One of the highlights of our trip was seeing the arribada of leatherback turtles at Ostional. The day after we arrived at our lodging, our host texted us to let us know that the turtles had begun laying their eggs. So we changed our plans, crossed a river in our rental cars, and drove out to Ostional. The tides weren’t ideal when we arrived, so we spent a few hours at beautiful San Juanillo beach and then returned at around 4:30. We paid the $20 fee and then joined our guide and began walking down the beach. The walk was longer than expected, but all of a sudden I saw a massive shape heaving itself out of the sea. And then there was another turtle higher up on the bank and another one farther ahead returning to the ocean. I had been skeptical that we would see very many turtles; that’s usually how hype turns out. But it was amazing! We kept walking, and pretty soon we had to dodge turtles as they hauled themselves up and down the beach in droves while the heads of many more bobbed in the ocean, trying to get ashore. We watched as the turtles scooped out sand to make nests, went into trances to lay their eggs, covered the nests and patted the sand down again, and then returned to the water. One turtle had chosen the same spot as a previous turtle, flinging eggs all over the beach and allowing our kids to hold some. It was a beautiful and moving experience. As we walked back, the sunset was bathing the beach in a golden glow.
Another highlight was a jungle hike that we took, a little too late in the day, to some waterfalls. It was only supposed to be a fifteen-minute hike, but it took us much longer. Perhaps it was all of the crossings of the stream that we had to do with youngsters. However, we made it and it was beautiful. We even made it back to the vehicles before dark and got to enjoy the fireflies flashing in the jungle as we drove away.
Surfing and quad riding were fun as well, but I’ll save those for other posts.