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Where Can I Go Swimming With Sea Turtles In Jamaica?


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swimming With Sea Turtles In Jamaica | The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Photo Credit: With Sea Turtles In Jamaica | The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Photo Credit:

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Jamaica is truly a tropical paradise and even those like myself who have lived here all our lives never cease to be amazed by all that Jamaica has to offer.
Even though Jamaica is such a small island, there is never such a thing as getting bored here, there is always something new and exciting to do and new discoveries are quite the norm.

Swimming with sea turtles in Jamaica is just one of the many aquatic adventures you can have on vacation.

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One thing that never seems to get old and attracts people from all over the world is the opportunity to swim with various animals and marine life forms.

Adventure tour companies like Chukka are frequently booked for their swim with horses adventure, Dolphin Cove for, you guessed it, swimming and playing with dolphin adventures, plus many other tour companies that offer a range of opportunities for swimming with marine life. 

What Animals Can You Swim With In Jamaica?

So if visiting Jamaica and swimming with various animals are on your bucket list of things to do, here are some of the animals you can swim with here:

  • Dolphins
  • Horses
  • Stingrays
  • Starfish
  • Sea turtles

Of those on this list, the one that is spoken about the least is the sea turtle, as a matter of fact, many people, locals and visitors alike are not quite in the know about sea turtles in Jamaica.

Can You See Sea Turtles In Jamaica?

Yes, you can. There are seven species of sea turtles and of those seven two can be found in the ocean surrounding Jamaica, they are the green and hawksbill turtles. Both are similar in appearance with the only significant difference being a slight difference in the shape of their beaks.

However, their numbers have dropped considerably over the decades, and unless action is taken promptly, they will become extinct. As a result, the Jamaica Environment Trust runs a special group called Save Jamaica's Sea Turtles, which is responsible for a number of programs aimed at protecting and conserving the sea turtle population.

Where In Jamaica Can You See Sea Turtles?

Turtles nest on the island's north coast at Ocho Rios, as well as in Montego Bay and Kingston Harbour's Palisadoes Spit. From May to December, turtles lay their eggs on the island, and tourists can participate in community turtle conservation programs in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, Bluefields, Westmoreland, as well as Hope Bay and Winnifred Beach in Portland.

Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios has there annual turtle release in August and if you are a guest you can participate in the turtle release.

Alternatively, if you visit in late September, Save the Turtles hosts a "Beach Clean-Up Day," which draws over 4,000 eager volunteers.

Island Routes Sea Turtle Watching Experience

Every year, for a few months, endangered sea turtles lay their eggs on our Jamaican beaches. Hatchlings emerge from their nests two months later and begin their trip into the open sea. Island Routes, The Sandals Foundation, and local turtle conservation officials collaborate to ensure that the sea turtles reach the water safely.

The proceeds from this tour support the conservation activities of the Oracabessa Foundation. Over 21,000 turtles were released in 2015.

Where Can You Experience Swimming With Sea Turtles In Jamaica

Yes, at least that is the short answer. There are many tour companies that offer scuba diving tours here in Jamaica. While on these tours you might be lucky enough to spot a sea turtle. But keep in mind that this is a rather unregular sighting and most tour companies cannot guarantee you the opportunity to swim with them or not. 

Another great way for increasing your opportunities to swim with sea turtles in Jamaica is by going on a snorkelling tour. While there are no specific areas that will guarantee that you get the opportunity to swim alongside them, it is believed that the greatest chances would be in the Ocho Rios area. 

So of course don’t plan your entire trip to Jamaica banking on the hopes of seeing a few sea turtles when you go scuba diving or snorkelling, as sea turtles are wild elusive creatures.

However, because there is much here to do, places you can visit, and adventures to have, Jamaica is always a great vacation island choice.

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References & Sources For Swimming With Sea Turtles In Jamaica

  1. Where to Swim with Sea Turtles in the Caribbean | UltraVilla,  
  2. Swim With These Stunning Animals in Jamaica,  
  3. Turtle Watching Experience Ocho Rios,
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