turtle beach dreams

This year we had a nasty, cold winter followed by a nasty, very cold spring. So it was kind of bittersweet, working on a website for an eco-resort in sunny Mexico.

We recently launched Playa Las Tortugas, a website for a resort in Mexico located about 70 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. It’s on an 11-mile stretch of beach designated a protected area by the Mexican government, where sea turtles nest. Playa Las Tortugas is adjacent to, and supports, a sea turtle conservation camp, and guest and villa owners can help baby Olive Ridley and Hawksbill sea turltes make it to the ocean once they’ve hatched.


The site has three primary goals: to present the beach vacation villa rentals available, to present the lots and villas that are for sale, and to feature the sea turtle camp and the abundance of activities available at PLT. I was surprised at how affordable the rental rates are.

This site has lots, LOTS, of content and the site owner needs to be able to change it and add to it as PLT is developed and more activities and villas become available. It didn’t make any sense NOT to use a content management system—this was a badly needed redesign as the original site had become unwieldy in both English and Spanish. We built it all on ExpressionEngine, building out the English version first and cloning it to get it ready for translation. ExpressionEngine is perfect for this—there are enough plug-ins and modules available now to handle just about everything. We added our own form software since the built-in form software isn’t robust enough for what we needed (reservation requests, for example).

It was kind of nice looking at photos of palm trees and tropical birds when outside my window I had a view of icicles and drab gray days. Or rain.

We are also adding in ecommerce so guests can pay deposits and other fees or make donations to the turtle camp online. That should be ready in a few days.

It was great collaborating with the site owner—with ExpressionEngine, he could add content from his base in Mexico while we diligently worked on the structure. Our big problem was we were jealous of the site owner—he had tropical breezes while we were shivering in our office!

Casa Linda at Playa Las Tortogas, Nayarit, Mexico

Some day, we’ll get to Mexico. Stanley has never been there. I have, but spent most my time there in the Yucatan and the Chiapas area. And when we do get there, we would love to spend a few nights at Playa Las Tortugas, particularly during turtle hatching season.

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