Plan your golf trip around the hatching of the sea turtles in Los Cabos, Mexico
Conventional wisdom says winter is the best time for a golf trip to Los Cabos on the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The whales are wandering by and the weather is ideal - like it always is in Cabo - while most of America suffers through a winter slumber.
But I want to return one day to Los Cabos in summertime to experience the hatching of the sea turtles on the beach.
My first introduction to the intimate relationship between sea turtles and Los Cabos came several years ago during dinner at an exclusive resort. The staff told us a sea turtle was laying her eggs on the beach just outside the restaurant. With flashlights in hand, we took off our dress shoes and socks and headed for the sand. It was an amazing sight to behold, one we weren’t allowed to photograph for fear it would interrupt Mother Nature’s plans. This massive turtle was flopping her fins back and forth, back and forth, with sand flying everywhere. She was digging a hole for her eggs.
Every June, the shores of Los Cabos become the nesting grounds for four different species of endangered sea turtles - Loggerhead, Black, Leatherback and Olive Ridley. They return each year to lay their eggs in the soft sands along the Sea of Cortes where they were born. These eggs and hatchlings are targeted by natural predators as well as threatened by humans. Many of the area’s hotels and resorts have joined the worldwide conservation effort to protect the species.
When I stayed at the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar in June (see reviews here and here), the stories of the sea turtles has me convinced I should return one day with my children. The hotel (see the photo above) takes the time to care for each egg from incubation to birth. Eggs are carefully collected and transferred to the Capamento Tortugero Don Manuel Orantes, a nursery where they are held for the 45-day incubation period. The hatchlings are then returned to the nesting area and released at sunrise or sunset. Guests of the hotel are invited to participate in the release, where they will also learn about the nesting process and protection of the turtles. Children can “adopt” a turtle. They can watch its release and get a certificate to honor their little reptilian friend.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort - another gorgeous Los Cabos property I’ve stayed in - also works to ensure the baby turtles hatch safely. The hotel’s staff relocates each nest they find into a “corral” located at the front of the beach perimeter. Once the eggs are safely hatched, the hotel coordinates the release of the newborn baby turtles into the water.
Other resorts I’ve not seen - Dreams Los Cabos; Esperanza, An Auberge Resort and the Holiday Inn Los Cabos - have similar programs in place. It’s tricky to get the timing just right, but if you can pull it off, staying and playing golf in Los Cabos during sea turtle season would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a family. For once, the great golf at places like Pamilla Golf Club (read here), Cabo Real Golf Club (see here), Cabo del Sol (see here) and the improving Cabo San Lucas Country Club (read here) will take a back seat.
|« Mix star-gazing with playing golf, tree-climbing and more at Primland in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia||Gear up for fall with Cutter & Buck's Warm Yarn Technology »|