If you’re looking for somewhere to see turtles in Fiji then you’re in the right place.
Nothing can beat that amazing feeling of seeing a turtle up close and personal in their natural habitat! Why not try it for yourself?
This post will tell you all of the best places to see turtles in Fiji including where you can swim with turtles and where you can see baby turtles hatching.
Can You Swim With Sea Turtles in Fiji?
Yes, you can swim with sea turtles in Fiji.
Fiji, which is made up of over 330 islands, features a world famous underwater paradise which hosts multiple species of coral, fish, mammals, sharks and even reptiles.
The waters of Fiji are home to 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles. These are the green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead and olive ridley.
The first 3 species also nest in Fiji from October to April every year. This is when female turtles come onto the beaches and lay their eggs.
You can often see turtles whilst snorkeling or scuba diving around the islands. I’ve listed all the best spots and locations where you can do this below.
The absolute best place in Fiji where you can see turtles is on the small island of Tivua.
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.
Keep reading to find out where else you can swim with turtles in Fiji.
Where To See Turtles in Fiji
There are many different places where you can see and swim with 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.
Most of the places where you’ll find turtles are around 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 few other locations where you can see turtles where you WON’T have to book a stay at a resort.
Take a look…
One of the best places to see turtles in Fiji is on the small island of Tivua.
This coral cay, which sits just off the coast of Fiji, 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.
Whilst snorkeling, you’ll see the turtles searching for food or gliding up to the surface for some air. It’s 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 tour is extremely well-priced given all the activities and transport included and has excellent reviews.
- Day Tour To Tivua (includes snorkeling with turtles)
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.
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.
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.
For the best chance of seeing both turtles and dolphins, I’d recommend joining this day trip to Serenity Island which includes a snorkeling experience.
The knowledgeable guides know where to find turtles + dolphins without fail and this tour also features small group sizes so it feels much more intimate.
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.
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.
💡Tip: Bring a waterproof camera like the GoPro Hero 10 to get some photos and videos of you with the turtles.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
Fun Sea Turtle Facts
To get you prepared for your trip to Fiji where you’ll hopefully see some beautiful sea turtles, here’s some fun turtle facts.
- The correct word for a baby turtle is a ‘hatchling’.
- A typical hawksbill sea turtle will be 2 to 3 feet long and weighs between 100 and 150 pounds.
- Sea turtles tend to build their nests for their eggs in the same location that they were born.
- Mother turtles lay up to 100 eggs in each nest.
- It is estimated that only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survives to be an adult so they need all the help they can get.
- In their lifetime, female turtles lay thousands of eggs so at least a few will survive.
- Sea turtles have been on Earth for more than 100 million years, even outliving the dinosaurs who became extinct 65 million years ago.
- All species of sea turtles are either threatened or endangered.
- Sea turtles never get to meet their babies as after laying their eggs, the mothers return to the ocean.
- Male sea turtles spend their entire lives at sea.
- The gender of a baby turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest – warmer temperatures tend to lead to females whereas cooler temperatures tend to lead to males.
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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