Mexico is one of the countries that houses the beaches where the Olive Ridley Sea turtles lay there eggs. There are seven different species of sea turtles, six of which -- green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, and the olive ridley can be found throughout the ocean - in both warm and cool waters. The seventh species, the flatback, lives only in Australia. Mexico is one home to several of the most important turtle nesting beaches and other habitats for sea turtles. Six out of the world's seven species nest along its thousands of miles of coastline. Bahia de Banderas has the Leatherback but more the Olive Ridley laying their eggs on our beaches. The second smallest after the Kemp’s ridley, the olive ridley turtles weigh between 75-100 pounds (34 - 45 kg) and reach 2-2 ½ feet (roughly .6 m) in length. They are named for their pale green carapace, or shell and are the most abundant of sea turtle species.
Like the Kemp’s ridley, nest in masses referred to as arribadas. During arribadas, thousands of females may nest over the course of a few days to a few weeks. Adults reach sexual maturity around the age of 15 years. Every year from June to February, thousands of sea turtles come to lay their eggs on Banderas Bay beaches. After about 45 days of incubation, the hatch-lings are born and ready to be released into the sea. The Riviera Nayarit is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary with turtle camps located in Nuevo Vallarta, Carreyeros, Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, Punta Raza, El Naranjo, Boca de Chila, Platanitos, San Blas, Los Corchos, El Sesteo and La Puntilla Banderas Bay along the coast that stretches from Banderas Bay to Tecuala passing through Compostela, San Blas and Santiago Ixcuintla. The Nuevo Vallarta Turtle Camp is where most of the region’s turtles are liberated, registering an average of 5,500 registered nests that translates into over 400 thousand released turtles. This camp is followed by the one in Platanitos, which receives an average of 3,000 nests equal to approximately 250 thousand released hatch-lings.
Sometimes people encounter sea turtles on their own while walking on the beach at night during nesting season. If this happens to you, here are some simple rules to follow:
Do not walk on the beach with a flashlight or shine a light in the sea turtle’s face. The light may cause the female to abort the nesting process, or other sea turtles nearby may be discouraged from nesting if there are lights on the beach.
Do not take pictures using flashes. This high-intensity light can be even more disturbing than the flashlights.
Stay clear and out of sight of the turtle until she begins laying eggs, otherwise you may scare her back into the sea.
For your safety, stay away from the turtle’s head. Sea turtles, especially loggerheads, have very strong jaws and can harm you if provoked.
Do not handle the eggs or put any foreign objects into the nest. You can introduce bacteria or injure the eggs.
Do not handle or ride the sea turtle. In addition to being illegal, you may injure the turtle or cause her to leave without finishing nesting.