Ridley Turtle Egg Laying Tour

Starting each May up to 1,000,000 Olive Ridley Turtles come to a beach near Puerto Escondido during the nighttime hours for 2-3 evenings after a full moon. They scoop out holes in the sand 2-feet deep, deposit their eggs and cover them up.  At the peak of this activity, turtles number in the thousands. The eggs look like slimy Ping-Pong balls.

Gina leads nightime tours to watch the turtles crawl out of the sea, dig their nests, and deposit their eggs.  This is not to be missed.  The tour includes transportation, lecture from preservation biologists and all entrance fees that go to support the local village working to protect the turtles.  The tour is $1,200MP per person.  Minimum four people, includes transportation and entrance fee.

From the October 2011 Turtle-trip:

Just east of here in Puerto Escondido, about a 30 minute ride, Sea Turtles have been coming ashore in droves since mid-August. An unusual number this year and it is continuing. Mexico has the largest numbers of protected turtles in the world now, since 1985 they have been closely guarded. Whole communities who used to make a living on turtle meat and eggs are now involved in their protection. One of the few really good things happening in the world today!

Gina Machorro Espinosa, named ‘The Information Goddess’ of this wonderful coastal paradise, put together a group to go out and witness this event. Her efforts also contribute to this worthwhile enterprise as monies go directly to the organization that works all year long to ensure a safe and natural environment for turtles to return to where they were born many years ago and lay their eggs.

We not only witnessed hundreds of turtles coming onshore, finding just the right spot, digging a hole and laying their eggs but there were baby turtles hatching at the same time, crawling up out of the sand and scrambling to the sea in hopes of being 1 out of 100 or so to actually survive. Long stretches of open beach (off limits to people most of the time) as far as could be seen in moonlight, countless numbers of 3 foot long (and bigger) turtles were completing the circle of life which speaks loudly of the great mysteries of nature.  It was truly thrilling to take in.

And I received photos from Beverly Whitcomb of babies and eggs being laid! (thanks Beverly)

Thanks to Gina for helping us (and the turtles!) to safely enjoy this whole event.

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