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August 10, 2023

The ABC's of Sea Turtle Release in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has become one of the most important destinations in the world for the preservation and care of sea turtles, thanks to its great biodiversity and its excellent programs for the conservation, management and protection of this species.

Thousands of turtles of different species —Black, Hawksbill, Leatherback and Olive Ridley— choose Puerto Vallarta's beautiful beaches to lay their eggs.  During the month of August, the shells begin to crack, marking the beginning of the release season, which usually lasts until the end of December.

Sea turtle releases are an educational, emotional and fun experience that attracts hundreds of people, especially families with young children.  They are also one of the most impressive natural wonders and one of the best free activities to enjoy during your summer vacation in Puerto Vallarta.


There are several Turtle Camps that specialize in the conservation, management and protection of these reptiles in Puerto Vallarta and along the bay.  Under the guidance of their respective teams of biologists, you too can be a part of a baby turtle's journey to the sea.

There are also conservation programs with trained staff and constant coordination with local authorities in some beachfront hotels and resorts in Puerto Vallarta.  In Mexico, all species of sea turtles have been under the full protection of the federal government since 1990.

Please note that sea turtle releases are free and open to the public.  They are usually scheduled at dusk or early evening.  This helps to minimize the risk of the baby turtles being preyed upon by birds, fish, and other natural predators.

If you would like to live a more complete and immersive experience, we recommend that you take a tour with a specialized sea turtle release tour company in Puerto Vallarta.  Among other activities, you will have the opportunity to patrol the beach at dawn in search of a nesting turtle.  You may also assist biologists in identifying and protecting the nests.


For 27 years, this tour company has offered the opportunity to enjoy a close encounter with nature at the Turtle Camp.  The company's commitment to conservation ensures that the experience is one of complete freedom, as visitors are accompanied by a specialized guide who will give a lecture on the biology and ecology of the turtle, not to mention the opportunity to build a turtle nest.


A strong commitment to the care and protection of sea turtles is maintained by this iconic hotel in Marina Vallarta.  A testament to this commitment is the fact that in 2023, its Sea Turtle Conservation Program will celebrate its first 20 years of successful operation.  The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa also has its own biologist who oversees the release and guides the hatchlings to live a wonderful moment, accompanying them responsibly to the sea.


An excellent place for all those interested in this extraordinary experience of nature, Boca de Tomates Turtle Camp is a place dedicated to the conservation and protection of sea turtles.  They also offer the opportunity to adopt a nest, choosing the name of the nest, learning about the day the hatchlings were born and then releasing them into the ocean.  You can follow them on Facebook: Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates Saving Sea Turtles in Puerto Vallarta and stay updated on their turtle release calendar. 


This luxury resort is located south of Puerto Vallarta, just a few minutes from the beach at Conchas Chinas.  Located in a small cove, the hotel's beach provides a natural shelter for sea turtles as they take their first steps out to sea.  Their conservation program has trained staff, and guests as well as the general public are welcome to participate in the releases.  A point to note is that the hotel staff makes sure that no one enters the sea at the release site for 20 minutes after the last hatchling is released.


One of the most reliable tour companies in town, Wildlife Connection offers the opportunity to visit the official camp of the National Sea Turtle Conservation Program.  Here you can contribute to the conservation of these wonderful reptiles.  To ensure an informed and respectful encounter with nature, your guides are bilingual biologists with postgraduate degrees in marine ecology and cetacean specialists.  The tours are conducted in small groups and offer the opportunity to patrol the beaches north of Puerto Vallarta looking for nesting turtles.

Puerto Vallarta is a destination with a strong commitment to the environment and through these activities seeks to support local conservation efforts and encourage visitors to preserve and care for the biodiversity of the region and all marine life.


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