Brimming with wildlife, Riviera Nayarit allows visitors to get up close and personal with the endangered sea turtles
RIVIERA NAYARIT, Mexico - Every June, sea turtles start arriving on the shores of the Riviera Nayarit to nest their eggs. Forty-five days later, their eggs begin to hatch attracting visitors from all over looking to experience the magic of life first-hand by taking part in Riviera Nayarit’s turtle hatching season. With up to 1,000 eggs per night being released during the peak season of September – October, every visitor is sure to have a hand in the region's unique sea turtle-releasing activity. Ecologically friendly, Riviera Nayarit recognizes the importance of all of its living inhabitants and takes great strides to ensure their survival and preservation of the natural habitat.
The official mascot of Riviera Nayarit, four protected species of sea turtles are native to the area. The leatherback turtles, Olive Ridley turtles, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles all use the 192 mile coastline of Nayarit as a nesting site every year. Each generation of female sea turtles returns to the beach where they were born to create nests of their own, resulting in a wonderful tradition in which visitors can participate.
Help newborn turtles through the first steps of their lives at the Grupo Ecologico de la Costa Verde marine turtle nursery, the Platanitos Turtle Camp, Delcanto or the Ecological Group of Nayarit in Playa el Naranjo. During the summer and fall months, travelers can volunteer or go on tours of nurseries and nesting sites to learn about the fascinating life cycle of sea turtles for just one night or participate in a two-month volunteer project, subject to availability. Delcanto is an eco-friendly development with a Turtle Conservation program dedicated to preserving the habitat of the sea turtles. The Delcanto's beach becomes an alternative for the activities of the Sea Turtle Protection and Conservation Center "Nuevo Vallarta". For more information on Delcanto’s program, visit http://www.delcanto.com.mx/tortuga_en.php.
At the Grupo Ecologico de la Costa Verde marine turtle nursery, visitors and volunteers can help release turtle hatchlings into their natural habitat. Just after sundown, the baby turtles are let out into the ocean to become independent. Also, every Wednesday night, the organization presents a slideshow at the Costa Azul Hotel for travelers and participants to learn about sea turtles. Interested visitors who want to volunteer in depth with the organization must stay for a minimum of two months and will have the chance to join in almost every step of helping the turtles survive their delicate first days. Volunteers pay for their own expenses. Short-term visitors can take tours of the nursery and release the hatchlings or help with whatever is needed that night at the nursery. For information on the organization, visit www.project-tortuga.org. For information on packages at the Costa Azul Hotel, visit www.costaazul.com.
Located at Playa Las Tortugas, the Platanitos Turtle Camp is focused on protecting and increasing the Olive Ridley sea turtle population. A joint effort between the Mexican government environmental agencies CONAP and SEMARNAT and the Home Owners Association of Playa Las Tortugas and its developer Robert Hancock, the camp promises to give travelers an unforgettable, exciting turtle experience. Visitors can help the staff patrol the beach and collect eggs from nesting turtles, and then learn how to incubate eggs in order to achieve a higher survival rate. When hatching time comes, participants in the program can watch as the newborn turtles begin their journey through the ocean to their new life. Options for participation include one-time visits or long-term volunteering. Cost is based on suggested donations depending on the number of participants and the extent of the visit. For more information, visit the organization’s new website, www.seaturtlecamp.org.
About Riviera Nayarit
Mexico’s newest destination, Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. Riviera Nayarit offers countless activities, such as: PGA golf courses, luxury spas, whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, bird watching, international cuisine, and the local artwork from the traditional Huichol tribe. The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. For more information, visit www.RivieraNayarit.com or follow Riviera Nayarit's Fan Page on Facebook.