Turtle Swim Cook Islands

Swimming with turtles is one of the most unforgettable experiences that visitors to the Cook Islands can have. These gentle creatures, with their smooth shells and curious nature, will capture your heart as you glide alongside them in the crystal-clear turquoise waters. The Cook Islands are home to three species of turtles – the green sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the leatherback turtle – and visitors have the opportunity to swim with them in several locations.

Where to go:

The Aroa Lagoonarium is an excellent spot for swimming with turtles, as is the Avaavaroa Passage, which has the largest population of sea turtles and eagle rays on Rarotonga. Join a sea scooter safari to whizz through the water faster than leg power alone.

Turtle cook islands


Muri Lagoon, located on the east coast of Rarotonga. Here, you can take a guided tour or rent a kayak and explore the lagoon on your own. You can spot turtles grazing on the seagrass, or watch them as they come up for air. If you’re lucky, you might even see a turtle hatchling making its way to the sea.

Another great spot for turtle watching is Aitutaki, home to one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. Take a boat tour to the outer islets, where you can snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and spot turtles swimming alongside colorful fish. You can also take a guided tour to the inland rainforest and spot turtles in their natural habitat.

In addition to the thrill of swimming with these ancient creatures, visitors to the Cook Islands can also learn about turtle conservation efforts. The Cook Islands government has implemented measures to protect the turtles, such as enforcing strict fishing regulations and establishing turtle nesting sites. Visitors can learn about these efforts and how they can support them, such as by avoiding plastic pollution and supporting eco-friendly tourism.

Swimming with turtles in the Cook Islands is a truly magical experience, one that will stay with you long after your visit. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of these magnificent creatures, and to support conservation efforts that help to ensure their survival for generations to come.

Turtle on beach

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