The Best Dive Spots to Swim with Sea Turtles
It’s no surprise that divers and wildlife enthusiasts are often one and the same. Part of the thrill of diving is being able to view some of the Earth’s more unusual inhabitants up close. Whether it’s to see large marine mammals or unique coral species, exploring the ocean opens up a whole new world. Sea turtles are often one of the creatures divers are looking out for. If turtles are on your dive checklist, these destinations are the best spots to stop.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are the only home to the Galapagos green sea turtle, making it an unusual experience all its own. This unique subspecies is recognizable by its serrated lower jaw and scales that cover its eyes. Nesting season is December through March, but these turtles can be seen cruising through tropical waters all year long.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, making it an ideal dive location for thousands of different creatures. But with six different species of sea turtles and more than 30 thousand nesting females, you’re bound to get a close view you’ll never forget.
Famous for their stunning white sand and turquoise lagoons, the Maldives include 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. Hawksbill sea turtles are abundant among them, and olive ridley and green sea turtles can sometimes be seen there as well. This location is also a great choice for beginning divers or young explorers since the turtles can also be seen in shallow waters.
Hawaii, United States
Comprised of hundreds of islands scattered in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is home to five of the seven species of sea turtles. Because turtles are protected from harassment by law, they can regularly be seen swimming in shallow waters off the coast and sunbathing in the sand.
Marsa Alam, Egypt
Off the eastern coast of Egypt is Abu Dabbab Bay, where countless diving opportunities await in the Red Sea. Characterized by white sandy beaches and colorful, vibrant wildlife, the year-round warm waters and shallow-water green turtle viewings make this spot a diver’s paradise.
Akumal, Mexico is nestled between Playa del Carmen and Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula. The location lives up to its name, which literally translates to “place of the sea turtle” in Mayan. Spanning the shallow ocean bottom is a floor of grass that draws in turtles for feeding, making it another great spot to swim with turtles in shallow waters.
Credit: Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky, Braden Jarvis on Unsplash