Today is World Turtle Day! Did you know that you can head to some wonderful spots in Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico! Below is a group of some amazing resorts that will bring you up close and personal to these magical creatures! Ready to take the plunge? Check them out below!
The Resort at Longboat Key Club & Lido Beach Resort, Sarasota, FL
Just minutes away from The Resort at Longboat Key Club and Lido Beach Resort, Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has treated and released more than 100 sea turtles at their rehabilitation center and monitors more than 35 miles of Longboat Key’s nesting beaches. Back at the resorts, kids can spend a day at Camp Loggerhead and embark on the Children’s Beach Walk & Turtle Talk. They’ll learn about some of the ocean’s longest-living creatures and even get to take home their own plush turtle toy. Fun Fact: The most common sea turtle nesting on the shores of Longboat Key is the Loggerhead, which is listed as threatened.
Sandpearl Resort | Clearwater Beach, FL
There is no better place to spend World Turtle Day than Sandpearl Resort, the first Silver LEED-certified resort in Florida dedicated to preserving the beauty and ecosystems of the Gulf Coast. In addition to enjoying beautiful white sand shores of Clearwater Beach, kids can participate in fun-filled activities from nature walks to scavenger hunts with the friendly Camp Ridley Mascot, “Ridley the Turtle” named after the Kemp Ridley turtle, which is found primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Just minutes away from Sandpearl Resort is Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where injured marine life including turtles are rescued and nursed back to health by aquarium staff and volunteers. Guests can visit all of the resident sea turtles (including five different species, two of which are endangered) from Stubby, who is missing her front flippers because of severe injuries, to Harold who has helped staff to better understand visual complications on stranded sea turtles. Spend a few days savoring life at a slower pace at Sandpearl Resort!
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino | San Juan, Puerto Rico
Just in time for World Turtle Day, San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino’s picturesque Condado Beach is the new home to a very rare breed of Leatherback Sea Turtles. The turtles have found a home on the San Juan shores right in front of the hotel and over 13th nests have been discovered so far. Every year around May, female turtles return to the beach to make the transition to land in order to lay their eggs in the sand. With turtles nesting, tiny indigenous frogs called coquis, golden sand, and crashing waves, the resort’s beach offers a tropical oasis for nature lovers.
SUP and Turtle Swim Excursion at Colony Club | Barbados
SUP dude? For an unforgettable animal encounter, guests will love Colony Club‘s stand-up paddle board (SUP) and turtle swim excursion. Starting out on the white, warm sands of Barbados’ renowned beach, groups will paddle out to The Lone Star Restaurant, one of the local turtle hangouts, and dive into the crystal blue waters to get up-close-and-personal with the island’s friendliest marine animals – the once-endangered population of hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Now protected under Bajan law – local fisherman also keep an eye on these gentle animals too. Guests will also have opportunity cool off with the island’s colorful array of fish, including Barbier fish, sergeant majors, angelfish and parrot fish.
Sea Turtle Rescue Program | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Located between Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains, CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta has beautiful beachfront sunsets, an infinity pool with swim-up bar and access to once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters. From June to December, guests can participate in the resort’s turtle protection program and have the opportunity to release newly hatched turtles into the ocean. Since the program started 11 years ago, more than 4,000 nests have been incubated at the hotel’s nursery, and over 1,200 incubated naturally at the beach. This program is a family favorite as children staying at the resort have the chance to even name their tiny sea turtles, and gather at sunset to wish them luck and set them free to return to the ocean. For more information, visit www.puertovallartamarriott.com
Take Home the Fun of Jupiter’s Local Wildlife
Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is the area’s only oceanfront hotel, located on a sprawling stretch of Atlantic coastline dotted with natural dunes. During turtle season the resort implements a “Lights Out” policy at night to encourage endangered leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles to come ashore to lay their eggs. Guests can witness turtle nesting firsthand during nighttime turtle walks that are hosted by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center nearby. “Loggy the Turtle” plush toys are available in every room for guests to take home as a souvenir, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. For more info, visit JupiterBeachResort.com.
Help the Cause in Cancun
Located side by side to each other on a stretch of bright blue Mexican Caribbean beach, the resorts’ sea turtle protection program saves an average of 3,000 endangered baby turtles each year. From June through September, marine biologists guide the staff in preparing and caring for nesting areas on the beach. Guests at the resorts are invited to participate in the nightly release of the baby turtles, and can do so by calling concierge to find out if turtles will be released on a given night.