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Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge

Provides Safe Haven for Endangered Giant Sea Turtles

By Sara Widness

 

Morgan’s Rock (www.mor gansrock.com/), Nicaragua’s pioneering, upscale ecolodge, provides a safe haven on its private beach for endangered giant sea turtles and has created its own wildlife and habitat protection system.

These frequent guests have found a prime nesting ground here where at night turtles returning to where they were born, lay up to 120 eggs that hatch 50 or so days later. Two-footed guests can observe both the spawning and hatching, and then the scurrying back to sea of baby sea turtles year ‘round at Morgan’s Rock with more predictable activity during the late summer and fall months. Resort staff who have been trained for these duties label nests and provide 24-hour protection against the turtle’s greatest predator — humans. Once hatched, guardians make sure the turtles successfully make it into the ocean.

The Olive Ridley turtle is Morgan’s Rock’s most frequent visitor. It weighs up to 90 pounds and can live up to 60 years. About once a month during nesting season the Giant Leatherback turtle (locally called Tora or Baula, Dermochelys coriacea) can also be observed on the beach.

Of the seven species of marine turtles that exist in the world today, five are endangered. In Nicaragua sea turtles are threatened by predatory animals and poachers selling eggs on the black market. This has put Nicaragua’s sea turtles in peril.

“Protection of solitary nesting beaches such as the one found at Morgan’s Rock can make the difference between extinction and survival for certain species. Along the entire Pacific coast of Nicaragua, the critically-endangered Hawksbill and Green turtles have only a couple hundred nests per year, and for the Leatherback turtle there are only a few dozen nests.

To witness this spectacle, the ecolodge from now through November 14, offers a five-night stay at the four-night rate. The per person, per night rate for couples starts at just $161 each including breakfasts and dinners, private bungalow accommodations and full use of all lodge and beach equipment and facilities. Lunches, bar tab, guided activities, tours and off-site excursions and gratuities are extra. A five-night stay under the current promotion will run $644 per person as opposed to the regular rate of $805 per person.

In the Green Season (May 1 to Nov. 14), the 15-bungalow resort welcomes couples, families with children ages two and up and small groups to explore nature at their fingertips. Animals of the tropical dry forest, including several varieties of monkeys and sloths, live on the 4,500-acre protected forest reserve, while sea turtles arrive on the private beach during what is their peak nesting season.

Guests can hike, ride horses and kayak on daily tours and excursions on and off property. Activities surrounding the hacienda include visits to the on-property farm, ocean fishing, nearby surfing and just lounging on private mile-long, crescent-shaped beach.

Reforested lands, together with the nature reserve and adjacent estuary, attract a variety of forest animals from howler and spider monkeys and sloth, to white tipped deer, to most of the birds native to the subtropical region.

For more information about an eco-vacation at Morgan’s Rock, you can email info@morgansrock.com or visit: www.morgansrock.com