Turtles are among the most emblematic sea creatures. There are 7 species of sea turtles in the world, three of which can be easily observed by snorkelers: the green sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, and to a lesser extent the loggerhead sea turtle.
These three species are living in the warm and temperate seas of the planet. Sea turtles are mainly found on seagrass beds or on coral reefs, including at shallow depths.
The green sea turtle is the most common turtle species. It mainly feeds on shallow seagrass beds, which makes it easy to spot when snorkeling. At some specific spots in the Caribbean (for example in Mexico, Saint Vincent, Martinique, Bonaire…), Indonesia, Australia, or New Caledonia, green sea turtle sightings are almost guaranteed.
Large green sea turtle subpopulations are also found in Hawaii (where their local name is “honu”) and the Galápagos Islands, where they are easy to spot.
Seychelles is one of the best places in the world to swim with hawksbill sea turtles, which can be identified by their beak-shaped mouths. They are also common at reefs in the Maldives and in Indonesia, and are back in Reunion Island‘s shallow lagoons for a few years.
The rarer loggerhead sea turtle is the most commonly spotted species in the Mediterranean (especially in Greece and Cyprus) and is occasionally seen in some Caribbean locations.
Green sea turtle
Galápagos green turtle
Chelonia mydas agassizii
Hawksbill sea turtle
Loggerhead sea turtle
Check out our top12 snorkeling spots to swim with sea turtles!
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