Every year thousands of turtles come to the Riviera Maya, and now it is that time of the year when the female turtles come to the land to lay their eggs.
Sea turtle nesting season begins in May in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. All along the Mexican Caribbean shoreline, the Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres, Contoy, Holbox, Cozumel, Sian Ka’an and the beaches of southern Quintana Roo, female green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, and the occasional giant leatherback turtle, come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand.
This year sea turtle nesting season began several weeks early when a leatherback sea turtle arrived as early as 11 April to lay 71 eggs in the sand. Since then, a few more sea turtles have continued to arrive by night to create their beach nests, making an early start to the nesting season that shouldn’t have begun until 1 May.
One single female turtle can lay up to 200 eggs at once. The eggs are laid safely on the sand, few meters away from the beaches. Forty-five to 60 days later, their eggs hatch and the baby turtles struggle out of the shells and begin their perilous dash towards the waves and a new life at sea.
MEXICO AND SEA TURTLES
Mexico is home to six out of seven sea turtle species worldwide. One very important area for the inhabitation of sea turtles is the Yucatan Peninsula, which has not only plenty of nesting beaches to offer, but also high nutritive feeding locations.
If you are due to visit the Riviera Maya this season, join us in protecting these beautiful creatures.
• If you spot a sea turtle on the beach at night let her do her job (nesting).
• Be very quiet and keep still.
• Watch from a distance of ten meters.
• Do not attempt to touch the sea turtle or crowd her.
• Do not shine a torch or use the light on your mobile pone.
• Please, no flash photography of nesting sea turtles or baby turtles.
• No smoking.
• Help us to keep our beaches and sea clean. Discarded straws, plastic bags, beer packaging, fishing lines and other garbage floating in the water are lethal to sea turtles and other marine life
• When snorkeling or diving watch sea turtles from a distance, do not swim towards them and do not attempt to touch them
• Wear a t-shirt when snorkeling as protection from the sun instead of applying sun block. Sun products pollute the water and are harmful to marine life
The sea turtle is protected by Mexican law and it is illegal to disturb them, persecute or hunt them and consume their meat or eggs.
The sea turtle nesting season it is an inspiring and unique moment, either to see the marine turtle nest or the babies hatch in Cancun and Riviera Maya Mexico. Observe, absorb and enjoy – only few people have the chance to be part of this beautiful process!