One of the tourist activities I've always wanted to do here has been to watch sea turtle nesting and hatching. I really love animals, so this has always seemed like a dream to me. Well, I met some Spanish sisters who were serving in Masatepe for a time and thought, "perfect timing! They'll want to sight see so it's a good excuse to finally go."
So the sea turtle season is from July to December, and we went in November. If you go to this site, there's a lot of useful information about how to get to Playa La Flor, cost of entrance, and general guidelines. It even has a link to contact the Agricultural Dept of Nicaragua.
Now, I rented a hotel for the weekend, rented a car, planned a trip to La Flor which is about 19km from San Juan del Sur and you have to drive a very isolated, poorly maintained road at 9pm because they only nest at night; so I wanted all of this to go off without a hitch. So I called the office confirming the dates the turtles were expected (based on moon cycles) and that I definitely was talking to the La Flor office. Yes, yes, the woman told me. But, I should've known better. This IS Nicaragua after all and nothing ever goes as planned.
So the five of us make this long trip and arrive ready to see hundreds of mothers nesting at La Flor. As soon as we arrive, a park employee meets us and says, "so sad you came tonight. If you had come two nights ago you would have seen hundreds, but this batch is over so tonight we'll maybe get one or two." What?! I told him I specifically called to ensure this wouldn't happen. Turns out they don't even have a phone out there and I was speaking to the Managua office three hours away. Grrrrrr.
Now I'll share some gold with you. If you are planning this trip, call the park employee's phone number during the range of dates the Managua office will give you. Call each morning and they can tell you if turtles have been sighted or not. Then book it down to La Flor. The ph#+505 8896 3750.
So we combed the beach anyway and only came across some prints in the sand indicating a sea turtle came on land, decided she really didn't like it, and immediately turned around and went back out to sea.
The only bonus is that the day after we spent a beautiful time at Playa Marsella and got to relax after a MAJOR letdown.