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Night time turtle watch?

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Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
Night time turtle watch?

I've read on a few different sites about taking a tour guide to go see the turtles at night laying eggs at Gandoca. Has anyone done this? If so - with who/how much did it cost? And...is it still the right time of year in about 2 weeks to see anything with turtles - momma's laying eggs or babies hatching? I'd love to see either one.

Although in light of what recently happened, I am a little standoffish about it. …washingtonpost.com/2013-06-04/national/3973… We will have our 9 year old daughter with us, so of course I wouldn't want to do anything while we're there that might put her in harm's way. This whole thing is very sad and makes me a little nervous.

37 replies to this topic
Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
posts: 1,892
reviews: 7
1. Re: Night time turtle watch?

The whole country is shocked and saddened by the death of Jairo, but Gandoca is a busy beach in turtle season and has a lot of volunteers walking the beach in groups. There are still turtles laying but there's more in April and May. I would consider carefully whether it is a trip for a nine year old. To see the turtles is absolutely incredible, don't get me wrong, but sitting or walking up and down a beach at night getting bitten by sandfliies (repellent isn't usually allowed near the turtles) or getting rained on for what might be an unsuccessful night, may not be a nine year old's idea of fun. I know my 10 year old would be moaning after a couple of hours.....

Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
2. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Hi Sara,

Thanks for your response.

I for sure wouldn't just take any 9 year old on an outing like that. I can tell you that my daughter isn't a "typical" 9 year old. She's been hiking the mountains of Colorado since she was two years old! And when I say hike, I mean hike 2 miles straight up at 10,000 feet elevation with several hundred feet of elevation change during the hike on her own at age two! I had to stop more than she did! She started riding a bike at age 3 and has been mountain biking since age 4. She has also done Tae Kwan Do since she was 4 and is now currently working on earning her black belt. She's pretty determined and tough!

I think the bug thing sounds more like an annoying thing for myself! ;-) If no bug spray is allowed on my body I might die, as bugs LOVE me!

Seeing the turtles is a dream of all of ours. My husband and I were married in Belize 11 years ago and heard about a project over there, but we were too late to help out with it. Again when we were in Mexico a year later we heard of another, but didn't hear about it in time. So we were hoping to try to see some in CR. I'm not sure if we'll do this night turtle trip or not. There are so many wonderful adventures to be had in the area, that it's hard to decide which ones to do with limited funds!

My daughter especially loves animals. She just had a lemonade stand yesterday at our garage sale to raise money for The Jaguar Rescue Center. She has now raised around $100 and still counting, as we have some people who are mailing donations to us from other areas of the states. She also wanted to try one more Saturday before we go to see if she could raise even more money for them. So next Saturday she's having another lemonade stand. We will hand deliver the donation to them when we visit.

Thanks for your response and specifically in relation to bringing a kid! We're so excited for our trip that I can hardly stand it!

Costa Rica
posts: 20,080
reviews: 23
3. Re: Night time turtle watch?

One option to help with the bugs is to wear black rubber boats and long pants and tuck your pants into the boots. The rubber boots are inexpensive and sold pretty much everywhere.

Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
4. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Good to know! Thanks for the tip! Hattie - have you do it before - seen the turtles on the night watch?

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 1,413
reviews: 34
5. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Gandoca continues to operate. After reading about incident in Moin ( 60 kilometers from Puerto Viejo), I wanted assurance that there was no evidence of danger in Gandocca. We contacted locals and a reputable tour company that sells these excursions and they both assured us there were no problems.

On top of the awful tragedy in Moin, I can not understand why The organization Widecast would continue to encourage, charge volunteers to go in to a dark desolate area in the middlee of the night to protect turtles when they were well aware there had been threats of retaliation for their activities.

It's one thing for the employee who is a local citizen to decide what risks he is willing to take... But not for him to decide what risks young paying foreign volunteers should take. Members of the Local Chamer of Commerce are awaiting an answer from WideCast to find out if I fact they did send people to this area while being fully aware of the risks.

It is our understanding that WideCast immediately closed the program. The worldwide publicity from this event will affect turtle watching programs into Costa Rica for years to come. Also the economic repercussions of this incident on the Caribbean are already being felt. Tourist businesses on Caribbean side are experiencing a slow down and many lay offs have begun.

WideCast might be reminded that the motivation behind taking turtle eggs is money. More unemployment only adds to the problem.

I hope that organizations like WideCast will re-elvaluate their strategies that can ensure a more long lasting sustainable program and not be wrecless with peoples safety and then when there is a problem, just throw all the blame at overwhelmed, understaffed, ilequipped local police.

Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
6. Re: Night time turtle watch?

It's all very sad - all the way around for sure. I have no doubt that it will affect many things in Costa Rica for sure. I can tell you that we ARE indeed still coming to Punta Uva and are very excited about it! I'm thinking that for this trip we will probably opt out of the turtle night tour and try something else during the day instead. Sad, sad situation though.

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 6,619
reviews: 4
7. Re: Night time turtle watch?

This time of the year you might be able to observe the turtles hatching from the nest, you might be able to experience this incredible event near the Korrigan Lodge on one of the local beaches during daylight hours.

Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
8. Re: Night time turtle watch?

That is really what I'd most like to see - babies!!!

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 6,619
reviews: 4
9. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Check this out from last year at end of June, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php…

Fort Collins...
posts: 274
reviews: 49
10. Re: Night time turtle watch?

I saw that on their Facebook page last summer! I can't wait! We will look! Any pointers on where we can try to see them? Just walk up and down the beach looking for them?

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