What’s the Best Way to See Wild Turtles Up-Close?

wild turtles

Almost every species of sea turtle is now considered endangered. 3 out of 7 species of sea turtles are critically endangered. That’s why seeing turtles in the wild is becoming less common.

All types of turtle spotting are difficult now. Even land-dwelling turtles and tortoises are at risk, too. The biggest problem for all turtle species is the loss of their natural habitats.

Wild turtles are still flourishing in some areas, though. So, you can still go turtle spotting if you know where, when, and how to look for them. Are you ready to get started?

Read on to learn some of our best tips and tricks for seeing turtles in their natural homes.

1. Know Where to Look

If you’re hoping to see some cute critters, then you need to know the best places to see turtles first. So, your first step is researching the species you’re hoping to spot in the wild.

Sea turtles are going to be a bit more difficult to see. Here are some of the areas where they frequent:

  • The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Turtle Islands in the Philippines and Malaysia
  • Tortuguero in Costa Rica
  • Laniakea Beach in Hawaii
  • Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

While these creatures are present in several oceans, you’ll have to get in the water to see them for the most part. Many opt to go on snorkeling tours for a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Many endangered land-dwelling turtles live in Madagascar and Southeast Asia. You can find different species of these critters on every continent, save Antarctica.

2. Know When to Look

Knowing where to look is only half the battle! You don’t want to disappoint yourself by heading out to turtle watch during the off-season.

Again, you’ll need to know what species and type of turtle you want to see. It’s also important to determine what you want to see them doing.

If you’re hoping to see a sea turtle nesting, for instance, then that happens at night. Often, nesting occurs between May and October.

If you’re hoping to see sea turtles in the ocean, then it’s best between 12-5 PM, when daylight is strongest. If you want to see land-turtles, then dusk might be best depending on the species.

3. Take Precautions

Finally, you need to know how to look for turtles without putting them at risk. Never attempt to touch or disturb wild animals.

Always use safety gear, like snorkels, and consider traveling in groups. After all, where wild turtles are, there are other wild animals, too!

Where to See Wild Turtles in 2022

Wild turtles are becoming a rarity. Land-dwelling turtles exist on almost every continent and sea turtles in every ocean. Despite that, they’re getting pushed into various tiny pockets to make way for humans.

That’s why you’ll have to take specific steps if you want to spot a turtle in the wild. You’ll need to know where, when, and how to look for them. Now that you know the basics, go out there and explore!

Are you looking for more travel advice for your next turtle-watching adventure? If so, then we’ve got you covered. Head over to our main travel section now to see more of our favorite articles.