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“Fantastic, Moving Experience!”

The Turtle Hospital
Ranked #2 of 48 things to do in Marathon
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed March 1, 2013

We had a FANTASTIC tour guide. She was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and clear. What a great place this is! They are doing so much for these beautiful turtles! I enjoyed every second of this tour!

Thank operadivaprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sea turtles"
in 786 reviews
"injured turtles"
in 138 reviews
"permanent residents"
in 125 reviews
"operating room"
in 84 reviews
"love turtles"
in 50 reviews
"minute tour"
in 103 reviews
"tour starts"
in 45 reviews
"bubble butt"
in 41 reviews
"educational tour"
in 56 reviews
"make reservations"
in 88 reviews
"slide show"
in 43 reviews
"call ahead"
in 40 reviews
"all ages"
in 151 reviews
"great tour"
in 86 reviews
"these beautiful creatures"
in 55 reviews
"gift shop"
in 120 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 78 reviews
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2,895 - 2,899 of 3,660 reviews

Reviewed February 28, 2013

If the Turtle Hospital had not already been reviewed, I would have chosen a more "Turtle-y" title, but really my title is the best advice. The display is OK - but if you go on the tour, you will agree that the organization's financial priorities are spot on. The hospital and the "recovery area" are fascinating. There was a one lone hatchling which had been disoriented and somehow end up NOT in the water and huge turtles experiencing rehab. There are also turtles so damaged they cannot return to the sea. They have a permanent home and the job of educating visitors. If you need to get to Key West or back to Miami and points north on a schedule, check the website and make a reservation. The hospital is on the west side of the road, and not very splashy. There are signs, but you do need to pay attention. The visit is not quick so you need to assess if you and/or your children will be willing to put in the 2 hours needed. We are really glad we went but wish we had called ahead to learn the tour schedule. As a postcard aficionado, I was disappointed not to find much of a selection.

1  Thank puffinmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

I would strongly recommend calling and making a reservation verses driving there and having to come back a couple hours later. We had to do it and it was fine just plan for it. Pack a lunch and go to Bahia State park and have lunch, hike, swim then go back. The tour guide was great, she new quite a lot about these great creatures. We were very impressed with her knowledge. We had been to Hawaii and swam with turtles so were somewhat familiar with them but, they covered many types of turtles and explained the ocean hazards to them and how to help protect them. We were surprised to learn how small their brains are. Its interesting to note they can slow their heart rates when under stress to extremely low rates. The educational talk before the tour is the best. You can ask questions about anything regarding the turtles. They even cover the history of turtles in the Keys. Then they show you the operating room and recovery area. Then onward to the area where they keep the turtles until they can be released or have to stay permanently or for a year. They discussed traumas that these turtles go through from boats, disease and fisherman. They are doing a remarkable thing for this turtles at this place. It is a non profit organization so go see it and support their rescue and care. Nothing is better when snorkeling to see these creatures cruising in the water.The 15.00 per person fee is a small price to pay once you visit and see what they are doing for these turtles. Parking is pretty tight but you can park in the lot right next to the entrance still in the turtle hospital area.

Thank karenrn94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We didn't know what to expect from the Turtle Hospital tour but having seen Green Sea Turtles in their natural habitat in Hawaii, we were looking forward to seeing what the hospital was doing for these wonderful creatures. The tour introduced the various types of sea turtles found in Florida. The guide talked about how people can help the turtles better survive and she showed off the operating room where doctors do their best to restore the turtles to health and then back to the sea. What surprised me was the number of medical problems turtles could have. Everything from trauma from boat propellers, injury from fishing line, to tumors, to a disease called bubble-butt can trigger a visit to the hospital. The last part of the tour took the group through the recovery area where the turtles were healing from there injuries, surgeries and other maladies.


We took the last tour of the day so the group was small enough that everyone was able to see what the guide was talking about at each turtle tank. I agree with another reviewer that this isn't a tour the would hold the attention of very small children.



It is great that there are people in the world that dedicate their time, money and talent to make the world a little safer for all who inhabit it. The Turtle Hospital is definitely worth a visit.

Thank Davis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 26, 2013

I enjoyed the visit and the talk teaching us more about their mission. A visit to the "patients" afterward was nice to see the turtles so close in their individual pools. Reservations are highly recommended.

Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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