Do you dream of scuba diving with sea turtles? If so, these seven dive destinations are home to one of the ocean’s oldest sea creatures, the turtle. Explore reefs and the sea turtle’s home at these top turtle-friendly destinations below.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most majestic wonders. The Great Barrier Reef is a breeding ground for six of the seven existing species of sea turtles. Spotting a sea turtle on the reef is likely even when snorkeling. When diving, you can spot turtles “hanging out” in reefs or hunting for food. During certain times of the year, you may see the mother turtle lay her eggs.
Akumal, which translates to, “the place of turtles,” is home to plenty of green sea and loggerhead turtles feeding off the ocean grass as close as fifty feet from the shore. You can dive or snorkel to spot turtles swimming throughout the local sea grass. The local guides are serious about the turtle’s preservation and prohibit any touching or chasing the turtles.
The island of Sipaden is a perfect destination to dive with sea turtles. The entire region is ranked as one of the best spots in the world, and Sipaden is a protected sea turtle nesting site. It is likely to spot up to 20 or more sea turtles in one dive.
Cozumel has long been known as a sea turtle sanctuary. It is also the nesting grounds for the loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtle. Many divers claim they spot sea turtles on every dive, and recommend Cozumel for the certainty.
Molokini Crater, Hawaii
Located off the coast of Maui is this volcanic atoll that is an aquatic mammal paradise. Besides sea turtles, locals get a chance to see dolphins, sharks, eels, rays, fish and plenty of sea birds diving into the ocean. Scuba or snuba your way around the crater to encounter face-to-face interactions with the most tropical marine life in the ocean. Maui is also known for its spectacular whale watching, and divers have encountered humpback whales swimming through the crater and alongside the Maui shoreline.
The Barbados is home to the hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. Local community members and fisherman have put forth preservation acts to increase the turtle’s population. Scenic tours offer snorkel and dive trips with the turtles. It is important to not touch the turtles when swimming even if local advertisements show travelers touching the turtle. Human skin oil and suntan lotion can harm a sea turtle’s skin.
With a lack of predators, the hawksbill sea turtle is visible from shorelines. Dive trips offer plenty of opportunities to spot turtles swimming through reefs. The Cayman Islands is one of the safest places to watch sea turtles in and out of the ocean.