Cayman Islands Turtle Farm Tour
The Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter first opened its doors in 1968 - becoming the first commercial venture to domesticate Green Sea Turtles. Since then the Farm's research and conservation experts have seen the release of over 31,000 Green Sea Turtles into the wild – and they have been gratified to witness the return of some of these turtles back to Cayman's beaches to lay their own eggs.
The unique facility has also become Cayman's largest land-based attraction hosting more than 200,000 visitors each year. Educational, cultural and entertainment programs are consistently being created and updated to enhance the fascinating Cayman Turtle Farm experience.
Your adventure will take you through a variety of interactive experiences with the unique fauna and flora that call the Farm home. Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy all that the Farm has to offer.
The Turtle Encounters features allow guests a number of different opportunities to interact with the Farm's most famous residents.
At the Green's Breeding Pond meet one of the few species so ancient that they can say they watched dinosaurs evolve and then later become extinct. Green Sea Turtles are some of the most majestic and ancient animals in the world and at the Farm you will even find a few weighing in at more than 500 pounds!
One of the most popular and memorable of the Farm attractions is the Turtle Touch Tanks & Wading Pools. Here you can pick up a yearling green sea turtle for a photo of a lifetime or get into the Wading Touch Tank Pools for an even closer encounter with them.
There are a few Turtle Encounter features that are for your viewing pleasure only. At the Kemp's Ridley Tank guests will find the smallest of all the sea turtles - and currently considered the most endangered - quietly lounging, but no petting at this tank: these little guys are small but they can bite! The Farm is proud of its support for conservation efforts for this rare animal. Visitors can take the extraordinary opportunity to see this rare species up close.
There are two opportunities to see the mighty Loggerhead turtles that reside at the Farm. The first will be next door to the Kemp's and the second opportunity is at Predator Reef which "Bowser" the Loggerhead calls home amongst some other speedy predators of the sea.
Loggerheads are the second largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles. They can crush clams, crabs, and spiny lobsters with their powerful jaws, while fully mature Loggerheads can even crush conch shells!
A favorite with children is the Turtle Hatchery where during the breeding season (May – October) visitors can see the turtle eggs and witness tiny new hatchlings making their way up through the sand of their incubation boxes!
Beyond the turtles that give the farm its name, there are a number of other animal exhibits that are sure to delight the entire family. Features in the Wild Caribbean exhibits include a jumping crocodile and a parakeet who often gives guests manicures!
Smiley's Saltwater Lagoon is home to the Farm's 9 foot (and growing!) crocodile. Come and meet Smiley, a Caiman Crocodile, who can boast that her species gave the Islands their name – Cayman. Smiley is trained to follow a target and jump for food. Ask about feeding days & times as you don't want to miss Smiley's feeding show.
Visitors can stroll around to meet a variety of local and exotic Caribbean birds in the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary. Some will be making nests or foraging for food. Make sure you ask about close-up encounters with the more curious of the bunch. See if you can get the mysterious White or Scarlet Ibis to eat right out of your hand.
At the start of the rainy season you will see Great Southern White butterflies everywhere, but for an up-close encounter with these and other local butterfly species head to the Blue Hole Nature Trail and follow the path to Butterfly Central.
Of course many of the residents of the Farm live under the water, and there are a variety of ways to view or interact with them through the Aquatic Adventures exhibits.
Adults and children can jump in and swim with yearling Green Sea Turtles and hundreds of other colorful marine life at Turtle Lagoon. Complete with little islands which are home to the Farm's peacock population - you can't experience a snorkeling trip like this anywhere else.
Cool off and relax at Breaker's Lagoon with its two refreshing waterfalls. Make a splash down the brand new attraction – the TurtleTwister Water Slide - which is sure to have you coming back for more!
Always a favorite amongst visitors to the Farm is Predator Reef with its underwater or dry viewing panels that bring guests nose-to-nose with brown reef sharks and large nurse sharks! In addition to "Bowser" the Loggerhead turtle, other amazing predators include tarpon, barracuda, jacks and other species. Ask about feeding times as you don't want to miss this feeding frenzy of fun.
It's not all about the animals at the Farm. Take the time to visit some of the less well known, but equally as interesting Nature & Cultural Explorations exhibits.
Cayman's national tree is the Silver Thatch Palm. It thrives at the Blue Hole Nature Trail, including one specimen that is over 300 years. Explore even further to see the fascinating Blue Hole and other hidden treasures in the woods! Learn about native plants such as fever grass and perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive Wild Banana Orchid – the Island's national flower.
Visitors can take a walk through the ambience of days gone by on Cayman Street – a gravel pathway showcasing the architecture of old traditional island homes, with sand gardens, thatch relics and conch shells.
To learn more about the history of the Cayman Turtle Farm and other neat facts about the turtles that reside there, head to the Education Centre. Catch a show at the Education Theatre – ask about show times.
Of course no experience is complete without some dining and shopping. At Splash Gift Shop guests are thrilled to find great hand-crafted local treasures and other memorabilia. A 3,500 sq ft retail shop it is filled with a range of souvenirs to suit all tastes and budgets. Here you can find swimwear and towels, water-floats and sun-block, clothing and footwear as well as jewelry and so much more. You can also capture one of our stuffed mascot friends to take home with you! Your island experience is never quite complete without a trip to Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter – where you will find the culture and heritage of the Islands come alive through a variety of fun, educational and interactive activities.
Stop by the Cobalt Coast front desk to pre-pay for your Cayman Islands Turtle Farm Tour.