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Family Vacations for Turtle Lovers

My son is turtle obsessed and always has been. He loves learning more about his obsession when we are on a family vacation. There are so many great programs offered by resorts and nature companies – here are a few family vacations for turtle lovers. In addition to the turtle sightings and/or programs, you’ll also be able to experience other amenities and activities at these locations as well. 

Note: We experienced some of these at no cost for review. These experiences were available as of our first writing of this post. We recommend contacting the locations in advance to make sure they are still offering these experiences. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these posts may result in a commission paid to us. 

Do you have a turtle lover in your family? Here are some family vacations for turtle lovers, including locations in the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Grand Cayman Turtle Farm

At the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm (now called the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter), kids can learn all about turtles, see the farm’s nursery, and snorkel in a lagoon filled with turtles. Bring your own towels, because they don’t offer any there.

We recommend a stay at the Westin Grand Cayman. If you book your turtle farm tickets at the resort, you can take the complimentary shuttle to and from the farm. 

Read reviews of the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm here, and reviews of the Westin Grand Cayman here.


SURFside Ocean Academy – Turks and Caicos

SURFside Ocean Academy in Turks and Caicos offers a popular 1/2 day sea turtle tagging program. We recommend staying at the West Bay Club or Beaches Turks and Caicos

Contact SURFside Ocean Academy directly if you want to book this. 

Read reviews of the West Bay Club here.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club & Lido Beach Resort, Sarasota, FL

During your Sarasota family vacation, families can visit the Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, which has treated and released many sea turtles, and is located near the resorts. At the two resorts, kids will love spending time at Camp Loggerhead, where they can enjoy a Children’s Beach Walk & Turtle Talk.

In addition, guests at both resorts will have access to beautiful beaches. Both resorts are located right on the beach. 

Read reviews of the hotel here.

Sandpearl Resort | Clearwater Beach, FL

The Sandpearl Resort kid club, Camp Ridley, has a turtle mascot, Ridley the Turtle, who is named after the Kemp Ridley turtle (primarily found in the Gulf of Mexico). You can also visit the popular Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which offers resident sea turtles (including five different species, two of which are endangered).

Read reviews of the resort here.

Sea Turtles at Atlantis

Atlantis Paradise Island

Among the many animals in the marine habits are sea turtles. During our press trip visit last year, my son loved watching the turtles. They are in a fairly central location, so you can walk by them multiple times on your vacation. 

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino | San Juan, Puerto Rico

A rare breed of Leatherback Sea Turtles has recently found a new home right in front of the hotel. So far, 13 nests have been found.

See reviews of the hotel here.

SUP and Turtle Swim Excursion at Colony Club | Barbados

The Colony Club offers  stand-up paddle board (SUP) and turtle swim excursion.

See See reviews here.

Sea Turtle Rescue Program | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

From June through December each year, the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa offers a turtle protection program where guests have the opportunity to release newly-hatched turtles.

See CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort.

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

The area’s only oceanfront hotel implements a “Lights Out” policy at night during turtle nesting season to encourage endangered leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles to come ashore to lay their eggs. The nearby Loggerhead Marinelife Center also offers nighttime turtle walks.

See CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort.

A turtle in Akumal Bay

Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort

Akumal Beach is home to many sea turtles. During our family vacation there, my son was on a mission to find one on a snorkeling trip. With a bit of advice from the resort staff, we were able to see the beautiful turtle above while snorkeling from the shore of the resort. 

CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort & JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, Cancun

From June through September, guests can participate in the release of baby turtles – call the concierge to see if the release is happening on any particular night.

Disclosure: Over the years, we’ve attended press trips to Atlantis, the West Bay Club, and Grand Cayman.

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Monday 30th of May 2016

Great summary! We love seeing turtles. Will definitely be pinning this for future reference.

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