Tourists Drawn to Sea Turtle Season in Tulum

Sergeant Major fishes in caribbean reef Mexico Mayan RivieraMexico’s Tulum is well known for its majestic ruins situated on 40-foot-high cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This pre-Columbian Mayan walled city dating back to the 13th century is also home to another popular albeit lesser-known tourist attraction:  native sea turtles. 

The 2018 turtle nesting season in Tulum has officially begun with the initial discovery of a handful of nests. However, according to local reports, officials are expressing concern about the endangered species’ safety.

Existing Environmental Threats

Francisco Chan Chable, director of municipal ecology, says that Sargasso seaweed has been spotted along Tulum’s beach areas, and a large number of plastic materials have arrived with the seagrass. He explains that the plastic effectively “traps” the turtles.

Chable says another threat to the turtles is the abundance of hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Sea turtles are nocturnal animals who roam the beaches at night and are attracted by hotel food waste. It is important for hotels and guests to keep organic waste covered to discourage the attraction to the animals and reduce risk.

Riviera Maya News reports that members of the sea turtle committee are reinforcing efforts in an attempt to combat sea turtle egg looting, something that has become a reoccurring problem. Lucelly Ramos Montejo, president of the State Committee of Sea Turtles, says that they will coordinate surveillance and protection in the nesting areas that registered looting last year.

Also, many people engage in snorkeling or diving in attempts to swim with these majestic, docile creatures of the sea. It is important to remember not to touch them and remain a considerable distance away so they can swim freely and without stressors. Finally, avoid using sunscreen when doing so as the chemicals stay in the water and contaminate their environment.

Sea Turtles in a (Nut) Shell

Sea turtles have been around longer than the ancient ruins around them – more than 150 million years! Six of the seven remaining species are found in the warm waters around Mexico. And while they swim great distances around the world, the female turtles who make it to breeding age always return to the beach that they were hatched on to lay their eggs; thus, the cycle of life continues.

Between May and October, many Green (Tortuga Blanca) and Loggerhead (Tortuga Caguama) turtles return to lay their eggs in the white sands of Tulum. On average, approximately 300 nests are made each season between the Tulum ruins and Turtle Bay.

Federal laws and international agreements currently protect all species of sea turtles.  Despite these efforts, they are all now classified as vulnerable or endangered.

Members of several organizations patrol the beaches each night of the nesting season, marking nests and moving eggs to a secure location if the nest is exposed. Then, when the eggs hatch, they assist the babies in navigating safely to the ocean. All in all, viewing the process is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget.

Be the Hare, Not the Turtle

Due to the popularity of the spectacle of sea turtle nesting season, it is imperative to book as soon as possible to reserve your perfect vacation rental in Tulum and Turtle Bay. The Puerto Aventuras vacation rental specialists at Sea Side Reservations are ready to assist you! Contact us today and grab a front-row seat to this unforgettable ecotourism adventure.

Additional Information:

  1. National Geographic, “Searching for Nesting Sea Turtles on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula,”
  2., “Tips for Snorkeling with Sea Turtles – Updated 2018,”
Friday, May 25th, 2018
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Enjoy Family Fun at Xcaret Eco Park

Close-up of Opuntia ficus-indica is a species of cactus. Tenerife, Canary Islands. SpainUnderground Rivers. Tropical Jungle Trails. Colorful Wildlife. Mexican Equestrian Shows. Beautiful Beaches. Snorkeling. Amazing Food. If this sounds like the perfect recipe for family fun, then you can’t miss Xcaret Eco Theme Park – one of Playa del Carmen’s premier tourist attractions.

Explore the magic of Mexico at Xcaret

If you happen to be staying in Cancun, Tulum or anywhere on the Riviera Maya – all roads lead to this spectacular theme park. Xcaret (pronounced eesh-caret) is located 38 miles from the Cancun International Airport and welcomes guests with its unique blend of adventure experiences, nature and cultural offerings. Visitors can easily spend a full day (yes, 8 whole hours) exploring the wonders of Xcaret. There are butterfly pavilions to wander through, turquoise waters to swim in, lazy rivers in which to snorkel and an amazing variety of cultural activities and unforgettable shows.

Cultural activities and performances

For instance, take the “Voladores de Papantla,” an unbelievable performance by “flyers” who play traditional melodies in honor of the sun while suspended hundreds of feet in the air. Witnessing this ancient ritual ceremony is not only thrilling, it provides insight into the traditional culture of Mexico! Xcaret has dozens of awe-inspiring shows and performances to punctuate your day. Admire the graceful horsemanship of costumed riders who move effortlessly with their steeds as they execute surprising moves! There are Pre-Hispanic dances timed to the steady beat of drums that will transport you back to Mayan times and vibrant performances that explain the history and legends from the country’s different cultural regions.  

Attractions for nature lovers

Xcaret is a magical place for children of all ages, and has numerous wildlife attractions and exhibits designed for curious young minds. Start your morning at the enormous Butterfly Pavilion – one of the world’s largest – where over 20 species flit around waterfalls and lush vegetation. Delve into the underwater world at the park’s coral reef aquarium that houses more than 5,000 species. Next stop is Manatee Lagoon – a favorite for visitors of all ages. Admire these beautiful, docile marine mammals in a natural habitat and watch as they glide through the water.

Smack dab in the middle of the park is Jaguar Island, surrounded by crystal clear rivers. These impressive cats play an important part in Mayan culture and can be observed as they stealthily meander through leafy jungle.  

Xcaret is one of the best places to understand the tremendous biodiversity of Mexico. Here, you can see endangered sea turtles, bats, monkeys, tapirs, pumas and dolphins!

Water activities galore

Aquatic activities are one of the highlights of this eco theme park. Admission grants you snorkel equipment for an exciting foray into the Blue River, Manatee River or Maya River which all flow underground next to mangroves dotted with pink flamingos. Lifejackets are also provided so little ones can float and swim through these winding freshwater systems.

Dolphin encounters are another hot attraction at Xcaret. Watch them jump and dance, shake their fin and even get chances to swim with them.

Your smallest animal lover will adore the park’s Adventure Kids program.  A special pond area has docile stingrays and other marine creatures that children can feed and touch. This hands-on experience is designed to be fun and educational as kids learn more about nature.

Family-friendly fun on the Riviera Maya

Xcaret has several buffet-style restaurants that serve up delicious cuisine and lots of smaller snack bars (some with gorgeous ocean views) famous for their juicy hamburgers. Bring a hearty appetite and wear comfortable walking shoes on your daytrip to this must-visit eco park!

Read More about Xcaret Park:

  1., Xcaret, The pride of Mexico!
  2. TripAdvisor, XCaret Eco Theme Park
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
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4 Great Places to Vacation With Kids in Mexico

Multi Generation Family Giving Children Piggybacks On Holiday Smiling To CameraLooking for a family-friendly destination to spend your next vacation? Head south of the border for some serious fun in the sun! Mexico is a great place to travel with children of all ages, and the country boasts countless attractions that are designed for curious young minds. There are lots of pretty beaches where you can swim, snorkel and boogie board, enormous pyramids to scale, and on top of it all, the locals absolutely adore children (even during temper tantrums).

Check out 5 of our favorite places in Mexico to travel with kids!

Riviera Maya

Just south of Cancun lies the Mexican Riviera—home to nature-theme parks, pristine snorkeling coves, Mayan ruins and miles of picture-perfect beaches. Start your holiday off at Croco Cun in Puerto Morelos, where the little ones can hand feed monkeys, touch baby crocodiles and learn about native flora and fauna at this wildlife reserve. Another family favorite is Xcaret eco-park, home to a massive butterfly garden, a lazy river that winds through underground caverns, and a dolphin encounter program. Don’t miss the clifftop Mayan ruins of Tulum, which overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Beat the heat and the crowds by arriving early in the morning. The beaches at Tulum are nearly deserted and a terrific place to build sandcastles and splash in the surf.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, situated on the lovely Banderas Bay, is another excellent spot for a family vacation in Mexico. This laid-back hamlet offers the perfect blend of historic charm and beach atmosphere. Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of Viejo Vallarta, and then head to the bustling oceanside promenade (El Malecon) for an ice cream and a chance to watch Mariachi bands in action. Plan a trip to Las Caletas beach for day of swimming, sunbathing and family fun. There’s a playground and snorkeling equipment available to rent. Vallarta Adventures has a dolphin interactive program and children ages 8 and up can zoom through the tropical forest on their zip-line canopy tour. If you have small children in tow, try out the zippy slides at Splash Water Park, which also has sea lion shows.


Every part of this vibrant colonial city is an adventure. Packed with colorful markets, museums and handicraft stores, Oaxaca has many attractions that will hold the interest of tweens and teens.  If you are a family of foodies, this is the place to be! Beyond amazing street eats and restaurants, you’ll find Mexican cooking classes offered by leading chefs. There is a chocolate factory (Oaxaca is famous for its delicious chocolate), where you can order delectable cacao concoctions filled with vanilla, almonds and cinnamon. Spend a day visiting the fascinating ruins of Monte Alban, where Zapotecs lived from 500 B.C. until 1500 A.D. The sprawling site features spectacular mountain views, and chances to explore the excavations of ancient tombs.


Cancun is the ultimate destination for a no-fuss family beach getaway. Whether you live in Atlanta or San Diego, direct flights are easy to come by and surprisingly affordable. One of the biggest perks of Cancun – aside from its picturesque white-sand beaches – is the sheer number of kid-friendly activities. There are several water parks, interactive aquariums where children can swim with dolphins and feed sharks, and even a Jolly Roger Pirate Show. When you’re not playing at the pool or beach, plan a day trip to the great Mayan wonder of Chichen Itza – ac cultural must-see for the kids. Isla Mujeres is another hotspot for visiting tourists. You can reach the island via water taxi or ferry and spend the day relaxing on the beach, shopping and zipping around on rented golf carts.

Read More about Family Vacation Spots in Mexico:

  1. TripSavvy, Must-Visit Mexico: The Best Family Vacation Spots in Mexico
  2., Mexico: Take the Kids to Tulum!
  3. SFGate, Top 10 destinations for family fun in Mexico
Friday, April 6th, 2018
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Riviera Maya, Cancun & Cabo Top Locales for Romantic Weddings

Beach wedding arrangementMexico’s picturesque Riviera Maya is one of the most romantic locations to get married, reports a recent study by Delta Vacations. According to the findings, number two on the list for destination wedding bliss was the Dominican Republic’s beach resort town of Punta Cana.

“With year-round temperate weather, a plethora of excursions, an array of accommodations of all types and unforgettable scenic backdrops, it’s easy to see why many couples choose to get married in these destinations,” Elizabeth Moriarty, Delta Vacations Vice President, stated in the latest issue of Travel Agent Central.

Most Romantic Destination Wedding Locales

Delta Vacations determined their “Top 10” list of most romantic locales for tying the knot based on clients with wedding packages in the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Destinations were ranked based on the number of nights stayed.

Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico also made the cut, ranking at number 5 and 9 respectively.  The results speak to the increasing interest in Mexico for more than just a short getaway with friends and family. Bridal authority TheKnot reports that Mexico is one of the most frequented international destinations for a wedding abroad, with nearly 20 percent of couples heading south of the border for their special day.

It’s no surprise that Mexico is gaining traction among love birds who want to celebrate their happy day in a place with enchanting beaches and natural beauty. Coastal Mexico boasts everything a discerning bride-to-be could want: breathtaking scenery, luxury accommodations and an idyllic backdrop for wedding photos. Cancun, Cabos and the Riviera Maya have balmy temperatures throughout the year, giving couples the added freedom to plan a fall or winter wedding – but one where guests can wear shorts and sandals!

Top Places in Mexico to Tie the Knot

Couples yearning for a romantic beach ceremony south of the border have plenty of options. Take a look at some of the best cities for a destination wedding in Mexico, as rated by couples on Ranker Travel:

  • Cancun
  • Riviera Maya
  • Ixtapa
  • Puerta Vallarta
  • San Miguel de Allende
  • Isla Mujeres off the Yucatan Peninsula
  • Guadalajara
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Xalapa
  • Cabo San Lucas
  • Manzanillo
  • Morelia

Personalize Your Dream Wedding

Professional wedding coordinators say that May is the most popular month for destination weddings in vacation hotspots like Cabo and Playa del Carmen. The Spring Break crowds are gone, the weather is still glorious but not sizzling hot, and airfares tend to be lower at this time. Of course, couples can opt to book an all-inclusive wedding package, or something more a la carte.

Mexico offers endless possibilities to customize a dream wedding (and honeymoon) in paradise, and caters to all tastes and preferences.

Read More about Top Mexico Destination Wedding Locales:

  1. TravelAgentCentral, Stats: Riviera Maya, Punta Cana Top Destination Wedding Locations
  3. Ranker, The Best Cities in Mexico for Destination Weddings
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
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5 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding in Mexico

Beach wedding arrangementMore couples are trading in conventional hometown weddings for week-long celebrations in exotic lands. Destination weddings are a great way to visit amazing locales while bonding with your closest family and friends. According to TheKnot, more than 50 percent of American brides-to-be fancy a casual bash over a black-tie affair, which explains why many are seeking laid-back destinations where the weather is warm and the beaches always inviting.

Millennial couples, in particular, are fueling the popularity of tying the knot abroad. It’s no surprise that many are planning on saying “I do” in Mexico, given its world-famous beaches, natural beauty and proximity to the U.S.

A tropical beach ceremony in Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta has lots of appeal for adventure-loving couples, and believe it or not, far-flung nuptials are often more affordable in the long run.

Here are a few important things to know when planning a destination wedding in Mexico.

Start planning early

Ideally, couples will have the wedding date nailed down as early as possible. This will allow you to scope out and book the perfect venue and ultimately secure better rates. Try and send out your Save the Dates at least 9 months in advance, which allows guests ample time to arrange accommodations and flights.

Research the weather

Weather plays a large factor in any wedding celebration, especially for those who want a sunny barefoot bash on the beach. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid the rainier months of July-October that also coincide with hurricane season. The months of May and November may be perfect for a sunset ceremony on the Riviera Maya, but weather patterns vary from the Yucatan Peninsula to Baja California. Do your research first to ensure the best odds of a rain-free wedding. 

Have marriage paperwork in order

Mexico has specific requirements for a legal civil marriage, and these can vary from state to state.  

Necessary documents include:

  • Current passports that are valid for at least 6 months
  • Certified copies of your birth certificates that must be notarized and translated by the local Mexican consulate
  • Medical tests: some states require couples to have a blood test and chest x-ray two days prior to the event
  • Marriage Application form available at local registry
  • Copies of your Tourist travel permits (FMM cards)

In addition, foreigners who are marrying in Mexico must have four witnesses present at the ceremony. Ensure that each has a valid passport or government-issued ID.

Consider a wedding coordinator

Professional wedding coordinators can prove invaluable when marrying abroad. Using their local expertise, they can hire the most reputable vendors, inform couples on local marriage requirements and ensure your big day runs like clockwork. A local planner is experienced to handle all the details, saving you considerable time and stress.

Possible waiting period  

If you were previously married and divorced, Mexico imposes a 12-month waiting period before you can legally apply for a marriage license. Authorities will require a certified copy of the divorce decree.

Additional Resources on Mexico Destination Weddings:

  1. BrideBox, How To Plan A Destination Wedding In Mexico
  2. TheKnot, Having a Destination Wedding? Read This First
  3. TheKnot, Marrying in Mexico: An Overview for Destination Weddings in Mexico
Friday, February 16th, 2018
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Yucatan Cave Discoveries Offer Insight into First American Inhabitants

More than 6,000 water-filled caves can be found along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Known locally as cenotes, these limestone sinkholes are popular scuba diving sites marked by their stunningly beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Over the past 35 years, avid spelunkers and divers have been exploring the underwater caverns, primarily located on the Riviera Maya between the Tulum ruins and Cancun.

In 2007, while diving the site known as Hoyo Negro (Spanish for black hole), a group of amateur cave divers made a startling discovery that would completely transform the way scientists view the first inhabitants of America. Alejandro Alvarez and his friends stumbled upon a completely intact 12,000-year-old skeleton of an adolescent girl. This landmark discovery was only announced publicly this year in the U.S. magazine Science, following years of meticulous scientific investigations by Mexican authorities.

12,000 year old skeleton found in Yucatan water cavern

Mexican scientists believe that the preserved skeleton of the teenage girl, nicknamed Naia (which is old Greek for water nymph), may shed light on the origin of the American continent’s first inhabitants. Later studies on the skeleton’s facial features and skull shape helped identify Naia as a paleo-American woman. Her DNA can be traced back to hunter-collectors who traveled to the Americas from northern Asia more than 20,000 years ago.

Scientists think that the 16-year-old girl possibly fell into the hole before the caverns filled with water. Over the many thousands of years, as glaciers melted, the girl’s bones along with those of prehistoric mega fauna were sealed off in a watery grave.

Fortunately for scientists, the skeleton was found practically untouched and in pristine condition, providing almost a time capsule. In the watery tomb, divers also found many bones of creatures that were later identified as puma, sabertooth, giant tapir, boar, coyote, bear and gomphothere – a distant elephant relative.

Great Maya Aquifer discoveries

Within months of finding the Naia skeleton, underwater explorers made two other notable discoveries within the Great Maya Aquifer in the state of Quintana Roo. Archeologist Guillermo de Anda Alanis and his team discovered a perfectly preserved Maya altar, along with remains of prehispanic building structures dating to 900-1200 AD. Divers also found the fossilized cranium of a man more than 10,000 years old.

Researchers speculate that these ancient remains found in the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula suggest some sort of catastrophic climate event or drought that occurred in the late classic period.


  1. LA Times, Teen skeleton found by Mexico cave divers has scientists breathless,
Friday, December 16th, 2016
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