Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter
4
Water Parks • Aquariums
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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
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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
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
4,401 reviews
Excellent
1,901
Very good
1,403
Average
682
Poor
234
Terrible
181

KatieH3177
Broken Arrow, OK16 contributions
Couples
The last few times we went to the turtle centre we were allowed to hold them and wade in pools. This year neither are allowed. You can only touch them with two fingers. The worker was not amused by anyone visiting. We paid $58 a person to look at the turtles for 25 minutes and left. Very disappointed this time.
Written July 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gorjush
Orlando, FL96 contributions
Family
We (3 families with kids age 4-11) visited midweek late June and had a great time. There is an older gentleman at the front who gave my boy a cayman coin which was really super kind. Make sure to take the map and decide which activities are on your must see/do list since some of them close early (ie the snorkel experience with the turtles). My boy especially loved petting the smaller turtles in the tanks. The on site restaurant has a great variety of lunch items including many kid friendly options as well as adult beverages. The swimming park area was a nice break and the kids loved the slide. We spent about 4-5 hours there and it was definitely worthwhile.
Written September 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MikesWanders
Charlotte, NC101 contributions
I had read the reviews here before our trip. The one that stood out was the one commenting on the presence of algae. Before we got in the water, we saw clearly posted signs informing us that the presence of algae is beneficial for the marine life and indicates a healthy environment. Anyway...

We paid our money to do the full tour. We first went to the beach to get our snorkel gear. The gentleman working on that day was not friendly, ran through the instructions in about 20 seconds, and sent us on our way.

My daughter and I got in and spent about a half hour in the large enclosed area. We saw several turtles just living their turtle lives. There was another area where dozens of them were hanging out, presumably that is where they get fed. We much preferred seeing one or two swimming or resting along the floor. This was very enjoyable for us despite the seaweed floating on the surface of the water.

We also saw the hatchery and all of the other turtles in tanks/tubs. We fed the ones in the mating area and had an overall good time.

We took the shuttle from our hotel to the center. I had been under the impression that the shuttle went right from our hotel to the center, but that was not correct. We took a cab back from the center because the shuttle times are fairly inconvenient, or at least were for our schedule.

I would recommend this experience to anyone with children who are able to snorkel especially, and for anyone that loves turtles in general.
Written September 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ron
1 contribution
For the past 30 years we have been coming here for the amazing experience of having contact with a live turtle. I was a kid and the turtle farm was actually across the street where the parking lot is now. Seeing them at different stages of life was amazing. For adults and kids alike the highlight was always handling the turtles. For years there were always guides to explain the turtle and how to handle them responsibly when touching and picking up the turtles. Well it has been a couple of years now due to Covid and for some reason you can no longer touch or pick up the turtles. There was no one around to explain anything and the conditions of the tanks are horrendous. Poor turtles. Some sloppy dressed rude security guy just treated us very poorly and blamed previous guests of the farm ....claiming they injured and even killed many turtles while they were there. So now do to a few bad people and the lack of attendant helping people to learn about the turtle and how to handle them we all suffer. Is it us or the farm that needs to make this experience work once again. I am sad to say that going to the farm is not worth the entrance fee and needs to shut its doors to the public. It is not worth the fee to go in. I have never complained about the cost of anything like this but this place has lost it level of experience it once provided. Until they get the program back into a real hands on experience don't bother going. You can see turtles anytime online or at your local zoo or aquarium. Support your local programs and skip this one until it is back to the way it once was.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

arod3716
Miami, FL13 contributions
Family
We visited one day at 2 and was told that turtle swimming closes at 2:30 everyday. We returned the next day at 12:30 and was told that it closes at 1 because it was too busy. Terrible communication. So I bought tickets for my kids to swim with turtles for 30 mins and for me and my wife to walk around and go on another pool. When we got to the other pool was told by lifeguard that we couldn’t swim in the pool because our tickets were not for swimming. Didn’t make sense, went back to box office and complained and was told that it was miscommunication and to pay $20 more. Incredible. Don’t visit!!
Written July 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bubbalusk
Captiva Island, FL194 contributions
Family
The place is fun to visit. This was our second visit in the past few years. The facility is clean, and well maintained. The staff members were awful, mean and disrespectful. The gentleman at the front entrance managing the taxis and buses are very aggressive and want their “tips” (not sure what for). We should’ve just turned around after that first encounter. 4 of us are at the on-site restaurant, and all ate chicken tenders and 4 drinks (soda) and it was $99.. they included a 15% tip automatically, and we added another $6 cash. The server got very upset when we didn’t add more tip so we left the facility.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Born4shop
Scarsdale, NY65 contributions
We went in January, which is probably not the best month to go because the hatchery is closed, as it is not the right season for baby turtles. That being said there were plenty of large turtles to see and photograph. Coming on a tour through our cruise we were given over 2 hours to visit which in my opinion was way too long, an hour would have been enough. We did not snorkel although that option was available in a large man made lake, but I understand you cant see anything until you are a good ways into the water. We used some of our time to visit the dolphin place, which was just next door and had free admission. For adults it was ok to visit, I think with children it would have been more enjoyable.
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ellie Q
Sydney, Australia177 contributions
As of 1st December 2019 you can no longer hold the turtles. You can still pet them and wade in one of the tanks with them at this stage.

Admission is based on how much of the park you can access. As part of a cruise shore excursion, I was a green wristband holder which limited me to a very small portion of the park. We had finished looking in that section and petting the turtles within 20 minutes. There are signs set up barring those with green wristbands from entering other parts of the park.

Food is way overpriced and can't be justified. US$8 for a tiny hotdog? Seriously?

Some tanks were quite filthy and very small for the size of the turtles. The size of the crocodile enclosure was unreasonably small. Nature worriers would become upset in this place.

If you come here as part of a cruise shore excursion you'll likely be disappointed, unless you have very small children that you want to keep occupied.

Apart from the 20 minutes of seeing the turtles, this place was a waste of my time and money. I wouldn't do it again and can't recommend the place.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Ellie Q, We would like to thank you very much for expressing your view, and sharing. We introduced a new turtle interaction which includes a two finger touch as we expand and improve our turtle welfare and health policies. It is still possible to touch the turtles while they are still in the water and give them an opportunity to choose not to be touched, which is important. Regarding the water cleanliness, we would like to point out that the water quality is really controlled to ensure healthy conditions for our turtles. We operate a state of the art water processing system and the water conditions are reviewed every day. Regarding the turtle pool size, the Greens Breeding pond is very deep. It does not distress the turtles to be in these pools because they are familiar with these surroundings and there is in fact plenty of space for them to swim around and express themselves and their natural modes of behavior. Two board certified veterinarians are here on a full-time basis and their job is to ensure that the animals are kept healthy. Regular checks of the animals are conducted. We are sorry to hear you felt disappointed. We like to feel that we have many things to interest people, touching the turtles, taking pictures with them, see turtles at their various ages and learning about them, learning about conservation and how we breed and raise the turtles. There are other parts of the Centre, including our Aviary, where families can hand-feed birds, and our turtle lagoon where people can swim with turtles.
Written January 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mrsrisak
Philadelphia, PA6 contributions
We had heard that this was one of the places you needed to see! When we talked about it with the hotel she told us we HAD to do the snorkel add on because you get to swim with sea turtles.
What was great is there was a free courtesy shuttle to and from our hotel. We opted for the package that included snorkeling. The amount of Sea Turtles at this place is impressive and breathtaking. It was a fun experience to see some of the smaller ones up close but you could only touch them with 2 fingers. So not much of a touch tanks.
When we went to snorkel, we were very disappointed. The water is full of algae which they say is ok and safe. But we saw only a few fish and only saw 3 small sea turtles, so not at all what we expected or what we were told.
We were only there about 2 hours I think.
Its a cool place to visit if you need something to do but save yourself money and don't buy the enhanced ticket, there is much better snorkeling elsewhere on the island.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Mrsrisak, We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your experience; sorry to hear you felt it was a bit ‘underwhelming.’ Actually there are several hundred fish in the turtle lagoon, and lots of different species, and around 25 turtles there too. They do tend to group together, often around the end of the lagoon where they get fed most often. It is really quite large too, so that it is possible to be “unlucky,” and not see very many of them. It is true that there are lots of beautiful places to snorkel all around the Cayman Islands, and this is an option; but we feel that we also offer a very safe environment, because young and inexperienced snorkelers are carefully watched over by our lifeguards. The Centre is the only place to offer that many lifeguards on duty and they are fully certified in rescue, first aid and CPR. We also offer so many other things together. Did you manage to visit the lovely Caribbean Free Flight Aviary? Or stroll around the Blue Hole Nature Trail?
Written January 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kerry W
Marathon, WI12 contributions
My wife and I were excited to see the turtles and the aviary at the Turtle Center.
We were not interested in running around in swimsuits the rest of the afternoon as we were taking the bus to other stops afterward, so we weren't interested in the waterslide or beach or swimming with turtles. The turtles were great! I have read other reviews condemning selling the turtles for meat. Did they watch the short film presentation explaining the release of 32,000 turtles back into the wild? I commend them for this!
I am giving an average rating based on the value of admission. It was $18.00 for under an hour of seeing only the turtles. We were told it would be another $27.00 to see the birds. There were numerous people like us with only green wristbands that had to turn around at the "no green wristbands allowed" signs when we wanted to see the birds. They need to have a price for those who want to stay dry ... and those who want to swim/slide in the water. I think only seeing the turtles was overpriced, even though we did really enjoy seeing them.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Kerry W, Thank you so much for your helpful comments about pricing and access. And we appreciate that you took the time to visit our Education Centre and Hatchery to see mores side of the conservation coin. 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.
Written January 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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

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