Just south of Isla Tortuga, across the sandbar that separates the island from the mainland, the Mexican Government has established a facility for the protection of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle.
The Olive Ridley sea turtle weighs up to 100 lbs. and has an average life span of 50 years. Females return to the same beach where they hatched during June – December and lay up to 100 eggs per nest.
The eggs, considered an aphrodisiac are highly prized by poachers. The Turtle Camp protects them by collecting the eggs from the females as they lay them and incubating the eggs in semi-natural conditions until the clutches of eggs hatch. The hatchlings are then released on the beach at sunset to begin their journeys.
Hatchlings have been tagged and adults from this beach have been recorded more than 2000 miles away. One of their primary foods are jellyfish. The camp is staffed by professional biologists and volunteers from all over the world. In
recent years more than 250,000 baby turtles have been released from this facility each season.
It is open to the public and visitors can assist with egg collection as well as baby turtle release.