When it comes to Ecotourism, the small, spacious beach which is found about 10km east from the Tangalle Bay in the South of Sri Lanka, is unmistakable. This sandy beach of Rekawa begins in the Tangalle lagoon, just behind the village of Marakolliya and ends right at the natural reserve of Kalametiya, spreading along the Sri Lankan coast for about 3.5 kilometers. Even though the beach of Rekawa is not your ideal place for a calming swim because of its high tide, it is famous throughout the world for an altogether different reason.
Ecotourists are the main type of people who visit this sandy stretch of a coast, because it is one of the most important turtle nesting sites in Sri Lanka. The calm, uncrowded beach of Rekawa is considered as a natural nursey for rare sea turtle species, mainly the Leatherback Sea Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle among many others. Rekawa beach is used as a nesting site by five different sea turtle species and the maximum recorded number of sea turtle sightings during one night in Rekawa is 23. Even though the best time to observe the nesting sea turtles is from January to April, when there is a full moon, every night, turtles can be seen on the Rekawa beach. Turtles are nocturnal and come out of the sea to lay their eggs at night, so having a full moon providing plenty of light is preferred to the observer and the turtles both.
Rekawa is not only one of the best places to watch sea turtles nesting in Sri Lanka, but in the whole world. It has been named as one of the top 10 eco-friendly destinations in the world by online travel community, IgoUgo. Even though there are many sea turtle farms along the southern coastline of Sri Lanka starting from Kalutara, most of these are man-made sea turtle conservation farms. In these conservation farms, sea turtles are bred in man-made tanks, and an entrance fee is charged from the tourists who visit them. Therefore, Rekawa beach is the only natural sea turtle nesting site in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, where you will be able to see at least two turtles nesting every night.
Visitors can spot five species of sea turtles in Rekawa. Namely, they are; Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Leatherback Sea Turtle and Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. There are only seven sea turtle species in the world and it makes Rekawa one of the very few beaches on Earth where visitors can spot five of this endangered species.
If you want to watch sea turtles at Rekawa, patience is your virtue. You will have to sit patiently on the beach at night when there is a full moon to see these graceful creatures crawling out of the sea to lay their eggs. It is important not to disturb and disrupt this beautiful process at Rekawa beach, since it is one of the few places on Earth where endangered sea turtles breed. Therefore, visit Rekawa beach on your next trip to the South of Sri Lanka and witness the once-in-a-lifetime experience of sea turtles nesting.