Vacation Spots in Riviera Nayarit
There are so many reasons to visit Mexico in November and December, particularly if you live somewhere that experiences cold winters. Warm sunshine and pristine beaches are popular (and understandable) reasons to plan an early winter getaway. But one reason you might not have considered is that November and December are the prime months for turtle-hatching, and you can be a part of the experience when you book your vacation in Riviera Nayarit.
How Sea Turtles Nest
It’s not exactly clear why sea turtles choose certain beaches over others, but we do know that the female sea turtles remain loyal to their beach once they choose it, returning year after year to lay eggs. The nesting process is generally slow and deliberate as the female turtles slowly find a dry spot on the beach to dig a nest and bury their eggs, laying anywhere from 80-120 eggs. Once she lays and buries her eggs, the female sea turtle does not return to tend the nest.
How Sea Turtles Hatch
In general, incubation takes around 60 days, but this range can fluctuate based on the temperature of the sand. When they are ready, the sea turtles must hatch on their own since their mother does not return to help. They use a temporary sharp tooth that is used just for cracking their egg, called a caruncle. The process of hatching is exhausting for the baby turtles and can take several days for the group to hatch. This usually occurs at night or just after a rainstorm when the temperature drops.
Getting to Safety
As if hatching from an egg isn’t hard enough, one born, the hatchlings must safely navigate from the beach to the ocean without getting eaten or captured by predators, including people who steal the turtle eggs and baby turtles to sell on the black market. They have a short window of about 48 hours during which they must get to safety and find food. Because of the dangers imposed on baby sea turtles, along with their status as an endangered species, Mexico is dedicated to conservation projects that protect the eggs and baby sea turtles in addition to ensuring safety for the baby sea turtles once they hatch.
The Sea Turtle Hatchery at Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit is one of the many areas in Mexico dedicated to sea turtle conservation, and our sea turtle hatchery is located on the north end of our property. We love for our guests to get involved in sea turtle conservation by volunteering at the hatchery during the late summer months when our conservationists need help harvesting the recently laid eggs and incubating them until they are ready to be released. This is a one of a kind experience that is great for kids and adults alike to be a part of, and as a thank you for your help, we will discount your stay.
Sea Turtle Release
If you weren’t able to volunteer this summer, you are still in time to witness what just might be the highlight of your trip to Mexico. The baby turtle release happens at twilight during the months of November and December, and we release hundreds (sometimes thousands) of baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean. You can experience this majestic moment from a distance or first hand, by holding a baby turtle and releasing it into the ocean by hand. Either way, you will be sure to hold this moment in your heart forever.
The release of our baby sea turtles is one of our favorite parts of the year, and we would love for you to join us. For more information on the sea turtle hatchery at Riviera Nayarit, or to get started booking your trip, contact us today.