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Of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, five are listed by the World Wildlife Fund as endangered or critically endangered. Thankfully, several tropical resorts are doing their part to protect these graceful sea creatures. The following four tropical resorts offer some of the very best turtle preservation and rehabilitation programs.
1. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
Situated on the seashore in the secluded bay of Al Jissah, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is a five-star property that offers guests a luxurious overview of Oman. The resort features three different hotels, each offering unique experiences: a dedicated family hotel, a lively central hotel, and an exclusive adults hotel. The resort also is dedicated to protecting sea turtles and other endangered species, having recently opened an eco-centre to educate visitors about the local ecosystem. In addition to highlighting the surrounding species and habitat, the centre will host plenty of engaging activities for kids.
2. Jumby Bay
Accessible only by boat, Jumby Bay is situated on the powdery white beaches of a private island off of Antigua. The luxury resort houses the longest-running hawksbill sea turtle research program in the world and has launched its Hawksbill Turtle Experience this summer. During four separate sessions in July and August, ecologically conscious tourists will have the chance to participate in five-day conservation excursions. Guided snorkelling trips teach guests about the coral reefs that protect the turtle nests, while nightly turtle watches give travellers the chance to watch baby turtles hatch. Other activities include stargazing on the beach, zip-lining, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
3. Las Alamandas Hotel
For years, Las Alamandas has hosted a program that protects and nurtures olive ridley turtles. Staff members collect eggs and safeguard the hatchlings from predators until the hatchlings are later released by guests at sunset as the tiny turtles journey across the sand and into the water. This year alone, the resort is expected to release over 5,000 turtles. Without the preservation program at Las Alamandas, birds and other natural predators would reduce the turtle population by 80 percent. In addition to participating in the turtles program, guests can explore private trails, go swimming, picnic on private beaches, or ride horses.
4. North Island
For nearly 20 years, North Island has monitored endangered turtles as part of its aptly named Noah’s Ark marine-conservation program in Seychelles. A key nesting site in the region, the resort has been named a marine protected area. This year, the environmental team tagged 144 endangered turtles (21 endangered green turtles and 123 critically endangered hawksbill turtles). Tagging the turtles allows them to be properly identified should they nest on other islands or are accidentally captured by fishermen, thereby ensuring that the majestic creatures are better protected. Guests get an unforgettable opportunity to watch turtles lay their eggs and then observe hatchlings as they head to the ocean.