Turtles are 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 see turtles in Mayan Riviera it's an easy thing you can do.

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

sea ​​turtles


One of the most spectacular experiences is see turtles in 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.

  • SPAWN SEASON: Turtle spawning season is from mid-May to September. 4 species of turtles arrive to the beaches of Quintana Roo: white, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback. All marine species live in a fragile ecosystem and are protected.
  • TURTLE EGGS RELEASE SEASON: from July to November, depending on the three-month period that the turtles need to hatch. The season takes place with October being the most critical month for the activity of release turtles.
Where and when to see turtles in Riviera Maya


Seeing turtles in Riviera Maya is relatively easy to do. Come to spawn turtles in Riviera Maya to much of the coast from Cancun to Tulum, counting Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres, Holbox and Cozumel. This means that on many beaches a turtle can surprise you spawning. On the beaches that spawn, corrals are normally created, where the volunteers deposit the turtle eggs to have greater protection of 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, find out at your hotel, you may be in the turtle area. These are some of the best beaches to see them spawn.

  • CANCÚN: On the beaches of the Zona Hotelera from Cancun that join Punta Cancun with Punta Nizuc, the arrival of a turtle may surprise you, an experience that no tourist forgets. The most popular beaches to see are Delfines Beach, Marlin Beach and Chac Mool Beach.
  • AKUMAL is a Mayan word that means place of turtlesThat already says a lot about the place, one of the best to enjoy these animals. Walking at night on this beautiful beach, we have seen turtles spawn on several occasions, something that does not tire.
  • THE BEACHES OF Jumpsuit they are another of the places where turtles usually come out to spawn at night. The whole spawning process is more than 1 hour easily… they are between 100 to 120 eggs, and alone. Seeing them return exhausted to the sea is overwhelming.
  • In the SIAN KA'AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE you will be able to see them if you are staying in one of the exclusive hotels of the Reserve or camping in areas set up on the beach, both great options. At night the Reserve closes and you cannot 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


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. Despite our regret, humans are its greatest predator. In this activity you can participate with groups of experts in different locations:

  • ON THE BEACHES OF CANCUN: Delfines Beach, Marlin Beach and Chac Beach Cool. 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: in the Xcaret park, 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 there are those of CONANP with a conservation program. Since mid-September they have a program to release turtles. There is a payment, about 80 mxn person, to participate in the release. Show up on the beach around 19:30 p.m. Find out before with the same as Xcaret, they belong to the foundation.
  • TULUM AND AKUMAL: I have never had the opportunity to release in Overall 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 see turtles in Riviera Maya in their natural habitat, in the sea. Whether diving or snorkeling, you can enjoy in the middle of the sea see turtles in Riviera Maya.

mayan riviera tortoises


Of the most exciting experiences is see turtles in Riviera Maya in their natural habitat swimming alongside them. Another unique thing that you can do in the Mexican Caribbean.

  • AKUMAL BAY: the place The quintessential to see turtles in their habitat with a diving mask and fins is Akumal. Here you see them safe, as easy as going from the shore to the area marked with bollas and you will find them swimming and eating. Pure luxury!
  • On other beaches such as Solimán Bay or Xcacelito, I have also seen them swimming between the coast and the reef.
see caribbean turtles


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


Riviera Maya is not a well-known place for volunteering with turtles, but you can volunteer with turtles. That we know there are two places mainly to go as volunteers.

  • CENTRO ECOLÓGICO AKUMAL has a volunteer program that may interest you. We leave you their information so that you can contact them directly at CEA
  • GRUPO XCARET has a project to release sea turtles through Flora Fauna y Cultura de México AC
  • In CANCÚN you can be a one-day volunteer as we reported in turtles in Cancun
mayan riviera tortoises
Corrals with turtle nests, Playa Marlín, Cancún


There are a series of logical rules to preserve sea turtles: how not to touch the turtles either swimming, on the beach or diving. DO NOT TOUCH the turtles, we humans are very stupid 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 only have 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 turtle nesting season there are a number of indications 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.

  • ?Turn off the lights in your house facing the beach, that is what disorients them the most.
  • ?Remove obstacles that may get in the way, such as lounge chairs or garden chairs.
  • ?If you see them, DO NOT LIGHT THEM, DO NOT HELP THEM, they know what to do. DO NOT bother 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,

Travel hacks
the shortest way participate in affiliate program this means that we get a small commission if you buy through these links accessing discounts; in no case does it suppose an additional cost for you and in this way you help us to maintain the blog.

If you prefer, you tell us your idea of ​​the trip and together we organize it.

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.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

error: Content is protected !!