From Nesting to Release: Experiencing Sea Turtle Season Across Mexico’s Premier Destinations

Get ready to celebrate the wonders of nature! Sea turtle season typically spans from June to December, drawing thousands of these majestic creatures to Mexico’s coastal spots like Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and the Islands of Loreto. Join us as we delve into sea turtle season at these sought-after beach spots. Gain tips on observing them in their natural environment and even participate in releasing baby sea turtles. For nature lovers or those craving a distinctive vacation, sea turtle season offers an unforgettable experience. Let’s delve into the top methods for observing these ancient mariners in motion and get ready for an exceptionally unforgettable experience! 


Sea turtles, ancient reptiles with a history spanning over 225 million years, have faced extinction. Unfortunately, nearly all seven sea turtle species are presently endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, and climate change. Each year, thousands travel to Mexico’s coast to mate and nest. Female sea turtles lay eggs during nesting season, a remarkable sight. After burying the eggs, they return to the ocean. Around forty-five to sixty days later, the eggs hatch, with only a few surviving to adulthood due to predators and fishing boats. Female turtles return after about a decade to lay eggs, ensuring species survival. Mexico’s federal government has taken steps for conservation, research, and protection, including prohibiting sea turtle fishing in 1990. Sea turtle release experiences offer a chance to support conservation. Mexico hosts six of the seven sea turtle species, making it crucial to understand and respect these creatures during nesting and hatching season. 

Puerto Vallarta and Rivera Nayarit  

Seven sea turtle species exist globally, with four of these fascinating species gracing the shores of Jalisco and Nayarit to nest on sandy beaches from the warm months of June through December. Among the sea turtles, the Olive ridley turtles are a common sight, delicately laying clutches of eighty to one hundred and twenty eggs in the soft sand. The resorts nestled in this coastal region play a vital role in the conservation efforts by partnering with marine experts, organizing educational events, and monitoring the hatching activities during the peak season.  

Members and guests staying in Puerto Vallarta can witness sea turtle releases at the Sea Turtle Camp. The camp, part of a non-profit, allows visitors to release hatchlings and learn about conservation efforts. Releases are at night to boost survival chances. The Sea Turtle Camp is approximately a 23-minute drive (7.4 miles) from Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta and a 25-minute drive (9 miles) from Villa del Palmar Flamingos. Plan a trip during sea turtle season to support conservation and enjoy a unique experience.  


The Quintana Roo coast is a key nesting ground for four sea turtle species – green, loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback – laying sixty to one hundred and fifty eggs each. Villa del Palmar Cancun takes pride in its commitment to conservation by protecting sea turtle nests on its premises. They actively participate in organizing heartwarming turtle releases, inviting guests to witness the magical moment when hatchlings emerge and make their journey to the sea. For those interested in experiencing this incredible event, it’s advisable to check for availability during the nesting season with the resort directly, as these touching releases usually take place between September and October, offering a unique and unforgettable connection to nature. 

Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México, A.C., a non-governmental organization, safeguards nesting sea turtles through their Sea Turtle Conservation Program. They run turtle camps in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum, ensuring turtle safety and releasing over 15 million hatchlings. Their efforts aid turtle preservation, ocean ecology, beach balance, and coastal community prosperity. 

Xcaret Park collaborates with the Sea Turtle Conservation Program in Riviera Maya, supported by the Flora, Fauna, and Culture Foundation of Mexico, A.C. Visitors to Xcaret can observe various sea turtle species at the park, witnessing small to colossal turtles up close, some weighing up to a ton.  

Members and guests have the unique opportunity to swim with sea turtles in Akumal, located 62 miles south of Cancun. Akumal is renowned for its thriving sea turtle population, allowing for unforgettable snorkeling experiences alongside these majestic creatures. Please show respect for the turtles by refraining from touching or disturbing them during your swims. To arrange sea turtle swim tours in Cancun, feel free to reach out to your Member Services or Pre-Arrival agent. 

Los Cabos  

In Los Cabos, late summer to early winter ushers in sea turtle season, with five species migrating to Baja California and the Sea of Cortez to lay eggs – hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, green turtle, and olive ridley.  

Villa La Valencia safeguards turtle nests on-site and hosts turtle releases. They arrange sea turtle releases on the beach in front of the resort, allowing members and guests to join in when the hatchlings appear. Please note that this event is not guaranteed, so it’s advised for guests to inquire with guest services or the activities team upon arrival, especially during sea turtle nesting season. The releases are more probable in September. 

Villa del Palmar Cabo and Villa del Arco do not organize sea turtle releases on their premises. However, members and guests can enjoy the awe-inspiring experience of witnessing turtle releases by visiting Rancho Carisuva. At this enchanting place, sea turtle releases take place from August to early January, allowing visitors to connect with nature and witness these beautiful creatures starting their journey in the vast ocean. 

Chileno Beach, one of Cabo’s top spots to swim with sea turtles, lies just a 7-minute drive (3 miles) from Villa La Valencia Los Cabos and 15 minutes (10 miles) from Villa del Palmar Cabo and Villa del Arco. This bay is a protected marine sanctuary, creating the perfect home for these gentle sea creatures. Visitors can partake in guided snorkeling tours or rent equipment to experience these majestic turtles in their natural habitat. Cabo Adventures and Cabo Trek are reputable companies offering tours to Chileno Bay. For recommendations on the best tours, consult your Member Services or Pre-Arrival agent. 

Islands of Loreto

The Islands of Loreto host five sea turtle species: olive ridley, hawksbill, green, leatherback, and loggerhead turtles. These majestic creatures travel thousands of miles yearly to lay eggs on Loreto’s beaches from July to December. For a chance to swim with sea turtles, visit beautiful areas around the islands. Coronado Island is a top spot, a four-mile stretch 25-minutes from Loreto town, offering rich marine life and unforgettable snorkeling.  

Embark on a Danzante Island Tour for an exciting morning adventure with the opportunity to encounter sea turtles. Cruise to the island aboard an inflatable APEX vessel, led by a knowledgeable captain unveiling nature’s wonders. Plunge into the depths to uncover marine gems such as turtles, dolphins, and manta rays. 

During sea turtle nesting season, members and guests at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto can participate in a hatchling release if nests are found on the beach. The dedicated staff safeguard the nests until the hatchlings are prepared, extending an invitation to guests to take part, typically in September. Exploring sea turtle season in Loreto promises a one-of-a-kind encounter with mesmerizing marine life. 

In Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and the Islands of Loreto, visitors can witness the breathtaking sight of sea turtles nesting on the beaches and take part in releasing baby sea turtles. This unique opportunity allows you to marvel at these ancient creatures and contribute to their conservation efforts. It’s a truly enriching eco-tourism experience that combines education, conservation, and excitement. To be part of this extraordinary journey, plan your visit for late summer or early winter. We are excited to share this enchanting experience with you!

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