Turtle Sanctuary


Giving the gift of education, giving the gift of life, giving the gift of opportunity! Scientists estimate that only one in 1000 baby turtles survive to adulthood, and your donation may help raise the odds that more survive.

Protecting Endangered Turtles

Each year thousands of Olive Ridley (Golfina) turtles and dozens of endangered Green (Negra) and Leatherback (Laud) turtles come to the shores of Playa Viva to lay their eggs. Over the past 50 years of commercial exploitation, poaching, and degradation of nesting and foraging habitats, six of the seven marine turtle species have been placed on the endangered species list.

La Tortuga Viva

Playa Viva founded La Tortuga Viva (LTV) in 2010 to protect these turtles from predators and poachers alike. Since then, LTV has safely released over 450,000 baby sea turtles. LTV is staffed by an all-volunteer team comprised of members of the local community of Juluchuca.

Playa Viva supports the sanctuary by helping to raise funds for needed equipment. The volunteers patrol the beach at night to look for turtles or turtle tracks, to collect nests buried in the sand, and to bring these eggs to the sanctuary just as the mother turtle left them. The eggs are kept safe within a protected incubation sanctuary that keeps them out of the reach from the real and imminent danger of predators and poachers.

Baby Turtle Release

Olive Ridley nests take about 45 days to hatch. During this time, the volunteers visit the sanctuary multiple times throughout the day to check to see if any turtles hatched. When the baby turtles emerge to the surface, normally in the early morning, the volunteers safely remove them from the incubation pen and release them into the ocean. We invite you to join us on a night patrol with volunteers from LTV as well as the release of the baby turtles to the ocean during a morning of your stay. This is truly an experience of a lifetime.

The turtles nest year round, with turtles arriving to lay eggs peaking during the rainy season, between July and October. Due to the normal 45 day gestation period, you will still see hundreds of baby turtles released through January. We have been lucky in that you are likely to see baby turtles almost every day of the year in Playa Viva.

Stay in the Loop

For updates and statistics of the work by La Tortuga Viva, visit the Playa Viva blog. If you are a retreat leader and would like to incorporate a service project with LTV during your retreat, please let our reservations team know at the time of booking.

Regenerative Trust

In 2013, Playa Viva instituted the Regenerative Trust. This is a 2% fee included in the total bill amount for all guests as a contribution to the environment and community of Juluchuca of which Playa Viva is a part. This fund goes directly to our impact efforts and allows us to support the health, education, and economic opportunity of those in our community

Donate To La Tortuga Viva

Help support La Tortuga Viva and protect the baby turtles. Each donation of $100 will help protect 100 baby marine turtles. Scientists estimate that only one in 1000 baby turtles survive to adulthood, and your donation may help raise the odds that more survive. Your donation below is processed by our fiscal sponsor, The Ocean Foundation, making any donation for US citizens tax deductible.


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