Low impact tourism is something we should all be aiming for. Aviation emissions account for 11% of transport-related carbon emissions in the US. Each time we catch a flight, we contribute to global warming. It’s difficult to reach the Caribbean without setting foot on a plane. The good news is that you can make a difference. Do this by supporting conservation efforts when you arrive at your Cayman Villas.
The Cayman Islands are famous for their scuba diving and snorkeling. The island’s dive sites attract thousands of divers each year. They come to see the colorful marine life and unique biodiversity beneath the waves.
The sheer wall in Bloody Bay Marine Park, a protected marine reserve, drops 2,000 meters into a deep abyss. With so many fish and other marine creatures living down there, you would be forgiven for thinking the coral is healthy. Sadly, this is not the case.
The Caribbean has lost around 80% of its coral. Pollution and rising sea temperatures have exacted a devastating toll. The Cayman coral has fared better than some areas, but it isn’t immune to damage. The Department of Environment is working with local dive schools to protect and restore damaged coral.
If you plan to scuba dive when you visit the Cayman Islands, why not take part in the Coral Nursery Program? Book a course with an eco-diving school and do your bit in ensuring the future of the local reefs.
Join a National Trust Tour
The National Trust protects the history and biodiversity of the Cayman Islands. It educates islanders and visitors about significant sites on all three Cayman Islands. Join in with the conservation process by booking a National Trust tour.
Visit the Blue Iguana Recovery Program to find out more about Cycluralewisi, the largest native resident of the islands. The program has saved Blue Iguanas from the brink of extinction. There are now 150 animals in its captive breeding facility. Young iguanas are raised to adulthood and then released into the wild.
The center is open six days a week. You can buy tickets from the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park Visitor Centre.
Other tours include the Mastic Trail Tour and the Paradise Discovered Tour.
In the 1700s, turtles were a source of fresh meat for vessels stopping at the Cayman Islands. By the 1800s, the resident turtle population has almost died out. In 1983, a mini Green Sea Turtle breeding center was established. The Cayman Turtle Center later became one of the biggest attractions on Grand Cayman.
Hurricane Michelle almost wiped out the breeding population. Shortly after, the turtle program moved inland to Boatswain Beach. Today there is a 23-acre park where you can snorkel with turtles, visit a waterfall, and hike a nature trail.
Eco-tourism is the future. Other Caribbean islands have their own initiatives in place. For example, the Turks and Caicos have a high-end, low-impact policy in place. When you book Turks and Caicos villas, you can do your bit by buying local food.