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Where To See Turtles In Fiji – 2024 Guide

Welcome to the breathtaking island of Fiji where the turquoise waters are home to some of the most fascinating and ancient creatures on earth – sea turtles!

When I began planning my first trip to Fiji, the main thing I really wanted to do was swim with turtles!

Based on firsthand experience, the best place to see turtles in Fiji is on the small island of Tivua where you can witness these magnificent creatures up close and personal.

I’d recommend booking this day trip to Tivua as it includes a snorkeling with turtles experience, transport to and from the island and a glass-bottom boat experience.

In the rest of this article, I’ll also be revealing the exact locations where you can swim with turtles in Fiji and where you can see baby turtles hatching.

Where To See Turtles in Fiji

Turtles are an emblem of Fiji so seeing them in the flesh is something you just have to do if you’re visiting Fiji.

You’ll mostly find the turtles in the reefs which surround the smaller islands of Fiji (rather than the main Fiji island).

These small islands tend to operate as resorts where the whole island is covered by a single resort which you can stay at.

I’ve included these below but I’ve also included a several locations where you won’t have to book a stay at a resort to see the turtles.

Tivua

By far, the best place to see turtles in Fiji is on the small island of Tivua that lies just off the coast of Fiji.

Map showing the location of Tivua Island.

This coral cay is fringed with white sandy beaches and is surrounded by 500 acres of reef making it an ideal snorkeling spot.

Tivua is well-known for being one of the best places in the whole of Fiji for snorkeling and you have a ridiculously high chance of spotting turtles here.

In fact, I spotted about 3 turtles within minutes of getting into the ocean here and I got to watch them searching for food and gliding up to the surface for some air.

Turtle in Fiji

It was a magical experience seeing these beautiful creatures up close and personal.

I’d recommend joining this full-day tour to Tivua as it includes a glass-bottom boat experience, snorkeling with turtles and optional use of a canoe to explore the reefs.

This is the tour that I did when I went to Fiji and I absolutely loved it. It was really the highlight of my whole trip and made finding the turtles so easy.

This tour is extremely well-priced given all the activities and transport included and it has excellent reviews. It even includes unlimited beer & wine!

Check out the promo video below to see exactly what you can expect from the above tour:

Paradise Cove Resort

Another one of the best places to see turtles in Fiji is at the 5-star Paradise Cove Resort, which forms part of the Yasawa Islands.

The resort itself sits inside a beautiful cove on Naukacuvu Island and is surrounded by white sand and crystal clear ocean.

Whilst at the resort, you can go snorkeling around their healthy coral reef looking out for turtles, manta rays and more.

There’s also a range of fantastic dive sites located on the island. Whilst diving, not only will you see turtles, but you can also swim through caves and wrecks.

Check out the sort of sights you can expect when diving in Paradise Cove in the video below:

Mana Island Resort

Another place where you can swim with turtles in Fiji is at Mana Island Resort which sits on a small island to the west of Fiji.

This stunning resort is located close to a popular turtle nesting ground so it’s not uncommon to spot turtles gliding past. 

If you are super lucky, you may see turtles nesting or you might come across tiny hatchlings making their way down the beach towards the ocean for the very first time.

The hotel also works with local rescue groups who protect turtle nests and release baby turtles into the ocean.

Whilst there isn’t a turtle sanctuary in Fiji, the Mana Island Resort is the closest thing.

The best part is that you can often see turtles swimming offshore so it’s one of the best places to go swimming with turtles in Fiji.

If you don’t want to stay at the resort, you can also visit on a day trip from the main island to see and swim with the turtles.

Serenity Island

Another one of the best places in Fiji to snorkel with turtles is Serenity Island, a small island located just off Fiji’s western coast.

This secluded paradise features an extensive snorkeling site where you can see not only turtles but sometimes dolphins too.

I got the chance to visit this island as part of a snorkeling tour and really loved it. I saw several turtles and tons of other marine life.

Turtle Island

Another great place where you can see turtles in Fiji is at Turtle Island, which forms part of the Yasawa Islands to the northwest of the main Fiji island. 

Map of Turtle Island in Fiji.

This 500-acre private island, which functions as an all-inclusive resort, has an extensive turtle conservation program.

They rear the turtles and release them back into the ocean, working with WWF to tag the turtles and help conservation efforts.

If you happen to visit at the right time, the resort usually allows guests to watch as they release the turtles back into the ocean which is a super memorable experience.

This extremely exclusive resort is adults-only and only features 14 couples at a time so you really do feel like you’re on your own private island.

Whilst on Turtle Island you can enjoy a range of experiences including snorkeling with turtles, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, horseback riding or you can relax on one of 12 private beaches.

As I mentioned, there isn’t a turtle sanctuary in Fiji but this island serves as one in a way as the resort works with the local community to protect and conserve the turtles whilst still allowing them to be wild.

Take a look at the video below to see what visiting Turtle Island in Fiji is like:

Octopus Resort

Another great place to swim with turtles in Fiji is at the Octopus Resort on Waya Island.

Octopus Bay is set on a 1km long beach surrounding Likuliku Bay. Turtles can often be spotted swimming close to the shore at the bay.

This resort features some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the whole of Fiji so if you’ve come to see turtles, this is the place to be.

In fact, at this resort, you’ll have a hard time NOT spotting turtles. You can go snorkeling straight off the beach where you can expect to find turtles, fish, coral, squid and much more.

Beachcomber Island

Another place where you can see turtles in Fiji is at Beachcomber Island, an exclusive resort island located to the west of Fiji.

This island is made up of the Beachcomber Island Resort where you can stay but you can also visit the island for a day trip if you prefer.

This picturesque marine sanctuary is easy to get to and the best part is that they also run a sea turtle conservation program. 

Hawksbill turtles live and breed around the island so you have a really high chance of bumping into one if you head out snorkeling. 

You can also visit baby turtles in their turtle pool. This is where they raise baby turtles until they are less vulnerable and able to survive in the wild.

Check out what you can expect from Beachcomber Island in the video below:

Treasure Island Resort

Another great place where you can swim with turtles in Fiji is at Treasure Island Resort which forms part of the Mamanuca Islands.

This resort has been protecting their population of hawksbill turtles for over 40 years and even employed a full-time environmental officer to ensure they are doing all they can.

Treasure Island Resort actually releases hundreds of baby turtles back into the ocean every single year. 

If you are a guest at this resort, expect to see turtle feeding displays, baby turtle releases and much more.

This resort is ideal if you have children as they also have a kid’s club where the children can help the team forage for turtle food and look after the turtles.

Check out the video below which shows the release of Danny of sea turtle on Treasure Island:

Makogai Island

Another place in Fiji where you can see turtles is on Makogai Island, a small uninhabited island that sits off the coast of northwestern Fiji.

This stunning island is surrounded by a healthy reef which provides a perfect home for turtles.

As well as being a turtle haven, this island is also brimming with history as the island is a former leper colony. 

The island served as a leper colony from 1911 to 1969 with many of the hospital buildings still remaining for guests to explore.

Vomo Island Resort

Another place where you can see turtles in Fiji is at the luxury Vomo Island Resort, a small island which is located off the northwestern coast of Fiji.

This beautiful island is a true paradise with an expanse of lush greenery surrounded by pristine white beaches and turquoise waters.

This resort also runs a turtle conservation program and guests can take part by helping to feed the baby turtles and help to release them back into the ocean.

You can also commonly bump into a turtle during a snorkeling or scuba diving experience which takes place across the island.

Naviti Island

Another place where you can swim with turtles in Fiji is on Naviti Island which sits to the northwest of Fiji.

The best place to see turtles here is at the Botaira Island Resort which sits super close to a turtle nesting ground.

The staff at the resort will happily take you over to the nesting ground on kayaks where you’ll be able to try snorkeling and likely see tons of beautiful turtles gliding around.

When Can You See Turtles in Fiji?

Turtle season in Fiji

You can see turtles in Fiji all year round as there is a resident population of turtles which call Fiji home. 

If you’re coming to Fiji to see baby turtles hatching then you will need to visit during the turtle nesting season.

Turtle nesting season in Fiji runs from October to April each year. This is when female turtles come onto the beaches to lay their eggs.

Many of the resorts which run turtle conservation programs actually raise the baby turtles at their facilities for at least 6 months (often much longer).

This means that whatever time of year you visit, you’ll likely be able to see the baby turtles here.

History of Turtles in Fiji

Historically, sea turtles were seen as a delicacy and have been consumed throughout history in Fiji.

For example, it used to be a requirement that local fishermen captured and presented turtles to their chief, costing the turtles their lives.

Today, this has all changed which is great as all of the different species of turtles are endangered.

The country implemented the Fiji Fisheries Act which prohibits the harm of sea turtles and they have massively stepped up conservation campaigns.

Baby turtles hatching on the sand.

Today many resorts across Fiji run conservation programs that protect and take care of baby turtles.

These are crucial as the baby turtles face more challenges than ever including:

  • Eggs are often crushed by beach activities.
  • Birds take the eggs whilst looking for a meal.
  • Development on the beaches damage breeding grounds.
  • Ocean pollution.

Some of these baby turtles struggle to make it to the ocean because of this and need extra help from volunteers and so you may sometimes see turtle nests marked and taped off. 

Tips For Swimming With Turtles

First time swimming with turtles? 

To ensure the turtles remain safe, there’s a few key things to bear in mind when swimming with them in Fiji.

Remember that all of the different turtle species are endangered so it’s important that we do all we can to help their chances.

  • Don’t be too loud. Try to be as quiet as possible when swimming up to a turtle as loud noises will scare them away.
  • Do not touch the turtle. Turtles are wild animals and should be respected.
  • Do not get too close. This might scare the turtle and they could bite you if they get really scared (don’t worry this is super rare!).
  • Do not feed the turtles. They don’t need help finding food.
  • Always approach a turtle from the side. This gives them a clear view of you and a clear path ahead of them if they want to swim onwards.
  • Don’t disrupt the turtle’s natural behavior. You can enjoy the turtles by watching them do their thing but try not to disturb them.

These key tips protect both you and the turtles.


And that’s it!

Thanks for reading this post on where to see turtles in Fiji. 

Turtles are actually an emblem of Fiji so if you’re visiting, it’s definitely a great idea to try and see them.

Fiji has been working really hard in recent years to do all it can to help the next generation of turtles not only survive but flourish.

It’s a great place to learn more about turtle conservation, see turtles up close and even help raise baby turtles before they head back into the ocean to begin their lives.

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Megan

Megan Jones is a travel expert and founder of Traveller's Elixir, who has been travelling the world full time since 2021. Megan's travel tips been featured in numerous media outlets including Metro, Timeout, Thrillist and more.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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