Sea Turtles - Marine life in El Nido

Every day we encounter sea turtles on our dives. We are very lucky to have a chance to show you these amazing underwater creatures when you come and dive with Palawan Divers.

Marine life in El Nido - Sea Turtles

Marine life in El Nido – Sea turtles – El Nido is still one of those places where you have a good chance to encounter turtles during any of your dives. As the Bacuit bay is a marine protected area turtles have had the chance to live in safe conditions. You will notice that the turtles we encounter are not shy or scared at all when approached during your dive.

Genus: Chelonioidea
Depth: 1000 meters
Diet: Depends upon the species. Some are omnivorous. They can eat a variety of plants and animals. Others love to eat sponges and jellyfish.
Size: The Leatherback turtle which is the biggest species of sea turtles can grow up to 1.8 meters.
Lifespan: Around 80 years.

Sea turtles - We can find 2 types - Which ones?

The Green Sea turtle:

This turtle can be seen on most of our dive sites. It has an amazing wide smooth brownish-olive carapace. The green sea turtle can grow up to 1,5 meters, weigh up to 300 kilograms and is the largest of hard shell sea turtles. They are named after the greenish color of their fat. These turtles travel long distances between their feeding grounds and the beach where they were hatched.

green sea turtle el nido

The Hawksbill Sea turtle:

This turtle is also present on our dive site but are in general harder to spot. It can be recognized by its narrow head and beard-like beak. Just like a hawk. These turtles are smaller and can grow up to 80 centimeters with a maximum weight of around 70 kilograms. They love to feed on sponges, anemones, squid and shrimp.

hawksbill sea turtle el nido

Sea turtles - Are they endangered?

Unfortunately all sea turtles are listed as endangered. The Hawksbill sea turtle is even listed as critically endangered. They are slaughtered for their shell, eggs, meat and skin.

Sea turtles - Where can we see them in El Nido?

On all our dive sites you have a good chance of spotting turtles but especially on Nat Nat and Helicopter island you have a good chance of running into one of them.


Our dive site Nat Nat is the home of Lolo. This Green Sea Turtle must be one of the oldest and biggest Green Sea Turtles you will ever see. You can find him chilling out under a rock or enjoying a clean up from one of the cleaner wrasse families. He really looks like a dinosaur. On this picture we can see a teenage green Sea Turtle with Lolo in the background! What a sight!

two turtles palawan divers
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