The Ostional Wildlife Refuge is the heart of the community of Nosara. Protected by the Costa Rican government since 1983, the refuge spans 8,054 hectares of marine protected area and 510 hectares of terrestrial protected area. It includes four beaches: Ostional, Nosara, Pelada and Guiones and hosts three  communities within its limits: Ostional, Pelada and Guiones.  The communities of San Juanillo, Nosara, and Garza are also closely tied to the Refuge.

The Refuge is surrounded by a 5 km buffer zone, highlighting the importance of neighboring communities for the integrative conservation of the area.

This Refuge has the particularity that 59% of the terrestrial portion is registered as private property.  Due to this, the Refuge was changed from a government-owned to a Mixed-Use Refuge by law in 2016.  As part of this change, the National System of Protected Areas (SINAC) has been working on new regulations to manage the Refuge.

The following Spanish documents, prepared by SINAC are in the process of being officialized, subject to the approval of the National Environmental Technical Secretary (SETENA), under file number EAE-0002-2016.

    1. Diagnóstico para el Plan General de Manejo del Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional:
      The document “Diagnosis for the General Management Plan of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge” presents the biological, social, economic, cultural and legal elements that will be the basis for developing the General Management Plan for the period of 10 years, 2020-2029.
      Diagnóstico para el Plan General de Manejo del Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional (PDF)
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    3. Plan General de Manejo 2020 -2029
      The General Management Plan is the technical instrument that defines the route that the personnel of the Protected Wildlife Area and their allies must follow to maintain the values of the Refuge; Conversion strategies are developed in it; the Refuge is zoned according to the characteristics of each site, strategies for administration are proposed and annex regulations are created.
      Plan General de Manejo 2020 -2029 (PDF)
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    5. Reglamento de Desarrollo Sostenible
      The Sustainable Development Regulation is part of the General Management Plan of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge; specifically regulates the permitted uses within the Refuge,  in interaction with natural resources and in terms of local customs and other socio-cultural factors in order to ensure the preservation of the site.
      Reglamento de Desarrollo Sostenible (PDF)
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    7. Reglamento de Uso Público.
      The Public Use Regulation is part of the General Management Plan of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge; specifically regulates the development of activities carried out in areas of public use within the Refuge.
      Public Use Regulation (PDF)