Airport in Lhaviyani Atoll – for turtles!

24 Jul 2017

Guests in the Maldives are accustomed to seeing seaplanes flying to and from the islands, gracefully gliding down to land on the surface of the ocean and then up again into the sky. Underwater a similar sight can be seen – with Green Sea Turtles.

A steady supply of sea grass nearby – the turtles’ main food source, and a place to shelter from currents and waves makes dive sites with overhangs and areas of sea grass prime real estate locations for the Green Sea Turtle population. Here on Hurawalhi, both divers and snorkellers can take trips to sites with a high chance of seeing these amazing creatures. Close encounters are often enjoyed, with divers sometimes having to hastily move out of the ‘flight path’ to avoid a collision! Snorkellers can also enjoy turtle spotting trips – every second day there is a Turtle Tour from Hurawalhi where the guests are able to observe the turtles gliding down to rest in overhangs and flying up to the surface again for another breath.

FUN FACT: Green Sea Turtles can hold their breath for over 4 hours.

There are great photo opportunities to be had on the Turtle Tour and the Marine Biologist on Hurawalhi can use these images to identify them. Turtles’ face markings are like fingerprints – they are unique and if guests manage to find a turtle that has not yet been identified they can adopt and name it – a very cool thing to do! There are over 70 identified turtles living in the area and a favourite individual is Piper, she loves to rest in an overhang at 20m – she’s quite easy to identify as she has only 3 fins.