Turtle watching in Oaxaca offers many rewards. But female sea turtles are very sensitive to disturbance, so too much human interaction can prevent them from laying their eggs. In order to avoid negatively impacting turtle behavior, follow these practices based on guidelines developed with WildCoast and the community of Ixtapilla, Michoacan.
• Go with a trained, professional guide.
• Avoid using flash photography.
• Use a flashlight with a red filter and avoid shining lights in the turtle’s eyes.
• Leave pets at home.
• Stay behind the turtle’s front flipper and away from her head. Leave a wide perimeter of space to allow her to return to the ocean
• Do not touch turtles or their eggs. Humans can inadvertently transfer bacteria.
Resources and Tours
• WildCoast: Learn about sea turtle conservation, sign up for long-term volunteer opportunities and support marine turtle conservation.
• The Mexican Turtle Center: Located in Mazunte, this not-for-profit center offers turtle release programs, a hatchery and educational exhibits.
• Deep Blue Dive: This well-established dive company offers turtle nesting and hatching excursions including transportation and entrance fee to Playa Escobilla for $300 MXN.
• Gina’s Tourist Information Booth: Located on the Adoquin, local Puerto Escondido resident and tourism expert Gina Machorro arranges biologist-accompanied tours to turtle nesting beaches and hatching events.
• Sociedad Cooperativa El Santuario de la Tortuga: This cooperative in Escobilla offers a restaurant and accommodation as well as turtle nesting tours. Phone: 52 958 5879882 or 52 958 5895908.