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Caribbean coast: See giant leatherback turtles nesting at Tortuguero

See giant leatherback turtles nesting at Tortuguero

Tortuguero is an important habitat for the famous leatherback turtle, an ocean giant often measuring as much as 2m in length and weighing up to 600kg. These remarkable creatures return to the beach on which they were born to give birth to the next generation between March and June, and if your timing is right you could have the privilege of witnessing this humbling spectacle for yourself.

It is an extremely impressive, even moving sight as hundreds of sea turtles crawl up the beach on flippers little accustomed to land, seeking a safe nesting place for their young. Once the mothers have laid their eggs – usually over 100 per nest – they cover them with sand and return to the ocean.

Over the next few nights, visitors can observe the newborn turtles emerging from the shelter of their eggs and struggling towards the sea. The few that survive will one day come back to this very beach to play their part in the endless natural cycle.

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