Sukamade Turtle Tour


Sukamade Merubetiri,Banyuwangi , East Java

Discovered around 1927 by a Dutch national, this beach is part of the Meru Betiri National Park which is an intensive utilization zone for observing turtle eggs and releasing baby turtles. Sukamade Beach itself is located in Rajegwesi Village, Pesanggaran District, Banyuwangi Regency, East Java. Because it has a fairly steep route, tourists are advised to use a double axle type car which is suitable for driving on off-road routes. Along the way, you will be treated to winding, uphill, and hilly rock roads that are left muddy for 30 km. The best time to visit is between July and November, it is the month for turtles to lay their eggs. Also, the dry season makes the area easier to explore, and the river will not easily get flooded.

Day 1: Pick up from Banyuwangi  then head to Green Bay

Started to pick you up from your accommodation in Banyuwangi, either staying at local homestays or standard hotels and resorts at around 08.00 AM. Packed up your stuff as we start our adventure, our first list for this is visiting Teluk Ijo mostly well-known as Green Bay.  After taking a 2-3 hour drive from Banyuwangi City Center, the drive was getting bumpy when we entered the area. Rocky Road and unpaved track all the way, but this was so fun.

Driving to Green Bay, before that we will stop at some points that can not be missed. Cacao and Rubber Plantation are places not to be missed, eating cacao fruit directly picked up from the trees. Stop over at the rubber plantation, and learn how locals collect latex from its trees is an interesting thing to see. Continue to walk through off beaten track for about 1 hour to find the hidden gem of the greeny beach of Green Bay. Another way you can rent a fisherman's boat to cross to Green Bay without walking. Enjoy the view, take some photos, and maybe just lie down on the clean sand of the beach. Enough with Green Bay, we directly drive to the Meru Betiri area to get to Sukamade Beach.

Green Bay, Teluk Ijo - A beauty before going to Sukamade Beach

Tight on your seat belt as we drive to a rocky path inside the national park, crossing the riverside. This river easily floods in the rainy season, so we will need help from the locals to be able to cross the river easily. After 1,5 hours of driving on the bumpy road, we finally arrived at the accommodation of Sukamade Guesthouse. This is a simple and basic guesthouse managed by the National Park, limited power supply so make sure you have a fully charged battery for all your electronic gadgets before the power cuts off. Bring enough snacks and a water supply as there are no stores in the area.

Turtle lay egg on Sukamade beach
In the evening our guide accompanied by the park ranger will go hunting the turtle laying eggs at the beach line. Some special turtle species always lay their eggs on the sandy beach of Sukamade. This activity is subjected to the weather conditions on-site when it was rainy and windy we could not see the lay egg turtle on the beach. Turtle watching begins around 8 pm – 10 pm. The guide will bring you to the beach where all must then turn off all lights and remain silent. While waiting, take a look at the sky, the stars are bright and beautiful. When the rangers spot an egg-laying turtle, all must hurry to the part of the beach where the turtle has been spotted. Depending on where is the turtle, this can involve walking 1 mile on a sandy beach in darkness with only moonlight and starlight (no torch lights allowed). On reaching the site, all were told not to stand in front of the turtle (only behind and at the side of her). No flashlight photography and the ranger will only shine light from behind the turtle. Finish seeing the turtle, we get back to the guesthouse for one night's sleep. Note that the guesthouse is simple and basic, so do not expect to sleep in a comfortable bedroom as this is the only accommodation available inside the national park.

Day 2: Turtle conservation and drive back to Banyuwangi

Wake up early morning to get ready to release baby turtles into the sea. Follow these little creatures as they make their first journey. Park workers will guide you over the starting point. Where the baby turtle should be put down on the sand. Young turtles then will start crawling toward the sea. Using the light at the horizon as a guide. It’s sad to think that many of these turtles won’t reach adulthood. As the baby turtle survival rate is very low. But that’s how nature works. At Sukamade Beach, a human has done their part. Then let nature handle the rest.

Turtle hatchery conservation at Sukamade Merubetiri
After having breakfast, we will join the turtle conservation activity. The turtle eggs that the park rangers collect on the beach are hatched at the Sukamade Turtle Hatchery. Why do they do this, you ask? Well, many sea turtle species are endangered, mainly because people hunt them for their eggs, shells, or meat. It’s estimated that only 1 out of 1000 baby turtles make it to adulthood. So, at the Sukamade Turtle Hatchery, the park rangers dig out all the eggs they can find at the beach. Afterward, they bury them again in a protected hatchery. This way, the eggs are protected from their natural predators and humans.

Finish visiting the turtle hatchery, and pack your backpacks to drive directly to Banyuwangi. We can drop you off back at the hotel in Banyuwangi, Ketapang Ferry for you who want to cross to Bali for your next destination. We estimate will arrive at Banyuwangi at around noon.

Contact us to get further information about price, availability, and reservation. For last minute booking, guest could reach us by WhatsApp for faster response.

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