Top Attraction in the Cayman Islands: Take Time to See the Turtles

Top Attraction in the Cayman Islands: Take Time to See the Turtles

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Sunscreen: Check.

Swim gear: Check.

Visit the Cayman Turtle Centre: Of course!

A trip to the Cayman Islands is incomplete without a visit to the islands’ top attraction: the Cayman Turtle Centre.  It must be at the top of your list when planning an excursion in Grand Cayman. The centre’s Island Wildlife Encounter draws more than 200,000 visitors a year, and it’s easy to see why. So, when you are looking for things to do in the Cayman Islands, embrace your wild side and take a peek at what’s in store.

Turtles, sharks, birds and a giant crocodile – oh my!

Of all the things to do in the Cayman Islands, one of the most fun – and most surprising – is exploring the wildlife wonders at the Cayman Turtle Centre.  The kids will love the turtle touch tank, where they can reach in and pick up a turtle and get a photo with their favorite reptile.

The centre also boasts the largest swimming pool on Grand Cayman, and Breakers Lagoon, as its known, features two waterfalls and a viewing window into the predator tank. Get eye to eye with sharks and barracudas in a totally safe environment.

And your Grand Cayman excursion to the centre absolutely must include a stop at Smiley’s Saltwater Lagoon, where you’ll be awestruck by “Smiley” the crocodile, weighing in at more than 300 pounds and over 11 feet long. Don’t miss her feeding times, which happen only a couple of times a week.

Swim like … a turtle

The expression goes “swim like a fish,” but you can actually swim with the turtles in the centre’s Turtle Lagoon. You’ll share the cool water with yearling green sea turtles and some other colorful marine life, and you’ll pass iguanas and peacocks perched on small islands in the lagoon. It’s great for snorkeling!

If, instead, you are more comfortable on terra firma, visit the Butterfly Garden and see how many of the 18 species you can find and identify.  The Butterfly Garden is conveniently located next to the Free Flight Aviary, where you can see the Cayman Parrot – the territory’s national bird – as well as the Scarlet Ibis and other exotic birds. And don’t pass up the Breeder Pond, where green sea turtles are kept in preparation for breeding season, May to October. You might even be able to see a turtle nest!

Explore nature

The centre’s Blue Hole Nature Trail takes you along a path shaded by some of Cayman’s native trees, including Mahogany and Silver Thatch. You’ll also see stunning wild orchids, including the Banana Orchid, Cayman’s national flower. And if you’re really fortunate, one of Cayman’s Blue Anole Lizards or the native Agouti will cross your path. Keep your eyes open for more exotic birds and butterflies, and enjoy your leisurely stroll along this peaceful trail.

Now that you know what to do in Grand Cayman, you can put away your list and head out on an amazing excursion. Bring the family and enjoy the adventure in learning about Cayman’s “wild” side!

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