Every year different species of sea turtles come to spawn on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, and during this season, the shells begin to open so that the newborn hatchlings can take their first steps towards what will be their new home in the Mexican Pacific.
From July to January each year, this tourist destination, which has established itself as one of the most important coasts in Mexico for the preservation of sea turtles, has one of the most impressive natural spectacles ready for all visitors, the release of turtles.
In Puerto Vallarta, you will find different turtle camp locations, where it’s possible to participate in the release or as a spectator, but always strictly complying with all sanitary protocols to safeguard the health of the attendees, as well as that of the offspring.
In places where it is possible to participate actively, such as the Hotel Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, the groups are divided into families to benefit the healthy distance during the current COVID-19 pandemic, they are asked to wear masks at all times and they are provided with a natural container to place the turtles in them and avoid physical contact, according to the on-site biologist, José Alberto Jaime Torres.
The Boca de Tomates Tortuguero Camp is also open this season to receive all those interested in carrying out this extraordinary experience of nature, wherein the same way all protocols will be strictly respected to avoid hurting the offspring and that they arrive safely to the sea, as well as a healthy distance between the assistants.
Within this important destination, there are tour companies with whom it is possible to release the newborn turtles, as is the case with Ecotours Vallarta. Wildlife Connection, in the hands of its specialists, will guide visitors about its protection program for the species and will take them to their refuge to guide the small reptiles to their new home.
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Hotel carries out this activity by letting guests or any assistant observe this process. They are kept at a distance of two meters from the line where the hatchlings are found, and the staff supervises that no one enters the sea at the point where the release was made for a period of 20 minutes after the last turtle has entered.
This incredible experience is ideal for the whole family, both children and adults can enjoy the liberation, which becomes such an emotional moment when a little turtle moves on the sand by its instinct towards the sea, where it will begin its first steps of life, hoping that in adulthood they will return to the same place where they were born.
In Puerto Vallarta, you can find from 70 to 230 nests on average depending on the camp, managing to release from 60 to 500 sea turtles per day.
“Once the young hatch and are active, the nest is counted, registered, and immediate release is carried out. The activity is generally done with those who are born between 5 and 7 in the afternoon, there is no calendar because there is no guaranteed date and time of birth”, says Alma Lucatero, Sustainability Coordinator of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Hotel.
Reaching the waters of the Pacific and away from their predators, the turtles are carried away by these currents and the so-called Lost Year of the Sea Turtles begins.
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Participating in the release of turtles is free, but if it is within the possibilities of each visitor, an economic donation can be made to support the work of the civil associations that carry out this activity, among which are the Red Tortuguera, CEMBA, among others.
Remember that, if during your stay in Puerto Vallarta you find a turtle, it is important to keep an approximate distance of 7 meters, not to take photos with flash since they can be scared, and above all, not to disturb them since spawning can be interrupted.
Puerto Vallarta is a tourist destination committed to the environment, the release of turtles is only one of the many activities to be carried out to preserve and care for biodiversity.
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