Turtles is one of the great natural attractions of the Mexican Caribbean, in this beautiful sea you can enjoy this fascinating animal in different ways. Where and when to see turtles in Riviera Maya?

Most of the time the sea turtles that arrive at these Caribbean coasts, live in their natural habitat, the sea. But in gestation they are seen along the coasts to lay their eggs, and in the following months we see the turtles hatch and reach the sea. Really Seeing turtles in the Mayan Riviera is easy what you can do

In Riviera Maya there are different places to see turtles spawn and participate in their release.

sea ​​turtles

WHERE AND WHEN TO SEE TURTLES IN RIVIERA MAYA

One of the most spectacular experiences is seeing turtles in the Riviera Maya, a luxury of nature on the Caribbean coast. Same on the Yucatan, Campeche and Chiapas coast you have this opportunity, in case you are interested in knowing.

  • Spawning season: the season of turtle spawning it's from the middle of May to September. Even the beaches of Quintana Roo arrive 4 species of turtles: white, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback. All marine species live in a fragile ecosystem and are protected.
  • TURTLE EGG RELEASE SEASON: de July to November, as the three month period that turtles need to hatch passes. The season takes place with October being the hottest month for the activity of release turtles.
Where and when to see turtles in Riviera Maya

BEACHES OF RIVIERA MAYA WHERE TO SEE TORTUGAS Spawning

Seeing turtles in Riviera Maya is a relatively easy thing to do. Turtles arrive to spawn much of the Cancun coast to Tulum, counting Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres, Holbox and Cozumel. This means that on many beaches you may be surprised by a turtle spawning. On the spawning beaches, pens are usually created, where volunteers lay turtle eggs to have greater protection for the animal.

They normally spawn at night, and there are beaches where night access is not allowed (such as Xcacelito or Isla Contoy, to give two examples), that is why I speak of the best ones to see them spawn, not where they come from.

If you are staying in Riviera Maya, inquire at your hotel, you may be in the turtle area. These are some of the best beaches where you can see them spawn.

  • CANCUN: On the beaches of the Zona Hotelera from Cancun that unite Punta Cancun with Punta Nizuc can surprise you the arrival of a turtle, an experience that no tourist forgets. The most popular beaches to see them are Delfines Beach, Marlin Beach y Chac Mool Beach.
  • AKUMAL it's a Mayan word that means place of turtles, that already says a lot about the place, one of the best to enjoy these animals. Strolling at night on this beautiful beach, we have seen spawn turtles on several occasions, something that does not tire.
  • THE BEACHES OF Jumpsuit they are another place where at night turtles usually come out to spawn. The entire spawning process is over 1 hour easily ... they are between 100 to 120 eggs, and alone. Watching them return exhausted to the sea is overwhelming.
  • In the BIOSPHERE RESERVE SIAN KA'AN You can see them if you stay in one of the exclusive hotels of the Reserve or camped in areas enabled on the beach, both great options. At night the reserve closes and you can not enter.
  • PUERTO MORELOS: In the area of ​​Puerto Morelos, in what is known as Punta Brava, you can see how they arrive to spawn the sand.
Where and when to see turtles in Riviera Maya
Turtle spawning in Tulum
mayan riviera tortoises
Corrals with turtle nests, Playa Marlín, Cancún

BEACHES OF RIVIERA MAYA WHERE TO RELEASE NEWLY BORN TURTLES

The activity of releasing turtles is done during the evening, in order to avoid natural predators of turtles such as birds. You have to understand that a newborn turtle is a snack in the sea. Only 2% of the population reaches adulthood. To our regret, the human being is its biggest predator. In this activity you can participate with groups of experts in different locations:

  • ON THE BEACHES OF CANCUN: Delfines Beach, Marlin Beach y Chac Mool beach. You must appear on the beaches 10 minutes before 20 pm to form the group. It is not a daily activity, as turtles are born, so you should risk not doing it the day you go, but it is worth trying.
  • XCARET PARK: at Xcaret park, at 6 kilometers south of Playa del Carmen, they have a turtle release program. You must contact them to ask for information.
  • XCACEL BEACH: in the least touristy Xcacel-Xcacelito beach CONANP has a conservation program. Since mid-September they have a program to release turtles. It is paid, about 80 mxn person, to participate in the release. Report to the beach around 19:30 p.m. Get informed beforehand with the same as Xcaret, they belong to the foundation.
  • TULUM AND AKUMAL: I've never had a chance to do release on Jumpsuit or in Akumal, but I'm sure the groups that take the issue of the spawning and care of the turtles, form brigades at night to do the liberation.

Practical guide of turtles in Cancun

In addition to these two activities of spawning and releasing turtles, throughout the year we can also enjoy them in their natural habitat, in the sea. Whether diving or snorkeling, you can enjoy the turtles in Riviera Maya.

mayan riviera tortoises

BEACHES WHERE TO SWIM WITH TURTLES IN RIVIERA MAYA (SNORQUEL)

  • AKUMAL BAY: the place par excellence to see turtles in their habitat with a diving mask and fins is Akumal Here you see them safe, as easy as going out from the shore to the area marked with balls and you will find them swimming and eating. Pure luxury!
  • In other beaches like Soliman Bay o Xcacelito, I have also seen them swimming between the coast and the reef.
see caribbean turtles

DIVING WITH TURTLES IN RIVIERA MAYA

Seeing turtles in the Riviera Maya diving is safe. There are different points of diving on the coast of the Riviera Maya where to see turtles. Ask at your dive center and they will take you to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres. All dive centers offer swimming tours with turtles.

Turtles are inhabitants are indisputable protagonists of diving in these Caribbean waters.

see turtles in riviera maya

INDICATIONS IN TURTLE NESTING SEASON

There are a number of logical rules for preserving sea turtles: how not to touch the turtles either swimming, on the beach or diving. DO NOT touch the turtles, that we humans are very heavy with these things. Keep a safe distance from them, do not touch or manipulate the eggs without the presence of an expert (having participated in or watched turtle programs, or that they are from the BBC, does not make us experts).

Turtles have a large number of bacteria that are spread to humans such as salmonella or E. coli. Let's see if that makes you want to touch them.

sea ​​turtles in riviera maya

Turtles have only the shoulder and elbow joints, the fin end is made up of tiny bones like the human hand and they are all connected by cartilage. If you grab them by the fins you can cause a fracture or dislocation.

In season turtle nesting There are a number of directions that you must follow. The artificial lights mislead the turtles that go out to lay their eggs, for this reason many become disoriented in urbanized areas.

  • 🔔Shut off the lights in your house that face the beach, except that it disorients them more.
  • 🔔 Remove obstacles that may disturb your path, such as lounge chairs or lawn chairs.
  • IIf you see them, NOT THE LIGHTS, DON'T HELP them they know what to do. DO NOT disturb them.
  • 🔔DO NOT USE MOTOR VEHICLES on the beaches, it is permanently prohibited.
  • ⚠ Sea turtles are protected species in danger of extinction, the manipulation, or possession of specimens or eggs is considered a crime.
turtles in riviera maya

I hope you enjoy the turtles On your trip through these lands, for me seeing turtles in the Riviera Maya is one of the great luxuries of living in the Mexican Caribbean. Hopefully we will keep them, although I think we homo sapiens are far from giving our best version for nature.

Good way,

Where and when to see turtles in Riviera Maya 1
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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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