For all you turtle lovers out there, this may be a dream come true.
The Marriot Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa releases an average of 60,000 baby turtles back into the wild every season. The Sea Turtle Rescue Program has been based at the hotel since 2005 and the nursery can hold up to 500 turtles at once, with each taking about 45 days to hatch
Biologist Carlos Bautista told Travel & Leisure that just a few miles down the beach from the pulse of all-night bars and the busy Malecón boardwalk, his nightly patrol consists of searching for turtle nests from June to December.
When they hatch on the beach without any help, they face natural predators like birds, raccoons, crocodiles, and cats. Sea turtles are an integral part of the environment said Bautista, “they moderate the jellyfish population and the coral reef… it’s so important for the ecosystem”.
While hotel guests aren’t typically able to help patrol the beach in the middle of the night, the resort does encourage them to get involved by helping to release the turtles whenever mother nature allows.
They may hatch every day, every week. “Some things cannot be rushed,” Cristina Hernández Quintana, the hotel’s public relations manager told Travel and Leisure.
As of November, Bautista had collected more than 570 nests. The resort is one of about 15 nurseries in the area doing so.
The hotel releases the turtles at specific times, just one measure to protect them from predators like prying birds that could try to pick them off. In the daytime, that means before 11 a.m. or at sunset as the angle of the sun helps to shield them.
Marine Bioligists say Sea turtles famously return to the same beach they were born an estimated 10 to 12 years later after an epic migration at sea. Upon returning they find a mate and lay there eggs. A new study has found that the turtles rely on Earth’s magnetic field to find their way home. That’s because each part of the coastline has its own magnetic signature, which the animals remember and later use as an internal compass.