We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
+506 2682 1229

This refuge protects the nesting grounds of the Pacific Olive Ridley sea...

This refuge protects the nesting grounds of the Pacific Olive Ridley sea turtle.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 60 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 28
  • 6
    Very good
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Amazing Experience

Playa Ostional is known for its "Arribadas", thousands of turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach, it is an amazing experience. Locals have a permit to extract the eggs on... read more

Reviewed 4 March 2017
San Jose, Costa Rica
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

60 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 40: English reviews
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
102 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2017 via mobile

Playa Ostional is known for its "Arribadas", thousands of turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach, it is an amazing experience. Locals have a permit to extract the eggs on the first 35 hours, government says that as there are too many turtles those eggs would not survive. This is a sad thing to watch, but it is... More 

Thank a-j260610
Greenwood, Indiana
Level Contributor
145 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2017

It was so fascinating to see. We had a 4 wheel drive car but just remember to get a larger 4x4 to cross that last creek i felt it was a little do deep for our care to get through. so I parked the car and we walked the rest of the way and we were rewarded with a beautiful... More 

Thank Chip M
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2016 via mobile

I been in ostional as part of the wildlife conservation volunteer, and it's been an amazing experience, the people the place the atmosphere is something special, I love it here and the work they do here is just so important both for the community and for the turtles.

Thank Pedro P
Nosara, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2016

At the right times there are literally tens of thousands of turtles nesting. The viewing is not controlled well enough, too many people walking in between nests and just too many people on the beach at the same time. It is difficult to controll because when the turtle are nesting everyone wants to see them in the short viewing window,... More 

1 Thank medmurf
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2016 via mobile

My sister and I went to volunteer here from 29 Mar to 8 Apr, 2016. We stayed in the accommodations on the refuge. Food was also provided via the refuge, by one of the locals. ACCOMMODATIONS: We stayed in a room that held 6 people, all volunteers. The room was only air conditioned at night, so it was very stuffy... More 

2 Thank mills6025
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2016 via mobile

I went to ostional to work on what I thought was a turtle conservation project. Firstly my host family where amazing and the place it's self is so remote and beautiful , words cannot describe . My fist week involved long morning walks with others collecting plastic from the pristine beach. Then the Arabada began on the new moon and... More 

3 Thank brian k
Redlands, California
Level Contributor
159 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2016

Ok, I love sea turtles. When I heard that I could see a lot of sea turtles here, I had to go I booked a tour with my hotel in Nosara, Blue Spirit. It was $60 for ride and entrance to this place. I did not like this place because we were probably annoying to the sea turtles. It was... More 

2 Thank Kimberly R
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
273 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2016

We were staying in Nosara for the week and heard that there was a small arrival of turtles expected over the next three nights in Ostional. Rather than book a "tour," we just drove to the Refuge in Ostional the next evening. It's such a small town, you really can't miss it. For $8 each, we walked to down to... More 

2 Thank Scott B
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2016

The road to Ostional is indeed bumpy and dusty, but the scenery is beautiful and there are lots of small towns, hidden beaches, and wildlife to make it extra interesting. In Ostional, we were met by our guide, Jamileta, a local who spoke excellent English.. She took our group of 3 to watch the turtles make the crawl from the... More 

Thank coordinatedevent
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2015 via mobile

Our first attempt to see the turtles was in the evening, the turtles were supposed to be arriving on the beach around 10pm. We were coming from Playa Avellanas and we knew that the ride would be mostly gravel roads and not marked well with signage. The roads were in very bad shape from the rainy season and it was... More 

2 Thank Txcin66

Travellers who viewed Ostional National Wildlife Refuge also viewed

Nosara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Grande, Province of Guanacaste
Santa Cruz, Province of Guanacaste

Been to Ostional National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Ostional National Wildlife Refuge and other visitors
6 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from Ostional National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?