Joined: 14 Feb 2005 Posts: 5867 Location: Cayman Islands
Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:08 pm Post subject: Turtle Farm | Video | Photos | Reviews | Discounts
Grand Cayman Turtle Farm
Cayman's Ultimate All-Inclusive Attraction!
With so many outstanding attractions combined into one colossal mega-park, Cayman Turtle Farm offers a unique opportunity to experience all of Cayman's most exhilarating and culturally significant sites in a single day • and all for one low admission fee. A visit to Boatswain•s Beach will yield more pictures (above and below the water), culture, excitement, wonders and memories than you could ever acquire in a single vacation by doing everything separately; including many amazing encounters that are not available anywhere else in the entire Caribbean!
A site map and overview show the park•s general layout but I would need a helicopter and fisheye lens to get a complete overview shot; the park really is that big!
The new expanded facilities at Boatswain•s Beach facilitate visitor interaction, awareness and education covering a vast array of land and sea creatures. The new park also houses a world-class research and educational facility dedicated to the ongoing conservation of sea turtles, including their annual turtle release program.
Boatswain•s Beach celebrates Caymanians• stewardship of the seas and relationship with nature through tactile, colourful, educational and memorable experiences. Much more than a theme park, you actually experience the rich history of Caymanian life in a fun and safe environment as you observe and directly interact with:
• Thousands of fish of myriad species
• Sea fans, corals and reef structures in a protected natural habitat
• Exotic tropical birds
• Dozens of butterfly species
• Blue and Green Iguanas
• A rare Blue Caiman (similar to an alligator and the actual nemesis of the Cayman Islands.)
And of course, in keeping with its cultural heritage, Boatswain•s Beach is the new home of the world renowned Turtle Farm.
The only one of its kind in the world, the Cayman Turtle Farm is home to over 11,000 Green Sea Turtles, ranging in size from six ounces to six hundred pounds each. Visitors can tour an actual working farm, which is both educational and entertaining, and turtles are available for guests to hold for an amazing and unique photo opportunity.
There are several different ways of interacting with their extensive collection of marine life:
• Staying dry and viewing through many different portals
• Snorkelling nose to nose through the safety of a glass divider; from either freshwater or seawater.
• Snorkelling what is now one of the top snorkel sites in Cayman in their 1.3 million gallon salt-water lagoon. Snorkel nose-to-nose with sharks and eels through the safety of an invisible glass partition. The feeling is to intense to explain or even photograph properly; you really have to do this to realize the intensity of snorkelling inches away from a 10 foot shark!
The Lagoon is filled with thousands of colourful marine life; featuring guaranteed sightings of vibrant fish, turtles, reefs, swim-throughs, and much more - all under consistently perfect conditions free from currents, surge, poor visibility or any other adverse factors.
Boasting the largest freshwater pool in the Cayman Islands and possibly the entire Caribbean, you can swim and snorkel around and under waterfalls and unique scenery, all surrounded by a beautiful white sand beach. The rock work around the pool emulates views typical of the cliffs that surround the Cayman Islands. Two beautiful waterfalls cascaded over mossy rocks and beach chairs facing a central island afford a place to relax and enjoy the spectacular views.
Walk their nature trail
Walk Cayman Street, which will take you back in time with their richly decorated authentic homes featuring 19th century Cayman architecture. A masterpiece of detail and craftsmanship allows you to truly experience they Cayman of yesteryear, right down to the waddle and daub construction, hand carved trim and sand gardens adorned with endemic plants and herbs.
Local artists frequently visit the park to work and display their exhibits.
Relax on the patio at Schooner's Bar and Grill overlooking the sparkling water of the snorkelling lagoon. Watch the chefs prepare unique menu items that will entice and delight. Everyone will enjoy the experience of the finest Caymanian cuisine at a variety of locations throughout the park.
You are sure to find that perfect keepsake to take home with you in their 3,500 square foot retail centre. With an enormous selection of nature themed local arts and crafts, their expansive stores offer affordable prices, making them the perfect place to select your gifts, souvenirs, mementos and keepsakes.
Boatswain•s Beach is open seven days a week, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Located in West Bay near the Cracked Conch, they are easily located on our West Bay map.
Boatswain•s Beach offers two admission options (in US dollars, not deducting Activity Guide discounts):
2. Entire Park, including snorkel gear: $45.00/Adults - $25.00/children 4-12
For anyone who enjoys the water and has a genuine interest in the culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands, I highly recommend opting for their Entire Park package. With your Activity Guide discount, the many unique and rewarding experiences you will encounter are both affordable and at the same time priceless. Considering you would have to go to several different attractions to see only a fraction of what is offered and much more, this is one of the most highly valued attractions on the island. Bring your family and friends and make a day of it. There is so much to do and see it will take a full day to enjoy everything at a relaxing pace. The park is so vast that even on heavy cruise passenger days it never feels crowded. However, if you prefer a more intimate experience, I recommend visiting between Friday and Monday. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, most times of the year you will feel like you have the park all to yourselves!
Immaculately clean snorkel gear is included but if you have your own mask/fins/snorkel set it would be a good idea to bring it. I also recommend bringing sunscreen, towels and a comfortable pair of shoes. Definitely bring your cameras - both above and below water - and plenty of film or a clear memory card. The photo opportunities here are second to none. No outside food or beverages are permitted but I would highly recommend trying what may possibly be the most authentic local food on the island • not to mention fantastic mudslides • at their incredible on site restaurant, Schooners.
To summarize, for one admission price and the convenience of a single stop you will experience:
• One of the best snorkel sites on the island
• World famous Turtle Farm
• Shark, Eel and other fascinating predator encounters
• Bird Aviary
• Butterfly Garden
• Cayman Street
• Nature Trail
• Native Flora & Fauna Interaction
• Wildlife Sanctuary
• Local Arts & Crafts
• Largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, with waterfalls and beach
• Marine life education center
• The satisfaction of contributing to the preservation, conservation and public awareness of marine ecology.
Starting in our April issue, you will find a coupon in Activity Guide for a special discount; or you can make your reservations in advance and mention the Activity Guide discount.
Contact Calicia to make advanced reservations and request your special discount:
Nice to see that they have brought down the prices from when they first opened. We were fortunate last year in that we showed up when there were very few people there and after just visiting the turtle tanks we had access to whole place.
One of the things we like to do when traveling is to try and get to know about the local culture and we had an excellent opportunity to do this with the artist who is pictured above in Joe's report. The kids had an opportunity to make signs like the ones you see at Rum Point.
Also, while the turtles and the predator lagoon are the main attraction definitely check out the aviary. Upon entering the aviary, one of the staff came over and showed our little one how to do bird calls. Within minutes we were feeding the birds out of our hands - too cool!
_________________ "Goin' where the climate suits my clothes."
Joined: 18 Feb 2005 Posts: 2249 Location: Illinois
Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:43 pm Post subject:
Great report and pictures--there has been so much negative talk about the new Turtle Farm--you certainly make it look wonderful and a terrific place to visit. So glad you told us how to pronounce it--I always wondered about that. Also glad you mentioned the days that it would be less crowded.
WOW!!!!! We were there in May 2006, and it was near NOT done, but this is absolutely beautiful!!! Your pictures are great Joe, I can't wait to get back someday to see it all first hand! This was one place that my husband enjoyed the most!
Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:57 am Post subject: Botswains beach
Hello, I will be traveling to grand cayman in April on a cruise ship. We would like to visit botswains beach and from what I have read is very nice. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much it usually costs to get a taxi there and how long the ride takes. They offer this as an excursion form our cruise line, however the prices are almost double than purchasing it on our own. However, the cruise line prices also include transportation and if we booked it separate we would be paying for our own transportation, which I think will still save us money. Does anyone have experience with this and do you think it is a good idea to book on our own as opposed to booking through the cruise line.'
Oh yeah also can you tell me how big the taxis generally are and how many passengers will fit in one vehicle, are they standard cars or vans??
Joined: 14 Feb 2005 Posts: 5867 Location: Cayman Islands
Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:23 pm Post subject:
Hi angelbabyj1129 - Hi anesthesiachris -
You will pay even less if you book ahead and mention the Activity Guide discount.
Taxi fare from the cruise dock to Boatswain's Beach is going to run about $25 each way. If you can get a group of friends together and share the taxi it will be less expensive. The taxis near the dock charge by the passenger because they are considered "tours" for cruise passengers. You can call my friend Chris at: 345-949-5702 and arrange to meet him near the dock. His taxi can hold about 10 people and he will charge you by the hour, not the number of passengers if you arrange it all ahead of time.
Thanks so much for the taxi info. Does anyone know about how long it takes to travel from the docks to botswains beach. If we do not book through our cruise line we will have to be sure that we have plenty of time to get back onboard our ship before it leaves port. Also do you know what the general per person charge is for the taxis. I am actually traveling with my family and my sister and her family. which is a total of 8 people 4 adults and 4 kids. We are trying to find fun stuff to do while in theprts on our cruise, but save some money if we can while doing it and I know I can experience the same thing the cruise ship is offering fro a lot less if I just take the time to look myself instead of usung the cruise lines pre-set package. Thanks again for the help.
I just added this to my list. Do I need to make a reservation now if I'm going in June? It says the coupon will be in the magazine, so I'd rather wait unless there's a better discount for doing it now.
The must do list is a nice feature. Mine is getting really FULL! Is there a way to put them in order? Like arrange them from first to last?
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