The world’s first sea turtle veterinary hospital in Marathon, Florida, is a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles back into the ocean. Housed on the grounds of the former Hidden Harbor Motel, the Turtle Hospital is a rescue center for injured turtles of five different species in Florida, including the Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Green, Loggerhead, and Leatherback.
Reserve an educational tour
Take a guided educational tour of the facility. The 90-minute tour includes a presentation to teach about the hospital’s services and lessons in practicing ocean safety to prevent the injury of these sea creatures.
Learn about the dangers sea turtles face
About 50% of sea turtles living in warm climates suffer from Fibropapilloma, a virus which impairs vision, eating and breathing, among other problems. Turtles suffering from this disease can easily become victims of shark bites, boat collisions, and other fatalities. (The hospital also treats turtles for this disease.)
See the turtle ambulances
The facility owns three ambulances to pick up and rescue injured sea turtles on the beach.
Visit the 100,000-gallon salt-water pool
Observe the rehabilitating sea turtles in their semi-natural environment. The hospital is home to several rehab enclosures where they keep injured turtles that are being nursed. While many will be rehabilitated and released in the future, several others have sustained injuries that will make it impossible for them to return to the wild. Visitors can get to know the permanent sea turtle residents.
Visit the hatchlings
Many of the resident sea turtles have had hatchlings, and the tiny sea creatures are on view. In general, sea turtle eggs buried in the sand hatch and crawl out of their nests at night and head toward the water guided by the light of the sky that reflects off the ocean. However, artificial lights on the beach can disorient them and lead them to head inland instead of the ocean. The facility collects those that go astray and returns them to the sea. The beachfront hospital has assisted more than 2,000 hatchlings gone astray.
Feed the turtles
After the presentation and tour of the premises, visitors are invited to feed the turtles. Loggerhead turtles feed on crabs, lobster, and conch.
Catch a free public turtle release
You’ll have to check their calendar for upcoming events, but the hospital does hold public turtle releases free of charge. Observe the thrilling moment of a rescued sea turtle swimming back into the ocean!
Adopt a sea turtle
Five permanent resident sea turtles are available for adoption. Your contribution of $35 a year will provide food and medicine for your adopted sea creature. Plus, guardians will receive a photo, biography, and certificate of adoption!
Admission to the Turtle Hospital is $25 for adults, $12 for children 4–12 years old, and free of charge for children under four years old. Reservations are recommended; call +1 305 743 2552.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.