Oaxaca Nature & Culture Adventure
Join our first adventure to experience the incredible arribada, a mass nesting of olive ridley turtles that can be hundreds of thousands of turtles. The state of Oaxaca Mexico offers incredible opportunities to experience their unique culture, food, and beautiful coastal areas. Over a week, we will visit two nesting beaches looking for olive ridleys and leatherbacks, visit local artisans and families, explore mangroves, lagoons, beaches, and the ocean, and much more. This trip will be led by our Latin America Director Adriana Cortes who lives in the region. Profits from this trip will help to save at least 1,000 hatchlings at a turtle nesting beach per participant.
*Please note: Due to the unpredictable timing, we can’t guarantee that the group will see an arribada though the trip is timed for the best chances. The itinerary may change depending on when the turtles arrive.
Date: Nov 27 - Dec 4, 2022 (trip is full, contact us at right to be put on the waiting list or alerted for future trips)
Price: $1,695 pp
Includes: All in-country transportation, accommodations, meals as noted in itinerary, activities, airport pickup & transfer, and a donation to turtle conservation.
Excludes: Airfare to Huatulco, 1 dinner, personal items, tips for hotels and activities, and travel insurance.
Will SEE: Olive ridley turtles (hatchlings and in the water), crocodiles, iguanas, deer, many species of birds
Probably will SEE: Olive ridleys (nesting), dolphins, rays, leatherback and black turtle hatchlings
May SEE: Leatherbacks (nesting), humpback whales, black turtles (nesting)
The minimum number of registrations to confirm the trip is 6 and the group maximum is 10 people.
Minimum recommended age is 10 years old.
* Please note: We give 100% refunds on any trips that we need to cancel and our cancellation fees (when travelers cancel) can be used on any future trip, no expiration or penalties, except for cancellations made within 60 days of travel when payments to local providers has already been completed. See our full terms and conditions.
CONTACT US TO:
Ask a question
Be added to the wait list
Be alerted for future trips
Why Travel With US?
All profits support conservation efforts
Work directly with local researchers
DAY 1 - ARRIVE TO HUATULCO
Fly into the Huatulco Airport (HUX) by 3 pm to meet the group in time to transfer to Barra de la Cruz (1.5 hour drive). Arrive early to enjoy snorkeling at the nearby beach of San Agustin de las Flores. Barra is a significant nesting beach for leatherbacks, olive ridleys, and black turtles. We will settle into our cabins upon arrival and get a short orientation followed by a locally prepared dinner. That evening we will rest up for the activities we have planned for the week. Overnight at Posada Blanca (3 nights). (D)
DAY 2 - TURTLE HATCHERY, COCONUT FARM, & BEACH PATROL
After breakfast, we will visit the local conservation project hatchery to learn more about their conservation work. If there are hatchlings, we will release them. After some late morning down time, we will have lunch and visit an organic coconut farm to learn about how this ubiquitous fruit is used for beauty products. We will also visit a local shop to view the beautiful traditional dresses from the region. This evening, we will patrol the nesting beach looking for nesting turtles. When we find a turtle, we will help the local biologists collect data on the turtles and move the eggs to the hatchery. The walking time and distance will vary, participants will have the option to ride on an ATV with researchers or walk separately. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 - KAYAK TOUR, FREE TIME, & NIGHT PATROL
After breakfast, we will have a presentation on the local conservation work including their history, what they’ve learned from their work, and the situation for sea turtles in the region. That will be followed by a kayak tour of the local lagoon to see mangroves, birds, and other animals. Lunch is at a local restaurant and then free time to swim and hang out on the beach. After dinner, we will have a final night patrolling this nesting beach. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 - ESCOBILLA & LOCAL ARTISANS
Today we head to Escobilla, one of the most important arribada beaches in the world with as many as 500,000 olive ridley turtles in one event (over a few days). After the two hour drive, we will visit a local family who makes hammocks that the region is known for. Lunch will be with a local family and then some down time. That afternoon, we will get an introduction to this extraordinary beach and these fascinating turtles and hopefully see some hatchlings on their way to the water. That night following dinner, we will walk the beach to look for turtles. (Overnight at Hotel Escobilla (2 nights). (B, L, D)
DAY 5 - BIRDWATCHING, BEACH TIME, & NESTING TURTLES
Today we will have an earlier breakfast to get out early to go for a short birdwatching walk. We may see species including pelicans, herons, hummingbirds, kingfishers, and more. We will also look for any nests that may be hatching. Lunch will again be with a local family, followed by some beach time at Agua Blanca (15 minute drive). Enjoy a drink at the water or the delicious local oysters (not included in the trip cost). If we don’t find hatchlings in the morning, we will visit a hatchery in the early evening to release olive ridley hatchlings. After dinner at the hotel, we will visit Escobilla again for our last night of beach walks to look for olive ridleys. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 - MAZUNTE, MANGROVE TOUR, & HANDICRAFTS
After breakfast this morning, we will head to Ventanilla, the first community in the coast of Oaxaca to offer ecotourism activities. We will tour a mangrove lagoon by boat to look for crocodiles, birds, iguanas, and more. During the tour, we will visit a small island home to a deer rescue center and small museum that we will visit. We will also visit some local handicraft stands to shop for souvenirs and have lunch in this community.
After this activity, we will take a 10 minute ride to the coastal town of Mazunte. In the afternoon, we will have free time to explore this “Pueblo Magico,” named for its charming beach town and the local material used in its constructions. Dinner will be on your own tonight to choose from one of several excellent options. (Overnight at Cabinas Amaia or similar). (B, L)
DAY 7 - BOAT TOUR, SNORKELING, & SUNSET WALK
Today starts with an early morning boat ride (7:30 am) to look for animals including turtles, dolphins, whales, and rays as well as visiting several beautiful beaches. We will stop for breakfast at the beach of Estacahuite, have some beach time, and go snorkeling. We then return to Mazunte for lunch and some rest. In the late afternoon we will visit Punta Comenta, the westernmost point on Mexico’s mainland coast, a great spot to catch beautiful sunsets. We will wrap up the day with a celebratory dinner together in Mazunte. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 - DEPARTURE
After breakfast, we will transfer the group to the airport in time for flights home. Feel free to extend your stay to explore this beautiful region.
* Itinerary Note: We will adhere to this schedule as closely as possible, but participants should be aware that due to the unpredictabililty of the timing of the arribada, our itinerary can change and we may need to skip an activity.
Is This Trip Right For Me?
Oaxaca is a safe region in Mexico to visit. On this trip, you’ll be staying in basic to mid-level accommodations, eating authentic dishes with local families and in restaurants, and participating in fun activities. Activities may be modified due to wind, weather, and other conditions. We don’t guarantee wildlife interactions, but this trip is scheduled at the most likely timing for the arribada. There will be various physical activities that require some exertion including kayaking and beach walks though all activities are optional.
other turtle conservation trips
Photos: RED Travel Mexico, Elizabeth Moreno, Neil Osborne