Watching a sea turtle lay its eggs or liberating its hatchlings are unforgettable experiences for all who have done it firsthand. It’s one of the most popular activities especially for families with kids in the Riviera Nayarit, which is considered a sea turtle sanctuary.
The destination has over 10 turtle camps along its five coastal municipalities from Bahía de Banderas to Tecuala, where they liberate over one million baby turtles during nesting season (June to February).
Below please find a list of points to follow in accordance with the Official Mexican Regulation NOM-162-SEMARNAT-2012, which protects the endangered sea turtle:
- · The first and most important is humans must not intervene in the birth process (only properly certified experts may do so).
- · Under no circumstances may the hatchlings, eggs or adult turtles be retained.
- · Manipulating, touching, approaching or bothering the nesting turtles or liberated hatchlings is not allowed.
- · Digging in the nests or touching the deposited eggs is not allowed.
- · Lights, flash or noise are not allowed when a sea turtle is sighted.
- · People must remain 10 meters away from any nesting turtle.
The camps in the Riviera Nayarit include those in Nuevo Vallarta, Carreyeros, Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, Punta Raza, El Naranjo, Boca de Chila, Platanitos, San Blas, Los Corchos, El Sesteo and La Puntilla.
The most common turtle on the coast of Nayarit is the Olive Ridley turtle, which nests three times a year. A young litter of Hawksville turtles has been sighted, but the situation of the Leatherback and Black turtles is much more delicate as they are already critically endangered.