Mexico's Sea Turtles
Mexico is one home to several of the most important turtle nesting beaches and other habitats for sea turtles. Six out of the world's seven species nest along its thousands of miles of coastline. Two important areas are the Baja California Peninsula on the Pacific and the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico.
Sea Turtle Hotspots
Baja California Sur: This long peninsula on the Pacific coast was once written off by some researchers as a lost cause. But a concerted effort by a network of conservationists, fishermen, scientists, and more has brought turtles back in this starkly beautiful region. Magdalena Bay is well-known as a nursery for gray whales but is also home to green turtles and many other animals.
Yucatan Peninsula: Known for the tourism hotspot of Cancun, this spectacular coast, which also goes by the name of the Mexican Riviera, has a number of important nesting beaches for green turtles and loggerheads. Good spots to see sea turtles are in Akumal Bay, X'Cacel Beach, and Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.
Sea Turtle Species in Mexico
Green Turtle: Important nesting beaches can be found on both coasts including X'Cacel and Sian Ka'an on the Yucatan Peninsula and Colola Beach on the Pacific coast. On the Pacific they are known as black turtles.
Olive Ridley: There are numerous nesting beaches along the Pacific coast, including Escobilla, a beach home to the famous "arribada", a mass nesting event. Baja California Sur also has several nesting beaches.
Hawksbill: Mostly found among the coral reefs of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Loggerhead: Nest along the Yucatan Peninsula at X'Cacel and nearby beaches.
Kemp's Ridley: The most important nesting beach for this species is at Rancho Nuevo, near the border with Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.
Leatherback: One of the largest reptiles on earth, these giants can be found primarily on a few beaches on the Pacific coast in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacan.
Photo credits: Elizabeth Moreno, RED Travel Mexico