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Turtles

Female turtles leave the ocean to lay their eggs on the beach where they hatched. The best way to observe is with a guided tour. Especially during the time when they lay their eggs, females are in a trance-like state and shouldn’t disturbed.

Around the island of Xiao Liuqiu (Xiaoliuqiu or Lambai Island) green sea turtles are often spotted. You might be wondering: How can I spot these fascinating creatures up close? Check out our detailed tips:

Tides
  • During high tide: They come closer to the shore to feed on seaweed. You can even watch them from the shoreline while they are feeding. The sea can be quite rough, and you should be an experienced snorkeler or diver if you go by yourselves at some places. There are also several small beaches where you get easily into the sea.
    Green Sea Turtle spotted from the shore during high tide
     
  • During low tide: it’s easier to get into the sea, and snorkel tours are offered at Vase Rock. You will be supplied with a wetsuit, shoes, snorkel gear and life jacket. You stay together with the instructor and other snorkelers either holding a rope or lifebelt. It seems that there are fewer turtles around.
    Guided snorkel tours at Vase Rock Liuqiu Island
     
Weather of Southern Taiwan

It a tropical climate with warm temps and occasionally rain in winter often a heavy downpour in the afternoon. Summer is hot and humid and the south-west monsoon season lasts from May to September. Typically, typhoons occur from July to September. Weather for Taiwan

How to Avoid Crowds

Weekends are always super busy, and summer is the peak season in Taiwan. It’s boiling hot, and people come to the island for the beautiful beaches and sea. Midweek is much quieter, and in the morning it's still tranquil.

Green Sea Turtle at Xiao Liuqiu

TW Taiwan

Laniakea Beach is famous for the Hawaiian Honu, the green sea turtle. It’s not guaranteed to spot basking turtles, but if they come ashore, it’s one of the most memorable experiences. There isn’t any specific time for the honu to haul up onto the beach to sunbathe and rest. Some come year-round while others prefer the spring and summer. Several already appear in the morning, some prefer the afternoon sun like “Kekoa”; a 20-year-old male. A couple of them like to stay on the beach past sunset like “Kuhili” a 40 years old male. Also, Olivia Dawn; the 4th most frequently basking honu stays past sunset.

Laniakea Beach at Sunset

We came to the beach three times; on the first day we didn’t spot any and watched the sunset. On the second day we spotted a few in the sea only, and on the third day two turtles hauled up to the beach while others were feeding on seaweed on the limestone shelf. Walk along the huge limestone and look for “Keoki”. This turtle basks here exclusively. “Hiwahiwa”; the 5th most frequently spotted honu left the beach past sunset on our visit.

Honu feeding on seaweed at Laniakea Beach

Snorkel with Green Sea Turtles

It’s fairly easy to spot the honu while snorkeling during summer due to a gentle surf. But be aware, strong currents and a hazardous surf occur here especially during October to April. Do not enter the water in rough conditions. Just look don't touch the honu. Leave enough space that the honu doesn't get scared. 

Sea Turtle while snorkeling close to Laniakea Beach

Crowds and Traffic Jam

Tour buses circle the island and make a stop here so do the rental cars. It’s almost impossible to avoid the masses of tourists except when it’s raining.

Laniakea Beach crowded at midday

You may get stuck in a traffic jam a couple of miles before the beach on the Kamehameha Hwy especially during midday and weekends. The flow of the traffic is impacted by many cars searching for a parking lot. It’s a nightmare for the residents. Only the morning and evening are less busy.

Early morning at Laniakea Beach before crowds appear

Parking

Limited parking on a gravel area on the opposite of the beach. It’s pretty busy and fills up around midday and during weekends. Don’t leave any valuables in the car.

Top Tips
  • Stay here in the north of Oahu minimum two nights to higher the chance of a sighting. It was just a ten minutes drive for us, and we always had a quick look to check if turtles are present. The other advantage; there is too much traffic roughly from 11 am onwards coming from Honolulu. Often the parking lot is full. Weekends are super crazy. We recommend the private Pipe Beach House just 10 minutes drive north of Laniakea Beach. Another excellent choice on the north shore is the Turtle Bay Resort in a spectacular location. Nearby is the famous snorkel spot Sharks Cove with lots of colorful fish.

    Sharks Cove Famous Snorkel Spot
     
  • Bring enough water and a picnic. There isn’t any good shop nearby and finding a new parking lot is sometimes impossible.
US United States

The green turtles and the hawksbill turtles lay their eggs throughout the year, but the best time to head there is between July and September when the sea is calmer.

Climate:
It is tropical hot and humid year-round. A little cooler at the rainy season from November to February/March. Temps are between 27°-32° C / 80°-90° F the whole year. The dry season last from April to September. Anyway, it can rain at any time of the year. Most rainfall during December and January roads can be impassable.

Seasons: 

  • Shoulder season: March until May/June and September, October. lower prices, less crowded, weather almost fine.
  • Peak season: June, July and August with high season prices, very crowded, almost perfect weather conditions.

Top Tip:
Only guided tours are allowed to the beach from evening until next morning 6 a.m. to protect the turtles. Get up early and visit the beach sharp at 6 a.m. If you are lucky you may see a turtle moving from the beach back into the sea. This is truly a unique experience.

MY Malaysia

The nesting season starts in March and last until August. The best months to observe leatherbacks laying eggs are from April to July. (French: Tortue Luth)
Best within two hours before and after high tide. 

Most of them hatch from June to August and it last until September.

French Guyana is also the nesting site for the Green Turtle and the Olive Ridley Turtle.

Climate:
It is tropical hot and humid year-round. A little cooler at the rainy season from December to June. Most precipitation from April to June. "Driest" months from August to November. The minimum temperature is 23° C / 73° F and the maximum between 29°-32° C / 84°-90° F.

GF French Guiana

The season to spot leatherback turtles or hawksbill sea turtles in the night starts in October and last until March. Best within two hours before and after high tide.
You may see hatchlings until May.

Climate: 
It is typically hot and dry on the north pacific coast even in the rainy season. 

Dry season: December to April. Maximum temperatures are between 31° C / 88° F in December and 36° C / 96° F in April. 

Rainy season: From late May to November. Brief showers are more likely in the afternoon and night. Most rainfall in June, September and October. Maximum temp more than 30° C / 86° F

Minimum temp is more than 20° C / 68° F for the whole year. 

CR Costa Rica

Nesting season from May to September but at the same time, the rainy season starts.
Best within two hours before and after high tide.

Rainy season:
It lasts from May to October although showers occur more often in the night or the morning. There is a possibility of hurricanes during August to October.

CU Cuba