Every summer, thousands of people journey south to the shores of Puerto Vallarta Jalisco for an escape to paradise. However, they’re not the only ones finding shelter in the Bay of Banderas. Every summer, olive ridley sea turtles migrate to the warm and protected waters of the bay to lay their eggs. Sea turtle season in Puerto Vallarta is an exciting time. Along the coast, several conservation agencies work together with tourists to preserve eggs and keep the species from going extinct. Being here during sea turtle hatching season gives guests a chance to watch the miracle of newborn turtles making their way to the sea. As sea turtle season 2019 approaches, be on the lookout for nesting mothers, hatching babies, and opportunities to help in conservation--a great way to make your vacation meaningful.
Named for the green tint to their shells, the olive ridley sea turtles are the second smallest sea turtle species in the world, reaching 2-2.5 feet in length and weighing up to 100 pounds. They’re the most abundant type of sea turtles, yet their population is dramatically decreasing every year. During their lifetime, they live in warm waters and are carnivorous, eating a diet of jellyfish, shrimp, sea urchins, and other small marine life. They’re fairly independent animals, but they come together during sea turtle nesting season each year to lay their eggs.
One of the amazing phenomenons of nature is animals’ migratory patterns. Somehow the olive ridley turtles are able to navigate their return to the shores they were born on each year during sea turtle nesting season to lay up to 100 eggs. Puerto Vallarta Jalisco is the perfect spot for many of these mothers, located in the center of the Bay of Banderas, whose natural formation keeps many of the baby turtles’ larger predators away. During sea turtle nesting season, hundreds of pregnant sea turtle mamas will lay their eggs on shore. After 45 days, their babies will hatch out of their shells and make their way to the gentle rolling surf.
Sea turtle season 2019 is expected to be busy with mother turtles burying nests in the shores every night. Sadly, many of the babies born during sea turtle hatching season will not live to be adults. Lurking along the shore, crabs, racoons, and bird pose a threat to newborn turtles before they reach the sea, where more predators live. However, the number one threat to the olive ridley turtles are humans. The eggs are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, and poachers will illegally attack the nests. Out at sea, accidental collisions with fishing boats, habitats destroyed by pollution, and changes in the delicate ecosystem threaten the species every day.
Conservation during sea turtle season in Puerto Vallarta significantly increases a baby turtle’s chances of survival. Many of the resorts host nightly patrols to spot mother turtles laying their eggs. The eggs are then transported to less populated beaches where they can be safely monitored and protected by a team of experts until sea turtle hatching season. One of the main conservation groups who works around the clock during sea turtle season in Puerto Vallarta is Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates, located near the marina. To get there, take a taxi or walk to the end of Paseo Bocanegra. When you get to the beach, a five minute walk to the north will get you to the camp where baby turtles are waiting to be released into the ocean. Check their Facebook page through sea turtle season 2019 to see when eggs have hatched and are ready to be released.
Without this conservation in Puerto Vallarta Jalisco, significantly fewer baby sea turtles would survive into adulthood. If you’re traveling to the city from July to December, make your vacation meaningful by giving back to nature, which gives us so much beauty and a bounty of resources.