Isla Cañas has one of the few beaches in the world that sees the phenomenon known as the arribada, when thousands of female sea turtles simultaneously come ashore to lay their eggs. It’s still not entirely understood what triggers this mass exodus from the sea at one particular moment, though smaller numbers emerge at other times, too, within a roughly ten-day period on either side of a full moon (when tides are highest, allowing the turtles to lay their eggs further up the beach).

Whether or not your visit coincides with an arribada (usually Aug–Nov), if you come between May and January you’ll almost certainly see olive ridley or green turtles – with a small chance of spotting loggerhead and hawksbill – laying their eggs at night. From December to March there’s also a chance of seeing leviathan-like leatherbacks, which can weigh over 800kg.

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30 Dec 2015 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
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08 Sep 2015 • Megan Eileen McDonough insert_drive_file Article
A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

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Let’s clear one thing up straight away: getting to the San Blas islands is not easy, whichever way you’re coming from. And that’s quite deliberate. The…

23 Oct 2014 • James Rice insert_drive_file Article
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