Welcome to my ultimate guide on where to see sea turtles in the Bahamas!
If you’re looking for the best place to spot these majestic sea creatures out in the wild, look no further.
I’m pretty obsessed with turtles so when I visited the Bahamas recently, I really wanted to see as many as possible.
From my own experience, the best place to see turtles in the Bahamas is at Green Cay on Rose Island (close to Nassau) as they have a huge population of sea turtles.
As Rose Island sits just off the coast of Nassau, you’ll need to join a snorkeling tour to get there.
You’ll also be able to see the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas on Rose Island!
In the rest of this article, I’ll explain all of the other locations where you can see turtles in the Bahamas as well as some handy tips that will drastically increase your chances of seeing them.
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Best Places To See Sea Turtles In The Bahamas
There’s many locations across the Bahamas where you can swim and snorkel with sea turtles.
These beautiful creatures are really friendly and, surprisingly, they’re easy to find if you know where to look.
❌ Pro Tip: It’s important to note that you should never touch the sea turtles in the Bahamas. They are wild and protected animals and deserve to be respected.
If you really want to swim with a sea turtle in the Bahamas, head over to one of the places listed below…
1. Rose Island, near Nassau
Hands down, the best place to see sea turtles in the Bahamas is on Rose Island which is a 7-mile long private island, just off the coast of Nassau.
This tropical island paradise is famous for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and vibrant marine life including sea turtles and swimming pigs!
The best way to see the turtles for yourself is by booking onto a Rose Island snorkeling tour which will take you over to Rose Island from Nassau. This is what I did and I really enjoyed it.
On this Rose Island excursion, you’ll get to:
- Swim & snorkel with sea turtles
- See the famous swimming pigs
- Relax on a private beach
- Transport to and from Nassau
You can also book onto private tour of Rose Island just for your group if you’d prefer. This includes swimming with turtles and relaxing on the island all day with your private tour guide.
You’ll find lots of small coves and private beaches on the island – it’s a true paradise!
Green Cay specifically is the best place on Rose Island to see turtles, I was surprised to see at least 6 or 7 all within the space of 5 minutes when I visited!
- Rose Island Snorkeling Excursion (includes transport)
Check out the video below to see a sea turtle found swimming by Rose Island:
2. Deadman’s Reef, Paradise Cove
Deadman’s Reef is situated just off the coast of Grand Bahama Island in Paradise Cove. It’s just a 30 minute drive from Freeport.
Deadman’s Reef is one of the best snorkeling spots in the Bahamas because it’s coral reef is teeming with aquatic life including sea turtles, tropical fish, dolphins and more.
The water here is crystal clear and also not too deep so it’s perfect for all levels of swimmers.
The best way to visit Deadman’s Reef is by joining a snorkeling tour as it can be difficult to get to on your own.
Your expert guide will show you all of the best spots so you can get the most out of your time and get to swim with as many turtles as possible.
When I visited, I saw at least 5 sea turtles swimming around, munching on seagrass. It was pretty magical to say the least.
- Snorkeling Tour to Deadman’s Reef (includes transport from Freeport)
You can see some of the turtles of Deadman’s Reef in the video below:
3. Green Turtle Cay, Great Abaco Island
Green Turtle Cay is a small barrier island that is located just off of Great Abaco Island.
Yes, Green Turtle Cay is a different place to Green Cay.
It is well known for its stunning white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and the abundance of sea turtles that can be found there!
The main turtle hangout on Green Turtle Cay is at Coco Bay. Here you can go snorkeling and swim right alongside the sea turtles and really feel like you’re one of them.
Depending on where you’re staying it can be difficult to get to Green Turtle Cay by yourself. There’s plenty of snorkeling tours that will take you over there.
For the ultimate luxury experience, you can book a private boat tour where just you and your group will be taken over to the island to swim with the turtles!
This is great as the private boat tour guides really know their stuff and can take you to the best spots.
If you want to stay on the island, the best place to stay is at Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina which is located on a private harbor of Green Turtle Cay.
Check out the video below to see a turtle swimming around at Green Turtle Cay:
Did you know you can also see flamingos in the Bahamas?
4. Cable Beach, Nassau
I found that the best place in Nassau to see sea turtles is at Cable Beach. This is an ideal choice if you’re staying in Nassau and don’t want to bother getting on a boat and traveling to another island.
Whilst there’s not as many turtles here as on Rose Island, you’ll still have a tough time not seeing at least a few!
I saw two turtles when I visited Cable Beach and this was after snorkeling around for about an hour. I also saw a starfish and tons of tropical fish.
Cable Beach is known for its white sandy beaches, vibrant blue ocean and it’s abundance of sea life.
At Cable Beach you can regularly see sea turtles, starfish, stingrays, various tropical fish and more.
One of the most popular ways to see the turtles at Cable Beach is by renting a glass bottom kayak! This is a super fun activity and allows you to get really close to the sea turtles.
The water here is crystal clear so it’s easy to spot the sea turtles whether you’re in the water or by the shore. This is what I did and I really enjoyed it!
5. Hooper’s Bay, Exuma
The best place to see sea turtles in Exuma is at Hooper’s Bay.
On this white sandy beach, sea turtles can often be seen swimming in the shallow, turquoise water.
This beach doesn’t get very crowded so it’s an ideal spot to just sit and watch the turtles from the beach or you can swim alongside them in the water.
My favorite thing about Hooper’s Bay is that it’s super quiet, in fact, you’ll sometimes be the only people on the beach!
If you sit on the beach you’ll often find that a turtle will swim up to the shore and come right up to you!
The turtles at Hooper’s Bay are super friendly so don’t be afraid if one approaches you.
You can see some of the sea turtles of Hooper’s Bay in the video below:
Wondering how to get to Exuma from Nassau? My up-to-date guide details exactly how.
6. Conception Island National Park
Another great place in the Bahamas where you can see sea turtles is at Conception Island National Park.
The Conception Island National Park is a protected area that sits on it’s own island, Conception Island. The island is located between Cat Island and Rum Cay.
Here you’ll find pink sandy beaches, mangroves and vegetation making it a great place to see sea turtles, sea birds and more.
Conception island is often regarded as one of the most beautiful in the Bahamas. It is an uninhabited island and rarely visited by tourists so it’s very natural and undisturbed.
I found several green turtles foraging in Conception Creek, just off the southwestern shore of the island, and in the northern bay.
You can rent a kayak to explore the Conception Creek area which is what I did. I love renting kayaks where possible as it’s great to be able to get out and explore on your own.
There’s lots of other marine life present on the island too including sharks, tropical fish, birds and more.
You can see some of the sea turtles found on Conception Island in the video below:
7. Manjack Cay, Great Abaco Island
Another great place to see sea turtles in the Bahamas is at Manjack Cay (also known as Nunjack Cay).
This small, secluded island is located just north of Green Turtle Cay. It lies just off the coast of Great Abaco Island.
To see turtles, head to the mangroves that surround the island. Here you’ll find an abundance of sea life including sea turtles, tropical fish and nurse sharks.
This island is uninhabited and less busy than other islands such as Green Turtle Cay which often gets super busy. It’s the perfect place to snorkel with sea turtles and get lost in nature.
As the island isn’t busy, you’ll likely be able to snorkel with the turtles all by yourself!
Check out the video below to see the sea turtles of Manjack Cay:
8. Winding Bay, Eleuthera
A great place where you can see sea turtles in Eleuthera is at Winding Bay.
Winding Bay is situated on the eastern side of South Eleuthera. It’s a stunning, secluded white sandy beach with excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities.
You can spot turtles here whilst walking on the beach, swimming or snorkeling. As the water here is crystal clear, it is easy to see them.
You’ll usually find the turtles bobbing up and down in the seagrass by the shore.
There’s plenty of other marine life present at Winding Bay including sharks, barracudas and stingrays!
This island is less touristy than other islands in the Bahamas so you’ll often have the bay to yourself!
9. Pumpkin Patch, Nassau
A great place to go scuba diving with sea turtles is at the Pumpkin Patch dive site in Nassau.
This salt water dive site is a scuba divers paradise with its extensive coral reef. You’ll often see sea turtles, reef sharks, rays, tropical fish and much more.
This beautiful coral reef spans a large area and can be found just off the coast of southwestern New Providence.
This dive site is suitable for both novice and advanced divers.
Check out the video below which shows a sea turtle found at the Pumpkin Patch dive site:
10. Nari Nari, near Nassau
Another great place in the Bahamas where you can see sea turtles is Nari Nari.
Nari Nari is a dive site located on the western tip of New Providence island.
Nari Nari is a great place for snorkeling due to it’s shallow reef. Here you’ll find lots of marine life including sea turtles, fish and stingrays.
I saw so much vibrant marine life when I went snorkeling here, I felt very lucky to be seeing it all with my own eyes.
This area also features an aircraft wreck which was actually deliberately sunk for the movie Jaws IV. You’ll also find underwater statues here too.
This area is popular with snorkelers and scuba divers.
11. Edwin’s Turtle Lake, Eleuthera
Another great place in the Bahamas where you can often see sea turtles is at Edwin’s Turtle Lake on the island of Eleuthera.
Edwin’s Turtle Lake is a marine reserve taken care of by the Burrows family.
It’s a 43-acre saltwater lake home to green sea turtles and a range of bird & fish species.
There’s plenty of fun ways to explore the lake including stand-up paddle boarding and canoe rentals.
You do need to make a reservation in order to explore the lake.
Reservations can be made by phone or email. This information is available on the Edwin’s Turtle Lake website.
Note: The owners do state that they can’t guarantee that you will see turtles here on every visit and some guests do leave without seeing them.
It’s a beautiful lake, but not the most reliable place to see turtles in the Bahamas.
And that’s it!
I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the best places to see sea turtles in the Bahamas and gained a deeper appreciation for these amazing creatures.
Whether you’re an avid turtle enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, the Bahamas is definitely the perfect destination for turtle watching.