Best time to travel to Cancun

Turtle Nesting and Hatching in Cancun

Dozens of sea turtles crawling to and from the sea means nesting season is on in Cancun

Best time: May–mid-October

Turtle Nesting and Hatching
Turtle Nesting and Hatching
Turtle Nesting and Hatching
Turtle Nesting and Hatching

Cute little creatures, huh? Well, these turtles can grow to quite a decent size. A mature Cancun green turtle can become as much as 1.5 m (5ft) long. Local beaches are not only limited to Green turtles​, but also Hawksbill turtles and Loggerhead turtles. They come out of the water not to sunbathe, but to build nests and lay eggs there. All these species are endangered, so if you really love turtles, you should do them a favor during your visit there and do not disturb their natural process. Leaving the nests untouched is a complete must! You can also volunteer to help protect turtles and their eggs during the egg-laying season which is between May and mid-October. This way you can get some pleasure observing wildlife, and also help their conservation efforts.

The most famous turtle spots in Mexico include Akumal, 120 km from Cancun, where snorkeling with turtles is possible. In Cancun itself, hundreds of turtles lay eggs at Playa Delfines.

Isla Mujeres has several turtle sanctuaries that keep baby turtles safe and grow them strong in the pools of water, and then release them into the ocean. Isla Mujeres Tortugranja is one of the most well-known turtle farms. Release day is called Turtle Liberation, and you can watch or participate in this process. In Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Turtle Liberation is usually held in late August or September.

Practical info

When can turtles be seen in Cancun?

From May to mid-October, Cancun is the best place to observe the nesting and hatching of turtles. During these months, travelers can witness hundreds of turtles laying eggs on the beach. Remember not to approach them and book a turtle conservation tour instead to minimize disturbance. Show more

Which are the top locations to observe sea turtle nesting in Cancun?

There are several locations where travelers can observe sea turtle nesting in Cancun. Playa Delfines is a popular spot where hundreds of green turtles can be seen laying eggs. Akumal is located 120 km from Cancun and is another popular spot for turtle watching and snorkeling. Lastly, Tortugranja in Isla Mujeres is a turtle sanctuary for hatchlings. It's important to remember to book a conservation tour to observe hatching and participate in turtle liberation. Show more

What options are there for volunteering to help with turtle conservation efforts?

Organizations such as the Sea Turtle Conservation Program and Ecopark Kantun Chi offer volunteering opportunities in Cancun during turtle season. Tours allow visitors to help local conservationists collect eggs, relocate them to hatcheries, and release hatchlings into the ocean. Additionally, many hotels and resorts offer private conservation tours and eco-tour opportunities to observe and assist in turtle conservation efforts. Show more

When is the turtle release day held in Cancun and Isla Mujeres?

Turtle release day, called 'Turtle Liberation,' is held in Cancun and Isla Mujeres in late August or September. This ceremony involves the release of hundreds of hatchlings into the ocean after they've gained enough strength. Participating in the event emphasizes conservation awareness and gives visitors the opportunity to observe turtle rehabilitation. Show more

What are the different types of turtle species in Cancun beaches?

Cancun's beaches are home to three endangered nesting turtles; Green, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles. It's thrilling to see all three come ashore to nest. Remember not to approach or interact with them, and opt for a conservation tour instead. Conservation tours minimize disturbance and uphold best practices during the nesting and hatching season. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin