‘Take a walk with a turtle and behold the world in pause.’ Bruce Feiler
The symbol of wisdom, longevity and good health; there is a lot to admire in the turtle. We are huge lovers of these peaceful animals here at BIRD HQ, and are always on the hunt for the best place to spot one. The elusive creatures have, however, retained a relatively under-cover status on the marine-life spotting stage, and opportunities to glimpse them in the flesh are now dwindling rapidly. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the 5 best places to spot them around the globe, from the Maldives to Mexico.
1. The Maldives
Last month’s turtle hatching at Gili Lankanfushi means that there has never been a better time to head to the Maldivian islands if you are on the quest for turtles. The resort’s rigorous approach to conservation and expertise in marine biology also means that you can explore a dedicated marine biology Wet Lab, where you will learn how visiting scientists have been identifying the turtles for research.
2. Trinidad and Tobago
Thanks to Len Peters, a turtle conservationist and chairman of the ‘Grande Riviere Nature Tour Guide Association’, Trinidad and Tobago is now home to one of the densest leatherback nesting beaches in the world. Peters worked hard in local communities to implement regular beach patrols, and his work has now protected over 20,000 turtle nests ever year.
The Song Saa Foundation in Cambodia is a collective that works tirelessly to protect its country’s ocean habitats and marine life. Besides developing coral nurseries along Cambodia’s coastline, the foundation has a prolific sea turtle conservation programme, meaning that you can turtle-spot with the assurance that you are doing so in a responsible, eco-conscious environment.
Mexico’s Akumal Bay has long been renowned as one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with turtles. A twenty-minute coastal drive north of Tulum, this hallowed pocket of marine life offers everything from guided turtle spotting tours to free snorkelling; where you can swim alongside these majestic beings and behold their true grace in the silence of the water.
5. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is bursting with an abundance of wildlife; from leopards, sloths and bears to whales, dolphins and an impressive five different species of sea turtles. Cape Weligama’s seafront location on Sri Lanka’s southern coastline makes it the perfect turtle-spotting stop-over, and the resort’s offering of sustainable ocean safaris means that you won’t be harming the environment whilst on the look-out.