Where Can I Swim With Sea Turtles? [15 Best Place List]

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Last year, I went to Maui, Hawaii, to snorkel with sea turtles. Trust me when I say this. Snorkeling is a divine feeling. If you are a turtle enthusiast and love adventure, swimming with sea turtles should be on your bucket list. 

You can swim with sea turtles in the following locations:

  • The Great Reef, Australia
  • Padan Island, Philippines
  • Maui, Hawai
  • Marsa Alam, Egypt
  • Barbados
  • Ansee Dofour, Martinique
  • Amedee Island, New Caledonia
  • Njouja beach, Mayotee
  • Ama Bay, Japan
  • Denis Island, Seychelles, etc.

Below, I have included details on the most popular spots for sea turtle diving. Besides the locations, you will get reliable tour operator addresses too.

Where Can I Swim With Sea Turtles? 10 Best Place List

6 of the 7 sea turtle species are found in the oceans around the world, except for the Atlantic and Arctic. Unfortunately, the weather and water conditions of these two oceans are not favorable for sea turtles.

On the other hand, flatback sea turtles mostly live on the shores and deep waters of Australia. You can check the native habitat of different sea turtle species from this article.

Of course, you can not just dive into any of those locations. So, here I have listed the best 10 spots to snorkel with the marine turtles,

1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The great barrier reef is the largest coral reef system, which is visible from space. According to the reports, this ecological system ranges about 344,400 kilometers and consists of 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands.

You can spot different sea turtle species in this Great Barrier Reef if you are lucky enough. 6 of the 7 marine turtle species are present in this reef water.

It includes green sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, Olive Ridley’s sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, and flatback sea turtles. However, the green sea turtles and the loggerhead sea turtles are more often seen in the Great Barrier reef than the leatherback or Olive Ridley sea turtles.

The Great Barrier Reef is a prime location for sea turtles because of the abundance of seagrass, seaweed, and algae. Many other marine animal species besides sea turtles live in this location.

Coastal areas of the great barrier reef are known as communal nesting spots for sea turtles. There are almost 18 nesting spots scattered around the islands and reefs. As per one statistic, about 60000 green sea turtles participate in nesting only on a tiny island of this reef.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Scuba IQ

Here, a team of professionals offers scuba diving courses and trips to all levels or enthusiasts. Moreover, the friendly instructor crews of Scuba IQ  will make your snorkeling experience more memorable.

ABC Snorkel

ABC Snorkel operator claims to be the no. 1 trip service provider in Port Douglas. Of course, the team offers a premium service to its guests. The company allows a limited number of members on any trip so that each member gets the freedom of roaming around the reef as much as he wants.

Mike Ball Dive Expedition

This tour operator is recognized and famous because of its world-class service. The guests can select a 4 – 5 days package of snorkeling, scuba diving, and other adventurous sports.

2. Gili Islands, Malaysia

Because of the abundance of marine life and crystal clear water, the Gili Islands are a haven for divers. In fact, some people claim that they have their best diving experiences on this Island.

The coral reefs and water condition of the Gili Islands have made this place a suitable habitat for the Green sea turtles and Hawksbill sea turtles. While staying on this Island, you can definitely try swimming with these majestic creatures.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Blue Marlin Dive

Blue Marlin Dive is the best in the industry regarding safety and service. The tour operator is an international chain with diving institutes in many countries. You can take the popular diving courses or enjoy the temporary snorkeling around the Island.

Gili Island Divers

The Gili Island Divers have 3 branches on all the 3 islands. You can book a customized scuba diving or snorkeling package from this operator to get a lifetime experience underwater. The company also offers diving courses to beginners and makes them pro-divers.

3. Ari Atoll, Maldives

Ari Atoll, located west of the archipelago, is one of the famous atolls of Maldives. While the white sandy beach and the blue ocean are a treat to the eyes, spotting dolphins, starfish, and sea turtles now and then is a bonus.

You will find all 6 among the 7 sea turtle species in this part of the Indian ocean. For example, Olive Ridley’s sea turtle, green sea turtle, Hawksbill sea turtle, etc. January to April is the best time to visit this atoll of Maldives.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Rashdhoo Scuba Divers

Of course, you do not want to miss the spectacular marine life and vibrant reefs of the Ari Atoll during your stay. The experienced team of Rashdoo scuba divers offers the guests a fun diving experience in Kuramathi. During snorkeling, guests can swim with dolphins, sea turtles, and marine fish.

Dive Blue Maldives

DBM is committed to serving its guests the best diving experience. The company has hired experienced instructors considering the safety of the guests. You can book 5-star resorts and other water activities via DBM Ltd.

Miyaru Divers Maldives

Miyaru Divers is a registered diving company in the Maldives. Though comparatively new in the business, the Miyaru divers have gained the trust of the customers with professional service. This operator only provides service in the Bodufolhudo, North Ari Atoll.

4. Galapagos Island of Ecuador

Well, Galapagos island is already famous for the Giant tortoise, blue iguanas, and some other endemic species. But turtle lovers from all over the world visit this place to snorkel with the Galapagos green sea turtles. This marine turtle subspecies of the green sea turtles are only spotted in a few places other than this Galapagos island.

Galapagos green sea turtles are seen in almost every portion of the Island. The best part is that you will notice them throughout the year. But the best time to snorkel with the Galapagos green sea turtle is December to March.

These green sea turtle subspecies breed and nest during February, March, and April in different islands of the area. So you can spot marine turtles more easily. But yes, you should not disturb these creatures while nesting.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Scuba Iguana

Scuba Iguana has been serving since 1995 and is one of the leading trip operators on the Galapagos island. The provider offers day trips, diving tour packages, courses, etc. Besides, the guests can request a customized package as per their plans.

Galapagos Underwater

Galapagos underwater is a popular trip operator in the locality. The provider often shares glimpses of its scuba diving courses and experiences on the official Facebook page. In addition, you can simply book the service over the phone.

5. Sipadan, Malaysia

Sipadan Island is the only oceanic Island in Malaysia that is famous for being the habitat of sea turtles. You can mainly spot two different marine turtle species here. Such as green sea turtles and hawksbill sea turtles.

Besides, this Island is a nesting heaven for these marine turtles. The warm tropical temperature and the abundance of food have made the Sipadan island perfect for sea turtles.

As a turtle lover from Asia, you do not have to travel through the globe to swim with sea turtles. Instead, this Island of Malaysia is enough to offer you a lifetime experience. Moreover, you will encounter many other marine animals besides sea turtles while snorkeling. Furthermore, select any time from April to November for this vacation so that you get the best out of the diving.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Scuba Junkie

The operator has designed each trip considering the safety and entertainment of the guests. With Scuba Junkie, you will get plenty of time in the water to swim with sea turtles and other marine species. Besides, this provider allows snorkeling in 3 different spots to offer you the best diving experience.

Sipadan Water Village Resort

Why not enjoy your vacation in a traditional palm-thatched house amid the sea? Yes, the Sipadan water village resort offers you exactly the same. On top of that, the resort allows diving and snorkeling with sea turtles and other marine species.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

Borneo Divers resort is on the sandy beach of Mabul island. The resort allows the guests unlimited access to the divine ocean 24/7. Besides offering traditional hotel facilities, this resort has packages for diving, snorkeling, boat trips, etc.

6. Marsa Alam, Egypt

You can not imagine the beauty the red sea of Egypt beholds. The sandy beaches and coral reefs on this side of Egyp allow visitors to encounter sea turtles and different fish species during their stay.

The best part is you do not have to travel far from the beach to spot sea turtles. Instead, you will often notice these marine turtles sunbathing or swimming from the beach.

Among the 7 species, green sea turtles and Hawksbill sea turtles are most observed in Marsa Alam. In addition, June to September is the perfect time to visit this place.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Coraya Divers

Coraya Divers have been awarded and recognized for their fine services multiple times. So, you can not expect anything but a world-class amenity from this tour provider.

From house reef diving to boat diving, this company will put all its effort into making your underwater time enjoyable. Again, when it comes to safety and guidance, the Coraya Divers has a team of experts to tackle any situation.

Diving Marsa Alam

If you want a reasonable deal on your water adventures, Diving Marsa Alam may be just the operator you need. The company offers heavy discounts on each package without compromising safety or fun. Also, you will get different types of deals on diving and snorkeling from this operator.

7. Maui Island, Hawaii

Maui Island in Hawaii is heaven for turtle lovers. This Island is the home of 5 different marine turtle species, including green sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, Olive Ridley’s sea turtles, and Hawksbill sea turtles. But this area is more popular for the local Hawaii green sea turtles or Honu.

Some people consider April to October to be the best months to visit Maui Island. But here, you can swim with sea turtles any time of the year. You will often notice these marine turtles sunbathing on the beach during your vacation.

In Maui, you can enjoy your time with sea turtles in different ways. For example, some people watch these majestic creatures from a distance with binoculars or from a boat.

Again, many guests prefer swimming with the sea turtles and taking a deep dive into the pan pacific. You may spot whales and other marine creatures besides the Honus during your snorkeling hours.

Though sea turtles can be spotted from almost any place on Maui Island, some areas offer a better view. For example, the turtle town or Maluaka beach, Honolua Bay, Black Rock beach, Hookipa beach, Olowalu reef, Ulua beach, Island of Lanai, coral garden, five caves, Wailea and Kihei, etc.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Maui Snorkel Charters

The Maui Snorkel Charters, a family-owned business puts every effort into making your snorkeling experience worth it. You can customize your diving trip and select the spots. All you need is a towel and a swimming suit, and this operator will arrange the rest.

Pride of Maui

Pride of Maui promises you the best snorkeling and cruise experience during your stay at Maui. The operator has a team of professional instructors and crews, offering the guest a world-class amenity.

Maui Snorkel Tours

Maui Snorkel Tours has been in the business for more than 30 years. So, all the crew members have years of experience, and they know every corner of the locality. Besides, their heartwarming welcome and instruction make snorkeling effortless, even for the children.

8. Akumal Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

For turtle lovers, the highlight of their Mexico trip is encountering a sea turtle. If that is the case, the Akumal Playa Del Carmen will not disappoint you.

You will definitely spot a sea turtle, even when you are mindlessly swimming in the sea. Yes, it is that predictable here in Akumal Playa Del Carmen. On top of that, you can enjoy a turtle night watch as a bonus.

May to August is the best time to snorkel with sea turtles in this location. The most spotted turtle species in Akumal Playa Del Carmen are green sea turtles, Hawksbill sea turtles, and loggerhead sea turtles.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Total Snorkel Cancun

This tour operator offers different types of snorkeling packages in Cancun. For example, snorkeling for non-swimmers, diving into underwater reefs, snorkeling in moonlight, etc. Besides, you can book many more water activities and adventures with this trip adviser.

Dressel Divers

If you are about to snorkel in Cozumel, Dressel divers can just be the operator you need. This trip planner will take you to the site with their spacious boats and direct you throughout the diving process. An experienced instructor is always present on the spot to assure your safety.

9. Cook Island Marine Reserve, Australia

Cook Island Marine Reserve is south of the Pan Pacific Ocean and is considered a sanctuary for marine life. So, of course, you will spot rare fish species in this water. But the Island is mainly famous for the green sea turtle colony. You will also find hawksbill sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles in this location.

You can come to the Cook Island Marine Reserve at any time of the year. The sea turtles are always swimming around in the reefs, soothing the eyes of the visitors. However, the experts recommend visiting this place between May to October.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Gold Coast Snorkel Tours

Gold Coast Snorkel Tours offers boat rides, snorkeling with marine life, and whale sightseeing. In addition, the operator has a team of diving experts who ensures guests a safe and comfortable trip.

Water Sports Guru

You can book your slots on Water Sports Guru to make your vacation on Gold Coast and Tweed Coast more adventurous. The company will provide everything necessary for snorkeling, from sunscreen to lifejacket. Besides, a guide will be present to back you up in anything.

10. Tobago Cays, Caribbean

The Tobago Cays will definitely offer you a lifetime experience in the underwater paradise. Moreover, the Tobago Cays are a sanctuary for marine life because of the geographical position and weather.

Besides fish and other sea creatures, you will spot different marine turtle species in the water of the Cays. January to June is considered the best time to visit the Tobago Cays for snorkeling with sea turtles.

Operators For Sea Turtle Snorkeling

Serenity Dive

Serenity Dive basically provides its service on St. Vincent Island in the eastern Caribbean. The operator ensures fun and safe diving for both adults and children.

Bequia Dive Adventure

Bequia Dive Adventure offers an excellent service that will make you fall in love with the Caribbean. This company has both local staff and experienced diving instructors. While the locals will make you feel at home, the experts will ensure a memorable underwater diving experience.

Other Places to Swim With Sea Turtles

1. Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica has quite the popularity among nature lovers. You can spot rare animal species and sea turtles in this location.

Green sea turtles, Hawksbill sea turtles, and leatherback sea turtles are often encountered in the water of the Tortuguero National Park. Besides, if you visit the location from July to December, you can witness the nesting and hatching of sea turtles.

2. La Flor Wildlife Refuge, Nicaragua

La Flor Wildlife Refuge is a community nesting spot for female sea turtles. So, you can observe thousands of gravid sea turtles coming to the beaches and building their nests for eggs. Though the local authority allows visitors, you should not disturb the nesting turtles at any cost.

3. Bunaken Marine Park, Indonesia

This is another place in Indonesia where you can spot sea turtles. Considering the increasing number of sea turtles and marine life populations, the Indonesian government has imposed extra protection in this location. Still, you can dive deep into the water to explore underwater life. 

4. Barbados

Barbados is a popular diving spot for all adventure lovers. You can explore marine life, including sea turtles, in the water here. Furthermore, there are several tour operators available who will make your snorkeling experience worth remembering.

5. Zante, Greece

The Mediterranean sea is filled with sea turtles. Here, the beach portion of Zentee, Greece, has an increased population of loggerhead sea turtles. So, while roaming around in boats or diving into the water, you will often encounter these turtles.

Conclusion  

You will find several locations around the globe where you can swim with sea turtles. However, diving and snorkeling spots are available in almost all continents and subcontinents. So, do not forget to book your trip in one of those locations if you are a turtle lover. Snorkeling with the majestic sea turtles will definitely be one of your most precious memories.

In any case, do not harm sea turtles or disturb them. Hurting or harassing these creatures is a third-degree felony in many countries.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.

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