PADI IDC Gili Islands

Sea Turtles around the Gili Islands in Indonesia

During most of the dives around the Gili Islands in Indonesia the divers will spot sea turtles. 

Sea Turtles around the Gili Islands


Sea Turtles are part to the Class Reptilia, which also includes crocodiles, snakes, lizards and dinosaurs. Reptiles share the following characteristics:

  • Vertebral Column (spinal colomn): The spinal column assist in supporting the body
  • Epidermal Scales: Scales serve to protect the underlying muscles and internal organs and reduce water loss
  • Air Breathing
  • Ectothermic: The external environment is the primary source of heat for the body
  • Internal Fertilization: The fertilization of eggs by sperm occurs inside the female

Sea Turtles

Turtles appeared on land more than 200 million years ago. When the turtles went to the sea, they needed some modifications. Sea turtles are more streamlined and have less open space inside their shield comparing to land turtles.

There are 7 recognized species of sea turtles living in the world’s oceans today:

  1. Green Sea Turtle
  2. Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  3. Leatherback Sea Turtle
  4. Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  5. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
  6. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
  7. Flatback Sea Turtle

Six of these sea turtle species are living in Indonesia. The Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle is the only sea turtle that people can’t find in the Indonesian waters.

What are the kinds of sea turtle species are around the Gili Islands?

The Gili Islands are a breeding ground for 3 sea turtle species:

  1. Green Sea Turtle
  2. Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  3. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle in Indonesia

The average length and weight of adults are 1 meter and 200 kg. The Carapace color range from olive brown to black, the scutes are non-overlapping, and the plastron is yellowish. Each flipper contains a single claw. Unlike other sea turtles species, green sea turtles have only a single pair of prefrontal scales between their eyes.  Green sea turtles are most often found near continental coasts and oceanic islands. 

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Sea Turtle around the Gili Islands

Adults weight to nearly 90 kg. The hawksbill gets his name from its narrow face and bird-like beak. Carapace color is “tortoiseshell”, ranging from golden to dark brown with red. Each flipper usually bears 2 claws. Hawksbills are the most tropical of the sea turtles.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

The most numerous of the sea turtles, the olive ridley is a small turtle with a disk shaped carapace. They weight 50 kg, and are 70 cm tall. Ridleys are unique in having inframarginal pores in the bridge scutes that connect carapace and plastron. The function of these pores is not fully known.

The famous turtle diving spots for sea turtles around the Gili Islands

Turtle Heaven

Turtle Heaven is located at the North Side of Gili Meno. As the name describes the dive site will not disappoint divers when they love to see turtles. A big pinnacle is a resting spot for the green and hawksbill sea turtle. 

Turtle Heaven is just 10 minutes away from the dive shop by boat.


Shallow part of Sharkpoint is a feeding spot for most of the turtles. The combination there of sea grass, seaweed, sponges and algaes is the main meal for the turtle population around the Gilis.

Hans Reef

The famous turtle of the Gili Islands is photographed many times sleeping in a barrel sponge resting from an exciting day. The green sea turtle is used to photographers and is modeling for them.

About oceans5dive

Oceans 5 dive is a PADI Career Development Centre located on Gili Air in Indonesia . Oceans 5 Gili Air opened in April 2010 their doors on the Gili Islands and became quickly a PADI Instructor Development Centre (IDC). Focussing on their teaching qualities resulted by getting the PADI Career Development Rating by PADI in 2014. The resort has 12 boutique resort bungalows with 2 big pools.
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