Visiting Sea Turtles on the Oaxacan Coast


Sea turtles are incredibly cute and an important part of the ecosystem on the Oaxacan coastline. Many years ago, I met some volunteers who help protect the delicate nests made by these adorable creatures. One of the things I look forward to almost every time I travel to Oaxaca is visiting a stretch of coastline where I know many nests are maintained year after year: sea turtles like to travel back to the place they were born when it's time to lay their eggs.

What does this creature or plant look like?:

Sea turtles are different from land tortoises. For one thing, they have flippers for their front and back limbs. Once hatched, sea turtles spend most of their life in the water. They start off very, very small, but typically grow to weigh hundreds of pounds. At the sea turtles most baby stage, you could easily hold one in the palm of your hand. The turtles are not very colorful when they hatch, but as they start to move around, their color changes from pale grey to dark grey and eventually to black. Their little mouth and tongue are pink, an adorable detail that makes sea turtles even more loveable, in my opinion!

How did I feel when I saw it?:

If you visit the turtle nests during the late winter months, it's likely you will have a chance to help them into the ocean after they have been hatched.