.00 to visit what the World Wildlife Fund calls “one of the two most important areas in the world for nesting of the Olive Ridley turtle.” Ostional is the only place in Costa Rica where you can observe sea turtles nesting year-round.

Interestingly, this beach is one of the few places in the world where the turtle population has actually seen growth in previous years. What’s more, the local community has managed this feat while at the same time responsibly harvesting eggs according to legislation by Costa Rica’s Energy and Environment Ministry (MINAE).

Unfortunately, That Journey Blog notes that while town of Ostional “is almost completely sustainable by turtle eggs, but that does not mean it is secure.” The Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Ostional (ADIO) which by and large manages the legal, economical and environmental relationships between the community and the turtles constantly has its hands full.

[quote_box_center]“Private tours that fail to mention the intricate dynamic of humans and turtles at Ostional take away and sometimes may even set the public against all the progress ADIO has made. Furthermore, there are people that want to tear down the town to establish hotels and rumors that the government is assisting with threatening actions to remove the community.”[/quote_box_center]

Furthermore, unforeseen influxes in tourists also pose a threat to the turtle population’s. In fact, earlier this month, so many tourists arrived at Ostional that they actually scared away turtles that had arrived to nest.

Bottom line? By all means, get excited about the one-of-a-kind experience Ostional has to offer with its sea turtles… but please be responsible!