La Flor Wildlife Refuge
The La Flor Wildlife Refuge in Nicaragua is made up of one of the most beautiful beaches on the south Pacific. The pure white sand is bordered by tropical forests on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The reserve is small, being only 800 hectares, but it is where 30,000 Olive Ridley turtles or Paslama come each year to mate and make their nesting areas. Fundacion Cocibolca is the foundation that looks after the park and tries to get the local residents in the area to contribute to the park's progress. The NGO also provides park guards to protect the eggs of the turtles.
There aren't many beaches you can go to where you can actually view these turtles and see them nest and lay eggs. This makes La Flor one of the most vital coastal sea turtle nesting areas in the Pacific Ocean areas. The nesting season begins in July and lasts till January, but the season peaks during October and November. One of the predators of the sea turtle's eggs are the different birds of prey that occupy the dry tropical forests.
Apart from the beautiful beach, the reserve is also made up of tropical dry forests and mangroves, which are protected. These forests contain an array of animals like monkeys, Garrobo Negro, coyotes, raccoons, Iguana verde, skunks, legartijas. Hundreds of birds make La Flor their home, so if you enjoy seeing birds bring your binoculars.
You will find the La Flor Wildlife Refuge south of the Pacific Sea and of San Juan del Sur, which is only 18km away. At San Juan del Sur you will find comfortable hotels to occupy while you are visiting the Refuge. From your hotel you can take a 4x4 to La Flor or, if you are staying in Playa El Coco, a beach where you can stay in apartments or rent a house. You can just hike over to the Wildlife Refuge from here since Playa El Coco is right next to it. You will need to pay a small fee to enter La Flor and camping is also available, with transport from the nearest town being easily arranged.