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15 Best Beaches Known For Turtle Watching Around the World

15 Best Beaches Known For Turtle Watching Around the World

If you’re one of many naturalists hoping to spot turtles this year, you’re probably curious about where these marine creatures thrive. Here are some of the best spots to watch turtles around the world:

Ras Al Jinz, Oman

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Tiny baby hatchlings make their way to the shore at Ras Al Jinz, where they’ll slide into the ocean after spending a few months resting in the sand. Depending on when you visit, you might even catch older green sea turtles burrowing in the sand to lay their eggs. The peak turtle season typically goes from May through September, but it’s better to visit at the end of the season because of Oman’s intense summer months.

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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Situated on the northeast Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is a sanctuary for green turtles, which nest along its beaches from July to October. This marks the peak season when tourists flock from all over the world to get a glimpse. The park is also a nesting spot for leatherbacks, loggerheads, and hawksbill turtles. The park offers guided tours to ensure the safety of these turtles, which remain endangered due to high demand.

Treasure Beach, Jamaica

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Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s southwest coast is a sanctuary for loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, perfect for nature-conscious beachgoers. The beach welcomes these majestic marine creatures throughout April and June when the tide is high enough to nudge the turtles toward the sands. The turtles lay eggs on the beach, and tourists can watch them from afar.

Florida Keys, U.S.

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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a delight for more than just snorkeling and swimming; the string of islands invites loggerheads, leatherback, and green turtles, all ready to nest. Most female turtles emerge at night, searching for the perfect spot, and get to work. Carefully digging the ground, she creates the ideal home, where she’ll spend the rest of the weeks during April through October, carefully laying her eggs and watching over her babies.

Cape Verde

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You’ll find plenty of opportunities to turtle watch in Cape Verde; most of its coastline welcomes these marine creatures, but you’ll have the highest luck with Boa Vista, Maio, Santiago, and Sal. Here, loggerhead turtles make themselves home, with nesting season lasting from July to October. Visiting from August to September will do the trick for those hoping to see hatchlings rush to the sea.

Kuredu Island, Maldives

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Serving as one of the largest green sea turtle communities and home to almost half of the atoll’s turtle species, Kuredu Island is the best place for turtle watching. Here, tourists don’t have to stick to the beach to get a glimpse of sea turtles; a simple snorkel and dive tour is enough for that. The best time to visit Kuredu Island to spot turtles is between May and October, but those hoping to escape the heat can see them in the later months.

Borneo

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There are quite a few spots for turtle watching on this island, but you’ll have the best luck closest to its northern Malaysian neighbor, Sabah. The Turtle Island Park in Sabah hosts hundreds of endangered green sea turtles and hawksbill and even has a turtle hatchery. Amazingly, Borneo is one of the few places where turtles frequent daily, so you can catch them nesting or hatching anytime. Still, peak tourist season is between July to October.

Queensland, Australia

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Head to Queensland, and you’ll find hundreds of sea turtles swarming the area. Thanks to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is one of the few areas where loggerheads, hawksbill, green, and even flatback sea turtles visit. Some of its famous turtle-watching spots are Heron Island, Lady Musgrave, and Mon Repos. The best time to visit is from November through March when most of these turtles emerge from their burrowed homes and head to the sea.

Greece

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Dedicated to turtle conservation, Kalamaki Beach on Zakynthos Island is an excellent spot for turtle watching, especially from May to August. Here, tourists can enjoy a rare glimpse into nature: loggerhead turtles being born and making their first steps toward the shore. The beach is closed at night to protect these species when these turtles lay their eggs and cover them with sand. In 2023, a second nesting site was recorded in Crete Island.

Sri Lanka

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Hosting hawksbill and green sea turtles, the Sri Lankan beach of Rekawa and the town of Kosgoda welcome tourists during nesting season, which falls in April, May, and July. Tourists can observe small groups of turtles approach the sand and pick out the safest spots to lay their eggs. The Sri Lanka Turtle Conservation Program shows all turtle watching locations.

Sao Tome and Principe

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Hawksbill, Green Sea turtles, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley, settle on multiple beaches in the country, coming to lay their eggs at night. Because of their unique diversity, these turtles can be seen laying eggs from November through February, where burrowed sand serves as ideal incubators. If you plan your trip perfectly, you can spot their nesting behavior in the last weeks of February and be lucky enough to see them hatch a few weeks later in March.

Tobago

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An Island in Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago welcomes giant leatherback turtles as high tides bring them to the shore, where they spend the months of March and September to lay their eggs. The best places to see turtles in Tobago are Grafton Bay, Turtle Beach, and Stone Haven Bay. Tourists can enjoy night tours guided by local conservationists to see these majestic creatures in full action without disrupting their habitat.

Turtle Islands, the Philippines

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A small municipality in Tawi Tawi, Philippines, Turtle Islands is a paradise for green sea turtles nesting along its six major beaches as well as on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage. Some of them even host Hawksbill turtles. The peak season falls from April to October when conservationists host guided night watch tours to help tourists observe these endangered turtles cautiously. All conservation attempts are carefully made to ensure these turtles’ safety.

Alagadi Beach, Cyprus

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More than 3000 turtles march to Alagadi beach in north Cyprus every year. Multiple turtle conservation sites are set up here to facilitate tourists who want to observe various turtle species without disrupting their habitat. Nesting season starts in late May and lasts just a month until late July, but on surrounding beaches, tourists might even find the process lasting as late as August.

Dalyan, Turkey

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Located inward on the southwest coast of Turkey, Dalyan is a famous breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, but it also occasionally welcomes others. The loggerhead turtles have been visiting Dalyan for decades, so the Turkish government and international conservation organizations closely monitor the area and close the beaches at night. During peak nesting season, from May to October, tourists can visit the beaches if they go on guided tours or head over after 8 AM.

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Travel Writer | Website

Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.