Gentle giants roam, Beneath the sea’s frothy foam, Their hidden home.
Welcome to the turtle haven of Akumal’s Bays, where the turquoise water is not only stunning but also a home to three wonderful sea turtle species: the green, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles.
Meet the leaf-munching green turtles, the largest among them, tipping the scales at a hefty 700 pounds! Watch out for the hawksbills, the coral-reef aficionados, known for their intricate shells and diverse diet. Don’t forget to greet the loggerheads with their distinct large heads, a trusty tool for crushing their prey.
Akumal’s turtle charm is credited to its shallow reef system. A one-stop-shop for these creatures, it offers both a pantry stocked with food and a shield from predators, making it the perfect nursery for baby turtles.
Don’t miss the turtle season running from May to late November. Picture this: it’s past 11 pm, and mother turtles emerge from the sea to perform a beautiful ritual of laying eggs in the silvery sand. Fast forward to 60 days, and voila! It’s a sea-turtle hatching fiesta, best witnessed from late August to early October.
Akumal, along with its neighboring areas, is in the noble business of turtle protection. Their tireless efforts range from tagging females, securing nests, collecting scientific data, to keeping predators at bay.
Sea turtles are world travelers, migrating long distances across oceans. From the loggerheads’ summer voyage to the green turtles’ seasonal commutes, each journey, though fraught with man-made hazards, is vital for the species’ survival.
Witness the wonder of sea turtle nesting, where the beaches transform into nursery grounds, and mothers leave behind precious orbs of life. After a two-month incubation period in the sand, baby turtles embark on their perilous maiden journey towards the ocean, under the watchful eyes of conservationists.
Sea turtles possess an impressive internal compass, using the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation, coupled with their keen sense of smell, vision, and knowledge of ocean currents.
Ready for a turtle encounter? Embark on an unforgettable snorkel or scuba dive tour to witness the adults in their natural habitat. If you’re lucky enough to be around during the nesting season, watching the eggs hatch will surely be a highlight of your visit.
Reach out to one of Akumal’s Dive Shops for tour details or connect with Centro Ecologico Akumal to inquire about the hatchings. Also, check out neighboring breeding programs at Bahia Principe and Xcacel-Xcacelito beach.
Remember, when you visit, the turtles’ safety comes first. Please adhere to all guidelines to ensure you can enjoy these magnificent creatures without causing them any harm. After all, Akumal’s Bays are not just a paradise for us, but a sanctuary for our sea-turtle friends!