Releasing Baby Turtles – Monterrico, Guatemala

Have you ever had a chance to hold a tiny creature in your hand? Feel it squirm around, move its little legs and hands, tickle the palm of your hand.

Holding the Turtles - Monterrico, Guatemala

From September to February, every day, CECON (Conservation Center of Studies – University of Guatemala, San Carlos) allows people to join in the release of baby turtles from their hatchery.

Entrance to CECON hatchery - Monterrico, Guatemala

In the heart of Monterrico, this is one of the best hatcheries in the country where the eggs of female turtles, after they lay them on the beach, are taken and placed in the incubator to protect them from poachers.

Incubation for Turtles - Monterrico, Guatemala

When the eggs hatch CECON has a daily ritual on the beach selling  tickets to raise funds, so that people can learn, feel and let their hearts be touched by these tiny little creatures that are becoming extinct.

Turtles at the hatchery - Monterrico, Guatemala

Information to Release the Turtles

Arrive around 5 pm to the CECON Hatchery to buy your ticket

CECON turtle Hatchery - Monterrico, Guatemala

The actual release takes place on the beach at 5:30 pm – but tickets run out so it is a good idea to get there early

While waiting enjoy the small hatchery and see the good work that is being done

Exhibits at the Hatchery - Monterrico, Guatemala

Price – Each ticket to release one baby turtle is $1.25. Additional $1.25 to enter the hatchery/rescue center which houses turtles, caiman, and lizards.

Baby crocs at the hatchery - Monterrico, Guatemala

What It Is Like Releasing Baby Turtles

The process is extremely well organized and well maintained.

Truth be told, we’ve been walking around Monterrico for over two hours and barely saw any souls. But when it was time to release the turtles, the beach area where it happens was packed.

Gathering for the Turtle Release - Monterrico, Guatemala

Plus, CECON ran out of tickets and not everyone was able to do the release. But they were able to watch.

You exchange the ticket for a tiny little creature

Exchanging ticket for turtle - Monterrico, Guatemala

Next you wait until everyone has a turtle and we are all ready to let them go.

And off they go. The process is super slow, but so so fun

Releasing baby turtles

Some of the turtles get lost, they head in the wrong direction and but with a little help from the biologists they end up going where they need to be.

Turtles going off to Sea - Monterrico, Guatemala

Just watching them go is a true wonder

Turtle Release - Pacific Ocean - Monterrico, Guatemala

Bye Bye turtle – have a good life.

Off to Sea - Turtle Release - Monterrico, Guatemala

See all that happens live and root for the baby turtles with us.

Releasing Baby Turtles – Monterrico, Guatemala


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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