- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Swim with Sea Turtles
Five great places to swim with sea turtles.
The beautiful snorkel site of Turtle Town on the island of Maui is located on the south coast of the island and is a sanctuary for the Hawaiian green sea turtle. The unique series of underwater lava formations developed long ago by the eruptions of submarine volcanoes is a stunning site. Green sea turtles can be found in abundance as they roam the coral reefs networking with a wide variety of colourful tropical marine life.
Barbados is home to the hawksbill and leatherback turtles. These curious creatures were once endangered by over-fishing but are now protected and monitored throughout the island. Fishermen work hard to look after these hard-shelled reptiles, feeding them and making sure their nests are safe from harm. Some fishermen even take on a beautician role, scraping barnacles off their backs. The best way to guarantee a sighting is by embarking on a boat ride or scuba dive.
At the Cook Island Marine Reserve, located on the Gold Coast in the south east of Queensland, visitors can see a variety of tropical fish species including clown fish, damsel fish, angel fish, the occasional manta rays and, of course, the resident green sea turtles. Cook Island Marine Reserve is a small protected island with an abundance of soft and hard coral gardens, making it a perfect sanctuary for marine life. Green sea turtles can be spotted all year round.
Akumal means ‘place of the turtles’ in the Mayan language, and this small beach town certainly lives up to its name. Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the small town is considered a place that offers tropical therapy for the soul. During the months of May and October, green sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand, and once the babies have hatched they make their way to the sea. Snorkelers are likely to spot turtles casually grazing on the ocean floor or gliding up to the surface flapping their flippers, before diving down again.
Greece is the only country in Europe where the loggerhead turtles nest, and the island of Zante is considered the most important nesting area in the Mediterranean. The nearby national marine park aims to preserve the natural environment and allow the turtles to come back each year and nest in safety. If you visit Zante in the summer months, you may get the chance to see the loggerhead turtles swimming off Laganas Beach.