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Cayman Islands

Cayman Turtle Centre Shore Excursion

Cayman Turtle Centre is the Cayman Islands’ largest land-based attraction and draws more than 200,000 visitors a year.

The breeding farm has 8,000 green sea turtles and has released more than 31,000 into the ocean. It claims it is the largest facility of its kind in the world.

It came into being because poaching by residents who eat turtle meat had reduced the number of green sea turtles in the area to critically low levels. In response, the farm opened in 1968.

Visitors can see and interact with the turtles and attend exhibits and educational programs. The turtles range in size from six ounces to 600 pounds.

Cayman Islands photoThe farm sells turtle meat to local residents and restaurants and individuals, which discourages the practice of turtle poaching.

The facility, also known as Cayman Turtle Farm, conducts research about turtles living in the wild and in captivity. It also releases captive-bred turtles to help replenish the population in the wild. Females released more than 20 years ago are returning to Cayman beaches for nesting.

Boatswain’s Beach, home to the farm, offers visitors a chance to swim and snorkel with fish and other marine life in a 1.3 million gallon saltwater lagoon. Guests can also peer into the predator tank and come nose-to-nose with sharks and eels.

Other acilities including dining and shopping.

Prices / How to Get There

Cayman Turtle Centre Map

Cayman Turtle Centre is on the northwest tip of Grand Cayman in the West Bay district. It is eight miles or about 18 minutes by car from the George Town cruise terminal.

The “Turtle Adventure Tour” is $45 per person over the age of 12. The price is $25 per person for ages 3 to 12. Prices may change at any time.

The “Turtle Safari” is $29 for anyone 13 and older and $20 for children under 12.

Visitors also can swim with the dolphins. This shore excursion will cost between $100 and $200 per person depending on the level of interaction with the dolphins.

Cruise shore excursions that offer a trip to the farm usually include it with other activities. One cruise line charged $59.95 for people ages 13 and older and $49.99 for children 12 and under on a four-hour shore excursion. The excursion included transportation, the turtle farm, Camana Bay and local landmarks. Some excursions charge a little more and include lunch.

The cost of a taxi from George Town to the farm is about $20 to $25 one way for up to three people. Rates are standard and set by the government. So an excursion bus is a less expensive option than a taxi.

A less-expensive option is a public bus costing about $2 per person. The bus terminal is adjacent to the Public Library on Edward St. in downtown George Town.

Boatswain’s Beach is open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, go to the turtle center website.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
May 26, 2021