Sea Turtle Watching Tips
The next time you go on vacation near the ocean, be sure to research our Turtle Travel Guide to reduce your impact on these endangered species.
Turtle watching on a nesting beach or in the water is an inspiring experience that can be a benefit to conservation efforts. However, done without care and guidance, it can also harm them and their habitat.
Whenever you travel, be sure learn about the specific regulations in that location.
Top 10 Turtle Watching Tips
1. Take a turtle conservation tour. Our trips directly support both turtle conservation and local communities and offer great volunteer and educational opportunities with turtle conservation programs around Latin America.
2. Avoid buying turtleshell when traveling; they come from critically endangered hawksbills and are a major threat to their survival. Learn more & take the pledge here.
3. Females like their nesting beaches dark and quiet; avoid flash pictures, strong flashlights, fires, loud noises, vehicles and even light-colored clothing.
4. Hire local guides; they will best know where and how to spot them and prevent stress to them once found.
5. Do not feed wildlife. It can make them sick and more vulnerable to harm from people.
6. Reduce your use of disposable plastic including bags and straws. Also, help clear beaches and water of plastic and other litter when you visit the beach, even if it’s not yours; sea turtles often confuse plastic for food. Check out our Sea Turtles & Plastic campaign to help get litter out of turtle habitats.
7. Choose to eat local and sustainable seafood caught with environmentally-friendly fishing gear – preferably troll or hook and line.
8. Maintain a respectful distance in the water and on nesting beaches.
9. Reduce your carbon footprint while on vacation. Climate change affects ocean wildlife by altering their habitat and affecting their food sources.
10. Donate to save hatchlings through Billion Baby Turtles. Every $1 donated saves a hatchling!
see turtle conservation expeditions
Photo credits: Neil Ever Osborne