The turtle hatchery at Hikkaduwa is a must-visit for all those who want to see these amazing animals survive and thrive after years of predation throughout the Indian Ocean.
After hatching in a special sandy area, the baby turtles are transferred to tanks, where they are hand reared before being released into the nearby ocean.
The hatchery is another local business tragically affected by the fury of the 2004 tsunami. The founder’s daughter, who was by then running the business, died, and her body was never found. Her brother took over when the hatchery was rebuilt.
If you're in Hikka, you should stop by the turtle hatchery. It's a place where a small variety of turtles are reared and taken care of in big tanks.
As far as we know there are also turtle hatcheries in Galle and Kosgoda, while Rekawa and Kalpitiya are good places for watching turtles in their natural habitats.
It's hard to miss as you travel up on the beach stretch in Hikka, north of the railway station. The walls outside are covered in colourful turtle themed murals.
The inside is just a series of tanks - different ones for different species of turtles, accompanied by plenty of informative sign boards about them.
And of course there's a sandy section as soon as you walk in where the turtle eggs are hatched. Hatching of sea turtles usually happens in summer and the babies take about 3-7 days to make their way to the surface after hatching.
Turtles are so adorable! Unfortunately some of them are endangered. Hatcheries such as these aim at trying to conserve them. The hawksbill turtles are an endangered species, driven to the brink of extinction by the 'tortoise shell' trade - apparently poachers remove their scales while they're still alive and turn them into ornaments for sale.