When snorkeling or SCUBA diving in Bali, sea turtles are a treasured sight! They are a popular tattoo design, too. Turtles lend to many tattoo art styles from realistic and colourful to tribal blocking, line work or dot work.

Fantasy, artistic and realistic turtle tattoos

Body art by:

  1. Grey tattoo sleeve sea turtle scene by Lokub La Tattuu
  2. Black and grey ocean wave turtle tattoo by Ukix
  3. Shark ocean tattoo by Ketut Rudi, Gods of Ink
  4. Underwater turtle color tattoo by Opex John, Luxury Ink 
  5. Color turtle ankle tattoo by Ucok
  6. Sea turtle tattoo from Bali Goutama Tattoo
  7. Watercolor turtle tattoo by Viqink
  8. Rainbow turtle tattoo by Ukix
  9. Artsy turtle shared by Angga Nugraha, Flash Ink
  10. Sea turtle by Balinesia Tattoo II
  11. Turtle tattoo by Erwin, Mason Ink

What is the meaning of a turtle tattoo?

Based on their amphibian qualities, appearance and fables about them, turtles symbolize mostly good things in various cultures.

Long life. Creativity. Individuality. Fertility. Beauty. Strength. Endurance. Patience. Order. Creation. Good luck. Happiness. 

Some cultures in Asia believe the world was created from a turtle shell and for them, the turtle is a symbol of “universal order.” Native Americans also have stories about the world’s continents originating as the parts of a turtle’s shell.

According to Javanese mythology and Hindu beliefs, Lord Visnu once turned into a giant sea turtle – the avatar is known as Kurma.  MORE ON THIS FROM WORLDHINDUNEWS.COM

Hawaiian green sea turtles, called Honu, are respected as very good navigators who led the first Polynesians to the Hawaiian islands and can always find their way home. READ MORE FROM OLUKAI

Turtle symbols and tribal tattoos


  1. Tiny turtle tattoo with geometric shell by Dream Ink
  2. Tribal tattoo turtle design on neck by Viqink
  3. Tribal tattoo by Eduard Vorobiev
  4. Turtle tattoo on foot by Ucenk Art Tattoo

What kind of turtles live in Bali?

Almost all types of sea turtles live in the Indonesian archipelago and can be found in Bali -Green turtles, Olive Ridley turtles, Leatherbacks, Flatbacks, Loggerheads and Hawksbill turtles (the only sea turtle species which you don’t find here is the Kemps ridley turtle).

The Hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered turtle species known to nest on sandy shores all around Indonesia. They were hunted around the world for centuries because they have the most beautiful turtle shell pattern on their backs. Natural tortoise shell is worth a lot of money for sunglasses, decorating furniture and other products like street souvenirs. Hawksbills are also a Chinese delicacy. Good news, capturing these guys is now illegal and populations around the world are slowly increasing. The only way to take one home with you is in photos or tattoos!


These pictures of sea turtle tattoos were provided to TATTLAS or shared publicly by tattoo artists and studios in Bali, Indonesia. Last update: 27 Nov 2017. Our original post had a mistake; tribal turtle tattoo #4 was made by and shared on Instagram by freelance tattooer @ucenkartattoo (credit has been corrected).

Want to submit your Bali turtle tattoos? Here’s how: