Grand Cayman Island Turtle Farm - A Photo Guide
Boatswain's Cayman Turtle Farm
My friend and I had the amazing opportunity to live in Grand Cayman for a month (January 18th - February 18th. Perfect timing right?), and one of the things on our "Must Do" list was to go to the Cayman Turtle Farm.
So five days after we arrived on the island, we made the trip to see the turtles. It was perfect timing, because for a reason I cannot remember, admission was free that day, saving us $30.00 US dollars per person.
Baby Turtle Display
We arrived a little before 9:00 am, parked, and walked inside (passing the Splash Gift Shop entirely, there would be time for that later...) to the front desk where they gave everyone a yellow bracelet. As soon as we were ready, we set a course to the turtle ponds.
They had the turtles separated by age and species in different turtle enclosures outside. There were baby turtle pool enclosures with turtles about the size of a dinner plate swimming around. You were actually allowed to gently lift them out of the water and hold them while someone took your picture. It was pretty amazing.
Adult Turtle Display
Other pool enclosures housed the older, larger turtles. These turtles would be about the size of a man hole cover. You couldn't hold these turtles even if you tried.
At designated times, workers came out to feed the turtles, and we watched as they swam around, gobbling up the food. The food looked a lot like the hard, round pieces of dog food that you would feed to larger dogs.
Endangered Turtle Display
Some other enclosures housed rare species of turtles that were kept separate from the others. Looking around the turtle enclosures and taking appropriate pictures probably took us around 45 minutes.
For a little while, we tagged along with the tour groups from the cruise ships as the workers talked about each of the turtle pools. But, all in all, about 45 minutes.
After all, there was apparently way more to see at the Cayman Turtle Farm than just turtles!
The turtle tanks were just one small part of the establishment. In addition to the turtles, the place had 2 lagoons: Boatswains Lagoon and Breakers Lagoon.
Boatswains Lagoon was a snorkeling area where you could actually swim with smaller fish and other marine life and Breakers Lagoon was a swimming pool where you could float on a raft and soak up some island sun.
We, did neither actually. Partly because we didn't come prepared to get wet, and partly because we wanted to check out the bird aviary and the shark tank.
We bypassed both the lagoons, and headed for the Predator Reef. This area was home to a few different species of shark, some eels and groupers.
This particular day, the sharks did not have stage fright, and came right up to the glass wall, separating themselves, from us. Also, pretty amazing. I'd much rather see sharks this way than while snorkeling.
After we got our fill of creeping on the sharks, my friend and I headed for the Aviary. We walked right into the enclosure and saw birds of just about every color you could imagine. There were Cayman Parrots up in the tree branches, a Scarlet Ibis (small, bright pink, stork-like bird) walking around, and tons of other birds native to the Islands.
We had the option to feed the birds, but we were content watching some of the other visitors feed them. We spent around 10 minutes or so walking around the Aviary taking pictures.
Nature Trail and Delilah, a Cayman Blue Iguana
When we came out of the Aviary, we wanted to check out the Nature Trail. I don't remember how long the trail was, but I do know that we didn't go the whole way because it was getting to be about mid-day. We could have taken a shorter path of the larger trail.
The trail was a shaded path through the native trees of Cayman. Every few steps we could read a plaque or sign telling what kind of plant or flower we were looking at. We probably walked the Nature Trail for half an hour or so before we came out.
Right next to the Aviary, was Delilah, one of Cayman's Blue Iguanas. We made sure to pay her a visit as soon as we came off the Nature Trail. The Cayman Blue Iguana is a critically endangered species of Iguana native to the Island. Most of the island is covered with Green Iguanas, but every once and a while, you can get a peek at a Blue Iguana. We both thought Delilah could have been a bit more blue, for being a Blue Iguana.
End of the day
My friend and I really enjoyed visiting the Turtle Farm and getting to see all the wildlife. I would highly recommend it. I do think that it is a one timer, but a one timer that any visitor should check out. The Turtle farm was a great place to check out so early in our stay there on the island, because it gave us a taste of Cayman that made our experiences down the road more meaningful.