Trip Planner : Mexico / Yucatan Peninsula / Quintana Roo / Isla Mujeres / Sightseeing / Tortugranja (Turtle Farm)
Tortugranja (Turtle Farm), Isla Mujeres
Categories: Marinas, Zoos & Aquariums, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Meet young turtles preparing to embark on their oceanic journey at Tortugranja (Turtle Farm). The center dedicates itself to providing a protective environment for the majestic creatures, who will eventually mature and be released safely into the sea. Learn about the life cycle of these fascinating creatures on a short guided tour of the centre, and observe them at close quarters in pools. You’ll see various species, at various stages in their life, and you'll also have the opportunity to buy food to feed them by hand, an experience children will love. Plan your Tortugranja (Turtle Farm) visit and explore what else you can see and do in Isla Mujeres using our Isla Mujeres itinerary builder.
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This place was sad. The turtles were not happy- swimming in circles. Made us feel guilty because they were not free.
I loved seeing the turtles. This was a nice stop while we explored the island by golf cart. Take 20 minutes to do this cheap activity.
See all kinds of sea turtles. Could use some more signs in English or more guides. Interesting stop though
Animal rescue and rehabilitation is extremely important especially in an area so full of wildlife and natural beauty. However, this is a business first and as a byproduct claims to care about turtles. I spoke to an honest staff member who admitted that the turtles were kept in captivity much longer than necessary purely to make money. My first impression when I entered was pure depression. These wonderful animal were kept in exceptionally small, shallow tanks and were even to the untrained eye so obviously stressed and upset. All of the turtles without exception were swimming in continuous circles around the tanks which were all lacking in any sort of stimulation that even a simple goldfish tank might contain. The tanks were so small that even the staff admitted that they were not of the appropriate size. I believe profit is at the core of this operation and not animal rescue. I was informed that the turtle eggs are taken from the beach to avoid them being dug up by dogs or destroyed by humans and reburied in a small yard (which you can see). This is good work and help keeps the species at a healthy number, however, from this point onwards the farm (notice it is called farm and not sanctuary) goes rapidly down hill. Some unlucky turtles are kept from the day they are born for seven years, this is for no reason other than to increase the attraction. When staff were pressed on how turtles could possibly be rehabilitated after swimming round a 2-3 metre tank for seven years to be able to survive in the wild, they could not provide an answer and just replied 'they will be fine'. Finally the already stressed and upset turtles are not guarded by staff, so despite the signs numerous people walk around touching and posing with the animals for 'funny photos'. This is an organisation which could have promoted animal welfare, instead it has failed in pretty much every way. Education is important but they really need to work on the tanks, have more staff to guard the turtles and provide some sort of stimulation for these animals. I spoke to a marine biologist on the island who stated she was so upset she ripped off her admission band and stormed out, I have written this to stop other people from having a similarly upsetting experience.
Only $3 USD admission, which may seem like a lot for a 20 minute roadside attraction but it is worth it. Really cool to see turtles of all ages in the pools inside. A man working there let us hold a sea urchin in our palms, a scary looking underwater insect of some sort, and a huge snail in a conch shell. The adult turtles in the ocean pen are also really cool. Kids will love the baby turtles (they're adorable)
Excellent place to see sea turtles who are being rehabilitated. Some, like the albino turtles, will not be able to be released into the wild due to their vulnerabilities. I would love to see the "rescue and rehabilitation" aspect of Tortugranja emphasized more, as it is currently presented like a petting zoo. The turtles should be more protected from humans touching them, and staff should be available to dissuade turtle touchers and educate visitors about why the turtles are there in the first place.
Nice little turtle farm, easily accessible and Isla cheap. The farm facilitates a turtle release once per month - be sure to check when it occurs whenever you come to the island.
ALEX M D I
A great place to visit good food too.
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