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Where & When To See This Natural Wonder In The Riviera Maya

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It’s that time of year again when sea turtles begin their nesting season, and you may even get a glimpse of them hatching and returning back to the ocean!

sea turtle in the ocean

If you’re looking for something a little different for your trip, then this is it – especially for nature lovers!

Riviera Maya is a well-known popular tourist spot for travelers all over the globe, and every year, there’s a chance to catch sea turtles hanging out in their natural habitat. If you fancy checking out these incredible creatures, then here’s the inside scoop.

Where To See Sea Turtles

Some of the best places to see sea turtles are:


It goes without saying Akumal is one of the most notorious places on the Mexican Caribbean coast to witness sea turtles in abundance. Akumal translates to ‘Land Of Turtles’, and the turtles are the most famous of creatures in the area.

Akumal bay

You have the option to watch them hatching and returning to the ocean, plus you can swim with them or even snorkel with them.

Before you do anything, bear in mind it’s best to contact an authorized company in order to witness them due to environmental protection regulations.

Xcacel Beach

This beach is situated around 20 minutes south of Akumal Bay and is super secluded, home to a generous amount of beautiful turtles. Make sure to bring your personal snorkeling equipment and contact one of the local tour companies which operate in the area.

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sea turtle in the ocean


This location is ideal if you’re visiting Tulum and surrounding areas, it’s one of the more popular destinations in Riviera Maya, and your best bet would be seeing them down at the Tulum Ruins beach.

You could also tie in a tour of the ancient Mayan ruins while you’re there, offering plenty of tour operators that offer guided tours for you.

Tourists on the Beach in Front of the Tulum Ruins in Mexico

Sian Ka’an Reserve

Located just below Tulum, this UNESCO site is also home to the world’s second-largest reef system and a plethora of marine life embedded amongst its marine reserve and mangroves.

You have the option to get a boat to and from Punta Allen and witness some of its awesome beaches and also take lots of photos of the turtles.

sian kaan reserve


If you’re visiting Cancun, they sometimes make an appearance on some of the city’s beaches, such as Playa Delfines, where you can spot them during nesting season, but also an opportunity to visit some of the dolphins too, either by watching from shore or taking a tour.


This island across from Playa Del Carmen is home to various different protected species of turtles, such as the hawksbill and loggerhead, and due to the perfect temperature of the water and good visibility, it’s an amazing place to snorkel or scuba dive to see these incredible creatures first hand.

The eastern section of the island is generally known to be a more ideal setting for the turtles to hatch and is also where you will find most of the activities, and they even have salvation programs where you can join in by either observing or helping out.

When To See Sea Turtles

It varies on which destination you go to, but typically hatching season is anytime from April – November, with the busiest periods around May – October, where you are more likely to see them.

sea turtle on the beach

You might even get to see them hatching from their eggs and heading back into the ocean, which is truly a natural phenomenon and a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Sea turtles are protected by the law in Mexico, so just make sure if you are snorkeling or swimming near or with them, not to touch them or disturb their habitat.

sea turtles in the ocean

This protection law will allow sea turtles to thrive and continue to prosper in Riviera Maya for many years to come.

If you are planning to visit Riviera Maya this summer, or next summer, then this is the perfect time for you to experience a truly unforgettable moment, and with a little bit of luck, you will hopefully get to see these beautiful creatures in their natural world.

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