The loggerhead sea turtle is one of the largest hard-shelled turtles in the world. Its average weight varies from 80 to 200 kg and length is around 70-95 cm. The largest turtle of this kind was 545 kg and the maximum length ever encountered was 213 cm. Their skin varies from yellow to brown, and the shell is reddish-brown. Loggerhead turtles are mainly active during the day. They swim, look for food and rest on the seabed with their eyes half shut. These creatures have good eyesight and hearing and tend to avoid contact, always ready to attack or swim away.
Snorkeling with turtles can be one of the best memories from your Canary Islands vacation. Turtle sightings are almost guaranteed at Turtle Bay near fishing village El Puertito (Costa Adeje), Tenerife Island. It might be a bit complicated to get there, but you will be rewarded with pristine water and flourishing marine life.
Juveniles and some adults can be found here all the year round, but the greatest abundance is in the summer. Loggerheads are considered an endangered species and are protected by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Turtles spend most of their lives in the open ocean and in shallow coastal waters. Females come ashore to lay around four egg clutches. It is believed that females come ashore to lay eggs on the beaches where they were born. In 2006, the government of Cape Verde, the Fuerteventura Council, and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria started a project "Proyecto Pelagos" to reintroduce the loggerhead turtle again in the Canary Islands. Nowadays loggerhead sea turtles have included the Canary Islands in its migratory route.
When is the best time to see loggerhead sea turtles in the Canary Islands?
To spot loggerhead sea turtles in the Canary Islands, tourists should visit between June to August. One can see some juveniles and adults in waters near Turtle Bay at El Puertito village on Tenerife Island throughout the year. Show more
Where is Turtle Bay located in the Canary Islands?
On the Costa Adeje coast of Tenerife Island in the Canary Islands, you can find a small fishing village surrounded by pristine water called El Puertito. Here, close to the village is Turtle Bay, a challenging but rewarding place to swim with loggerhead sea turtles. Show more
How can I help with the conservation efforts for loggerhead sea turtles in the Canary Islands?
Several organizations such as Tenerife Conservation Area, WWF, and the Blue Flag program uphold conservation efforts for loggerhead sea turtles in the Canary Islands. Tourists can support these groups by keeping beaches clean, respecting turtle nesting places, and not removing or disturbing turtles from the sea. Show more
How long do loggerhead sea turtles live?
Loggerhead sea turtles have an impressively long lifespan, usually spanning up to 50 years. It takes them around 15 to 35 years to reach sexual maturity, and for this species to survive, it is crucial to ensure turtle populations live long enough to reach breeding age. Show more
What is the size of loggerhead sea turtles when they hatch?
When they hatch, loggerhead sea turtles are tiny, measuring only 4.6 to 7.9 centimeters and weighing between 20-23 grams. These hatchlings will grow to an enormous size, reaching around 80 centimeters in shell length and weighing about 80-200 kg in their adult stage. Habitat and location influence their weight and length variation, though. Show more