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Vacation and Travel Guide » Article Details

Travel to Akumal, Mexico to Turtle Beach

Date Added: September 06, 2008 01:43:24 PM
Author: M Gravlee
Category: Mexico
When you travel to Akumal, you will quickly discover that it is well-known for being “The Place of the Turtle in Maya,” a recognition that it receives because of the Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA) that is located in the Akumal area.   The Centro Ecologico Akumal is an environmental conservation organization that focuses on the study and protection of the sea turtles, as well as the rest of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. 

Also known as La Playa Tortogua, the turtle beach area runs along with the Akumal Bay, Half Moon Bay, and Jade Beach as well and is known for the different turtles that come ashore to nest and eat along the bay. Typically, turtle season runs from April to November, which is when the Marine Time sea turtles nest. Turtle “walk and talk” tours are available during these months to allow eco-tourists and all guests can have a part in managing the beaches to allow each nesting mother to find a place for her to leave her eggs in a hole that has been dug once she comes ashore.

At any one time, there can be hundreds of nests and thousands of hatchlings. This includes both Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta Caretta) and Green Turtles (Chelonia Mydas), which are two of the eight existing species of sea turtles species that are protected by law because of the threat of extinction. By tagging the females, they can help them determine the level of success for hatchlings and the abundance, behavior, and distribution of the hatchings that travel along Akumal’s Turtle Beach.

Throughout the nesting season, the turtle staff at the Centro Ecologico Akumal and any volunteer search for female turtles that may be nesting, existing turtle nests, and recent eggs that may have hatch into hatchlings. In addition, they have begun to monitor juvenile turtles every couple of months, which includes capturing the turtles through snorkeling and marking, measuring, and weighing the turtles. They also take sample of blood to monitor any sicknesses that may occur and to conduct genetic sampling and testing.

The Turtle Talks and Walks allows guests to travel Akumal along the famed Turtle Beach in groups of 10 people each night during the week. Donations are requested, though the money goes directly to the Turtle Protection Program. Beginning at 9 p.m., volunteers will be taught exactly what to look for, find out valuable information about sea turtles, and how to further offer protection to the turtles.

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