Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter, West Bay

3.8
Groups of sea turtles and an array of exotic animals appear during a visit to Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter, a turtle meat farm and conservation park. Established in 1968, the farm aims to protect the depleting population of wild green sea turtles from poaching through a combination of breeding for the meat industry, and the annual release of captive turtles into the wild. Stretching over 9.3 ha (23 ac), the farm is also home to a 2.7 m (9 ft) saltwater crocodile, an exhibit called “Predator’s Reef,” and the largest swimming pool on the island. Despite having attracted controversy in the past, there are also numerous spots where you can hold and touch yearling turtles--a rare opportunity to see the beautiful creatures up close. Plan to see Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter and other attractions that appeal to you using our West Bay holiday planner.
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Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
3,969 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We decided to take one full day and get the pass where we have access to the whole park. We arrived at 9 AM, and had plenty to do all day long ! The staff was very helpful, informed us about feeding t...  more »
  • This was the low point in our week's stay here. The large pool with the huge turtles and the touch tank exhibit were both very enjoyable and worth coming for but they didn't justify the price we paid ...  more »
  • We purchased their cheapest admission option, which in our opinion was the best value, at least for us. We really enjoyed seeing the huge turtles in the largest ponds as well as being able to interact...  more »
Google
  • Biggest rip off ever. Total tourist trap. The videos of this place that my cruise ship played made it seem modern, interactive, and a safe haven for these beautiful creatures. I won't get in to the plethora of ways tourists are ripped off on the island, however please note that a taxi might cost you $5 to get there, but that cost goes up to $20 (per person) to get back. Also, this "turtle center" has two parts to it and you must pay separately. I don't remember exactly the price we paid just to see the turtle area but it was around $20 per person. There are essentially four or five concrete ponds overflowing with turtles. The breeding pond and three or four other smaller ponds for the smaller or younger turtles I suppose. There was also a cage with a miserable alligator inside. When we came in the place look deserted. In the back of the "park", there was 4 or 5 people sitting around in camping chairs. They all worked there. When we went to one of the concrete ponds, two of the workers approached us and took a photo of us with a turtle. They then proceeded to tell us that we had to buy their photo, which cost $50. We weren't able to take our own picture. Why? Not sure, but it was a bit odd and since the place is completely miserable, we just wanted to leave. I don't want to make false claims but I can't imagine these animals are taken care of very well. The icing on the cake was when we left and noticed that directly across the street, there is a building that serves up turtle meat. Absolutely horrible.
  • Spent the entire day there. The Turtle Lagoon is very good for kids to snorkel. They have tropical fishes and sea turtles that you can swim with. The ladies changing room has HOT SHOWER with soap (THANK YOU!!!). They also have a separate park with water slide that kids will enjoy as well. The Turtle Lagoon closes at 2:30pm and the water park closes at 4pm so time your trip.
  • This is a one of a kind turtle centre! Its breath taking and highly recommended! The turtles are massive, the environment is clean and super friendly! Its just absolutely beautiful! The staff made it even more fun by guiding us and showing us how to pick up and handle the babies! Its was so much fun! Hope to stop by again one day!
  • Are you aware that this turtle "center" is also a turtle farm where they kill turtles for meat? This place just dropped the word "farm" from their name recently, in favor of "center". They do not sell the meat on the premises - of course - as they want the paying tourists feel warm and fuzzy. Please do your own research and see... There is an eye-opening article on National Geographic.
  • We just did the half admission. Not a lot to see for the price but the turtles are very cool and it's neat to hold the little ones. I learned a lot about turtles and appreciate their mission there. It was worth a visit. A lot of reviews make it seem inhumane, I disagree. They do sell turtles to eat in local cuisine - I'm vegetarian and would not want to eat turtles myself - but their focus is on conservation, sustainable breeding, and releasing turtles into the wild. They're actually helping the turtles in the area by breeding them here and reducing the demand for hunting wild turtles.
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