Both locals and visitors are learning to celebrate and protect the Islands’ culture, land and sea. With the resurgence of nature tours and the growing popularity of ecotourism, local businesses are finding a niche in the marketplace. Known for their colourful and mystic dive sites, the Cayman Islands have expanded their ecotours to several land- and sea-based attractions that have green travellers asking for more.
According to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT), based on global travel trends, a growing segment of visitors to the Cayman Islands will seek out authentic experiences that ecotourism activities can deliver, and allow the Cayman Islands to differentiate their destination product offerings.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is one organisation that has spearheaded conservation initiatives through several attractions and educational tours. Amongst those are the Mastic Trail, a forest of local flora home to animal and plant species unique to the Cayman Islands, and the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park, a garden oasis home to the Grand Cayman blue iguana. These endangered species are unique to the Islands and are their largest native land animal, growing to over 5 feet long and more than 25 pounds.
Six Senses Cayman Adventures offers daily tours designed to provide close encounters with the Islands’ enchanting residents. Specialising in small groups, each tour allows a maximum of 15 passengers. The award-winning Six Senses ecotour offers a full immersion into the ecology and history of the Cayman Islands. It also includes snorkelling on the barrier reef and visits to Starfish Point and Stingray City.
Join Six Senses’ Bio Bay tour and experience firsthand one of nature’s most mesmerising phenomena. The Bay, located in the North Sound on Grand Cayman, boasts one of the highest concentrations of bioluminescence in the world. Guests have the opportunity to suit up with snorkel gear or life vests and swim amongst the lights at night. Floating in illuminated waters under the starry sky is sure to be an evening that is absolutely unforgettable.
Whilst interest in Cayman’s eco-products continues to rise, and more tour operators find creative ways to offer locals and tourists an authentic, Caymanian experience, travellers can rest assured there is plenty of fun to be had and lessons to learn about this special place its locals and returning visitors call home.
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Author: Cynthia Hew and Jessie Gilmartin