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A Late Turtle Hatchling & The Trip Home

Destination: Tortuguero

A stroke of luck! This morning, our last in Tortuguero, I saw the sweetest baby green sea turtle make a dash for the sea. It was 6 am and I was enjoying a cup of coffee and a stroll on the sand when guide Mario waved me over to the far end of the beach to watch this tiny hatchling tackle the treacherous journey.

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We assumed the turtle was male due to its long tail and the fact that it was the last to leave the egg chamber.

Temperature plays a critical role in determining the sex of turtle embryos, with cooler temperatures yielding males and warmer sand creating females. The males are usually clustered at the cool bottom of the chamber but are born stronger, enabling them to climb out of the steep nest.

I cheered the little turtle on, clearing any debris out of his path. The smallest crater or hill in the sand proved so tiring for his tiny flippers. At last, he made it to the sea where he was pushed around by the gentle surf before disappearing into the watery depths. The perfect end to an amazing trip!

After breakfast, we boarded the Turtle Beach boat for a scenic two-hour ride to the port of Cano Blanco. It was time to go home. From Cano Blanco, we bused to Guapiles where we stopped for lunch and then continued through the mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park and into San Jose. During the six-hour journey we chatted with our new friends and said goodbye to guide Nacho. I looked forward to visiting Tortuguero again -- perhaps next March to see the giant leatherback turtles come ashore to nest.

A Late Turtle Hatchling & The Trip Home in Pictures

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