Turtles hatch all the way along Florida’s coastline, and the shores of Palm Beach are believed to be some of the most densely nested in the United States. While turtle nesting takes place here from late spring until early autumn, turtles can be seen in these waters year-round, and there are a number of ways to see them. Stay just moments from these shores at The Chesterfield Palm Beach to get up-close to the turtles in Florida.
It’s each year from around May until early October that an abundance of Loggerhead, Leatherback and Green sea turtles return to Palm Beach to nest on the sandy shores. After digging nests in the sand and laying their eggs, the turtles cover their eggs with sand then return to the water, leaving the eggs to hatch. At this time, visitors to Palm Beach have the unique opportunity to see one of the great spectacles of nature close-up on an eco-friendly turtle nesting tour.
One of the best places to do this is in the scenic town of Juno Beach, where the ocean conservation organisation and sea turtle hospital, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, is located. As well as caring for and rehabilitating sea turtles, the centre monitors turtle nesting and hosts a variety of activities and tours for visitors to be a part of, including turtle walks. In addition to venturing out to the beach, these walks encompass a presentation at the marinelife centre, giving each person who visits a greater insight into the work they do.
Each March, the conservation centre also hosts the family-friendly event Turtlefest, where people of all ages can find out about turtle conservation and the sea turtles that inhabit different regions of the world through presentations, games and activities, with plenty of music and food to add to the fun.
Over in Boca Raton – the southernmost city in Palm Beach – Gumbo Limbo Nature Center organizes turtle walks, too. Among the experiences on offer is the resoundingly popular Turtle Walk & Hatchling Release Program, but other events hosted by the nature centre include seeing the release of turtles that have been rehabilitated there.
To see Florida’s turtles in their most natural habitat, you’d need to venture offshore. And this is exactly what visitors can do when they set out on diving trips from West Palm Beach. Here, Pura Vida Divers places a focus on sea turtles, with excursions to see them taking place throughout the year. See the Loggerhead, Leatherback and Green sea turtles that nest here, as well as the Hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley turtles that migrate to Palm Beach for the mating season.
Contributing to the success of conservation efforts for turtles in Florida, Pura Vida Divers hosts events that promote awareness of the cause. And through the TreadRight Foundation, Red Carnation Hotels plays a part too, by supporting the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
After seeking out the turtles both on land and underwater, return to the sumptuous surroundings of The Chesterfield Palm Beach to reflect on your turtle encounter over afternoon tea, or with a cocktail in the elegant Leopard Lounge Bar.
Image credits: Cover photo of a Loggerhead turtle hatchling in Florida © iStock / Kristian Bell. A turtle basking in the sun © iStock / tirc83. A turtle under the water’s surface © iStock / Mikhail Matsonashvili. Hatchlings at Loggerhead Marinelife Center © Flickr / Florida Fish and Wildlife. Palm Beach shoreline © iStock / CG Photos.