Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm
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Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm information
Although they're endangered, sea turtles are still killed throughout Latin America for their eggs and meat. In the 1980s, efforts by a local fisherman led to the founding of this tortugranja (turtle farm), 5km south of town, which safeguards breeding grounds and protects eggs.
If you’re coming from the bus stop, bear right at the ‘Y’ just beyond Hacienda Mundaca’s parking lot (the turn is marked by a tiny sign). The farm is easily reached from town by taxi (M$60).
Hatchlings are liberated immediately. The turtles that leave this secure beach return each year, which means their offspring receive the same protection. The sanctuary releases about 125,000 turtles each year, but only one of every 1000 will survive.
The farm provides refuge for loggerhead, hawksbill and green turtles ranging in weight from 150g to more than 300kg. It also has a small but interesting aquarium, displays on marine life and a pen that holds large nurse sharks. Tours are conducted in Spanish and English. If you'd like to see the turtles get released, you can ask the staff if they plan on doing so that day. The farm usually releases turtles around 7pm from July through November. It's quite a sight to see the tiny creatures scurry into the great big sea.