On the surface and under the warm waves, the three golden islands of the Caribbean are home to numerous wildlife species roaming the earth as well as the skies and the seabed. For those adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts among you, this little haven of pure, untamed nature is a must-see destination worthy of your bucket list.
For first-time visitors, look to the following tips and suggestions as to the best spots to find the local flora and fauna, and you’ll create an itinerary that will instantly cause a craving to return to the Cayman Islands!
Visit the Botanic Park
Located on the Grand Cayman Island, but belonging to the Government of all three Islands combined, this non-profit, 65-acre slice of paradise is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever see. The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park was opened first in 1994, but continued to expand until today, when it boasts several notable segments, including the Floral Garden, the Heritage Garden, and a specialized habitat for the famous Blue Iguanas indigenous to the islands.
Over this single stretch of land, you’ll find some of the most exquisite examples of the local wildlife in full bloom, from the impeccable exotic flowers in rainbow hues, all the way to the unique blue iguana sunbathing in the Park.
Birdwatching on the island
The three islands are home to over two hundred different bird species, all spectacularly chatty and colorful, and used to human presence. They are best seen during the migration season when most of them flock to the islands in huge numbers, but you can also see a vast majority of their species in various sanctuaries, of which there are seven.
Cayman Brac, for example, is home to a parrot reserve where you can see the endangered species of a parrot carrying the name of the island. Its perky green and red shades will mesmerize anyone visiting, while there will be a wide array of other exotic birds visiting the three islands.
Exploring the marine life
Of course, what kind of a visit would this be if you were to skip the majestic underwater life of the Grand Cayman and its sibling islands? After all, that is precisely how the islands earned their reputation as the ideal getaway destinations for scuba divers and marine explorers.
When you choose to go scuba diving in Grand Cayman, you’ll encounter some of the friendliest underwater creatures already accustomed to human presence. Think: exotic fish, colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, barracudas, various species of sharks, and of course, the famous stingrays! You can also visit the shipwrecks and turn your underwater experience into a true adventure, while you can choose between a plethora of diving and snorkeling spots to visit during your stay.
You can mix the best of both the marine and the land wildlife and take a guided kayaking tour that will take you through the incredible mangrove forest and through water passages that you’d otherwise miss. That way, you’ll be able to see some of the most secluded and mysterious nooks hidden from civilization.
Perhaps one of the most spectacular experiences you can enjoy is the famous bioluminescence tour, which can be found only in ten locations in the world, one of which is the Grand Cayman. It’s a night-time tour for small groups to the bioluminescent bay, where millions of glowing planktons reside and turn the otherwise ordinary bay into an illuminated marvel of nature.
Take a hike
For those who appreciate the up-close and personal way in which you can meet and greet the local wildlife, there’s yet another way to get to know the numerous species residing on the Grand Cayman Island – hiking! The renowned 200-year-old Mastic Trail will take you through the mangrove swamp, and the 2-million-year-old woods which are brimming with birds, butterflies, but also mosquitoes, so do bring your insect repellant with you.
You’ll also encounter numerous snakes on your way through the woods, but don’t be alarmed, as they might be curious, but are harmless. You should just mind your step, and focus on the versatile bird song you’ll be bound to hear as you explore this pristine wilderness!
On a final note
Even if you’re a versed nature-lover fearless towards new experiences, no matter the number of fangs, teeth, or tentacles that particular experience may have, the Cayman Islands are a treasure trove of life’s most creative work. It’s equally perfect for the novice explorers, families with kids, and solo travelers eager to tackle a solitary adventure. They are exotic, stunning, and mystifyingly diverse, so you can rest assured that your trip to this trio in the Caribbean has all the potential to become your number-one holiday destination for years to come!
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author at AdventureFit Travel. You can find Marie onFacebook or follow her onTwitter and Pinterest.