The program started in 1995 at Vidanta Acapulco, where the resort staff wanted to ensure the safety of the native sea turtle population as the area grew in popularity as a tourist destination. Adult sea turtles typically lay their eggs between May and October, crawling ashore at night and covering the hole containing their few dozen eggs before returning to the ocean. The sea turtle conservation program makes sure these eggs are collected and relocated to a sanctuary, where they are protected from roving beachgoers, inclement weather, and animal predators.
Each participating Vidanta resort employs a small group of biologists who then monitor the turtle eggs at optimal conditions until they’re ready to hatch. Once the eggs reach full maturity and the hatchlings start to emerge, they are gathered by the biologists who then release them together at the top of the beach, where their path to the water is clear and safe.
You may wonder why the baby turtles aren’t released directly into the water, minimizing the possibility of danger when they are at their most vulnerable at just a few hours old. However, this journey—brief as it may be—is an incredibly necessary one. The crawl from hatching area to the ocean allows the turtles to develop an innate orientation among the sand, water, and air, successfully imprinting the navigation system that will steer them throughout their lives.
Over the last twenty years, Vidanta has successfully released over 3 million sea turtles into the ocean’s safety. And we’re just getting started—our conservancy program in Puerto Peñasco was only established last year and we look forward to growing it in the years to come. And our program at Nuevo Vallarta has successfully released over 1.5 million sea turtles in the last 5 years alone.
By protecting the eggs and supervising the hatchlings, our teams support the sea turtles at their most vulnerable. But you don’t have to be a biologist to get in on this profound process. Depending on the season, guests can observe sea turtle releases firsthand! To find out if your vacation coincides with a turtle release, contact your concierge. You too may experience a reorientation toward the sand, ocean, and atmosphere—one you’ll remember for a lifetime.
In the meantime, check out this short video of our release program posted on our Instagram account!