More Wild, Magical Happenings in Tortuguero

It’s been difficult to come up with the words to describe this magical event that occurred while I was in Tortuguero a few weeks ago.  It started with my alarm going off at 4:15 a.m. for a 4:45 a.m. tour.  I’ve gone on 5:30 a.m. birdwatching tours but 4:45 is incredibly early.  The sun isn’t even awake yet!

But we all quickly downed some coffee and grabbed umbrellas.  Unlike where I live on the Pacific, it’s now the start of winter on the Caribbean side and from what I quickly learned, they have some wild weather over there!

We set off from Tortuga Lodge on the boat and crossed the channel to get to the beach side.  Walking about 100 meters east through the dark jungle and arriving at Tortuguero’s black sand beach…hoping to see one of nature’s most beautiful miracles…hatching baby turtles.

Baby turtles hatching in Tortuguero Costa Rica

The palm tree lined beach is 22 kilometers long but we would only walk a short stretch of it over the course of the next two hours.Our guide, Juan, began by checking the sand with his flashlight to find baby turtle tracks, of which he found many.  Which meant that we missed those hatchings.  As he was walking away from one of the nest sites however, his flashlight moved over a section of sand and I saw the sweetest little baby turtle crawling just inches from my feet.  It was too dark to take photos (remember, I don’t use flash – and neither should you) but I’ll never forget that moment as we watched this lone turtle make its way into the crashing waves.

We continued to walk north along the beach and saw more turtle tracks.  We also found a lot of turtle nests that looked like an animal had gotten to them (lots of broken eggs on the sand as well as paw prints that Juan told us were probably raccoons).

We came across one baby who was desperately trying to get to the water but kept flipping himself over.  It didn’t seem like he was going to make it.  And another turtle who died near its nest, which also had signs of being broken into by wildlife.

Walking further, we came across two women who had found a wet baby turtle high up on the shore.  Juan told us that he had probably gone into the ocean but then couldn’t breathe and made his way back to the beach.  We watched the little turtle and could see that he was still breathing but sitting there in the sand meant that one of the nearby hawks or vultures could potentially make him their next meal.  Juan told us however that he had a better chance of survival if we left him there and not put him back in the ocean.  There was obviously a reason why he came back to shore.  And disturbing the natural rhythms of nature is never a good thing.

Baby turtles hatching in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

We were almost to the beach exit for the Lodge when it started to torrentially pour down rain.  Everyone quickly threw their cameras into their backpacks and opened up their umbrellas. And as we continued to walk north just meters from where we needed to cross, that’s when the magic happened.  The rain was letting up a bit, the sun peeked out from the dark clouds and that’s when Juan spotted turtles running into the water.  Just writing that now brings an uncontrollable smile to my face.  We quickly (but cautiously as there were turtles everywhere) ran over to see about 50 turtles making their way into the water.  And then more magic happened as Juan noticed, just a few meters away, the sand cracking open with dozens more turtles trying to dig their way out of another nest.  He said he had never seen two nests hatch simultaneously in the same location.

A moving experience to say the least.  So totally special.  To read more on this experience and the life lessons learned, check out next Tuesday’s post on my business site: Social {media} Wellness.  Enjoy the video…

7 thoughts on “More Wild, Magical Happenings in Tortuguero

  1. Wow! I’m in the process of planning my turtle viewing adventure, so your post couldn’t have been more well timed! Thank you for sharing! Kate

  2. Great post. We were at Tortuga Lodge as well a few weeks ago and also saw egg laying Green Turtles, but didn’t get to witness a hatching like this. Very special!

  3. Pingback: Life Lessons Learned from Hatching Baby Turtles | Social {media} Wellness

Comments are closed.