6 Awesome Places In The World To See Sea Turtles Up Close!
If you are a frequent traveller, an ardent nature and conservation lover, or if you are planning on doing something offbeat, solo or with your family, then swimming with the wild turtles and seeing them hatch should be on your list of ‘things to experience’.
It’s best to plan your trip during the hatching season. Using guides or turtle conservation tours will greatly improve your chance in seeing the hatching process ethically, without harming or touching these reptiles.
Please remember that when you encounter turtles up close, treat them with respect. Do not touch them while nesting or disturb them underwater, unless they come close to you. Here is a compilation of the top six countries to visit, to make your dream a reality.
Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a haven for beautiful and exotic species and an ideal place to see turtles in abundance. If you are a diver, one place you have to visit is the Cocos Island National Park. This is home to a lot of unique creatures and the best place in the world to see turtles among other large species. If you are in Costa Rica, you must dive in the Gulf of Papagayo.
The Leatherback sea turtles hatch from April to September, whereas the Oliver Ridley hatch from January to December. Since Costa Rica has Pacific and Caribbean coasts, different species of turtles hatch all year round, which makes this the top destination to see the hatching process all year round.
Rekkawa, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an ideal tropical and culturally rich holiday destination, but it’s also home to one of the best places to spot wild sea turtles. Five out of seven sea turtles species from the world nest on the islands of this country. So if you would like to swim with the turtles, feed turtles or see turtles hatch, visit Rekkawa beach. The hatching period lasts from May to November.
Note that it could take three to four hours of sitting around at night to see a turtle hatch. So do plenty of research and find out from the locals before you go for this activity. Booking a tour guide is highly recommended.
Raz al-Jinz, Oman
You would be surprised to know that Oman offers one of the most unique diving experiences. Head over to Masirah Island and Ad Daymaniyat Island where along with sea turtles, you will also get sightings of underwater species unique to the Arabic shores. The Raz al-Jinz Turtle Reserve offers accommodation and tours, which makes the possibility of seeing turtles nest or hatch highest in this place.
Oman plays a big role in conservation and protection of species and there are stringent laws and penalties for disturbing turtles or touching the eggs. The hatching period is between July to October, since Raz al-Jinz Turtle Reserve is popular for turtle spotting, book in advance to experience this with your family.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
India has always been a cultural hot spot for many travellers as if offers different sights, settings, climates and cuisines depending on the area you visit. Each place within India is unique, so for a memorable diving holiday head over to the Andaman and Nicobar and the Lakshwadeep Islands to examine the marine life and swim with the turtles.
Diving in Andaman is unique because the coastal water surrounding these islands is one of the richest coral reef ecosystem is the world. Apart from turtles, you get to see manta rays, sharks, and a variety of octopus and groupers. The best time to visit the island is between April to November. Turtle nesting occurs in a variety of beaches on the island, but we recommend visiting the beaches in Diglipur, especially Kalipur beach between the months of January to November.
Mon Reepos, Australia
Another popular place to experience exciting marine life, including sea turtles, is the land down under.
There are abundant diving spots in Australia, but if you are planning on making a summer trip, then heading over to the cool waters off the coast of Queensland will team you up with a variety of sea turtles.
Mon Repos has the largest concentration of sea turtles nesting from March to early December. Several companies offer nightly tours where you get a chance to see these fascinating marine creatures heaving their way up the beach. For the hatching period visit between January to March. To see wild turtles in other parts of Australia, head ove to the Ningaloo Reef and the Great Barrier Reef.
Hawaii is famous for all things aquatic, so swimming with honu (turtles) is almost a given in this place. Since the island offers many great spots for turtle sightings, you must visit Turtle Town which is just off shore in South Maui. This is a great diving spot to swim with many varieties of sea turtles, but if you just want to see them on shore, then be sure to visit the Ka’anapali Beach. You are almost guaranteed to see or swim with the sea turtles in this place.
The Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore is also a paradise for green sea turtles. So if you missed your chance in Maui, be sure to visit Oahu. The nesting and hatching period is between May to December.
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