Night Turtle Nesting Tour from Tamarindo

Badge of ExcellenceTamarindo, Costa Rica

From USD 46.16

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 4 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Head out into the Cosa Rican night in search of Green Pacific and Olive Ridley sea turtles laying their eggs on Playa Grande. During this evening tour from Tamarindo, you may even see baby turtles hatching, depending on the conditions. National park fees included.
  • Evening tour to Playa Grande turtle nesting ground
  • Watch turtles nest or baby turtles hatch
  • Red light provided help you see the action without disturbing turtles
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off included

What's Included

  • Local taxes
  • Bottled water
  • Driver/guide
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Native's Way Costa Rica - Tours and Transfers
    200 meteres south of Diria, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

    5:20 PM @ Native's Way Tamarindo Office Please contact us if you would like to arrange pick up from a different location

Start time

05:30 pm

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Meet your guide and group at the Native's Way tour office, located in front of La Oveja Negra Hostel, just west of the Banco Nacional in downtown Tamarindo. Meeting time is just after sunset. Turtles can be seen year around, but October to April is the peak season for turtle nesting.

Travel to a protected beach, Playa Grande. Once there, climb out and spend time watching nature take its course: Green Pacific and Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs. You may even see Leatherback turtles (very rare) or turtle eggs hatching and babies making their way to the sea. 

Flash photography and flashlights are prohibited, but your guide will use a special red light that does not disturb the turtles. 

At the conclusion of your tour, get dropped off back at your hotel.

Native's Way

Leaving just after sunset, you will meet at our office and your guide will take you to a protected beach located 30 minutes away.

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Playa Mina

You will have the chance to see Olive Ridley and Green Pacific sea turtles laying their eggs at a series of secluded beaches near Playa Grande. You could possibly see the Leatherback turtles, but it is rare. Due to the sensitive nature of this naturalist tour, the local guides prohibit the use of flashlights or flash on your cameras, but you may take pictures. A special red light will be provided by the guide that does not disturb the turtles. Turtles can be seen year round, November to April is the peak season for turtle nesting.

2 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for children age 4 and under
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers
Operated by Native's Way Costa Rica

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveller Photos

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111 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 111 reviews
Amazing experience
Amy_K, Mar 2023
Amazing tour! Beautiful walk down to the beach at night with a clear night sky full of stars and planets! We saw 4 female turtles laying eggs and returning to the ocean and about 20 baby turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean. We waited patiently to see all of this, but it was a unique experience. My teens loved it. The walk is about 30 minutes each way with flashlights and on the beach there are only the special red lights the guides use. All is quiet as you wait for this miracle. The guides try to help the babies make it without getting eaten or walking the wrong way. May be hard for smaller children to be patient in silence. For older kids it is wonderful! Ask questions! The guides know a lot about the turtles!
A definite do in Costa Rica!!
Charleen_N, Mar 2023
Fun little experience and saw something I’ve never seen before in my life - and my kids got to see it too! Not only did we see a baby turtle make its way to sea .. we got to see a momma turtle laying eggs!!!
Amazing, would highly recommend
Dathan_S, Mar 2023
Everything. The whole experience was wonderful. The guides were very passionate and knowledgeable. Ivan was fantastic
Glad we went
Robert_S, Mar 2023
Our guide Ivan.worked hard to be sure we saw both hatchlings and mature turtles. We thought it was a worthwhile experience.
Amazing encounter
Catherine_S, Feb 2023
It was amazing to see a turtle make a nest and lay her eggs. We saw many turtles come up from the water. We also saw a baby turtle go to the sea for the first time. The night was perfect!
Jennifer_N, Feb 2023
Amazing experience seeing baby sea turtles leaving the nest and heading to sea!!! Also got to see mama turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs. The night sky without any light pollution was also phenomenal. Great outing!
AMAZING Excursion!
RICK_H, Feb 2023
This sea turtle excursion was amazing! Ivan is an enthusiastic informative guide who really knows what he’s doing! We saw over 70 baby sea turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean! AND, we then saw a mama turtle make her way to shore, dig and dig, and then laid her eggs! It was a once in a lifetime experience and a highlight of our vacation! Christy Hawn (Mrs. El Tigre)!
Overall satisfying to see turtles, but such things are always improved with the right guide.
James_A, Feb 2023
This is a lovely experience, that is certain. We saew adult and baby turtles on the beach. The transport was reasonably comfortable and air-conditioned and the walk to the beach was not really challenging. The only real issue we had was the guide - he had a rather arrogant manner and didn't answer questions that well, responding with a snigger and a tone to make you think it was a silly question. He seemed to think the review of the experience was based solely on the sightings of turtles, rather than a whole package to include information and an careful approach. At one point he made the group walk through a group of baby turtles heading towards the ocean, rather than keeping the group to one side, and at the same time did not use his torch well to light a path we felt we should just stand still rather than enjoy the experience of seeing them from a distance with the torch light trained on them. Other guides seemed to be a bit more careful and considerate.
Highlight of the trip
Kirsty_M, Feb 2023
So far this is the highlight of our trip! Ivan, our guide, was friendly, knowledgeable & you can tell he really cares about the turtles. We were lucky enough to see turtles coming up the beach to lay eggs then returning to the water, a whole clutch of eggs being laid, and little baby turtles emerging from the sand to make the journey to the sea. Strongly suggest long trousers or a good bug spray, but it was worth the bites to see these awesome creatures!
Absolutely incredible
Mallory_S, Feb 2023
We have travelled quite extensively and this was one of the greatest experiences we have ever had! Ivan was very knowledgeable, clearly cared about the turtles, and went above and beyond to ensure we had a memorable experience! We saw mamas moving to and from the water, digging and burying their nests, laying eggs, and (the highlight for me) a HUGE nest of hatched babies making their way to sea. This was absolutely worth the money.
Too much driving time. Very little turtle time. Rough guide!
Marcia_G, Feb 2023
It was about an hour drive on an extremely rough road, and then another 20 minute walk to get to nesting area. Instead of leading, our guide stayed in the back of the group, and then yelled if a wrong turn was made. He told our group to slow down when walking the trail, and then hurry and walk faster when at the beach. Upon arriving to the beach the group was quietly talking with each other, and he yelled at our group to "Sit down, listen, and do as you are told". From there on, the group was afraid to make a wrong move, and our guide had spoiled any fun. We did see a turtle digging a hole for about 10 minutes. Again, our guide barked orders on where to sit. No one took pictures until the very last 2 minutes. Would have been better with a different guide, but still not worth your time.
Courtney_R, Jan 2023
Our guide Ivan was great. We were a large group. We were brought to a secluded beach which required a hike. Definitely use bug spray!! You have flashlights for the hike, but once you get to the beach, it’s flashlights off. I have night blindness and get panicked when I can’t see my feet, so the beach walk in the dark was my least favorite part but it was worth it being in the beach and turtles slowly waddling up the beach, and you can hear them clearing out sand to make a place to nest. With nature you need to remember to be patient, but we saw 7 turtles! The guides use red light as it’s least disturbing to the turtles, but we got to witness one turtle up close laying eggs and then retreating back into the ocean. Also the tour doesn’t mention this, but the beach was actually full of bioluminescent plankton, so the walk back in the pitch dark was easier with the sparkles everywhere.
An experience we will never forget!!
Renaldo_D, Jan 2023
Our sea turtle excursion will be something we remember for the rest of our lives. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We saw a complete cycle of nesting for the sea turtles. One turtle attempting to nest but not finding a place and returning back to the ocean. A sea turtle digging and laying its eggs in a nest. A baby sea turtle trying to makes its way to the ocean for the first time. Highly recommend this tour if you are going to Costa Rica.
Not as good as expected
Nadia_H, Jan 2023
The tour operator didn’t seem to be well prepared and the tour size is too big for one guide. We had 18 people! It started with a small detour to get some ice then we arrived, we were urged to walk faster. It’s ok for us but there were people who couldn’t walk fast. The beach had a lot of trees with broken branches that could easily injure your legs in the dark. One of the group had blood dripping from her leg. We got to see the turtle laying eggs, which was nice to see but it didn’t feel sacred as there were too many people scramming into a small space. It could have been better if the size of the tour is smaller and we arrived earlier to see the path clearer and not being herded in the dark the first time. We were provided with flash lights but it’s still unfamiliar territory.
So amazing to witness...
So amazing to witness these amazing creatures laying their eggs in a.process that's been repeating itself over millenia. Awesome and humbling. Be prepared for a little bit of a bone-jarring ride and then a good walk (do wear sensible shoes!), But ultimately so rewarding. Our guide Ivan was friendly and very knowledgeable
Thoroughly enjoyed being...
Karen_R, Apr 2022
Thoroughly enjoyed being at the ocean at nightfall watching turtles nest. The visual was and always will be memorable
Magnificent best tour
Loraine_G, Mar 2022
Fantastic saw 3 turtles nesting & babies going back to the sea. Professional team & very caring & informative about the turtles.
Gabriel_L, Mar 2022
Amazing experience, while we were warned that it is really dependent on mother nature and different from day to day, we were extremely lucky to see both turtles hatching and crawling to their first swim to the ocean as well as a different turtle laying her eggs and protecting her spot. Truly surreal to witness both events all thanks to our expert guide. Amazing experience!
Saw babies crawl to...
James_J, Feb 2022
Saw babies crawl to ocean, mama turtle also ocean bound and finally another turtle preparing place for laying eggs and actually laying them as we watched. Advantageous to mention hike to beach not for everyone. Dangerous terrain for all ages. Big and major disappointment getting to pickup point and finding out they were just leaving. We got scolded about holding things up! Guests were not happy with us as well. Viator gave us a pickup time of 6:00pm, everyone else had 5:30. We arrived around 5:45-50 and saw they were pulling away. Embarrassing! Have paper printout from Viator written the 15th of Feb. saying 6;00. Very upsetting. Guide knew his information regarding turtles. Enjoyed but mistake on time cast pall over excursion and we felt humiliated. Grandparents who took granddaughter
Rude people
timothy_m, Feb 2022
We unfortunately had a pipe break in our hotel and had to move our stuff and had no choice but to miss our tour. When I called to explain, they were very rude to us, they would not work with us at all to reschedule for another date or refund, said that we would have to pay full price again. So if your booking this trip God forbid life happens you won’t find any sympathy with these guys