Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter
4
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre doesn’t just save sea turtles – it’s a place for wild island fun, too! At this first-of-its-kind wildlife conservation experience, visit majestic Green sea turtles, swim alongside playful young turtles, and maybe even watch tiny hatchlings emerge from their nest as you learn how its innovative approach to conservation has reduced poaching and increased the number of sea turtles in the wild. Then hit the Turtle Twister waterslide, explore the flying rainbows of the Butterfly House and Free Flight Aviary, and see the fearsome residents of Predator Reef. Most importantly, learn how you can help save sea turtles, too!
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter and nearby attractions

See what travellers are saying
  • adings
    Shanklin, United Kingdom226 contributions
    More of a family trip but was ok
    We got here first thing and had the whole place to ourselves. Great opportunity to see loads of turtles and even give them some food. There is an area where you can touch the turtles. The snorkelling area is great if nervous of snorkelling in the sea and lots of fish to see along with the turtles. The Avery and butterfly areas were fairly underwhelming. Worth a visit but not at the expense of snorkelling in the sea
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 December 2022
  • Patti N
    11 contributions
    Fun For the Family
    Our family of 9, including a 3 year old and an 8 year old really enjoyed our visit. It was a great learning experience. The 8 year old loved his first experience snorkeling! We topped off our visit at the swimming pool and the waterslide was a big hit! I'd definitely recommend this attraction for families.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 2 January 2023
  • Keith V
    7 contributions
    Extra Cool Adventure!
    By far the most refreshing thing about this place is that they didn't charge extra for the mask and snorkel so we could swim with the turtles. Also, don't miss the bird exhibit where you can feed the Ibis (donation of $1 for the food). There were indoor and outdoor showers and plenty of beach chairs for relaxing.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 9 January 2023
  • Amy R
    6 contributions
    Great Family Afternoon - Educational and Fun!
    Great opportunity to swim with turtles, watch turtles at feeding time, and swim in a huge beautiful fresh water pool. Plenty of parking. We really enjoyed the afternoon. We spent 3 hours here and it seemed like the perfect length of time for us.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 12 January 2023
  • Joe Snell
    Wilton Manors, Florida65 contributions
    Simply a Magical Experience
    My husband and I stayed in Grand Cayman for 3 nights. Due to high seas, our Stingray City tour was cancelled. We decided to go to the Cayman Turtle Centre instead. We arrived at the Turtle Centre around 9 am on a Saturday and were two of maybe 10 people at the entire park. We paid to snorkel with the sea turtles and were the only two in the lagoon. For over an hour we had the wonderful opportunity to swim with these magnificent creatures, alone! It was truly awesome. One of the turtles used my snorkel mask to rest his head on while he took a breath. We travel a lot, and this was one of the best experiences of my life. I would really recommend going there early, like we did, before all the ships get in. You can have the place to yourself. Later in the morning the place started to fill up and we met some really nice people.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 January 2023
  • D D
    Detroit, Michigan160 contributions
    Fell in love with the turtles
    A wonderful place that had controlled access to the turtles, but the guests could get very close. The aviary was nice. Not too many butterflies. It wasn't until we were about to leave that we found out the center's purpose was to breed sea turtles. In fact, they are one of the most successful breeding facilities in the world and the only place in the world to have successfully breed turtles through two generations.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 20 January 2023
  • opal c
    South Boston, Virginia26 contributions
    Ok for short stop in visit
    Went during the week. Not very busy. Very few staff around to talk to about the turtles. Went to the restaurant and service was so so. No eggs or hatchlings. No butterflies. Only a few birds. Ok for a short stop in visit but disappointing compared to our last visit several years ago.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 January 2023
  • Anthony S
    Billericay, United Kingdom119 contributions
    This is an absolute must.
    How many times have you visited a dolphin sanctuary or similar aquatic centre, this is completely different & it’s fantastic. This people are doing an amazing job & deserve our support. The prices are reasonable, the people friendly & informative and it’s a clean safe place to visit. The ‘water park’ is a great way to spend part of your day, the highlight however, snorkelling with the turtles in the man made lake. This is an absolute must & the shower facilities are excellent. Do not miss this place.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 January 2023
  • Hilary S
    Market Drayton, United Kingdom31 contributions
    Must Do
    Snorkelling with the turtles is a must do experience. It was well organised and the snorkelling equipment easy to use . There are fairly basic showers and changing facilities which are clean . The film at the hatching building is very interesting but it would have been nice to speak to someone about the release program- there didn’t seem to be many staff to ask. All in all a good experience and one I would recommend and I would definitely snorkel with the turtles again . We didn’t use the cafe .
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 January 2023
  • Ashlee P
    Kansas City, Missouri32 contributions
    Just Ok
    The Turtle Centre was just ok for us... kinda sad to see all the turtles crammed into a pool. And the lagoon where you snorkle with the turtles was also just ok. My husband and six-year-old son did the snorkeling, and my son did enjoy it, but I guess there's nothing like the real experience of seeing them in the ocean. My nephews did enjoy the pool and water slide. If you're deciding between the turtles and another excursion I think you could easily pass on this one and not miss much.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 1 February 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
4,504 reviews
Excellent
1,955
Very good
1,423
Average
698
Poor
237
Terrible
191

lovetotravel1229
Fort Gibson, OK209 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
We came in on a ship and had an excursion to swim with the stingrays got canceled due to weather. We took a local tour and the turtle farm was a stop. With an 8 and 10 year old they we’re excited for the stop.

There were 7 of us and it was a pretty penny for all of to go to the turtle farm. It was just average. I felt it was over priced. It took us less than 30 minutes to walk through this place. Turtles were beautiful but in crowded concrete tanks. There were absolutely no staff to narrate anything about the turtles. No pamphlet or nothing. I was not impressed but the grandkids liked seeing some sea life.
Written 27 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for sharing, and for expressing your views. The Centre is not only an attraction but a place where people learn about and develop an appreciation for turtles. With over 250,000 visitors each year it is the hope that guests go home feeling more enlightened and more likely to conserve and protect animals that they have had direct contact with. Also, your entry goes to help us in furthering the conservation of turtles. We are always in the process of reviewing the options that are available, and so your comments are very welcome. Regarding the lack of information or tour guides, we are continually updating and adding more information to our map/brochure as well as updating our signs, and we feel that these are very helpful to everyone who sees them. While we employ a large number of tour guides to educate the public, we are in the middle of our busiest time of year with many visitors. The easiest way to ensure you have access to an informed staff member would be to book one of our tours like the Turtle Safari which is a 45 minute narrated tour. Regarding your comment on turtle tanks, sometimes when people see so many large turtles together, they feel that they do not really have enough space, especially at feeding time when the big turtles all group together. But at other times, you can see that the big turtles really do have more than enough space, because they spread out and each one really has a pool which is half the size of a soccer pitch to swim around in. The lagoon with the breeding females and males is very large and deep, with lots of space. There is a lot of independent evidence that shows turtles in the wild are herding animals, staying together, it’s only recently with the loss of habitat and numbers that people see turtles in the wild on their own. There are many recorded instances of explorers to the new world seeing so many turtles together around the Cayman Islands that they thought the islands were surrounded by rocks. While we began as a turtle husbandry facility, conservation has always being at the root of our activities and those of our predecessors. Cayman Turtle Centre is an education and conservation facility and the activities people can experience are to help them better appreciate the natural environment. The conservation work has been independently studied and just recently there is even more evidence about its success https://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2019/01/012.html Thank you for your thoughtful comments. We find all such comments very useful.
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cayman R
2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
This is a turtle FARM. They killed 1525 turtles for meat last year.
It is a slaughterhouse hiding under the guise of a tourist attraction
DO NOT GO
Written 25 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
The Cayman Turtle Centre takes pride in releasing over 32,000 turtles into the sea through our successful head-starting release program, as confirmed by an independent study led by the University of Barcelona. This research reveals a compelling finding: nine out of ten green sea turtles in Cayman's waters are genetically linked to those previously released from our Centre. Originating as a turtle husbandry operation, the practice of producing turtles for meat at the Cayman Turtle Centre aligns with sound conservation principles. This approach has been vital to preventing the extinction of wild turtles in Cayman's waters, offering a sustainable alternative to poaching. Turtles hold a significant place in the history and culture of the Cayman Islands, with a continued strong demand for turtle meat. Our conservation efforts, which include meeting this demand and our turtle release program, have proven to positively impact the wild population. By strategically providing a sustainable source of turtle meat that undermines poaching, coupled with our ongoing release program, the number of turtle nests on Cayman's beaches has surged from just two or three two decades ago to more than 600 today. We take justifiable pride in our conservation record, and these facts underscore our unwavering dedication to turtle conservation.
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rachel N
Winnipeg, Canada24 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
I hadn't been to the Turtle Farm since before hurricane Ivan. I was amazed at what the Turtle farm is now and impressed with both the tourist friendly activities plus the work the Turtle Farm is doing. Great experience
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so much for writing a review, and sharing! And thank you for taking the time to understand our important conservation work.
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kimberly B
Grove City, OH6,641 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
We have swam with turtles MANY times out in the ocean but was looking for something new to do while staying on the island and decided to check this place out.

We thought this place was very interesting and pretty. It's bigger than what I thought and the lagoon you swim with the turtles in was huge! There's different ways to go (it splits off) and circles around. There's various depths as well. Most of the turtles were gathered at the end beside the glass wall where you can view the predator tank. There were PLENTY of turtles in there and you can tell they are use to people swimming with them because they would swim right up to you sometimes brushing your leg or arm. Yes there's a lot of green algae but there's a sign along the side that said to expect that and it meant the water was healthy? We did see 3 dead fish in there.

They had a large predator tank with nurse sharks, turtles, tarpon and barracuda's in it. You can watch them being fed. There are a lot of smaller tanks in an area with smaller turtles in there and then inside a building shows you their incubators with baby turtles in it. Then there's a huge area with the larger Green Sea Turtles in it and a beach were they do their nesting (you can't enter this area and is viewed from the edges).

The bird aviary was nice with birds up in the trees and roaming around the grounds. The staff was passionate about giving information on the birds and pointing them out.

The butterfly enclosure didn't have many butterflies at all in there. We probably seen around 5 of them.

The pool (supposed to be the biggest in Grand Cayman) was really nice with different depths and waterfall. There's an area in the pool that you can go under the water and there's a glass viewing area into the predator tank while you're underwater. There's also a water slide there as well.

They have a very large gift shop with everything you can think of.

We enjoyed the place and gave us something different to do while staying on the island.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for writing a review, and for telling others about Cayman Turtle Centre! It warms our heart when the Centre serves as its meant to, which is expose more and more people to wildlife so that they can have a better appreciation to ultimately protect them. We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit. Regarding your comment on the algae and fish in the turtle lagoon, we would like to point out that the Turtle Lagoon is really a controlled, living ecosystem. Because of all the turtles and fishes that live there we cannot use harmful sanitizing chemicals in the water, such as chlorine, as you would find in a regular swimming pool. That means we cannot prevent natural biological processes from occurring, such as the growth of algae in the water. But we keep the water monitored, and safe from harmful pathogens by a very powerful and very advanced pumping and filtration system, which is constantly in use, and which circulates and purifies 28 million gallons of water a day. The water is filtered, but it also undergoes an ionic reaction process, which continually kills bacterial and removes proteins and other biological compounds from the water. This does not prevent the accumulation of algae on the bottom and sides of the lagoon however as the algae, which, as a natural part of any marine ecosystem, grows very rapidly in the warm water and sunlight. However, the sides and bottom of the lagoon are cleaned every day, so that the build-up of algae is kept to a minimum, but it is still impossible to prevent this natural process entirely. Sometimes, this algae becomes dislodged, and floats for a little while in the water, before being removed, giving the temporary appearance of cloudiness in the water. We're disappointed to hear you saw 3 dead fish, as our team of lifeguards enters the water with dive gear twice daily for health and safety checks. I have alerted them of your concern and we are working to make sure this does not occur again. Again, thank you for your kind review. We hope to see you again one day!
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

valencia1958
Boynton Beach, FL26 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
Interesting place. Got to actually touch turtles! Beautiful lagoon to swim in. Tony the tour guide was great, informative and funny. Usually don't pay attention to gift shop, but this one was very nice,fair priced and lots of local and unusual things. The staff was very pleasant & nice. Whole place definitely worth time & money to stop at.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! Touching turtles certainly is an unforgettable and magical experience and Tony is a wonderful tour guide, so thank you for highlighting his great work. We hope to see you again soon!
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cherylabq1
Dade City, FL2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This over priced ($27/pp) run down tourist trap left us heart broken to see these Green Back turtles in over crowded dirty tanks. The main tank had 60+ year old large turtles whose quality of life was terrible. They were swimming around in murky water bumping into each other and coming up for air frequently
The other tanks you see the turtles fins reaching out of the tank edge trying to get out
We learned they farm most of these turtles for meat.

There was a bird sanctuary that had pigeons and finches. Really????

Don’t go if you are empathetic to supporting wild life because you will leave disappointed and heart broken like we did
Written 14 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review, and for expressing your concern. Turtles’ health and happiness are always our number one priority, so that we have two veterinarians onsite to make sure that they are always kept in the best of health. When people see so many large turtles all together in the Breeding Pond, especially at feeding time when they are eager to all come forward and receive their food, it sometimes gives the impression of overcrowding. But it is good to remember that, far from not having enough space to swim, each of these turtles is perfectly free to swim throughout the length and breadth of the pond, which is almost half the size of a football pitch. The pond is very deep, and although the turtles are very big, they are expert swimmers, so that they can quite easily pass above or below one another. If you see them at other times, when they are not all concentrated in one area, it is easy to see that they actually have plenty of room to swim around and express themselves in a natural way. We take our responsibility to the turtles’ welfare very seriously, and the conditions we keep them in meet the internationally-recognized principles of animal welfare. The Cayman Turtle Centre takes pride in releasing over 32,000 turtles into the sea through our successful head-starting release program, as confirmed by an independent study led by the University of Barcelona. This research reveals a compelling finding: nine out of ten green sea turtles in Cayman's waters are genetically linked to those previously released from our Centre. Originating as a turtle husbandry operation, the practice of producing turtles for meat at the Cayman Turtle Centre aligns with sound conservation principles. This approach has been vital to preventing the extinction of wild turtles in Cayman's waters, offering a sustainable alternative to poaching. Turtles hold a significant place in the history and culture of the Cayman Islands, with a continued strong demand for turtle meat. Our conservation efforts, which include meeting this demand and our turtle release program, have proven to positively impact the wild population. By strategically providing a sustainable source of turtle meat that undermines poaching, coupled with our ongoing release program, the number of turtle nests on Cayman's beaches has surged from just two or three two decades ago to more than 600 today. We take justifiable pride in our conservation record, and these facts underscore our unwavering dedication to turtle conservation.
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michelle R
Indiana, PA44 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Enjoyed swimming with the turtles! Stinky algae water so you will want to shower afterwards. Had a drink called Dirty Banana which was delicious! We also watched the giant turtles swim around then finished the visit with a dip in the swimming pool.
Written 3 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so glad that you had loads of fun swimming with the turtles! And the pool and the yummy cocktails too! Please come back soon!
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tima M
Cookeville, TN6 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
If you love turtles, this place is an absolute must. They also have the largest freshwater pool on the island. We spent the entire day here snorkeling with the turtles, watching some of the feedings, and spending time relaxing at the pool. It was just my husband and I, but I would also recommend this to families. Super polite, helpful, knowledgeable staff. Clean facilities. Plenty of shady spots for a break from the sun. Two different options inside for food or go outside for some authentic cuisine. Easy to come back in with arm bands. My favorite part was wading with and petting the younger turtles. Overall a very good day!
Written 28 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so glad that you had loads of fun with the turtles! And relaxing by the pool too! Please come back soon!
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

veronak
251 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Don’t waste your time unless you’re a turtle lover and have small children. I didn’t enjoy this place.

The park has great activities for kids, a water park, a bird sanctuary, turtle feeding, and more.
Written 5 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen M
Montana4 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
An up close and personal visit with these beautiful animals. Didn't do the swim with them but still an impressive visit
Written 4 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review.
Written 24 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 4,292
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter (West Bay) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter