25 Beautiful Places To Watch Sea Turtles Hatch This Season (2023)

Before we begin, I would like to point out that the prime breeding season for sea turtles around the world is summer.

However, it is important to remember that the summer months vary from place to place. Also, in many parts of the world where temperatures are warm year-round, turtles nest and hatch year-round.

In this article, we're going to look at the best places in the world to visit and see the breeding season for yourself. This includes beaches from all over the world. Surprisingly, you don't have to travel across the world to see baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs.

The most important sea turtle nesting sites in the world

Note that when visiting these nesting sites, you should always remember to respect nature and follow applicable guidelines.

Table of contents

travel arrangements
Turtle Watching Experience
Printable infographic
frequently asked Questions


1. Costa Rica

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Costa Ricais one of the best places to watch sea turtle nesting season. Because of the warm climate, sea turtles nest year-round, although there are peak months.

The best times to witness the nesting process are July to OctoberKarettschnabelAndGreen Turtlesand March to July forleather back.

The best time to watch hatchlings is September to December for hawksbill and green turtles and May to September for leatherback turtles.

Costa Rica has the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Therefore, there are several places where you can observe the nesting and hatching process.

On the Pacific Coast, some places to visit are Nancite Beach and Ostional Beach. The Arribada can also be witnessed here.

On the Atlantic coast you should visit the Tortuguero, specifically the Tortuguero National Park.

All kinds of sea turtles can be found in Tortuguero National Park. These include loggerhead, hawksbill, green, olive bastard and leatherback turtles.

Here's a great printable guide for periods:


2. Ecuador - Galapagos Islands

TheGalapagos Islandscan be found in the Pacific Ocean. These islands lie approximately 900 km or 560 miles west of continental Ecuador.

These islands are home to thegiant Galapagos tortoises. These aren't the only animals found here. A significant number of green turtles also nest on these islands.

These turtles can be seen nesting all year round. However, the main breeding season is from December to March. Hatchlings hatch 2 to 3 months after the pregnant females lay eggs, so expect eggs to hatch from February to June.

The best place in Galapagos to witness the sea turtle nesting season is Quinta Playa, a beach on Isabela Island.

Other places you can visit to watch the hatchlings emerge include Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, which is also home to flamingos; Gardner Bay on Española Island, which is also home to huge colonies of sea lions; Playa las Bachas in Santa Cruz; and Puerto Egas on Santiago.

3. Guyana

The best place to see sea turtle hatchlings is Shell Beach. This beach stretches for 120 km and is a nesting ground for olive ridley, leatherback, hawksbill and green turtles.

The turtles here are monitored by a non-governmental conservation program called tDie Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society (GMTCS). The site is also a protected area (a protected area) and is protected by the National Protected Areas System (NPAS).

Olive bastard, leatherback, hawksbill and green turtles nest here from February to July and the hatchlings hatch about 2 to 3 months later.

This place is also home to one of the largest mangrove forests in America.

If you want to visit Shell Beach, you need to stay in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, and book a multi-day tour to see the turtles.

4. Mexico

Some of the best places to see turtles hatchMexicoare Cancun and Riviera Maya.

The sea turtles nest from June to November. The sea turtle nesting season lasts from August to January.

Leatherback, hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtles all nest in Rivera Maya. Females can be seen laying eggs on the beaches of the Riviera Maya at night. The juveniles also hatch during the night.

Akumal south of Cancun is another excellent place to see sea turtle hatching. This place is known for the Akumal Bay, which is home to green turtles and loggerhead turtles.

Green sea turtles nest here from May to October, with eggs hatching from July to December.

5. Nicaragua

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If you ever visitNicaragua, one of the best places to visit if you want to see sea turtle hatching is the La Flor Wildlife Refuge, located south of San Juan del Sur.

Tens of thousands of olive ridley turtles nest here from July to January, with the peak season being October to November. From September to February you can see thousands of hatchlings emerging and plunging into the sea.

Other places to watch sea turtles hatch in Nicaragua include Pearl Cays, the Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve, and the Aserradores Estuary, where several hawksbills nest.

Leatherback turtles nest in Veracruz in the Rio Escalante-Chacocente Wildlife Refuge and Salamina.

Olive ridley turtles nest in the Chacocente Wildlife Refuge.

(Video) Watch Baby Sea Turtles Hatch! | Mission Unstoppable

6. United States Mainland

One of the best places in the United States to see sea turtles hatch isFlorida. In Florida, the breeding season lasts from May to October. Turtles emerge about two to three months after nesting. Another great place to see the turtle's nest and hatch is on Melbourne Beach.

You can also see the sea turtle nest at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. This is close to Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach.

This reserve hosts around 15,000 to 20,000 nests each year. The turtles that nest here include leatherback sea turtles, green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles.

Key West is another excellent place to view the breeding process. The island of Key West is only 11 km² in size. other places are Vero Beach and Dry Tortugas National Park.

TheTexasThe coast is another place in the United States to observe the nesting and hatching process. The breeding and nesting season begins from April to September.

Padre Island and Mustang Island in Texas are hotspots for Kemp's Ridley nesting grounds. Padre Island National Seashore releases Kemp's Ridley hatchlings in the evenings from nests built on the island at Malaquite Beach.

Kiawah Island onSouth Carolinais another place to watch the breeding season.

7. Barbados

In Barbados, nesting occurs every month of the year, similar to Costa Rico.

However, the peak breeding season for hawksbill turtles is May to October, and for leatherback turtles the breeding season is February to July. The eggs of these turtles incubate for about 2 to 3 months before the hatchlings emerge.

The breeding season, like the nesting season, is year-round, but peaks from June to December for hawksbill turtles and April to September for leatherback turtles.

An excellent spot for spotting sea turtles is on the shore near Mount Standfast. Another place in Barbados to spot turtles is Carlisle Bay.


8. Greece

InGreece, the best time to observe the breeding process is from late May to August. The young should hatch between late July and October. The species that nest here are the loggerhead fish.

The beaches to visit are in Koroni, Zakynthos, Messenia, Chania, Rethymno, Lakonikos and Kayparissia. Zakynthos Marine Park is an important nesting site for loggerhead turtles.

Laganas Bay is another place that turtle lovers must visit. Cameo Island south of Zakynthos is also an important place to see these gentle animals.

Another popular place to see sea turtles in Greece is Crete. This island is in the Mediterranean Sea. One of the places to visit there is Balos Lagoon and Beach.

9. Turkey

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There are several nesting beaches inTurkey. These beaches are in the Mediterranean Sea. If you ever visit Turkey, I recommend you to visit İztuzu Beach.

This place is not called “Turtle Beach” for nothing. The beach is home to a large number of loggerheads. This beach is located in Dalyan.

Every year hundreds of sea turtles visit the site to nest. The breeding season here is from May to October, with the eggs hatching one and a half to three months later.

During this time, access to the nesting sites is prohibited from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. to protect the eggs and young.

There are other beaches in Turkey where these sea turtles lay their eggs. The only problem is that these places are not visited annually and the eggs laid here can range from a few tens to hundreds.

I personally recommend doing some research before visiting. This will tell you if nests are present or not.

Some of these shores are Ekincik Bay, Dalaman, Fethiye, Dalyan, Arsinoe, Kale, Anamur, Alata and Akyatan Lagoon.

10. Canary Islands

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Although the island of Tenerife is fairly close to Africa, it is part of Spain. Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands. These islands are tourist hotspots, attracting millions of visitors every year.

The main breeding season here is from June to August.

One of the places I can recommend is Turtle Bay in El Puertito, Tenerife. Other places in Tenerife that should be high on your list are El Bufadero, home to a wonderful diving site, and Costa Adeje.

11. Cyprus

The breeding season in Cyprus starts from late July to late September. As with other beaches, expect the baby turtles to emerge during the night.

The best place to watch hatching and jumping into the sea in Cyprus is Alagadi Beach, which is protected by law and has a conservation center – Alagadi Conservation Center.

Turtles that nest on Alagadi Beach are green turtles.

Located in northern Cyprus, Alagadi beach is famous for its nesting sites. It is located in Kyrenia on the north coast.

I recommend visiting theConservation Center. You can book to visit the place online or at Alagadi.

The sanctuary releases the hatchlings at night. The beach is closed to the public on weekdays and reservations are required to watch the release of the young on weekdays. To book, you must call +905338725350, the sea turtle hatching hotline.

There is a public release on the weekends that does not need to be booked. To find out when there will be a public release, be sure to check out their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/cyprusturtles/


The conservation center requires that you wear closed shoes when visiting the beach to watch the hatchlings emerge as the area is rocky.


12. Great Barrier Reef, Australien

The Great Barrier Reed and Heron Island are nesting grounds for two sea turtles and these are the loggerhead turtle and the green turtle. These turtles lay eggs in these two locations from November to March.

If you go at the right time. You should notice several pregnant females coming to shore to lay eggs. Expect the females at night at high tide.

The baby turtles should usually hatch from their eggshells at high tide from January through May. These little ones also hatch at night. It is important that you do not help the turtle or impede its movement towards the ocean.

Because turtles normally return to the beach where they were born, they must imprint themselves on the environment so that they return when time is up. During the trip to the sea, the baby turtles also move their fins, which helps them warm up.

If you watch the little ones emerge, you must be careful not to disturb or startle them. You should always stay behind the turtles and about 10 meters away from them. Also, do not disturb the turtles with lights or flashing lights.

Digging up or touching the turtle is prohibited. All visitors and locals must watch.

13. Cook Island Aquatic Reserve, Australien

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This is a protected reserve and is located in southeast Queensland, a state inAustralia. This reserve is a great place to see turtles, although nesting is quite uncommon.

Regardless, the turtles that nest here are the green turtles and loggerhead turtles. These turtles nest from November to March and hatch from January to May.

Activities that you can enjoy here include swimming, boating, diving and snorkeling. Aside from green and loggerhead sea turtles, you can also find wobbegongs, parrotfish, leopard sharks, puffer fish and grouper here.

While catching emerging hatchlings is uncommon, you can swim with turtles.

14. Shark Bay, Australien

This is another place in Australia that sees large numbers of pregnant females annually.

In fact, around 70% of all nesting females visit Shark Bay to lay their eggs. Some of the places they visit most often include Dorre Island, Shelter Bay near Steep Point, and Turtle Bay on Dirk Hartog Island.

The pregnant females come from October to March and the eggs hatch from January to May.

Due to the diverse and large number of sea creatures that arrive and live in Shark Bay, this place is a World Heritage Site.

Nesting activity here is the subject of research and studies conducted by the Western Australian Department for the Environment and Conservation.

Turtles that nest here include hawksbill and green turtles.

15. Ningaloo Beach, Australia

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TheTypes of sea turtlesthat visit Ningaloo Reef include green turtles, hawksbill turtles and loggerhead turtles. Expect to find these turtles here from December to March, with the baby turtles appearing 2 to 3 months later.

There are a few places where you can watch the turtles hatch. This includes the Jurabi Turtle Center at the North Cape. Also visit Wobiri Beach and Five Mile Beach.

Over 10,000 turtles nest here annually and over a million eggs are laid here.

While you can choose to watch the Ningaloo turtle nesting season for yourself, it's always best to hire a local guide or ranger.

you can visitThe Ningaloo Turtle Projectfor more informations.

16. Hawaii

InHawaii, the best time to see turtles is in December as this is the high season. Turtles that nest here include leatherback, olive ridley, hawksbill, hawksbill and green turtles.

Green turtles nest in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, although they do not nest here annually.

Hawksbill turtles have been known to nest off the coast of Ka'u on the island of Hawaii. Although nesting here is limited. Nesting is from May to October and eggs hatch from July to December.

There are also several nesting sites in Oahu. A popular spot here is Laniakea Beach.

Other locations include A-Bay and Kiholo Bay on Hawaii Island, Brennecke's Beach on Kauai, Keawakapu and Maluaka Beaches on Maui, and Waikiki Beach on Oahu.

17. French Polynesia

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If you are in French Polynesia, you must visit the Tikehau Atolls. Not only is this place beautiful, but it is also home to nesting turtles.

Tikehau Atolls are located northeast of Tahiti. The atoll's lagoon is 12 miles wide and 17 miles long. Tikehau consists of two large and several small islands.


18. Maldives

The largest community of green turtles in the Maldives can be found on the Kuredu Reefs. The marine center here helps protect the wild populations here.

Over 1000 eggs are laid here. These eggs form 9 nests.

(Video) 8 Hours - Relaxing Music with Sea Turtles in Hawaii with | Great Escapes

Gaadhoo Island in Laamu Atoll is another important nesting site in the Maldives. 13 other islands of Laamu Atoll are considered nesting sites.

The turtles lay about 240 nests here annually, although this estimate is old. According to local residents, up to 10 turtles used to nest here.

Currently, about 142 nests are laid on Gaadhoo annually, with the last estimate being from 2016.

Another place in the Maldives that turtles visit is Ari Atoll (Alif or Alifu Atoll). You should visit this place from June to August if you want to see turtles.

19. Indonesia

In Bunaken National Park, Siladen is the best place to see turtles hatching. Located in North Sulawesi, this place attracts many visitors.

This is where the baby turtles hatch from July to September. In 2022, the first baby turtles appeared in July, more turtles followed in September.

Bunaken National Park is located on Sulawesi. This place is home to several resorts and cottages where visitors can stay.

Five sea turtles can be found in this marine park, but the most common sea turtle here is the green turtle and about 90% of the turtles are green turtles. You can also find hawksbill turtles, loggerhead snails and olive bastards here. The leather back is much rarer.

20. Malaysia

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Several turtles live on the island of Sipadan. There is also a sea turtle hatchery here.

This hatchery is operated by Sabah Parks. The turtles that nest here are the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle. As the hatchery here is not open to the public, you must apply for a permit before you can visit.

A guide will show you around and you can even see the hatchlings. The main breeding season here is from July to October. The turtles hatch about 50 to 70 days after the eggs are laid.

Sipadan is also an amazing place for diving and snorkeling. Here you can encounter sea turtles.

Another palace worth seeing is the Turtle Island Park in the Sulu Sea. Here hawksbill and green turtles lay their eggs on the beach.

Turtle Island Park is made up of forested islands, the largest of which is Selingan Island. This is the island that is open to the public. The other two islands are Gulisan Island and Bakkungan Kechil.

You can watch turtles nesting and the young being released into the sea. You must register for a guided tour.

21. Philippines

If you want to witness the sea turtle hatching season in the Philippines, Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary is the place to be.

Access to the islands is not easy and requires a 36-hour launch trip, but is open to tourists. Also, this is a protected site.

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Six islands make up the Turtle Islands, including Great Bakkungaan, Lihiman, Boan, Langaan, Bhagwan and Tagnak.

The species that nest here are hawksbill turtles and green sea turtles.


22. Egypt

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In Egypt you want to visit Marsa Alam. There are many nesting sites here. Marsa Alam has several hotels, restaurants and all the amenities of a big city.

Marsa Abu Dabbab is a beautiful beach that is home to dugongs, dolphins and sea turtles. Here you can find green turtles. These nest from April to October, with hatching occurring from June to December.

If you want to see hawksbill turtles, you have to check out Hurghada. Here the turtles nest from July to August, while the baby turtles emerge from August to December.

23. Tanzania

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If you are in Zanzibar, Nungwi is the place to visit. This large village is one of the larger settlements in Zanzibar. The main beach here is considered one of the best beaches in the world.

Other attractions in Tanzania are Pangani, Mafia Island and Dar es Salaam.

While the most common type of turtle that nests here is the green turtle, you can also find other turtles here. The breeding season here is from February to August and the babies hatch around 50 to 70 days after nest construction.

24. South Africa

Loggerhead and leatherback turtles nest on KwaZulu-Natal's sandy beaches. Turtles nest here from October to February. Kosi Bay in particular is a great place to visit if you want to see the turtles coming ashore to nest.

Other places you can visit are Mabibi, Manzengwenya and Cape Vidal.

I recommend a turtle tour. These tours start after sunset.

25. Hood Verde

In Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, the islands of Sal and Boa Vista are the places to visit. Turtles usually nest here from July to October.

The eggs hatch two to three months after the pregnant female lays them. From August to October you can witness the hatching process.

(Video) Baby turtle's first steps - BBC

There are turtle tours here that you can join and there are even hatcheries that you can visit.

The turtle you are most likely to see is the loggerhead turtle. You may need to book to visit these places.

travel arrangements

  • While many travel restrictions were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of those restrictions have been lifted. Of course, it is important to inform yourself beforehand.
  • Although travel restrictions have been lifted, the Covid-19 virus still exists and people are still getting infected. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. I also recommend that you take out travel insurance with adequate coverage.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Make sure you have the right medicines, vaccines and travel advice. If you have specific prescription medications, make sure you research them. Many of the places on this list are remote locations, so you need to be prepared, especially if you take prescription medication (which can be hard to find), contact lenses, or allergy pills.
  • Make sure you have your passports and birth certificates for minors without a passport, photo ID, credit cards, insurance cards and boarding passes. I recommend keeping these with you at all times.

The Turtle Watching Experience

Turtle tours can be boring and even frustrating for some as you have to wait for pregnant females to show up and once they do show up you have to watch them in silence and in the dark as lights can scare off the females.

Also, you cannot take photos as flash photography is not allowed. However, you can backlight the turtle.

The same applies to the emergence of young animals. You must not disturb the young or illuminate them with light. Protecting these endangered animals is of paramount importance.

Regardless, the opportunity to actually observe sea turtle hatching season is an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.

Always remember to wear comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes, preferably closed-toe shoes.

Infographic of sea turtles hatching around the world

The infographic below shows the journey of sea turtle hatchlings worldwide.

Learn about the different breeding seasons for sea turtles around the world and the challenges they face during their first steps in the sea.

Share this educational pin and help raise awareness for the conservation of these majestic creatures.

25 Beautiful Places To Watch Sea Turtles Hatch This Season (12)

frequently asked Questions

Do hatchlings only hatch on a full moon?

You may have heard that sea turtles only appear when the moon is full. Well, that's not true. Baby turtles can and will appear during each phase of the moon. The turtles find their way to the sea by moving towards the lightest direction, which is the sea as it reflects light from the sky.

How do young animals find their way into the sea?

As soon as they surface, they run in the brightest direction, which is the sea. The sea is in the brightest direction as it reflects light from the night sky. Because of this, light pollution from residential buildings can confuse hatchlings. For this reason, watching turtles, or in this case juveniles, is done in the dark.

What do I need to know if I am holidaying in a nesting habitat during the breeding season?

The places mentioned in this article are nesting sites because sea turtles nest in these places. If you are vacationing in a nesting habitat during the breeding/nesting season, you must follow the rules and laws that are in place to protect turtles. While these laws may seem unimportant, they are.

– You should not touch or attempt to touch a nesting female, hatchling, or the eggs.
Be calm and still.

- Don't shine a light on the nesting females or the young, you'll confuse them. Also, do not use flash photography and/or a noisy camera.

– Do not defile or pollute the beaches. This debris has serious adverse effects on the turtles and the hatchlings.

Is Turtle Watching Expensive During Turtle Breeding Season?

While prices can be high and quite expensive, turtle spotting doesn't always have to be expensive. Instead of visiting an exotic beach far away, you can visit a nesting beach near you.


There are many places around the world that you can visit if you want to witness the sea turtle breeding season. There might even be a beach near you where sea turtles nest.

In the United States, you can find a large number of nesting habitats in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. In Europe there are several nests in the Mediterranean. There are thousands of nest sites in Asia, Africa and Oceania.

The hatchlings usually hatch falsely in summer or year-round when the weather is warm all year round. You need to know the best breeding and nesting months of the place you are visiting so that you visit at the right time.

Finally, you can rest assured that you are prepared.

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