Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
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Celebrating Aruba's First Visitors - Sea Turtles

Celebrating Aruba's First Visitors - Sea Turtles

Protect Endangered Sea Turtles During Your Stay

Turtles have long symbolized longevity, endurance, persistence, and the continuation of life.  In the “The NeverEnding Story,” it was Morla, “Looney Tunes” called him Cecil, “Crush and Squirt” helped find Nemo and the world was taken by storm in the 1980s by the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Turtles are beloved through history in legend and popular culture.

Aruba’s first visitors

Long before the first humans visited Aruba, sea turtles were among its first visitors along its shores. The majestic Leatherback, Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill sea turtles, have been nesting on Aruba’s beaches for centuries. Nesting and hatching season varies upon species and in total, ranges from March through November. Just this week the first Leatherback nest this season for Bucuti & Tara was laid.

Sea turtles mature after about 20 years and live in habitats far from Aruba, as far as Canada and Portugal.  Leatherback sea turtles undertake the longest migrations between breeding and feeding areas of any sea turtle, some averaging 3,700 miles each way. They dutifully return to the beach where they were born when they nest. They lay an average of seven nests in one season with each nest averaging 80 eggs, After an incubation period of 55 to 75 days, hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their way to sea, often using moonlight as their guide.   

Sea turtle calendar countdown

This new webpage is dedicated to our turtles with locations of the nests closest to our resort and a countdown calendar to the approximate hatching. When a nest comes close to hatching, the volunteers of Turtugaruba will place extra barriers around the nest on the sand from dusk until dawn to help guide turtles to the ocean in the event hatchlings emerge overnight. Our concierge team will be happy to contact our guests when a nest shows sign of hatching so you can watch from a safe distance.  The experience is an extraordinary one. We invite you to join us for this heart-warming experience. 

Join us in protecting sea turtles

Only one or two hatchlings are expected to survive per 1000 as there are many threats to their existence. At Bucuti & Tara, guests learn how to protect these treasured creatures through education.

The top three threats we work to mitigate are: artificial light, driving on the beaches and coastlines, and pollution. Visitors are asked to refrain from using their own flashlights and mobile phone lights when witnessing a nesting or hatching event. Lights on a nesting mother can prevent her from laying her eggs.  She will turn back to sea and the eggs may be laid in the water where they will perish. The reflective natural light at night on the shimmering sea signals to hatchlings the way to go to the ocean.  However, should visitors shine a light on hatchlings to take a photo or video, it will disturb their natural instincts and possible disrupt that process, therefore artificial light at the time of hatching is strictly prohibited. While the up close and personal sighting of 2,000 lbs. Leatherbacks and their emerging hatchlings are a bucket list experience, Aruba requires onlookers to observe and not touch.

A time-honored community tradition

Bucuti & Tara has long celebrated these remarkable reptiles by partnering with Turtugaruba, the island’s sea turtle foundation, in protecting them. In the early 1990s, resort Owner/CEO Ewald Biemans built a long stone retaining curb along the main road to Malmok and the Lighthouse that prevents hatchlings in the area from crossing the road and helps guide them to the correct direction to the ocean. Monthly beach clean ups conducted by our associates and guest volunteers also help to eliminate trash blowing into the sea. This helps to prevent danger from floating trash in the water which can entangle turtles or be eaten by them, causing harm or death.

Each year, Edith van der Wal, president of Turtugaruba conducts an educational course for hotel associates. She teaches us about the lifecycle of the sea turtles in Aruba and how to best protect them. Bucuti & Tara associates participate by watching the beach for the tracks of a nesting mother and alerting the foundation of her location. A barrier is stationed around it to prevent damage until it the hatch. During nesting season, Bucuti & Tara limits artificial light to a minimum to provide as natural an atmosphere as possible.

We hope you will have the opportunity to have a sea turtle experience during your visit.  Feel free to reach out to us with your questions:  sustainability@bucuti.com