Below is a list of the Parks’ major attractions. We have included a printable map for your convenience at the bottom of this page.
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.
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 veranda. 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.
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 20th century. This area includes fruit trees, traditional crops, medicinal plants, and a separate caboose” or “cook room.
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 that frequent this section of the Park
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 cactus thicket, 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.
Along the Woodland Trail lies the Blue Iguana Habitat, which is the centre for the National Trust’s:
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 an exceptionally popular area as the captive breeding grounds for these fascinating reptiles (Cyclura nubila lewisi) who only two decades ago were facing extinction. Frequently found freely roaming the grounds of the Park, these “blue dragons” 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:
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.
In concert with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Botanical Research Center, the entire Herbarium of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands has been made available online. This searchable index includes a high-resolution photo of each specimen, its island locale, and a field description.
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.
Plan you next trip with us with this printable map: Woodland Trail