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Sea Turtles in Cancun and Riviera Maya

Considering that they are some of the most beloved and enchanting animals found in the Caribbean Sea, sea turtles are a big draw for visitors heading to Cancun and Riviera Maya.  Loggerhead, green and hawksbill sea turtle species spend a great deal of time in the spectacularly clear, turquoise-hued Caribbean waters, and vacationers in this Mexican paradise can look forward to seeing them in their splendid natural environment.  


Activities such as spending time on the soft white sands of the beach, snorkeling, scuba diving or swimming in the sea can bring turtle encounters at any moment.   The area’s coral reefs provide a magical atmosphere for popular night diving at particular times during the year, delighting viewers as they witness large numbers of sea turtles gather.  Another favorite nighttime activity is taking a guided turtle walk.  

Protecting Sea Turtles from Danger

Fortunately for the wellbeing and safety of sea turtles residing in Mexico, It is illegal to hunt or capture them or their fragile eggs.  Resorts in the region, local citizens, visitors and volunteers all band together to ensure the magnificent sea turtles around Cancun and Riviera Maya are left alone to enjoy their lives in peace.  Sea turtles are quite vulnerable, and their natural instincts correctly tell them to be wary of the presence of humans, especially on land.  Several turtle protection programs exist, most of which are run by volunteers who monitor beaches for nests of eggs and keep them from harm, especially from poachers and animals that hunt for eggs.        


Mating & Nesting Season

The sea turtle mating season in Cancun and Riviera Maya typically spans the months of May, June and July, when they gather in droves to breed.  Once a pregnant female turtle feels the instinct to go ashore to build her nest, she will drag her body across the sand and carefully dig a nest large enough to fit her eggs, lay them, bury the nest and return to the water.  This ritual typically takes place from May through October.  If you are one of the fortunate onlookers of this incredible natural phenomenon, make sure that you show respect for the turtles by avoiding shining a light at them or taking photos with a flash, maintaining your distance and remaining quiet.  Mother turtles are especially cautious around human activity, so it is essential that they do not sense danger since it could cause them to hurry back to the safety of the water, which can lead to all of the eggs, known as a clutch, to be forfeited due to the mother’s fear.  

Hatching Season

After the eggs have been successfully hidden by the mother turtle, volunteers rush to the nest to mark its location.  The nest will be left untouched if it is situated someplace where it can be monitored; if not, the eggs will be moved to a safe area in a nest that replicates their original home so they are less likely to encounter threats.  The time that baby turtles start to hatch is typically from July through October.  The sight of little turtles racing towards the sea to embark on their life’s journey is absolutely unforgettable, and people of all ages are charmed by this remarkable experience.  

Enjoying a vacation in Cancun and Riviera Maya is simply not complete without some sea turtle sightings, so get out there and explore! Make your reservation now to stay during 2018 turtle season.