Sea turtles are a beloved part of the aquatic ecosystem, but, tragically, their numbers are dwindling. The areas where sea turtles live also tend to be popular with tourists who, due to being unfamiliar with the environment, can accidentally harm the turtles. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are six places you can stay that support sea turtle conservation efforts.
Lucky guests may see one of the turtles that call the island home
Treasure Island Resort – Treasure Island, Fiji
For over 40 years, the team at Treasure Island Resort have advocated for the protection of the local Hawksbill Turtles. The resort has a full-time Environmental Officer and dedicated Environment Team on staff who run their Hawksbill Turtle Conservation Programme, which allows them to release hundreds of turtles back into the wild each year.
In addition to their protection efforts, the team at Treasure Island Resort takes pride in offering guests the quintessential Fijian holiday experience, with ample opportunity to partake in activities like scuba diving and snorkeling. And lucky guests may even see one of the rare Hawksbill Turtles that call Treasure Island their home.
Surfing Turtle León offers everything you need for a relaxing beach holiday
Surfing Turtle León – León, Nicaragua
Just a short trip from the beach, León, Nicaragua is a popular spot with those looking for a relaxing beach holiday. But visitors are not the only ones who make use of the region’s pristine beaches and clear waters: this part of Nicaragua is also home to a large sea turtle population.
Surfing Turtle Leon has built a hatchery to protect the endangered sea turtles living near the property. As soon as the turtles are hatched, they are released into the wild with the help of staff, guests, and volunteers. In 2017 so far they have released 5500 baby sea turtles!
A number of sea turtles nest on the beaches of Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Four Seasons Resort Nevis – Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
For 10 years, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis has actively partnered with the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Nevis Turtle Group to protect engaged sea turtles. These efforts include an annual sponsorship of GPS satellite transmitters that are used by the groups to track the migration patterns of the turtles that return to Nevis to lay their eggs.
During July of each year, guests are even invited to join Sea Turtle Conservancy team members to help look for nesting Sea Turtles along the shores of Nevis and outfit them with the satellite transmitter that will track their movements.
The private beach at Turtle Beach Lodge is one of the sea turtles nesting areas
Turtle Beach Lodge – Tortuguero, Costa Rica
In the heart of Tortuguero National Park rests the secluded Turtle Beach Lodge. The lodge’s grounds span 175 acres of land, including jungle trails, a private canal, and nearly a kilometer of private beach. It is on this (and the surrounding beach) that endangered sea turtles, including Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Green and Leatherbacks lay their eggs annually.
To do their part in protecting these sea turtles, Turtle Beach Lodge makes annual donations to the Canadian Organisation for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC). Their donations are used to support the organisations ongoing turtle research and to help build their museum to educate the public.
From October to January, keep your eyes peeled for turtles nesting on the beach
Beachcomber Seychelles – Saint Anne, Seychelles
Located on the island of Sainte Anne in the Seychelles, Beachcomber Seychelles, is right in the middle of a sea turtle nesting group. This means that from October to January, turtles make their way to the island’s sandy beaches to lay their eggs. Guests and staff may even have the opportunity to see the tiny hatchlings make their way to the sea for the very first time.
To protect these turtles, Beachcomber Seychelles has committed itself to a protection programme in partnership with Sainte Anne’s marine park authorities. All nests are visibly marked and each turtle hatched is reported to the authorities. Throughout the year, the turtles are also counted and weighed, providing data that helps provide more insight into the state of the local population.
Le Méridien Bora Bora's private lagoon is the site of a turtle care centre
Le Méridien Bora Bora – Bora Bora, French Polynesia
In a private lagoon on the property of Le Méridien Bora Bora is the Bora Bora Turtle Centre which has spent the last 10 years serving as both a care and education centre.
Turtles found insured in French Polynesia are brought back to the centre where they can be nursed back to health. The centre also helps to educate the local community and guests on sea turtles and what they can do to protect them and their ecosystem.