Directions to the turtle-saving site are ambiguous, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying to find the site and getting there on time.
Located on the east side of Cozumel, the meet-up is at San Martin beach, which doesn’t show up on Google Maps.
The map below shows Playa and restaurant Chen Rio, which is south of Coconuts restaurant and Ventanas al Mar hotel. San Martin Beach is just south-east of Chen Rio. Detailed directions at end of post!*
After passing Chen Rio, keep a look out to your left for the sign below.
Peeking from behind the billboard on the right is the trailer.
Tortuga Marina sign.
This trailer is the meeting point!
The meeting time is around 3:30, but on our first day, we arrived at 3:10 to be on the safe side.
Genie (sp), a nice lady who lives in Cozumel a few months out of every year, was there to assist and guide us on Friday. Her schedule may change, of course, but at the time of our visit, she was volunteering 2-3 days out of the week.
She gave a brief introduction about the program and discussed the types of turtles that are seen in Cozumel and the Maya.
Contrary to what you may have read on other websites, reservations are not required to participate. If plenty of volunteers show up on any given day, some may be turned away, but that is on a day-to-day basis and dependent on number of nests, number of volunteers, and other extraneous circumstances that cannot be controlled.
As of September 2015, the fees to participate are as follows:
Rescue & Release: $25 USD
Release Only: $20 USD
Point of Contact?
I reached out to Sea Turtles of Cozumel on Facebook.
Other Ways to Help
Not sure if these two entities are one and the same, but several other visitors have mentioned going with a museum or a biology group to help.
If any of you have helped through them, please share your experience in the comments below!
*Directions to San Martin beach/trailer:
From Centro, aka main downtown area:
- Locate Transveral de Cozumel, the main street street that connects the east and west
- Head south-east on Transveral de Cozumel, away from the main downtown
- Transveral de Cozumel turns into Quintana Roo C-1, make automatic right
- Quintana Roo C-1 is a paved road alongside the beach
- Pass (in order) Ventanas al Mar, Coconuts, Chen Rio
- After Chen Rio, look for turtle sign and trailer on left side
From southern side, Faro Celerain area:
- Head north-east from the lighthouse
- The dirt road meets the paved road, Quintana Roo C-1
- Keep heading north-east and look for the trailer on right side