Here’s an uncommon experience that sounds like something one should do at least once in a lifetime. The InterContinental Bali Resort is a luxe getaway that celebrities and R&R junkies from around the world absolutely love. In addition, this Jimbaran Beach front property is also popular with female green sea turtles! While the resort offers the usual bells and whistles (fabulous food, a superb spa and spectacular landscaping), it is the ability to interact with the endangered green sea turtle that makes this haven so very special.
As part of its on-going commitment to supporting the local community, the resort works closely with a local conservation centre to retrieve the eggs that female green sea turtles lay in the sand when they come ashore at night. These eggs are carefully incubated in a secure environment to then hatch safely. They take approximately 60 days to hatch and the hatchlings are then cared for in a holding tank, until they are strong enough to swim in the ocean. If unaided, experts say the young have to try and make it to the sea on their own — a perilous journey that often ends in the mouth of a predator. For those who do make it, the risk of getting eaten once they enter the ocean is also high. It is estimated that only one in 1,000 will survive to adulthood.
As part of this collaboration, experts ensure the baby turtles are released back into the sea only once they are big enough — an action that helps to increase this endangered species’ long-term survival rate. Guests at the InterContinental Bali can participate in the property’s year-round Turtle Release Programme, which is organised twice-weekly in front of the resort on Jimbaran Beach. Just before sunset (a crucially significant time for releasing turtles), the baby turtles are ‘adopted’ by guests and carried down to the shoreline in water-filled coconut shells and released into the sea. This is preceded by a simple Hindu ceremony on the beach. It is a heart-warming experience that reinforces good conservation habits for people of all ages. Each participant then receives a signed certificate, a professional photograph with ‘their’ baby turtle and an artistic handicraft souvenir. All proceeds go towards the conservation centre, to further protect these wonderful, endangered turtles. Ecotourism at its best!
Image Credits: InterContinental Hotels Group