Swim with the Turtles

Book Plombagine Cottage and snorkel, sail or swim with turtles in Barbados at Alleyne’s Bay. Barbados is home to a large population of leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. Some guests are lucky to see the turtles as they lay their eggs. Others are in time to witness baby hatchlings making their short but tedious trek into the ocean.

swim with the turtles Barbados

Leatherback Sea Turtles

Unique in appearance, leatherbacks are the only sea turtles that do not have a hard shell. Instead, leatherbacks have a tough, rubbery skin with thousands of tiny bones that give them their leathery appearance.  Known as the largest and oldest species of turtle, they can grow up to 10 feet and weigh over 2,000 pounds.  They also enjoy a diet of jellyfish and other soft marine animals. They can consume up to twice their body weight in one day. Leatherbacks love to swim, and their powerful front flippers help them glide through the ocean for hours on end. They can journey for thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

Nesting season for the lovely leatherback runs from February to July.  When ready to lay eggs, adult females return to the region where they were hatched and make their nests.  On average, they lay around 70-80 tiny eggs. The eggs incubate for just over two months. Of the many hatchlings, only a few survive to adulthood. It takes another 15-25 years before the young turtles reach maturity and repeat the nesting cycle.

Hawksbill Sea Turtles

The hawksbill derives its name from its hawk-like beak. Now a critically endangered species, hawksbills have been hunted illegally for their beautiful shells.  The Barbados Sea Turtle Project sometimes tag and track these turtles. Tracking information reveals that some hawksbills journey to visit their Spanish-speaking cousins in waters as far as the Dominican Republic to the North, and Venezuela to the South.  They nest between April and November.

Save the Turtles

While watching these magnificent creatures can be an incredible experience, it is of utmost importance that persons do not disturb the turtles while they are laying.  Moreover, persons should not try to capture the baby turtles as they make their journey into the sea. We have high expectations that our wonderful guests will treat our marine environment with great care.

We at Plombagine are committed to sustainable tourism. As such, we encourage guests to report sightings of nests to facilitate recording by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. Guests can also donate or volunteer to assist with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project by visiting their website. We hope you support this initiative.


Snorkel in front of Plombagine

If you are searching for the best beach to snorkel in Barbados, congratulations on finding the perfect spot. Plombagine Cottage sits on the famous Alleyne’s Bay.  Framed by a natural reef, Alleyne’s Bay is home to an intricate marine ecosystem comprising of hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles, thousands of exotic fish and beautiful corals. Teeming with life, the marine habitat has become a main attraction for snorkeling enthusiasts staying at the Cottage.

Snorkel with the Turtles

For many years, our guests have enjoyed snorkeling in the waters in front of the cottage. Guests snorkeling here can expect to see a wide variety of fish and even sea turtles. These curious creatures enjoy being fed and some even stick around long enough to pose for photos. Indeed, many guests at Plombagine Cottage also enjoy swimming with the turtles.

Schools of Fish

Snorklers can look forward to seeing schools of Banded Butterfly Fish, Queen Parrot Fish and Basslets. Snorkelers may also spot Bluehead Wrasse, which incidently bears the colors of the Barbados flag: blue, yellow and black.

Corals and Coral Reef

Barbados has some of the most beautiful, diverse corals in the Carbbean. Guests snorkeling at Allenyne’s Bay can explore spectacular coral reefs composed of sea fans, barrel sponges and large coral heads. Unfortunately, coral reefs have deteriorated over the years. While efforts are underway to restore these delicate ecosystems, care should be taken not to damage them.

More Great Places to Snorkel in Barbados

Not too far away from Plombagine Cottage is the lovely Folkestone Beach. At low tide on most days, guests can walk to Folkestone Beach about 2.5 mil.es away. Mullin’s Bay in St. Peter is another great spot for snorkeling. Barbados also has a number of shipwrecks and popular diving sites. Carlisle Bay on the South Coast another great beach for snorkeling and is also a popular diving spot.

Snorkeling Gear

We sometimes have a limited amount of snorkeling gear at the cottage. Guests are free to use this equipment if present. However, we recommend that you travel with your own snorkeling equipment, or purchase additional gear while on island. We do not supply or sell snorkeling equipment at the cottage.