While the powder-sand beaches and history-rich towns are a key element of the Caribbean experience, the endless wildlife experiences are just as enticing! The tropical islands are home to rare, diverse, fascinating, and beautiful creatures, from massive migrating humpback whales to small monkeys swinging in the trees.
If you love wildlife, the Caribbean is the ultimate paradise! Continue reading to discover just some of the most popular wildlife experiences in this remarkable region of the world.
Jamaica’s Swimming Horses
What’s better to immerse yourself in nature than to be carried through a diverse landscape on the back of an incredible creature, ending with a gentle swim through the Caribbean shore? One of the most popular wildlife experiences in the region is beach horseback riding in Jamaica.
Beginners and seasoned riders alike are guided through a two or three-hour ride from the wide-open countryside to the mesmerizing Jamaican shore. And the horses are trained to swim! The best part is that the company has strict, eco-friendly, humane values and restrictions to protect the land and animals.
Gentle Sharks in the Bahamas
Swimming with the nurse sharks in the Bahamas is an excellent way to face real sharks without danger or risk. Nurse sharks are bottom feeders with only an appetite for small critters on the ocean floor. These gentle creatures are no threat to visitors and have become more interactive as the years go on and human interaction lessens their shyness.
Tobago’s Massive Manta Rays
Dive into Manta City off the coast of the tropical island of Tobago to see more gentle giants! Visiting the manta rays weighing up to a ton in the Caribbean Sea is a must for wildlife experiences. The best time to see these incredible creatures is the early summer and spring when the waters are the perfect temperature for them to thrive. Remember that you’ll need to be SCUBA-certified to participate in this memorable activity.
Majestic Humpback Whales of Salt Cay
Believe it or not, the stunning wildlife of the Caribbean Islands gets even bigger than the giant manta rays in Tobago! Salt Cay of Turks & Caicos is home to migrating humpback whales from January to April, escaping the frigid Atlantic waters to the warm Caribbean Sea. This is where they have their calves, meaning you can see baby whales brushing up against their loving mothers. You’ll hear the iconic mating songs from males that last 10 to 20 minutes.
Aruba’s Fabulous Flamingos
Another top contender for your can’t-miss Caribbean wildlife experiences is Flamingo Beach in Aruba. Here, you’ll relax on the sandy shore while admiring the native flocks of pretty pink flamingos. They are elegant and other-worldly creatures that can’t be captured in photos. You have to see them for yourself, and the best way to do this is by visiting Renaissance Aruba Private Island.
Seeing these incredible birds comes with a few restrictions. First, the area does not allow children visitors, so this is best reserved as an adult trip. Kids are allowed on the island and can stay at the resort but are not permitted on the beach full of flamingos for safety and protective reasons.
Take this experience a step further by also feeding the friendly birds!
Camels in Jamaica?
Yes– That’s right! While horseback tours are typical in the Caribbean and particularly Jamaica, you can also book a trip on the backs of camels! However, they aren’t native to this tropical island, as you may assume. Camels were introduced to Jamaica in the 1800s to aid in caring for and working plantations. The descendants of the historic camels now take tourists on educational tours through the island’s old sugar cane plantation. Today, it is one of the oldest croplands in the area and continues growing sugar cane, coffee, bananas, and cassava.
Protected Sea Turtles in Barbados
By now, you’ve surely seen or heard about the unmatched wildlife experience of witnessing the hatching of sea turtle nests and the tiny just-born creatures slowly making their way to the roaring ocean. Well, in Barbados, a couple of beaches are designated and protected for the nesting of local sea turtles. For educational purposes, there are ways to watch massive sea turtles lay eggs and see the hatchlings shuffle through the sand later on.
Playful Primates in St. Kitts and Nevis
This list of incredible wildlife experiences wouldn’t be complete without sharing how you can be just a few feet away from the friendly and mesmerizing Green Vervet monkeys. In the rainforest lands of Wingfield Estate, found in St. Kitts and Nevis, is the ultimate excursion for wildlife enthusiasts and primate lovers.
CITED: Beach.com, Covingtontravel.com, Jamaicahotelreview.com