The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park offers a close-up look at the natural world of the Cayman Islands, including the plants and animals that live in the island’s wetlands and woodlands. Of special note is its blue iguana habitat. A woodland trail offers a 20-minute walk through mahogany woodlands with butterfly and orchid sightings.
This botanical garden opened in 1994 and contains a central woodland trail, lake and wetlands, tropical flower gardens, Heritage Garden, and Tea House. The park is a breeding ground for the Cayman blue iguana, and it draws visitors interested in seeing the “blue dragons,” as well as rare aquatic birds and other Caribbean species. Prebook your tickets for ease, and if you’re not driving, take advantage of a tour that combines this and other nearby sites with included transport.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Ecology-minded travelers and those who enjoy animals and flowers will appreciate the grounds.
- The park covers 65 acres (26 hectares), so wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring your own water as temperatures can be hot year-round.
How to Get There
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is located in the North Side district on the eastern end of the island on Frank Sound Road in the Cayman Islands, near the Marshland Natural Habitat. It’s a 40-minute taxi ride from George Town, and about 50 minutes from Seven Mile Beach. It’s best to drive, take a taxi (be sure to arrange for return transport), or book a guided tour with included transportation.
When to Get There
The garden is open daily year-round, with extended hours April through September. It’s closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday. If you’re hoping to spot beautiful flowers, May through October is ideal, with the orchids typically blooming in summer.
About the Blue Iguana
This botanic park is one of the only places in the world to see blue iguanas. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands created captive breeding grounds in 1987 with a goal of repopulating the iguanas. In 2013, they were removed from the critically endangered list, and more than four dozen were released into the wild. Today, you can see them freely roaming the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park grounds.