San Juan Del Sur
Once a sleepy fishing village, San Juan Del Sur has become a mecca for surfers, beachgoers, and retirees. This charming little beach town is located on the southern Pacific coast, just an hour or so from the Costa Rica border. The coast here is lined by idyllic bays surrounded by green rolling hills teaming with wildlife. Just 2 hours or so from the bustling capital city of Managua, San Juan Del Sur feels secluded yet has all the modern conveniences a traveler might desire.
Locals here are involved with conservation efforts to preserve not only sea turtles, but the unique tropical dry forest habitat of the area. Paso Pacifico, a conservation organization founded in 2005, is working in partnership with local communities to provide alternatives to destructive activities such as poaching of sea turtle eggs and deforestation.
Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor
Just south of San Juan Del Sur is the Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor, an important nesting area for olive ridleys, and well as hawksbill, leatherback, and green sea turtles. La Flor is one of only two olive ridley arribada nesting areas in Nicaragua. Here, the olive ridley nests "in mass" between the months of July and December.
More than 100,000 olive ridley nests are laid on this beach each year. Worldwide, only a handful of arribada beaches exist; elsewhere they are solitary nesters like other sea turtle species.
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