Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.


Once in the seaside village of Cuyutlan, on the coast, you'll have an opportunity to view the giant green wave. Cuyutlan is famous for its crashing surf, known locally as the Ola Verde Stories tell of waves 20-30 ft. high, and a tsunami in the '30s sending a giant wave of water 7 blocks into the town all the way to the railroad station.

The Tortugario is operated by CDPRE--Centro Desarrollo, Productivo, Recreativo y Ecológico (Center for Development, Production, Recreation and Ecology)--a privately-funded organization dedicated to educate and promote the protection of reptiles in danger of extinction, including the green and black iguana, and crocodile. It is also working through legislative reform to preserve Colima's lakes and lagoons, whose mangrove trees are natural habitats for Canadian geese, eagles, hawks, cormorants, egrets, herons, pelicans, and many other water birds.

There are six species of turtles protected by the Endangered Species act of 1973. These are the Green Hawksbill, Kemp's Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead, Green, and Olive Ridley.

Sea turtles are graceful salt-water reptiles, well adapted to the underwater world. With streamlined bodies and flipper-like limbs, they are able to swim long distances in a relatively short time. When they are active, sea turtles must swim to the surface to breathe every few minutes. When they are resting, they can remain underwater for as long as 2 hours without breathing.

How did they become endangered? Although sea turtles live most of their lives in the ocean, adult females must return to land in order to lay their eggs. It is at this time that the poachers have a field day. Though adept in the marine environment, on land, turtles are slow and easy to capture. All a turtle thief has to do is lay in wait on a beach that is known to be a nesting area. Each turtle can lay up to 500 eggs during a single season, and by being patient, a poacher can have his turtle and the eggs, too. all he has to do is follow the footprints from the ocean to a mound of sand, where the female has laid her eggs.

The meat of the animal is eaten, while by-products, such as turtle oil, are used in sun tanning preparations. Turtle eggs are touted in Mexico as an aphrodisiac, and are secretly sold at beachfront restaurants/bars. If caught, his bounty is seized (unfortunately, it's usually too late for the turtle because mama was quickly turned into soup), but oftentimes the eggs can be incubated and hatched.

When a turtle lays her eggs on the beach in Cuyutlan, CDPRE staff carefully dig them up and rebury them in a protected, enclosed beach area. It takes 45 days of incubation, and then the baby turtles will fight their way to the surface. Often they are helped along by volunteers. The sanctuary has been so successful in protecting these amazing animals that they have turtle releases during season at sundown. Everyone at the Tortugario, including busloads of children from the local schools, are given small babies to carry to the beach. Then the hatchlings must find their own way to the ocean. No turtle is released until it is capable of fending for itself.

Scientists believe that nesting female turtles return to the same beach on which they were born. Often sea turtles must travel long distances from their feeding grounds to their nesting beaches. Just exactly how sea turtles find their nesting beaches is unknown, although CDPRE is currently tagging and recording information on various species of turtles in the sanctuary.

Part of the Tortugario is also devoted to crocodiles, and an enclosure houses a mated pair of the beasts, who lay their eggs in a similar manner--underground--in the sand.

When your tour group visits the sanctuary, the admission fees and anything you purchase, such as T-shirts, or food and drinks from the snack counter, goes to perpetuate the preservation of the endangered species. Volunteers man the Tortugario, many whom are students studying marine sciences at various universities. CDPRE receives no funds from the government for any of its programs. The sanctuary exists only through private donations, and money obtained from the guided tours.

Cuyutlan Tours - Estuary Experience.


Behind the sanctuary is a landing dock where the group will set off in a slow-motoring panga boat for a tour through Paradise Estuary,  “El Paraíso Estuary,”, where you will enjoy one of the most impressive and extensive ecosystems in the region, teaming with wild life, secure in a thick jungle of mangroves. Every 6 months, the boatmen must hack through the quick-growing mangrove roots to make a tunnel for passage. 

An estuary is a coastal area where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with saltwater from the ocean. Estuaries are protected from the full force of the ocean by mudflats, sandspits and barrier islands.

There are lots of different types of habitats in and near estuaries. Freshwater and salt marshes, sandy beaches, mud and sand flats, mangrove forests, river deltas, tidal pools and swamps can all be part of the estuary.

Tour estuary you'll see dozens of water birds, sea eagles, hawks, turtles, osprey, kites, iguanas, crocs (they're very shy), and occasionally a snake. Water lilies with blossoming flowers paint a tranquil picture as a jacana, or lily -trotter, carefully steps from leaf to leaf looking for tiny fish or insects to eat.

Snail hawks roost in the trees after a tasty meal of escargot, found on the mangrove roots near the water line. Clusters of cormorants nest in the tops of the mangroves.

There are some parts of the lagoon that are warm and sunny, and other areas where you'll be sheltered by a cool canopy of mangroves. The reeds growing in this estuary are still used today to weave hats and straw mats for the floor, the mangroves bordering the lagoon are at the heart of a thriving eco-system.

Estuaries are often called the nurseries of the ocean. Many fish species lay their eggs in estuaries. The abundant plant life in estuaries provides a safe place for young fish to live.

Estuaries are full of decaying plants and animals, so occasionally your nose will twitch over the rotten egg smell. This, however, makes the soil of estuaries rich in nutrients. Because the soil is so rich, lots of different plants grow in estuaries. The plants attract lots of different animals, and those animals attract other animals to the estuary. Besides the ones already mentioned, our lagoon boasts scores of fish, crabs, lobsters, clams and other shellfish, marine worms, raccoons, opossums and skunks, and lots of reptiles. Photographers will love this adventure, as will birders and nature lovers. 

Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.


We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are strikingly similar to sea water. Unborn babies are encased in a sack of saline fluid resembling sea water.

The state of Colima is one of the largest producers of sea salt in the world, and Cuyutlan's little Museo de Sal or Salt Museum, is where you can find a great, yet inexpensive souvenir that's good for you!

Sea water contains 84 different mineral elements, and these same minerals are found in our body. According to modern medical research, 24 of these elements are essential for life (you will die without them), and many researchers believe that we need all 84, in proper balance, of course. 

Loss of these elements creates a dietary deficiency, which can lead to serious disorders of the nervous system, brain damage, muscle damage or other serious illnesses.

The tiny museum, housed in a 100-year-old salt barn (other barns just around the corner are still in use today), gives you a history of mining salt in the state. 

It is still harvested much the same way as it was 450 years ago. The museum and storage barns are made from hand-hewn palm wood, so strong that they have lasted through more than a century of hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes and other phenomena

Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.


If you like nature and would like to do something to contribute to making our world a better place, this tour is for you!

A portion of your tour package price will go to helping these amazing animals, protected by law in Mexico.

On the way to the Turtle Sanctuary, called a Tortugario, in Spanish, you'll see dramatic scenery of coconut, mango, papaya and banana plantations. In fact, in one area, you'll see the blue agave, used in making the best tequila.

Along the road are small stands selling fresh fruits and vegetables, whole, cut up, or made into juice. One unusual fruit, the yaka, is ugly and bulbous--larger than a man's head--with spines. Several different kinds of bananas are grown in Colima, from huge plantains which are fried, to the tiny and sweet baby, or finger banana.

Colima is the largest producer of lime juice in the world! Lining the highway are orchards of various types of limes, know as limones in Spanish.

Huge, umbrella-shaped parota trees hundreds of years old hang over the winding road, providing welcome shade to travelers who want to stop for a break. You'll pass several rural ranchitos along the way, with charming town squares having the mountains as a green backdrop.

This is farming country, not only for fruits and vegetables, organically grown, but there are ranches for cattle, horses, goats, sheep and other livestock.

Royal palms dot the hills, and hundreds of acres are lush and green, with irrigation provided by the Armeria River.

The Cuyutlan lagoon, the largest in Mexico, is more than 31 miles in length. The lagoon and its estuaries are a mix of salt water and fresh water. Its flora and fauna are protected.

Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Endangered Sea Turtle.

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Estuary Experience..

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Estuary Experience.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum..

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Salt Museum.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle..

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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Cuyutlan Tours - Vistas of Plantations and Tropical Jungle.

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