Welcome to
Shell Beach Protected Area

The 90-mile stretch of pristine beaches on the northern shores of the country is one of the best conservation hotspots and nesting sites for turtles. March to August is the period when four of the eight sea turtle species of the world, come to lay eggs here. The Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback and the Olive Ridley species have made this a regular nesting spot, offering a one-of-a-kind hot spot for wildlife enthusiasts. The nine sections of Shell Beach are passionately protected and can be visited only with permission from the Protected Areas Commission. The leading turtle biologist, Dr. Peter Pritchard, started conservation efforts in1960s. Later, Audley James, an ex-turtle hunter joined hands to fortify efforts. Due in part to its highly remote location and the fact that few people visit, the species continue to thrive here.

Getting To And Around

The only way to get to Shell Beach is by boat, as the ecosystem is made of mangroves and swamps. Mabaruma is the main hub and jumping off point for day trips.  Due to the cost of getting there and the optimal viewing times, securing permission from the Protected Areas Commission to overnight at Almond Beach is recommended.

Air

The easiest and fastest route from Georgetown is to take a flight from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Mabaruma, which takes approximately 50 minutes.

Road

Alternatively, speedboats are available from Charity to Mabaruma. Once in Mabaruma, a boat can be hired from Kumaka Wharf to Almond Beach to see the turtles or to other parts of Shell Beach.

THINGS TO DO

Turtle Hatching

Watching turtle hatching and releasing into the sea requires permission from the Protected Areas Commission and camping at the beach with modest facilities. Serious wildlife lovers typically opt to sign up with tour operators to see the entire process. Female turtles dig an egg chamber and fill it with around 100 eggs before covering it with sand. The hatchlings emerge around 45 to 70 days later, making their way to the water, furiously moving their flippers. Experts say that between 15 and 40 years later, many of these same hatchlings will return to Shell Beach to continue the cycle. This is a great adventurous and educational trip as a weekend getaway from Georgetown.

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Wildlife Spotting And Bird Watching

More than 250 species of birds and 30 of mammals have been identified in the Shell Beach Protected Area. Look out for the ibis, herons, egrets, flamingoes, antbirds, toucans, macaws, Harpy Eagles and more. Amongst mammals, sightings of jaguars, manatees, capuchin monkeys, tapirs, sloths and others are commonly spotted. With a large array of wild habitants, this is one of the most unique wildlife getaways in the country.

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Village Life

Adjacent to Shell Beach Protected Area, Warapoka is the closest indigenous community that caters to travellers . One of the prime fishing spots in the region, the members of the community recently embarked on establishing a community-owned and operated eco-lodge for travellers. Sustainable catch and release sport fishing is one of the key activities visitors to the village can enjoy. The much sought-after tarpon, lou lou and bashar fish species are just a few of the more exotic fish that populate these waters. There are also several Harpy Eagle nests nearby, increasing the likelihood that one will be nesting when you visit.

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