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The marvels of nature at Turtle Beach

For an up-close-and-personal turtle experience, you can’t beat the aptly named Playa de las Tortugas, located 21 kilometers due south of San Blas, in the state of Nayarit.

pg9aOn top of that, driving time to this little-known beach is only four hours from Guadalajara—or 27 minutes more from Ajijic.

This sandy beach can only be reached by driving through an elegant compound called Playa de las Tortugas Villas (where you can rent a mansion or stay at a five-star hotel). But if you’re in the mood for roughing it, you can wind your way through this fancy development all the way to the beach, which is quite primitive and covered with coconut palms. It also features good waves for surfing plus an estuary with long mangrove tunnels, perfect for kayaking.

After setting up my tent under a low coconut palm, I took a dip in the ocean, whose waters (in mid-December) were neither hot nor cold, but the perfect temperature for swimming.

After that, I wandered south along the beach and came to a big sign reading (in Spanish): WHAT DO I DO IF I SEE A TURTLE COME OUT OF THE OCEAN?

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