There are only a few species so ancient that they can say they watched dinosaurs evolve and then later become extinct. As you start your adventure, your first encounter will take you within feet of some of the most majestic and ancient animals in the world! The Genesis Pond is home to our Green Sea Turtles who have matured and are at or near the age to start reproducing; which is usually at about 16 years of age in captivity. Turtles return to the nesting beaches of their mothers and grandmothers. The beach at the edge of the pond allows female turtles to nest in an environment very similar to the ones they would nest in if they were in the wild.
Green Sea Turtles are the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles and the second largest of all turtle species. Here you will find a few weighing in at more than 500 pounds. During breeding season, from May to October, you may even be lucky enough to spot a nest where a female laid her eggs the night before!
Here you will find yearling turtles swimming and playing. Reach in to touch or pick one up for a photo of a lifetime! Be sure to hold them firmly and stay near the tank. You can get in the Touch Tank Wading Pools for an even closer encounter with our yearlings!
The Kemp’s Ridley is the smallest of all the sea turtles and can only be found around the Gulf of Mexico. They are currently considered the most endangered sea turtle. No petting at this tank, these little guys are snappy!
Visit the Education Centre to learn more about the turtles and our history. You can also view our turtle hatchery where during breeding season (May – October) you can witness new hatchlings making their way up through the sand of their incubation boxes!
Loggerheads are the second largest of the hard-shelled turtles (after the Greens). They can crush clams, crabs, and spiny lobsters with their powerful jaws, while fully mature Loggerheads can even crush conch shells! The Loggerhead Turtles we have at Cayman Turtle Centre are not pure Loggerhead but rather natural hybrids mixed with Green Sea Turtle. However, they exhibit more Loggerhead than Green features and behavior. See, but don’t touch, our Loggerhead on display at the Turtle Display tanks, and (upgrade to) come eye to eye with our other Loggerhead “Bowser”, swimming with the sharks at the Predator Reef exhibit.
Welcome to the Cayman Turtle Centre
Swim with turtles in a lagoon full of colorful marine life. Come nose to nose with sharks & other predators of the sea. Explore a free flight zone filled with local and exotic birds.
Cayman's largest land-based attraction, Cayman Turtle Centre : Island Wildlife Encounter hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Educational, cultural and entertainment programmes are consistently being created and updated to enhance the experience that can only be found at our world renowned attraction.
The Cayman Turtle Centre, the first commercial venture to domesticate Green Sea Turtles begins. It is founded as Mariculture Ltd by Irvin Naylor, Henry Hamlin, Dr. Samuel Ayres III & Anthony G.A. Fisher with the blessing of and an exclusive franchise from the Cayman islands Government.
In May of 2010 the name of the facility was changed, dropping entirely the “Boatswain’s Beach” reference, returning to an earlier, easier and simpler title: Cayman Turtle Centre.
Because it was important for visitors to know about the park’s other attractions, beyond its sea turtles, a subtitle as added as well and the new name was determined: “Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter”.
A new logo was developed for the new name This new logo offers four pictures: That of a turtle is a reference not just historical residents and star performers at the centre, as well as the Island’s cultural past, but the symbol of the turtle is also a reminder of the Centre's ongoing and world renowned research and conservation activities in addition to the traditional turtle-breeding and release programmes.
The second image is that of a Cayman parrot, the National Bird, drawing attention to both our aviary and also to encounters with some of our other indigenous wildlife.
The picture of a shark directs visitors to the marine life, interactive swimming, feeding and predator tanks, as well as the excitement of seeing underwater wildlife.
And, finally, the fourth image in the logo depicts a small bloom of silver thatch – another National Symbol - referring to the nature trails and promotion of Caymanian traditions and culture.
The new name not only describes the interactive nature of the facility, through the use of the word ‘encounter’ but also reminds residents and visitors of the park’s older, familiar and popular name, which has in effect really always remained in use anyway.
Today the Centre continues to grow adding new features to enhance the entertainment facet of the Centre but also work continues to keep the Centre's research and conservation activities up to par with the global standards.