Snorkeling with Sea Turtles on Gili Trawangan Island

4 minIndonesia

We’ve met Tarsiers in the Philippines, Orangutans in Malaysia, Komodo Dragons in Indonesia and now we’re getting up close and personal with sea turtles in the Gili Islands.

Gili Trawangan is an island off of Lombok, Indonesia with clear teal waters, delicious food and abundant wildlife. One of the activities available on this island is snorkeling with sea turtles in their natural habitat. You can rent the snorkel, mask and fins off a street vendor for the day for around 50,000 rupiah, which equates to about $4 USD per person.

What to Expect

Here's what to expect when snorkeling with sea turtles on Gili Trawangan Island...

No Touchy: The sea turtles on Gili Trawangan Island are friendly, playful, and seem to know the locals very well. You will see the locals pet the sea turtles once in a while, but they know what they are doing. Also they don't have chemicals on their hands from sunscreen etc. Tourists are not permitted to touch the sea turtles, but they are allowed to swim next to them at a safe distance.

Om Nom: You are allowed to feed the sea turtles! But not just anything, you must wait for the locals to select seaweed and bring it to you underwater for you to then feed the turtles.

Get Low: It's surprisingly hard to stay at the bottom of the water when swimming with the sea turtles while snorkeling. For scuba diving, the instructors apply weights to your belt to help keep you low. However, for snorkeling this is not the case. I would practice swimming low and staying on the sea ground before your sea turtle interaction.

Say Cheese: The sea turtles are not camera shy and you want to be prepared! Make sure you bring an underwater camera to capture the precious moments between you and the turtles! In this video, we used the GoPro Hero 4. Now the company is on its 12th edition with the GoPro Hero 12. Both of these models are around $400 alone. YIKES! However, there are so many more affordable underwater camera options nowadays, like this AKASO Brave Pro 4 which is currently only $85 and comes with accessories.

Green Sea Turtle Facts

Here are some fun facts about this amazing creature:

Identifying Green Sea Turtles: There are seven species of sea turtles. This is a green sea turtle, which we can identify by the two scales between its eyes, the colorful, ornate shell on its back, its rounded head and the fact that it lives in these warm, tropical waters.

Vegans: Green sea turtles are herbivores and eat seagrass, algae, sea moss, and seaweed. They are named after the green colored fat cells they obtain from their diet.

Just Breathe: Sea turtles can hold their breath underwater for a maximum of seven hours while sleeping. However, while awake and feeding, sea turtles go up to the water's surface every few minutes for air.

Big Boy: Green sea turtles can grow 3 to 4 feet long and weigh around 300 to 400 pounds.

Body-odi-odi: Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their flippers and head into their shells. Their streamlined shells and large paddle-shaped flippers make them very agile and graceful swimmers. In the water, their rear flippers are used as rudders for steering.

Travelers: Green sea turtles live all over the world and can be found off the coasts of more than 140 countries.

Sentimental: Female green sea turtles always return to the same beach where they were born to nest their own young.

Would you love snorkeling with sea turtles? Leave a comment on the video and tell me your favorite animal experience. Also check out my other animal videos here!

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