Turtles are one of the symbols of the sea. Calm and funny, they are one of the most pleasant creatures to observe underwater. Of the seven species that exist in the world, two, the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle, can regularly be seen when snorkeling, and are sometimes abundant in specific locations. Whatever your snorkeling level, put on your mask, and a few swimfins kick later, you will soon be enjoying the scene!
The three small Gili Islands, fringed by white-sand beaches and coral reefs, are among the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, and certainly one of the best snorkeling areas in Southeast Asia. In the crystal-clear waters of these paradisiacal islands, turtle-watching is the star attraction! Two species, the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle, visit their reefs and seagrass beds.
The Tobago Cays are a group of 5 islets sheltered by a horseshoe-shaped coral reef located in the Grenadines archipelago. Their white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters make them one of the most enjoyable ports of call in the Caribbean. As they are protected by a Marine Park, the Tobago Cays also are a paradise for snorkelers. They are especially notorious for the green sea turtles that gather in large numbers right under the water surface.
In Hawaii, the turtles have their own town! On the southwest coast of the island of Maui, Turtle Town is visited by large numbers of green sea turtles. They come for a rest in this calm area, sheltered by volcanic rocks. Great sights guaranteed!
Sea turtles can be seen in almost every spot around Maui. For alternative location, you might try your luck at Kapalua Bay or Ahihi Kinau, for example.
Lady Elliot Island has everything snorkelers could wish for: a pristine sea, nice shallow coral reefs with an amazing variety of fish, and a huge population of placid green sea turtles. If you visit the Great Barrier Reef, some other islands of the inner reef, such as Green Island and Fitzroy Island, are also great options.
Small Amédée Island, known for its lighthouse built in 1865, is one of the iconic landscapes of New Caledonia. If it hosts beautiful coral reefs with crystal-clear waters, the islet is better known for being the best spot of the territory, and one of the best in the South Pacific, for swimming with green sea turtles. Many of them are found in the seagrass meadows that stretch out in front of the beach.
Abu Dabbab, located near Marsa Alam, is one of the most renowned snorkeling spots of Egypt and the Red Sea. Facing a beautiful sandy beach, the bay hosts extensive seagrass beds and healthy coral reefs where snorkelers can easily spot green sea turtles, stingrays, hundreds of colorful reef fish, and even dugongs.
N’Gouja, to the south of the island of Mayotte, is an exceptional location for swimming with green sea turtles. Many of them are found around its extensive seagrass beds, and they have long been used to human presence. When you enter the water, it won’t be long before you come across them, sometimes just a few meters from the shore.
Denis Island is a natural sanctuary, planted with coconut, takamaka and casuarina trees, and fringed by white sand beaches. Surrounded by pristine waters and vibrant coral reefs, where hawksbill sea turtles and green sea turtles abound, it will bring you wonderful snorkeling adventures.
Seychelles is one of the best snorkeling destinations to spot hawksbill sea turtles. If you are not visiting remote and exclusive Denis Island, head to La Digue, where they can be seen all around the island.
At Anse Dufour, swimming with green sea turtles is something anyone can enjoy! Dozens come every day to graze on the grassy seabed, just steps from the beach. Anse Noire, just a few hundred meters east of Anse Dufour, is also a great option for sea turtles watching in Martinique.
For snorkelers, one of the best areas to target for encounters with sea turtles in Japan is Ama Beach, on the island of Zamami. Even a few meters from the beach, turtle watching is especially good all year, but be sure to get there at high tide.
With its seagrass beds visited by sea turtles, the small North Pandan Island is a favorite snorkeling location around Mindoro. Even if you are not staying at the Pandan Island Resort, you can enjoy the island’s underwater life for the day, with boat trips from Sablayan.
Akumal Bay used to be much upper in this top12 of the best snorkeling spots to spot sea turtles. But a few years ago, very restrictive rules for turtle watching have been decided in the reserve and the experience is now much less exciting. Nevertheless, Akumal remains a fantastic location to spot green sea turtles, which are found in abundance over the bay’s shallow seagrass beds.
This top12 has been selected only from the +380 locations already on our map. If you know a snorkeling spot that is not yet on the map, send us your report and it may be selected to appear on this page!
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