Mexican Turtle Center (Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga)
With close to 20 aquariums showcasing sea, freshwater, and land turtles at various stages of development, there’s plenty to see and do at the Mexican Turtle Center. Guided visits are a requirement for visiting and help to provide context and information that you wouldn’t get otherwise; they’re also available in multiple languages, so there’s no need to fret about the language barrier. Don’t miss the on-site botanical garden, home to numerous local cacti, either.
Things to Know Before You Go
Guides are available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Zapoteco; you must be accompanied by a guide to enter.
There’s an admission fee to enter the Mexican Turtle Center.
The on-site botanical garden is dedicated to Dr. Helia Bravo Hollis, a long-time researcher of cacti.
There’s also an on-site gift shop, café, and restrooms.
The Mexican Turtle Center is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Situated just behind Mazunte Beach in Mazunte, Oaxaca, the Mexican Turtle Center is easy to reach on foot from anywhere in the town. However, it can also be reached by private vehicle from nearby locations such as Huatulco, some 35 miles (56 kilometers) away. Oaxaca City is located 165 miles (265 kilometers) north.
When to Get There
The Mexican Turtle Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, typically from around 10am until 4:30pm. The center tends to close earlier on Sundays, at around 2:30pm. There’s no bad time to visit the center, although holidays and weekends are the busiest. Visit midweek for a quieter experience.
Turtle Experiences Around Mexico
There are a variety of ways to get up close and personal with turtles in Mexico, albeit without disturbing their natural habitat. Take a snorkeling tour off the coast of Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, or the Mexican Caribbean to see sea turtles swimming freely. Alternatively, visit the Tortugranja on the island of Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancún. Many beaches across Mexico have regular turtle releases too.
- Zipolite Beach (Playa Zipolite)
- Copalita River (Río Copalita)
- San Agustin Bay (Bahía San Agustín)
- Chachacual Bay
- Finca La Gloria
- Maguey Bay (Bahía Maguey)
- La Crucecita
- Huatulco National Park (Parque Nacional Huatulco)
- Playa La Entrega (La Entrega Bay)
- Santa Cruz Bay (Bahía Santa Cruz)
- Órgano Bay (Bahía Órgano)
- Tangolunda Bay (Bahía Tangolunda)
- Copalita Ecological Park and Ruins (Parque Eco Arqueológico Copalita)
- Cacaluta Bay (Bahia de Cacaluta)
- La Ventanilla