5 Hotels You Need to Stay at If You Love Sea Turtles and Want to Help Save Them
For the last 110 years, sea turtles have inhabited Earth’s oceans, returning to specific nesting areas each year to nest and lay eggs. This delicate routine is easily disrupted by the presence of people or buildings on the beach — and with several turtle species falling on the endangered species list — ensuring turtles are able to nest and give birth in peace is more important than ever.
Several beachside hotels around the world are making efforts to provide sea turtles with undisturbed nesting grounds, with some creating opportunities for guests to help sea turtles during their stay. With nesting season for many species underway, there’s no better time to help — and in some cases, see — sea turtles.
Timbers Kiawah: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
The loggerhead sea turtle is native to the Kiawah Island area, and the Timbers Kiawah resort takes great care to show guests the importance of protecting and respecting the creatures. Local Turtle Patrol experts educate guests of all ages on the importance of recycling and keeping beaches clean, with programming in place to help guests identify and protect sea turtle nests.
To raise money for the volunteer-run Turtle Patrol team, the property released specially designed cruiser bikes this spring to raise awareness of the threatened loggerhead turtles. The bikes are available to residents of the Timbers Kiawah and a limited number are available for sale to the public.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis: Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Each year, Four Seasons Resort Nevis partners with the Nevis Turtle Group and the Sea Turtle Conservancy to help protect the island’s endangered hawksbill sea turtles. The property sponsors two GPS satellite transmitters that are used to help the Sea Turtle Conservancy track the migration patterns of the turtles that return to Nevis each year to lay their eggs.
Historically, each July, guests can help Four Seasons and the Sea Turtle Conservancy team look for nesting turtles to be fitted with the transmitter. From July to October, visitors can help the Nevis Turtle Group mark sea turtle nests and glean data that helps conservationists track their migratory paths.
Belmond Jimbaran Puri: Bali, Indonesia
Across the world at Bali’s Belmond Jimbaran Puri, guests can get their hands dirty — literally — by helping release baby turtles near the water to ensure that they safely make it to their new home. The experience is bookable through the property’s Sea Turtle Retreat package and includes a visit to the turtle sanctuary.
Treasure Island Resort: Fiji
Treasure Island Resort is serious about protecting the endangered hawksbill sea turtle, employing a full-time environmental officer and providing programming that identifies and protects their nests. Once eggs hatch, the hatchlings are transported to an on-site turtle pond to grow before being released back into the wild. Through the program, the resort releases hundreds of turtles back into the wild each year after they’re stronger, greatly increasing their odds of survival. Guests to Treasure Island can help feed and interact with the property’s on-site turtles.
Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa: Costa Rica
This Costa Rica eco-resort is visited by olive ridley and black or pacific green turtles each year. Blue Osa works with the Osa Conservation to protect the turtles’ two primary nesting sites on the peninsula by monitoring their nesting activities, predation rates, and hatchling success. Guests to the property can help patrol the beaches, measure adult turtles, and between April and November, help release hatchlings from the turtle nursery.