The Natural World in The Cayman Islands

By Lindsey Turnbull on 19th January, 2024

Due to its geography as three small islands located in the middle of the Western Caribbean, Cayman has evolved with a flora and fauna that is unique. The Blue Iguana is Cayman’s largest native land animal and was once on the verge of extinction, but has now been brought back in number thanks to the work of the Blue Iguana Conservation programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. 

Spot these majestic creatures at the fantastic Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, a must-visit while you are here. The Park’s 54 acres are located in the picturesque district of North Side, about 30-40 minutes’ drive from George Town. Here you will find a wealth of information on Cayman’s natural history and heritage as well as hundreds of beautiful blooms and exciting plants.

While you are there, visit the Orchid Garden, set alongside a lovely boardwalk that will allow you to enjoy some of the most exquisite flowers carefully entwined in the undergrowth. Our Wild Banana Orchid is Cayman’s national flower and can only be found in these islands.

 Orchid Garden

You are fortunate indeed if you come across this bright yellow and purple bloom. The national tree is the Silver Thatch Palm, the mainstay of Cayman’s economy in years gone by because its leaves made sturdy rope appreciated all over the region for its quality. You will see these slim, silvery palm trees mainly out east, where they still grow in plentiful numbers.

Our noisy Grand Cayman Parrot is our much-loved national bird. Spot the bright green plumage of this bird when it becomes particularly active in the mornings and evenings. Little Cayman is home to the largest breeding population of Red-Footed Booby birds. Massive yet graceful frigate birds are also a common sight in Cayman.

Cayman islands

Out and about, our coconut, mango, banana and plantain trees are plentiful, however take time to get to know our lessor known trees and plants, including Sweetwood, Snake Wood, Pickle Wood, Fiddlewood, Headache Bush, Snake Hand trees and Duppy Bushes!

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