10 Places to See Sea Turtles

  • CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa - Mexico

    March marks the beginning of sea turtle nesting season in the Northern Hemisphere. For 12 years, the Sea Turtle Rescue Program at CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa has let guests help comb the beach for turtle nests.  Eggs are collected and protected, then during nightly turtle releases from May through October, resort guests can name a turtle and release it into its natural habitat. In 2013, the program released 36,708 baby sea turtles into the sea.

    Photo courtesy of CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa

  • Padre Island National Seashore

    The Padre Island National Seashore operates a sea turtle incubation facility to monitor eggs identified and collected throughout the park. When the eggs are ready to hatch during the summer months, the park hosts around two dozen public releases – free events where locals and visitors alike can come see the tiny turtles crawl down the beach and into the water.

    Photo courtesy of kjorgen/iStock

  • Cayman Turtle Farm - Cayman Islands

    The Caribbean boasts several turtle sanctuaries, but the Cayman Turtle Farm in the Cayman Islands takes things a step further by selectively breeding and releasing sea turtles native to the islands. To date, more than 31,000 yearlings have been released back into the ocean.

    Photo courtesy of Stephen Symons/iStock

  • Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation - Sanibel Island, Fla.

    Sanibel Island may be most famous for its sea shells, but the beautiful barrier island also is also home to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation – champions of wildlife on the island. Among the nature center's many programs is a sea turtle monitoring program called Turtle Tracks, which allows visitors to partake in sea turtle conservation efforts.  Nests are carefully marked and protected on beaches; beachfront lights are not allowed during hatching season, and nests are monitored on nights they're likely to hatch.

    Photo courtesy of Mitch Aunger/Hemera

  • The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa - S.C.

    Hilton Head Island's 12 miles of sandy beach are a popular nesting site for endangered loggerhead sea turtles, and the  Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa has an 18-year tradition of hosting a nightly Turtle Talk and Walk program, where guests can help identify and protect nests and witness the new hatchlings' journey to the sea.

    Photo courtesy of The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa

  • Sea Island - Ga.

    Guests enjoying a vacation on the beaches of Sea Island, Georgia have two chances to see sea turtle activity on the resort property. Starting in May, the guided Sea Turtle Walks take guests down to the beach, where they'll learn from an expert how to identify tracks and nests, and maybe even spot a few hatchlings. During hatching season, hotel guests can join an early morning Sea Turtle Expedition to comb the beach for hatchlings heading out to sea.

    Photo courtesy of Sea Island

  • St Regis Bahia Beach Resort - Puerto Rico

    Located at the edge of Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Rainforest, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort takes its environmental stewardship very seriously. Each year, the resort's beaches welcome nesting leatherback sea turtles, and guests can "guardian" the eggs and newly hatched turtles by alerting the staff to their presence, no matter the time of day.

    Photo courtesy of St Regis Bahia Beach Resort

  • Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa - Puerto Rico

    Also in Puerto Rico, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa welcomes hawksbill, leatherback and green sea turtles to its beach each year from March to November. Guests during this nesting period might get to see mother turtles laying eggs or the tiny hatchlings making their way toward the water.

    Photo courtesy of Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa

  • Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science - Fla.

    The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale hosts Turtle Walks throughout June and July. The interactive program begins with a hands-on learning session on turtles, both land and sea, followed by a guided walk along Fort Lauderdale beach in search of nests or hatching sea turtles.

    Photo courtesy of KristianBell/iStock

  • Mauna Lani Bay Hotel - Hawaii

    Since 1989, the Big Island's Mauna Lani Bay Hotel has partnered with Oahu's Sea Life Park to care for its hatchling Hawaiian green sea turtles until they're deemed large enough to be released into the wild. Come July, the resort celebrates Turtle Independence Day on July 4th by releasing the young turtles, called honu, into the sea directly in front of the hotel.

    Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotel Group