10 Best Places to Swim with Turtles in Fiji

If you’ve always imagined what it would be like to swim with turtles in warm tropical water in the azure ocean, why not stop imagining at actually do it in Fiji? These are the 10 best places in Fiji to swim with turtles:

  1. Yasawa Islands: Located in the northwestern part of Fiji, the Yasawa Islands offer pristine waters and abundant marine life, including turtles. Many resorts in this area offer snorkeling and diving trips where you can swim with turtles in their natural habitat.
  2. Turtle Island: This private island resort is renowned for its conservation efforts, including a turtle protection program. Visitors can join guided snorkeling excursions to spot turtles in the surrounding waters.
  3. Beqa Lagoon: Known for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, Beqa Lagoon is another excellent spot for swimming with turtles. Guided snorkeling tours and dive trips allow you to encounter turtles along with other sea creatures.
  4. Mantaray Island: Situated in the Yasawa Islands, Mantaray Island is frequented by green and hawksbill turtles. Snorkeling and diving trips organized by local operators provide opportunities to swim alongside these majestic creatures.
  5. Turtle Island Marine Reserve: Located near Nadi, this protected marine reserve is home to various species of turtles. Visitors can explore the underwater world on guided snorkeling tours led by experienced guides.
  6. Mana Island: Mana Island boasts crystal-clear waters and thriving coral reefs inhabited by turtles. Snorkeling trips around the island often encounter turtles feeding on seagrass beds or resting on the seabed.
  7. Taveuni Island: Known as the “Garden Island,” Taveuni offers excellent snorkeling sites where turtles are frequently spotted. The vibrant marine ecosystem around the island ensures memorable encounters with these gentle creatures.
  8. Matamanoa Island: This secluded island is surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with marine life, including turtles. Snorkeling off the island’s shores often rewards visitors with sightings of turtles gliding gracefully through the water.
  9. Kadavu Island: Kadavu Island is renowned for its pristine dive sites and abundant marine biodiversity, including turtles. Diving expeditions around the island’s reefs provide unforgettable encounters with these ancient reptiles.
  10. Savusavu: Located on the island of Vanua Levu, Savusavu offers opportunities for turtle encounters during snorkeling and diving excursions. The calm waters of Savusavu Bay are often frequented by turtles seeking refuge and food.

Now let’s give you some detailed information to make your choice a bit easier!

Welcome to Fiji’s Turtle Paradises

Fiji’s emerald waters are a sanctuary for majestic sea turtles, and as someone keen on snorkelling, you’re in for a treat. Among the idyllic South Pacific islands, Fiji stands out as a hotspot for turtle encounters.

Mamanuca Islands is a cluster where you could float alongside the gentle Hawksbill and Green turtles. Imagine donning your snorkel and merging into their serene world, a mere stone’s throw from Nadi. Turtle Island, in particular, boasts of its own turtle conservation efforts, nurturing these creatures until they’re ready to join the vast ocean.

Venture to the Yasawa Islands for an authentic Fijian experience. These less-travelled islands offer secluded spots perfect for swimming with turtles amidst vibrant coral reefs. The warm, crystal-clear waters are a haven for marine life where turtles thrive in a natural habitat.

Key LocationsTurtle SpeciesSnorkelling Experience
Mamanuca IslandsHawksbill TurtleAccessible reefs
Yasawa IslandsGreen TurtleSecluded spots
Taveuni – “Garden Isle”Green TurtleRich marine biodiversity
KadavuBoth SpeciesAstounding reefs

On Taveuni, dubbed the ‘Garden Isle’, take a deep dive into the Somosomo Strait’s currents to witness an array of marine life including turtles. Kadavu, less touched by tourism, promises encounters with turtles amongst some of the healthiest reefs in Fiji.

Remember, while you swim with turtles in Fiji, these creatures are to be admired from a distance. It’s a privilege to share their habitat, observing as they glide through their underwater domain. Your respect and care ensure these paradises remain pristine for years to come.

Prime Turtle-Spotting Locations

When you’re eager to swim with turtles in Fiji, you’ll find that several locations offer this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Fiji’s clear waters make it an ideal habitat for sea turtles, and the country has several prime spots for turtle-spotting.

Yasawa Islands

  • Yasawa Islands offer pristine beaches and are known for their stunning blue waters, making them a top choice for turtle enthusiasts.
  • Here, you can often spot the majestic hawksbill turtles while snorkelling.

Mamanuca Islands

  • Just a short trip from Nadi, the Mamanuca Islands are perfect for those staying on the main island.
  • The reefs surrounding the islands provide a sanctuary for turtles, and you can spot them from the beach or while swimming.

Blue Lagoon

  • Located in the Yasawa Islands, the Blue Lagoon is famous for its snorkelling spots where turtles are frequent visitors.
  • The lagoon’s sheltered waters make for an excellent swimming experience alongside these gentle creatures.

Taveuni

  • Known as the ‘Garden Island,’ Taveuni’s surrounding waters are rich in marine life.
  • The island’s proximity to the reefs ensures high chances of turtle sightings.

Vanua Levu

  • Off the coast of Fiji’s second-largest island, the reef ecosystems are thriving with life.
  • Swimming here might give you an encounter with both hawksbill and green turtles.

Kadavu

  • An island less travelled, Kadavu is perfect if you prefer a quieter snorkelling scene.
  • The Great Astrolabe Reef nearby is a hotspot for turtles and abundant marine biodiversity.

Remember to keep a respectful distance from the turtles, maintaining a buffer to avoid causing them stress. Always swim calmly and let the turtles come to you. With luck and timing, your Fiji turtle adventure will be an unforgettable experience.

Eco-Friendly Swimming Practices

When you’re keen on swimming with turtles in Fiji, it’s essential to approach this incredible experience with an eco-friendly mindset. Your interactions with these majestic marine creatures have a lasting impact on their natural habitat and wellbeing.

Conservation Efforts: Always engage with organisations that run conservation programs for sea turtles and other marine life. These groups are not only knowledgeable about the best spots to find turtles but also ensure that your swimming does not harm the reefs or the turtles themselves.

  • Look, Don’t Touch: It’s tempting to reach out and touch the turtles, but please resist. The oils from human skin can harm their delicate exterior.
  • Coral Care: Be mindful of the coral reefs. Avoid stepping on or touching coral, which is vital for the fish and the overall health of the ocean.

Feeding Wildlife: Don’t feed the turtles or any marine life, as this can disrupt their natural feeding routines and diet.

  • Using Eco-friendly Sunscreen: Before diving in, slather on sunscreen that won’t harm the reefs or marine life. Look for labels that say “reef-safe”.

Keep Distance: Maintain a respectful distance from hawksbill turtles, manta rays, and other creatures.

By following these guidelines, your swim with the turtles will be a meaningful and positive experience that supports the ongoing efforts to preserve Fiji’s exquisite underwater world. Remember, your actions can contribute to the conservation of the wildlife you’re there to admire.

Accommodation and Travel Essentials

When planning your turtle swimming adventure in Fiji, choosing the right accommodation is crucial. Consider staying at Resorts that provide easy access to prime turtle-spotting locations. Mana Island Resort and Treasure Island are both notable for their turtle conservation programs. These resorts offer comfortable lodging and the chance to see turtles up close.

In terms of Private Island options, destinations like Matamanoa, Vomo Island, and Navini Island offer a more exclusive experience. If you’re after a boutique resort atmosphere, Paradise Cove on Naukacuvu Island offers luxurious accommodation and is a boat ride away from turtle hotspots.

  • Transport: Upon arrival at Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu, you have several options to reach your resort. Inter-island ferries, domestic flights, and water taxis can transport you to islands like Beachcomber and Royal Davui.

  • Tech Essentials:

    • Cell Phone: Ensure you have international roaming activated or consider a local SIM card for better rates.
    • WiFi: Most resorts provide WiFi, but it could be limited. It’s best to sort out digital needs if you’re reliant on internet access.

Be sure to pack your travel essentials:

  • Snorkelling gear (Some resorts offer rentals)
  • Reef-safe sunscreen
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Waterproof bag/case for electronics
  • An itinerary with all your bookings and schedules

Creating a checklist for your journey unlocks a hassle-free experience, letting you enjoy Fiji’s underwater wonders with peace of mind.

Seasonal and Cultural Considerations

When you’re planning to swim with turtles in Fiji, it’s important to take into account seasonal variations that can affect the wildlife and your experience. For instance, the peak season for seeing green turtle hatchlings tends to be between November and April. This period is prime time for witnessing the beginning of their life cycle, as these baby turtles make their way to the ocean.

Conservation programs in Fiji actively work to protect these creatures, especially during hatching season, and it’s worth checking if any local initiatives invite tourist participation. This can offer you a unique opportunity to get involved with the local efforts and understand the significance of turtles in Fiji’s marine ecosystem.

In terms of cultural considerations, understand that during Christmas in Fiji, many locals may be participating in festive activities and special dinners. As a traveller, you may also find yourself invited to partake in these celebrations, which can add another layer to your Fiji experience.

Visiting Fiji in January and February can be particularly special. Not only is the weather warm, but it’s also a period outside of the major holiday rush. During these months, you’ll find the waters less crowded, giving you a more serene experience with the marine life.

Here’s a quick guide to ensure you plan your turtle encounter around the right time:

  • November to April: Green turtle hatchling season.
  • December: High local festive activity; plan around local celebrations.
  • January to February: Quieter tourist season, suitable for a peaceful swim with turtles.

Always show respect to local customs, and if you’re lucky, you may just be part of a cultural exchange that enriches both your trip and the lives of the locals hosting you in their slice of paradise.

About the author

At Fiji High, we're not just travelers; we're adventure seekers who really love Fiji. We've been there, done that, and now we want to help you have an awesome time in Fiji too! We don't just sit behind computers to gather info. Nope! We go out there, explore, and meet awesome people in Fiji. We eat the local food, check out the best places, and make friends to get the inside scoop. So, when we tell you about something, you can trust it's the real deal.