As you’re driving your golf cart south along the west coast of Isla Mujeres, you’ll spot some signs guiding you toward the island’s famous Turtle Farm, or “Tortugranja” in Spanish.
If you have a few minutes and just a few extra bucks, a quick detour to this iconic spot gives you the chance to see some of Isla Mujeres’ local sea turtle population and learn about how the island strives to protect its local marine life.
The main purpose of the Turtle Farm is to help baby sea turtles safely reach the Caribbean Sea. Each year, several species of sea turtles come to the island’s shores by night to lay their eggs in nests in the sand. If these eggs are left on the beach, they can easily fall victim to natural predators and humans alike, whether they’re still unhatched or during their dangerous journey from the nest to the ocean.
The Turtle Farm takes eggs from the beach and brings them to a fenced-off sandy area where they can grow and hatch safely. Once they’re hatched, the baby sea turtles are either released into the ocean or moved into open tanks at the farm, giving them a safe place to grow during their first year.
In addition to keeping the sea turtle population safe and healthy, the Turtle Farm is also a wonderful way for the foundation to spread eco-awareness among island tourists and locals alike.
Local school groups are often invited to baby sea turtle releases in the summer season, while visitors can stop by during the day to see the sea turtles in their different stages of life; the main sea turtle species to be seen here are the hawksbill, the green sea turtle, and the loggerhead.
In addition to its sea turtle tanks, the Turtle Farm also has a small indoor aquarium with other local marine life like sea horses, sea urchins, fish, lobster and more.
A visit to the Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm usually takes just half an hour. It is a great pit stop during a golf cart ride around the island (especially if you’re traveling with kids!)
The Turtle Farm is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, and the cost is only $30 pesos (or $3 USD) per person.
Ready to experience the natural beauty of Isla Mujeres for yourself? Book a stay in the island’s most charming accommodations.