Sea Turtles Ixtapa, Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo

Every year during the rainy season (summer) hundreds of turtles arrive to the beach in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Protected by the coat of the night they come out from the sea and cradle clumsily on the beach. Their purpose is to find the ideal place to lay

Before and after hatching, the marine turtle faces a lot of dangers all the way til reaching maturity. That is why it is surprising that they are the first role of one of the longest histories of the planet. Turtles, tortoises and terrapins, are one of the oldest known living species, with more than two hundred millon years on their shells. They have survived ice ages, massive extintions, predators as mankind never saw achieving to adapt to every condition with singular patience.

Yet there are few things we know about their natural history and reproduction. On the contrary, there are a great deal of myths like that one saying their eggs and meat are aphrodisiac, thus so coveted by mankind who drove many varieties of turtles to the point of red "endangered" alarm. Or that one saying females cry profusely for pain when they lay their eggs, however this is a natural adaptation to avoid sand cover their eyes while digging. It is also belived that after years, females hatch in the very same beach where they were born, science hasn´t been able to confirm it.

What we do know is that some varities are among the most long-lived beings on planet earth, reaching ages of 150 years and older; that they reach sexual maturity between 15 and 50 years old; that an average of 3 out of a hundred baby turtles will make it to that moment and that mating takes place in shallow, warm waters; that males never return to land whereas females do it at least 50 times in their lives with the only purpose of hatching; that temperature during incubation determines gender and that it is a mystery how do babies know exactly where the sea is.

From the 300 known species of turtles, mainly 3 arrive to the beaches of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo to hatch: Olive Ridley with its typical color, being the smallest of the sea turtles; Leatherback the biggest of them all, with its skin-covered shell; and the beautiful Hawksbill, so much decimated for its beautiful brown-beige shell.

By night Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has a different show to offer, aside from the gourmet dinner and the light and sound hip. There are many farms where these three species are protected til they are skillful enough. Come, hold them in your hands for a moment, feel how fragile they are. Then release them and watch as these little and intrepid creatures face the sea, the night and time.