Cayman Turtle Farm
The Caribbean's only turtle farm
The Cayman Turtle Farm near West Bay Bay in Grand Cayman raises green turtles both for release in the wild and for local restaurants, where turtle steak is still highly prized.
This is Grand Cayman's oldest operating tourist attraction, a true landmark, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year with all the cruise ships visiting here.
The attraction has grown to be much more than just a turtle farm, with many more interactive possibilites and many more animals than just turtles.
The farm was intended to meet the popular demand for green turtle soup and turtle meat. And green turtles were successively raised in huge cement tanks in order to supply the commercial market for turtle at a time when natural stocks were deteriorating badly.
If this seems cruel, harvesting turtles commercially, or turtling, has a long history in the Caymans. After all, there is a reason the national symbol of the Cayman Islands is a peg-legged turtle.
Because sea turtles were becoming so scare due elsewhere in the Caribbean due to over-harvesting and beach development, the United States banned the import of all sea turtle products in 1979, regardless of their source.
The purpose of the ban was to protect remaining sea turtle stocks in the wild, but it also meant all the turtle products from the Cayman Turtle farm--huge tortoise shells, tiny tortoise shell ear rings, anything green turtle--no longer had a market.
From a thriving commercial enterprise, the Cayman Turtle Farm was limited to selling turtle meat in the Caymans and turning into a tourist oddity.
Cayman Turtle Farm continues to supply turtle meat for the Cayman Islands, which you
can sample it in the local restaurants. No reason not to try it if you eat chickens, raised in more harsh conditions.
Preview a visit with the Cayman Turtle Farm Webcam.
Directions: The Cayman Turtle Farm is located at 825 North West Point Road, West Bay; 345/949- 3894.
From George Town, take West Bay Road until the left turnoff onto North West Point Road. Follow this street until you reach the Cayman Turtle Farm, located on the left, 8 miles from the center of George Town. Parking is easily available.
Hours:Daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last admission at 4:30p.m. Some attractions such as Turtle Lagoon and Breakers Lagoon & Turtle Twister water slide close earlier.