The Sea Turtle Protection Program at Las Alamandas, located between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo along the famed Costalegre Coast, has been a great success over the years, increasing the number of turtles arriving each year on the four beaches of this hideaway resort nestled inside a private nature reserve. And now guests can participate in the two critical action phases of the program – the collecting of the eggs and the protecting of the newly hatched babies – and play an integral role in boosting the sea turtle population.
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“Guests can be part of an exciting and fulfilling eco-tourism experience that is unique to Las Alamandas,” said Isabel Goldsmith Patiño, founder and owner of the exclusive haven on Mexico’s Pacific coast. “From the late-night outings to find the eggs, to protecting the babies as they instinctually charge to the safety of the ocean, guests take home inspiring memories.”
The first of the mother turtles start arriving in summer each year and keep coming through the end of the year, at times as late as January. They dig nests in the sand, settle in to lay their eggs and then return to the sea. Six to eight weeks later, the tortuguitas hatch.
The best egg collection time is late at night, generally between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am. Guests may participate once or go out two or three nights, working with the staff to search for and dig up the newly deposited ovum. Las Alamandas keeps the eggs in a container filled with sand to mimic the natural nest, watches over them until they hatch, and then safely releases the babies into the sea.
The birth of the baby sea turtles is a time of celebration at Las Alamandas. Guests join the staff on the beach, get to meet and hold the tortuguitas, and protect them from hungry sand crabs and diving seagulls as they exuberantly charge across the sand to the water. Guests then wish them bon voyage as they swim off on the great adventure of life. The more baby turtles that are protected by the resort and its guests, the more can be expected to return to Las Alamandas in the years to come. In 2013, Las Alamandas released about 5,000 turtles, and the resort’s Sea Turtle Protection Program is on track to surpass that number this year. The species of turtle is the olive ridley.
Las Alamandas (www.alamandas.com) is a 1,800-acre tropical paradise that was selected by Robb Report as one of the World’s Top 100 Resorts of 2014. The luxurious vacation retreat, a member of Small Luxury Hotels that has earned a AAA Four Diamond rating annually since 2004, is nestled within a private nature reserve boasting four private beaches, two lakes, a river, and a private airstrip. You can walk to lookout points with dramatic panoramas of the coast, focus your binoculars on numerous varieties of birds, bike or horseback ride on private trails, swim in the warm ocean waters and picnic on a beach of your own.
The full gamut of luxury creature comforts includes: 17 exceptionally spacious and luxurious suites with vibrant Mexican chic décor, oversize bathtubs, terraces with private Jacuzzis and panoramic views; a beachfront Spa Pavilion for massages to the soothing sound of the Pacific Ocean; gourmet farm-to-table Contemporary Mexican cuisine prepared daily with seafood freshly caught by local fisherman, meats and free-range eggs and chicken raised by local farmers, and fruits and vegetables grown in the resort’s own organic gardens.
Among the facilities are a 60-foot swimming pool, a lighted tennis court, half basketball court, croquet, lawn chess, mountain bikes, a fully equipped air-conditioned gym, ping-pong, a lounge with a big-screen TV, and a roof-top lounge bar called “Estrella Azul,” or Blue Star. A Kids Club offers a program of games, arts and crafts, and activities for the little ones.
For more information and reservations: Tel. + (52) 322 285-5500; Toll free in the U.S. and Canada 888-882-9616; or