The headquarters of this nationwide turtle preservation project, established in 1980, has turned what was once a small, struggling fishing village into a tourist destination with a mission—to save Brazil's giant sea turtles and their hatchlings. Five of the seven surviving sea-turtle species in the world roam and reproduce on Brazil's Atlantic coast, primarily in Bahia. During the hatching season (September through March), workers patrol the shore at night to locate
nests and move eggs or hatchlings at risk of being trampled or run over to safer areas or to the open-air hatchery at the base station. It is here that you can watch adult turtles in the small swimming pools and see the baby turtles that are housed in tanks until they can be released to the sea, something you can take part in between December and Feburary. The headquarters also has educational videos, lectures, and a gift shop. Thirty-three other Tamar stations on beaches across Brazil protect about 15 million hatchlings born each year. If you are looking for a more intimate experience, seek out one of the smaller bases, as this project is certainly the most commercial.