baby sea turtle crawling on the beach making its way to the ocean after being released in Puerto Escondido

Turtle Release Puerto Escondido: Ultimate Guide

The turtle release in Puerto Escondido is one of the most popular things to do in Puerto Escondido.

Releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean at sunset as they venture off into their life journey is an exciting experience!

In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the turtle release in Puerto Escondido. Including where to do turtle releasing, what to expect, and how to get there. I will also include a turtle release tour, including transportation.

Once I’ve covered everything you need to know about the turtle release, I will also share other things to do in Puerto Escondido and hotel recommendations!

small baby sea turtle making their way on the beach to the ocean in Puerto Escondido
Turtle Release Puerto Escondido

What to Expect During Turtle Release in Puerto Escondido

First, let’s discuss what you should expect as you experience a turtle release in Puerto Escondido; then, I’ll share with you where to do it!

Once you arrive at any beaches to release turtles, a local guide will talk about the conservation efforts in Puerto Escondido for sea turtles and the reasoning behind turtle releases.

You’ll be given a sea turtle in a half coconut for you to release into the ocean. Make sure to hold your turtle carefully to avoid having them escape before you get to release them!

The conservation team will draw A long line in the sand, which will act as a barrier for everyone NOT to cross. In case to avoid any accidents.

Time to release! Once it’s time, your guide will let you know to release your baby sea turtle on the beach so it can make its way into the ocean.

baby sea turtle sitting in a half coconut during sunset at the beach in Puerto Escondido
Turtle Release Puerto Escondido

Things Not To Do During Turtle Release in Puerto Escondido

We all want to get photos for personal use or Instagram, but it’s not recommended to do so while handling baby sea turtles. Have someone take photos of you with free hands.

The unfortunate fact is your turtle may not make it to the ocean. As they journey into the ocean from your release, seagulls and crabs might eat them along the way. While this is unfortunate, it’s nature taking its course.

While you may be curious about the sex of the turtle, unfortunately, there’s no way of finding it during the release.

Make sure to keep an eye on your turtle to avoid escaping the coconut!

While it may be tempting, guides recommend not touching the baby sea turtles!

You must stay behind the line after you’ve released your turtle; this is repeated by staff.

Staff working for these turtle conservations and sanctuaries often are volunteers. You can show your appreciation with a tip at the end.

Remember to bring a GoPro to capture some amazing footage of this special moment!

Releasing baby turtles in Puerto Escondido is an unforgettable experience you will cherish for years. Vivid sounds of the Pacific Ocean, the sun setting in, and watching several baby turtles rush into the ocean, it’s a beautiful moment to experience!

front side of baby sea turtle crawling on a grainy sandy beach in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido Turtle Release

Where Can You Release Turtles in Puerto Escondido?

There are several beaches in Puerto Escondido where you can release baby turtles, but Playa Bacocho and Campamento Tortuguero are the most popular.

Another is the sea turtle sanctuary in Palmarito Beach, which you can attend by tour!

Playa Bacocho

Vivemar is a non-profit organization that operates the sea turtle release at Playa Bacocho.

The turtle release happens at Playa Bacocho every day at 5:00 PM. But it’s recommended to be there by 4:45 PM. The actual release time of the sea turtles takes place at 6:00 PM.

The cost to experience the turtle release is 150 MXN/$8.70 US per person. All proceeds go towards the efforts of the conversation of sea turtles.

No reservation is required; simply show up, get in line, pay, and follow instructions!

Here’s how to get to Playa Bacocho from Centro and Rinconada. You could walk, but make sure you time your walk, considering you must be there on time to release the turtles!

TAXI: The easiest and most convenient way is by taking a taxi to reach Playa Bacocho. A taxi from the Centro area costs around 70-120 MXN/$4-7 US and from the Rincondada, 60 MXN/$3 US.

Bus/Collectivo: Most backpackers use this budget-friendly way to get around. Collectivos are white vans that operate as local buses. Locals use them as a primary transportation method, costing around 10 MXN pesos per trip. Collectivos DON’T have a set schedule, meaning there isn’t a way of knowing your arrival time. Before taking one, make sure you ask the driver if he’s headed toward Playa Bacocho.

small baby sea turtle at sunset during turtle release Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido Turtle Release

Campamento Tortugeuro Palmarito

Another popular place to do the turtle release in Puerto Escondido is Playa Delfin with Campamento Tortuguero Palmarito.

They host a turtle release from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM every evening. Make sure to show up 15 minutes early to get things sorted.

Contact and reserve your spot via WhatsApp via the following number: +52 958 104 4707

While this location is further than the first, the turtle release here is far less crowded than Playa Bacocho. So if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, I’d recommend coming here instead!

Here’s how to get to Campamento Tortuguero Plamarito from Centro and Rinconada.

TAXI: The easiest and best way to reach Campamento Tortuguero Palmarito. A taxi from the Centro area costs around 10-140 MXN/$6-9 US and from the Rincondada 120 MXN/$7 US.

Sea Turtle Release Tour in Puerto Escondido

Another way to experience the turtle release in Puerto Escondido is by attending a tour.

On this Baby Sea Turtle release, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Sanctuary of Escbilla. After the tour, you will be dropped back at your hotel.

A tour is a great idea if you’re looking to have everything organized for your turtle release experience. Also, if you’re in a group of people, it’s convenient knowing you’ll have guaranteed transportation to be there in time!

At Sanctuary of Esobilla, you will arrive at a large extend, quiet beach shoreline where expert guides will give you a speech about the sanctuary’s efforts for sea turtle conservation.

Then you’ll be given detailed instructions for releasing your baby sea turtle into the ocean.

This is the best rated turtle release tour in Puerto Escondido.

While visiting, you may get the chance to see a fully-grown turtle hatch its eggs. It’s a rare occurrence, but we were told it happens occasionally!

baby sea turtle about to enter the pacific ocean in Puerto Escondido after being released
Turtle Release Puerto Escondido

Turtle Release Puerto Escondido Info

Oaxaca’s beaches serve as a crucial nesting ground for four of the seven sea turtle species to lay their eggs.

The four species include the Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Green Sea turtle. Unfortunately, all four species are in threat of extinction.

Many beaches in Puerto Escondido have enclosures for the purpose of sea turtle conservation.

This is why local sea turtle sanctuaries exist; local conservation efforts have been implemented to protect these vulnerable species to ensure their survival.

Puerto Escondido Turtle Release Season

Olive Ridley Turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Puerto Escondido throughout the year. So no matter the time of year you visit, you’ll be able to release these turtles into the ocean.

Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Green Sea Turtles – Have a season for laying their eggs. October through March is when they lay their eggs. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to release both Leatherbacks or Hawksbill sea turtles because they are critically endangered.

Is the Turtle Release in Puerto Escondido ethical?

It is ethical to partake in a baby turtle release in Puerto Escondido. No matter which turtle release in Puerto Escondido you choose to participate in.

Guides and volunteers at the turtle conservation/sanctuaries will explain in great detail the reasoning behind turtle releases and why it’s an important part of the conservation efforts.

In Mexico, turtle eggs are cooked and consumed and have been a source of protein for coastal inhabitants for decades. While the practice is less common today, it’s still done.

Conservation volunteers collect eggs and put them into incubators to protect them from other wildlife and rising temperatures.

By partaking in turtle releases in Puerto Escondido, your funds are going towards turtle conservation. Not only is it ethical, but by doing this fantastic activity, you’re contributing to sea turtle conservation efforts in Puerto Escondido.

picturesque beach shoreline featuring palm trees, mountains and turquoise waters in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Credit: Lorraine Mojca

Best Things To Do in Puerto Escondido

While the turtle release in Puerto Escondido is an absolute must experience. There are plenty of other amazing things to do in Puerto Escondido!

From dolphin spotting, food adventures, day trips to other coastal towns, and much more!

Here is a list of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido for you to consider when visiting!

  • Surf Lessons / Puerto Escondido is famous for being a surf town
  • Day trip to Huatulco / A stunning and popular nearby coastal town
  • Dolphin Spotting / Embark on a boat and spot the dolphins in their natural habitat

Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido

There are plenty of excellent hotel accommodations for all budgets in Puerto Escondido.

While Puerto Escondido is famous for backpackers, the town is full of hostels, apartment rentals, and luxury hotels!

Casa Joseph Zicatela – A contemporary luxurious hotel located on Playa Ziatela

Posada Real – Beautiful hotel with a small private beach and beautiful ocean views

Selina Puerto Escondido – A hotel but with all the social features of a hostel

Tower Bridge Hostel – Famous for being the highest rated hostel in Puerto Escondido

After visiting Puerto Escondido, venture South to Mazunte for a night or two. Afterward, head to Huatulco, another beautiful town along the Pacific Coast in Mexico!

Make sure to purchase Travel Insurance before visiting Mexico; it’s best to be covered!

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