Ecuador | San Lorenzo: The Sanctuary Of Sea Turtles In Manabí

San Lorenzo: The Sanctuary Of Sea Turtles In Manabí


Marine turtles are incredible creatures that have lived in oceans and seas for over 100 million years. They are the perfect embodiment of evolution and biological diversity, as they can be found living in a variety of marine biomes, ranging from shallow waters to deep ocean environments.

Within the Pacoche Coastal Marine Wildife Refuge, along its area of influence and protection we visit the beach of San Lorenzo, where in  2022 the birth of 11,580 sea turtles of two endemic species were reported: the olive ridley and the green sea turtle.

This is the perfect season to embark onboard Kontiki Expeditions!
From January to may we will have the fortune to witness the spawning and nesting season of these small sea animals that co-exist with us in the beaches of Ecuador.

Kontiki expeditions cruise

Endemic Species

Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea) are categorized as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as they remain an endangered species. They represent an important part of the ecosystem and play a critical role in the health and balance of marine and terrestrial habitats.
Endemic Species | Manabi

Majestic Home

The nursery for these babies is located in the marine enclave of San Lorenzo, southwest in the province of Manabí. This place, considered a sanctuary of sea turtles and an important stop of our journey, will allow us to enjoy a spectacle like no other. The beach records one of the most important and largest nesting sites for sea turtles in the Ecuadorian mainland.
San Lorenzo Manabí | Ecuador

The Sight Of Life

During this season, it is common to find along the coast of San Lorenzo over 100 turtle nests, containing between 30 tio 100 eggs each. Under a monitoring and conservation project, the watchful eye of park rangers constantly study the area, and project the nests to avoid any threat that puts their long-awaited hatching at risk.
Baby turtle | Manabí

A Path To The Ocean

With the beginning of the year, baby turtles go out into the world to start their life.
From a hole in the sand about 50cm deep, which sheltered them for 60 days, tiny and fragile blackish bodies begin to emerge. When baby turtles break the shell, it takes them about 40 minutes to get out of the nest and reach the surface from inside.
Turtle nests | Manabí

In Awe Of The View

Seeing them work their way to the ocean is nothing short of spectacular. Bystanders are lucky to witness how these little creatures, measuring about 8 centimeters long and weighing just about 18 grams, make their way to the sea that is around 50 meters away.
Baby Turtles | Manabí

Through The Years

The turtles will have to spend 30 years swimming underneath the waves to reach adulthood, measuring about 70 centimeters and weighting approximately 38 kilograms. Once they reach sexual maturity they will return to the same beach of San Lorenzo to lay their eggs in the warm sand, just like their mothers did.
Turtle | Manabí

Work Of Preservation

The Pacoche Wildlife reserve is doing a great job preserving and protecting the life of hundreds of species, including our beloved sea turtles. Their efforts allow approximately 30,000 turtles to be incorporated into the ocean each year.
The Sanctuary Of Sea Turtles In Manabí
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