Let's take a tour of the Botanic Park. We'll start
with a map, so you don't get lost
Scrool your mouse over the map, a hand will appear on the highlights
for more information.
amidst the lush foliage.
The Queen Elizabeth II Monument
After entering the Park and paying CI$8 (US$10) for each admission
(with children 12
and under admitted free with a parent), you will pass the Queen
Elizabeth II Monument, composed of stone from a local quarry,
studded with fossil shells, and framed
by a stand of Siver Thatch palms, the national tree whose frond
is the Park’s logo.
The Visitors’ Centre
Past the monument is the parking area that positions you only
steps away from the
Visitors’ Centre, a two-story Caymanian style building with
a wide, welcoming verandah. Inside is a gift shop where you can
pick up a free Woodland Trail Guide, containing useful information
and a map of the Park. From there you are welcome to stroll into
a verdant courtyard graced with orchids and tropical plants surrounding
a water feature crossed
via dramatically arranged stepping stones.
The Heritage Garden
Moving away from the Visitors’ Centre, the main path leads
to the Heritage Garden
where a pretty pink, traditional-style cottage, surrounded by
a white sand garden,
depicts how life was lived in the Cayman Islands in the early
This area includes fruit trees, traditional crops, medicinal
plants, and a separate
“caboose” or “cook room.
The Floral Colour Garden
Further along the main path lies the Floral Colour Garden. Designed
as a series of gardens arranged by colour, the Floral Colour Garden
is a year-round explosion of hues. A walkway meanders through
sections of pink, red, orange, yellow, white, blue, mauve, and
lavender. Rising from the midst of this brilliant profusion is
a stately gazebo perched atop a peaceful lily pond. This gazebo
is a favorite centerpiece for weddings and intimate brunches.
Returning to and continuing along the main path, you’ll
next encounter the Park’s
two-acre lake and its adjacent wetlands. This tranquil oasis encompasses
three small islands that offer a habitat and breeding area for
the native birds and attract bird-watchers from around the world.
Tri-coloured Herons, Common Moorhen, Green Herons,
Black-necked Stilts, American Coots, Blue-winged Teal, Cattle
Egrets and rare
West Indian Whistling Ducks are just a few of the winged beauties
this section of the Park
The Woodland Trail
The path doesn’t really end, but instead links to the famous
Woodland Trail. It’s said
that a walk around the Woodland Trail is a walk around Cayman.
In just under a mile,
the landscape changes every few hundred yards from wetland to
logwood swamp to humid epiphyte woodland, dry thickets on scant
soil to tall woodland
with impressive Mahogany trees.
The depth and type of soil, the water table elevation, the salinity
of the groundwater, the history of human activity, and the nature
of the surface rock are just some of the factors
that control the patterns of natural vegetation along the Trail.
The Blue Iguana Habitat
Along the Woodland Trail lies the Blue Iguana Habitat, which
is the centre for the
National Trust’s Blue
Iguana Recovery Program. The National Trust of the Cayman
Islands began its work with these intriging creatures soon after
its formation in 1987,
with an ultimate repopulation goal of 1000. The Habitat has become
popular area as the captive breeding grounds for these fascinating
(Cyclura nubila lewisi) who only two decades ago were facing
Frequently found freely roaming the grounds of the Park, these
delight both local and foreign visitors who happen upon them.
Points of Reference...
Well, that ends the tour of the Park, but you may enjoy sharing
some of the following
nature-related points of reference:
- Orchids at the Park
In addition to an array of breathtaking orchid species,
the Botanic Park is home
to four orchid species that can be found nowhere else on the
planet, including Cayman’s national flower, the Wild Banana
Orchid (Myrmecophila Thomsoniana).
An annual Orchid Show is held at the Park in concert with the
Cayman Islands Orchid Society to provide both an exhibition
of locally grown orchids and a plant sale of specially imported
orchids. The event also offers gardeners educational opportunities
to learn techniques for successfully growing these beautiful,
but fragile flowers.
- The Virtual Herbarium
In concert with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Botanical
the entire Herbarium of the National Trust for the Cayman
Islands has been
made available online. This searchable index includes a high-resolution
each specimen, its island locale, and a field description.
- Butterflies at the Park
Butterflies are undoubtedly among the most delicate and
awe-inspiring features of nature. Developed by Joanne Mercille,
this portion of the website includes the names and photograph
of the various butterfly specimens that grace the Cayman Islands.
October to March: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., last admission at 4:30
April to September: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., last admission
at 5:30 p.m.
(Closed on Christmas and Good Friday)