About the hawksbill turtle – Koh Tao Turtles
We regularly get asked what marine life you can see whilst completing various scuba diving courses and diving trips and turtles are always on all divers to see list. These amazing animals make every dive go from good to awesome. Here on Koh Tao we are very lucky to have multiple species of turtles visiting our scuba diving sites. Did you know that Koh Tao even translates to ‘Turtle Island’?
The hawksbill turtle is considered to be the most beautiful of all sea turtles because of their colorful shells. They can grow to between 0.5 to 1 meter in length and feed almost exclusively on sponges – meaning they spend most of their time around coral reefs – luckily for us.
Hawksbill Turtles – Did you know?
- Hawksbills are important inhabitants of coral reefs. By consuming sponges, they play an important role in the reef community, aiding corals in growth. It’s estimated that one turtle can consume over 1,000 pounds of sponges per year. Without them, sponges have the ability to overgrow corals and suffocate reefs.
- Their population has declined more than 80% in the last century due to the illegal trade of their beautiful shells used in jewelry, combs, brushes and other decorative items. Thanks to the dive schools and conservation efforts here on Koh Tao the population on our island is on the rise.
- On average, they nest roughly 4 times per season at 2 week intervals and lay around 140 eggs per nest. Nests however, may contain over 200 eggs!
Tips to see turtles on Koh Tao, how to snorkel and scuba dive with Turtles
Diving with turtles on Koh Tao
The best way to find turtles on Koh Tao is without a doubt by scuba diving. The best Koh Tao diving sites to visit to find turtles are White Rock, Twins, Three Rocks and Red Rock. We visit all of these dive sites during our Open Water Diving Course, One Day Scuba diving Trips, Diving trips for certified divers and all of our scuba diving trips and courses.
Snorkelling with turtles on Koh Tao
There are various snorkel tours that will take you all around the island for as little as 600thb which will usually include lunch & all of the snorkelling equipment. These snorkelling tours will take you to around 5-6 different places. However, the best way to see turtles whilst snorkelling is to visit Tanote Bay or Shark Bay. That way you can spend as long as you like snorkelling in each place (not being rushed along by the snorkelling guide) – increasing your chances of seeing turtles. Hawksbill and green turtles regularly visit these shallow bays to feed, rent or buy a mask and snorkel before you guy and enjoy these beautiful beaches.