Nicaragua's Sea Turtles
Nicaragua's beaches are home to four species of sea turtles, the hawksbills, olive ridleys, leatherbacks, and greens and they are found in waters off both coasts in both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Especially important is a newly discovered nesting area for the critically endangered hawksbill, one of only two known areas of this magnitude in the entire Eastern Pacific, as well as two major olive ridley arribada nesting beaches on the Pacific coast.
Nicaragua Sea Turtle Hotspots
Padre Ramos: A mangrove estuary located on the Northwest Pacific coast of Nicaragua. An area of intense natural beauty, it has been protected as a nature reserve since 1983. This beach is one of the last two major nesting beaches for the Eastern Pacific population of hawksbill turtles. This nesting area was only recently discovered by scientists and comprises almost half of all known hawksbill nesting in the region.
La Flor Wildlife Refuge: Just south of San Juan Del Sur is the Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor, an important nesting area for olive ridleys as 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.
Sea Turtle Species in Nicaragua
Olive Ridley: Nest on beaches along the Pacific coast including the La Flor Refuge near San Juan Del Sur.
Hawksbill: The Caribbean is an important foraging area including the Pearl Cays. They also nest on the Pacific with one major nesting area at Estero Padre Ramos.
Green: The Caribbean waters are one of the world's most important foraging areas for greens. They also nest in small numbers on the Pacific coast.
Leatherback: Occasionally nest along the Pacific coast and they can also be found in deep Caribbean waters.
Learn more about sea turtles in Nicaragua:
Photo credits: Brad Nahill/SEE Turtles, Adelayde Rivas/Paso Pacifico