Sea Turtle Release Season in Puerto Vallarta is Here

A visit to Puerto Vallarta is an opportunity to immerse yourself in culture, nature, and relaxation. In Puerto Vallarta you can swim with dolphins, snorkel along the shore, or dive down to underwater corals, but for those looking for the best way to see marine life up close, sea turtle season is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta.

Sea turtle season is from June to December each year. During these months, you will see the mothers climbing through the sand to dig out their nests, and in some areas of the world, hundreds will show up at once to nest, a phenomenon known as an arribada. After 45 days of incubation, sea turtle hatching season begins in July. During this time, residents and travelers have the opportunity to participate in a sea turtle release, which is an event that guides baby turtles safely from the sand to the water.

Before observing the sea turtles, be sure to learn about this important species with the below facts so your experience with these fascinating animals is even more meaningful.

Baby hatchling sea turtles

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

The main species of sea turtles who return every year to the shores of Puerto Vallarta is the Olive Ridley. Named for their dark green color, they’re the smallest type of sea turtle, and their shells will only grow up to about two feet in length. The average Olive Ridley turtle will live for 50 years, feeding on jellyfish, shrimp, sea urchins, and other small marine life. While they’re currently the most abundant species of sea turtle, their population numbers are decreasing. However, their unique nesting behavior makes them stand out.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

From June to December each year, the Olive Ridley sea turtles navigate the open sea to return to the same shores they were born on to nest. During sea turtle season you will see the mothers climbing through the sand to dig out their nests and many turtles showing up to nest. Sea turtle nesting season brings the arrival of hundreds of Olive Ridley turtle spread out over the sea turtle season.

Newly hatched baby sea turtles

How to Participate

One of the main sites where you can see sea turtles in Puerto Vallarta is Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates, north of the marina by the airport. Here, you will need to go for a short hike along the beach to reach the secluded sea turtle camp. Participating in a turtle release in Puerto Vallarta is free, but donations are appreciated and help fund future conservation efforts.

Conservation Efforts

Every sea turtle release in Puerto Vallarta helps increase a baby turtle’s chances of surviving into adulthood. Grown sea turtles are a key link in the food chain, and if there were fewer sea turtles, the ecosystem would be thrown off balance. Visiting a sea turtle site is a unique and educational vacation experience as it allows you to learn more about the turtles and give back to these beautiful animals while keep our ecosystem balanced.

If you plan a vacation to Puerto Vallarta between July and December, be sure to participate in a sea turtle release. For more information ask your concierge or click here to visit the Turtle Camp’s website to make your turtle release reservation.

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