Sea Turtle enclosure
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Sunday
8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Email: (click the name)
Baby sea turtles heading to the ocean
Up from the nest
Travel Invasion journeyed down the
Mexican Riviera coastline on a 45 minute palm tree lined drive from Manzanillo to Cuyutlan to visit El Tortugario. We didn't really know what to expect, although I was secretly hoping to be able to release some baby sea turtles in to the ocean.
About 2 miles south of the small beachside town of Cuyutlan, we finally arrived at our long anticipated destination. An NBC
news photographer from California had teamed up with Travel Invasion to film the event, as well as interview some of the people involved with El Tortugario.
The camouflage crocodile
Ready for release
Only 20 Pesos, not 20 U.S. dollars
I was shocked to see the the price of admission was a mere $20.00 (peso) which is the equivilant
of about $2.00 (US).
I soon learned that El Tortugario is funded mainly by admissions and donations. For such a small entry fee, I would hope most people would leave a much needed donation as well.
We were greeted by the staff, and were
introduced to Ignacio who appeared to
be the most fluent English language speaker of the the group. Travel Invasion learned that the main purpose of El Tortugario was to protect the Marine sea turtles, iguanas and crocodiles from possible future extinction. The grounds included a nesting area for the incubation of the sea turtle eggs as well as various pools which contained sea turtles of all different sizes and ages. There were also enclosed pens which had a few
crocodiles shading themselves. An iguana pen was located at the front of the grounds.
We entered into the nesting area and watched as approximately 100 baby sea turtles were brought up and put into a styrofoam ice chest for their ride to the beach. It was then that I began to realize that I would soon be getting the chance to do something I have been wanting to do for so long. We headed out to a sandy area near the the water.
Nearing the water is where the adventure began. I was told to grab handfuls of the turtles from the ice chest and begin letting them make their crucial first walk to the ocean. The feeling was overwhelming.
Some of them were moving fast, while others slowly crept along. As many of them began to near the water, a large wave came rolling in and pushed a bunch of them back to almost where they had began. Once again the march to the water was on. I can't even begin to say how inspiring this moment was in my life. Everyone should be so lucky to experience this at least once in their lifetime.
After watching the last of the turtles finally make it back into the water for good, we headed back to the enclosure and met up with Robert and his wife Gloria who had moved from the States to work with El
Tortugario. They had built a modest house on an ocean front lot up the road. John the camerman from NBC, did an informative interview with Robert. El Tortugario had a great group of people working together for a very noble and worthy cause.
Our time was running short and we
had to pass up the opportunity for a
45 minute jungle cruise. I was very
disappointed (actually pissed)
but yet I know I will be back.
I urge anyone in theColima/Manzanillo
region to make the day trip down to
Cuyutlan and see this fascinating place.
P.S. Snacks & souvenirs are available as well as a swimming pool, shaded areas and picnic tables.
Need a ride while in the Manzanillo area?
From the USA: 011-52-044-314-357-3503
From Mexico phone: 044-314-357-3503
Ask for Federico
Looking for unique lodging
while in the Manzanillo area?
Click the picture to read about
the Chateau Manzanillo
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