If you’re looking for somewhere to see turtles in Tulum then you’re in the right place.
Nothing can beat that amazing feeling of seeing a turtle up close and personal in their natural habitat! Why not try it for yourself.
This post will tell you all of the best places to see turtles in Tulum and including where to swim with turtles and where to see baby turtles hatching!
Best Places To See Turtles In Tulum
Mexico, which is conveniently also known as ‘the land of turtles’, is one of the best places to see sea turtles out in the wild.
This is because Mexico is actually home to 7 out of the 8 species of sea turtles found in the world.
Tulum is actually one of the most popular places in Mexico to see sea turtles. Below I discuss the exact spots and locations where you can see the turtles for yourself.
Akumal Bay is the best place to see sea turtles in Tulum and the best part is…you can swim alongside them!
This small bay, also commonly referred to as turtle beach, is protected by a reef so it’s the perfect place for snorkeling as big waves can’t penetrate the bay so it’s super calm.
The best way to see the turtles is to book onto a swimming with turtles tour.
This gives you the best possible chance of being able to swim with turtles as the knowledgeable guides will show you the exact spots where you can find the turtles.
The guides will also provide you with snorkeling equipment.
If you’re wanting to do a turtle tour, I’d recommend booking in advance to get the best price. You will often end up spending a lot more if you book on the day as this area is well known for scams and tourist traps.
As well as turtles, you can often also see manta rays, barracudas, cat sharks and tropical fish in Akumal. You could literally spend hours snorkeling and enjoying the wildlife here!
The name ‘akumal’ actually means ‘place of turtles’ in the ancient Mayan language and the name doesn’t lie.
Sea turtles can regularly be seen at Akumal’s turtle beach all year round however the best time to see them is nesting season which runs from May to November.
Tours run all year round so don’t worry if you’ve already booked your trip, you can still see the turtles!
Akumal is just a 25 minute drive from Tulum so it’s super easy to get to. This tour includes pick up from your hotel in Tulum.
This paradise beach is truly a dream as it has soft, white sandy beaches, towering palm trees and crystal clear waters.
If you’re looking for somewhere where you’re basically guaranteed to see turtles then Akumal Beach is a top choice.
There are also several hotels in the area if you want to stay near the action. The best hotels in the area are Secrets Akumal and Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal.
Check out the incredible sights you can see in Akumal Bay in the video below:
Did you know you can also see turtles in Cabo San Lucas?
Swimming With Turtles In Tulum Tips & Advice
As the species of turtles in Tulum are endangered, it’s vital that you do everything you can to not disturb the turtles. This ensures their safety and survival.
Whilst it is absolutely fine to get in the water and swim with the turtles, make sure you follow these tips:
- Never touch the turtles. These are wild animals and so you should be respectful and not touch them.
- Make sure to give them some space. Don’t get too close as you could frighten them. Try to stay 10ft away at a minimum.
- Keep the beaches clean. Don’t leave any rubbish in the ocean or on the beach as this pollutes the ocean and could seriously injure a turtle if they try to eat it or get caught in it.
Where To See Baby Turtles Hatching In Tulum
As well as swimming with turtles, one of the main reasons people come to Tulum to see turtles is to see the baby turtles hatching from their eggs and making their run towards the ocean.
Seeing this phenomenon for yourself is a magical experience and it’s something you’ll never forget.
Imagine the tiny turtles poking their way out of their eggs and imagine being part of it yourself.
The babies face more challenges than ever including:
- Eggs are often crushed by beach activities.
- Birds take the eggs whilst looking for a meal.
- Development on the beaches damage breeding grounds.
- Ocean pollution.
Some of these baby turtles struggle to make it to the ocean because of this and need extra help from volunteers.
Luckily for you, there are several hotels which run baby turtle release programs in Tulum where the staff will take you to the exact beaches where the turtles lay their eggs.
You can help the baby turtles’ chances of survival by taking care of their nest, protecting them until birth and then helping them reach the ocean after hatching.
These baby turtle release programs allow you to make an environmental impact whilst on vacation, learn about the baby turtles and is also a super fulfilling experience and something you can tell all your friends about.
The Beach Tulum Hotel
Since a lot of the turtle’s breeding grounds are populated by hotel resorts, many of these hotels have joined the efforts to help the baby turtles.
For the ultimate luxury experience, book yourself a room at 5* The Beach Tulum Hotel where you can often find turtles nesting on the beach right in front of the hotel.
The Beach Tulum Hotel has trained staff who know how to protect both the turtles and their nests.
They patrol the beachfront close to their hotel where they monitor the eggs, move the eggs if necessary and help coordinate safe release of the baby turtles.
When it is time to release the baby sea turtles, The Beach Tulum Hotel allows you to watch the baby turtles make their first journey to the sea and allow you to help them with conservation efforts.
It’s a truly magical experience that you’ll never forget making this Tulum’s best turtle beach.
Other hotels which have tons of turtle activity nearby are:
- Cabanas Tulum (best option)
- Sanara Tulum
- Cabañas La Luna (most affordable)
Check out the video below of baby sea turtles running to the ocean in Tulum to see what you could experience too:
Best Time Of Year To See Turtles In Tulum
The most common sea turtles that you’ll find in Tulum are the Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles. These are both endangered species.
Below I’ve summarised the best times of year to see these creatures depending on if you’re wanting to swim with turtles or see baby turtles hatching.
Best Time Of Year To Swim With Turtles In Tulum
If you want to swim with turtles in Tulum, you can do this at any time of year as there are several spots in Tulum where the turtles persist all year.
The best time to swim with turtles is during the summer months from May to October as this is nesting season so there will be more turtles in the area during this time.
Best Time Of Year To See Baby Turtles Hatching In Tulum
One interesting feature of these turtles is that they always return to the exact same beach they were born on to lay their own eggs each year.
The best time of year to see baby turtles hatching in Tulum is between May and October as this is when the turtles return to Tulum to lay their eggs.
Baby sea turtles tend to hatch around 45 days after their egg has been laid and then they make their way into the ocean to begin their life.
This means that from May to October you will actually be able to see the turtles nesting.
The baby turtles start hatching from late May until mid-November so if you’re lucky you might even spot a baby sea turtle hatching from an egg! Now that would be a sight you wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
Did you know that you can also see baby turtles hatching in Cancun? Yep, turtles actually nest on beaches all over Mexico.
Fun Sea Turtle Facts
To get you prepared for your trip to Tulum where you’ll hopefully see some beautiful sea turtles, here’s some fun turtle facts.
- The correct word for a baby turtle is a ‘hatchling’.
- Sea turtles tend to build their nests for their eggs in the same location that they were born.
- Mother turtles lay up to 100 eggs in each nest.
- It is estimated that only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survives to be an adult so they need all the help they can get.
- In their lifetime, female turtles lay thousands of eggs so at least a few will survive.
- Sea turtles have been on Earth for more than 100 million years, even outliving the dinosaurs who became extinct 65 million years ago.
- All species of sea turtles are either threatened or endangered.
- Sea turtles never get to meet their babies as after laying their eggs, the mothers return to the ocean.
- Male sea turtles spend their entire lives at sea.
- The gender of a baby turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest – warmer temperatures tend to lead to females whereas cooler temperatures tend to lead to males.
If you happen to see a sea turtle walking along one of the many stunning beaches of Tulum, be careful and keep your distance.
You don’t want to scare the turtle back into the ocean as this is likely a mother turtle looking for an ideal spot to lay her eggs.
Thanks for reading this post on where to see sea turtles in Tulum, Mexico which includes a list of turtle beaches in Tulum (and nearby).
Whether you’re looking to snorkel with turtles in Tulum or you want to see baby turtles hatching, all of this is available in the luxury paradise of Tulum.