In Search of Leatherbacks

It doesn’t take long for us to find evidence of leatherback sea turtles, the ancient mariners we’ve come looking for, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Large areas of disturbed sand are telltale signs of nesting activity on this beach. Female leatherbacks can weigh 1000 lbs and span 6-7 ft in length, making them the largest of the world’s seven species of marine turtles by far.

Working with a nesting leatherback sea turtle on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.
Working with a nesting leatherback sea turtle on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.

These photos are from the three nights we spent at Estacion Las Tortugas in early May, a great month to see nesting leatherback females and hatchlings in Costa Rica.

Leatherback hatchling release.
Leatherback hatchling release.
Leatherback hatchling release.
Leatherback hatchling release.
Leatherback hatchling release.
Leatherback hatchling release.
Sunset on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.
Sunset on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.
Lights from the city of Limon in the distance.
Lights from the city of Limon in the distance.