phone: (505) 8640 0644
Isla Los Brasiles, North of Poneloya, Leon, Nicaragua
Surfing Turtle Lodge offers its guests not only a beach paradise, but the chance to help save sea turtles’ lives. Isla Los Brasiles is a natural, secluded stretch of beach in Nicaragua where sea turtles make the long journey to shore, dig nests and lay their offspring, however, local turtle poachers are taking advantage of these quiet beaches and abundance of eggs that they can sell. For this reason we have built a turtle hatchery, supported by profits from the hostel, guest donations and volunteer work. Through the hatchery and the help of staff and volunteers, we strive to protect the turtles, help their population grow and develop awareness for locals, as well as tourists that visit.
(Please note: Sea turtles do not lay eggs or hatch on a daily basis. Also, we do not keep the baby sea turtles on site for extended periods; they are released to the ocean as soon and safely as possible.)
For more images of our hatchery click here.
Nighttime Turtle Walk
The hostel organizes guided night walks for guests to look for turtles laying their eggs. Through a careful, humane process, the guests and guide retrieve the turtle eggs and relocate them to the turtle hatchery, where the eggs are under the lodge’s care and protection from poachers until they hatch and make their way to the ocean. The hatching occurs year round, however the peak season at Surfing Turtle begins in October and continues through February.
Nesting Turtles on Isla Los Brasiles
The Olive Ridley:
The olive ridley is one of the smallest sea turtles, with an adult shell length averaging 60 to 70 cm. The turtle’s name comes from its often green-olive color. The shell is characterized by its distinctive heart-shape. Olive ridleys usually begin to group together near nesting beaches approximately two months before nesting season, although this may vary throughout its range. In Pacific Nicaragua, nesting occurs throughout the year with peak nesting events occurring between September and December. The Olive Ridley is classified as a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature And Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest living sea turtle in the world and the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. Leatherback turtles have existed in some form since the first true sea turtles evolved over 110 million years ago. Leatherback turtles have the most hydrodynamic body design of any other sea turtle, with a large, teardrop shaped body. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh. Like all sea turtles, leatherbacks start as hatchlings climbing out of the sand of their nesting beaches. Birds, crustaceans, other reptiles and people prey on hatchlings before the new turtles reach the water. Leatherbacks nest year round, however, nesting usually occurs from Febuary to July. The leatherback is one of the most endangered of all sea turtles.
The Hawksbill Turtle:
The hawksbill turtle is a critically endangered sea turtle, and is very rare to spot. It’s easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature. Human fishing practices have brought this species near extinction. Mating season for the hawksbill usually spans April to November. Hawksbill shells are the primary source of tortoise shell material, used for decorative purposes. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill turtles and products derived from them.
How to Safely Observe Turtles
When watching turtles, please take the following guidelines into consideration to ensure that the turtles can safely come to the beach and lay their eggs:
For more images and updates visit our Facebook Fanpage