I love the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in Cayman, it’s such a wonderful tranquil oasis.
Last weekend I went to the park with my husband and 10-month old daughter Ella. Having lived in Cayman for the past 12 years or so, I’ve only been a handful times, primarily because it’s often too hot. However, the Christmas breezes are bringing wonderfully cool weather to Cayman at the moment, which creates the perfect opportunity to get out and explore.
The Botanic Park is a lush oasis tucked away in the district of North Side. I feel that it’s often overlooked by a lot of tourists, who tend to head to the beaches or Cayman’s world-famous Stingray City, which is a shame, because it’s absolutely stunning.
It’s been a particularly stressful time during the last few weeks, so wandering around the meandering paths with nothing but the gentle rustling of foliage and the hum of wildlife truly helped to sooth the soul.
A masterpiece of horticultural architecture, the Botanic Park spans some 65-acres, so there’s ample to explore, from beautifully manicured grounds, to walks that meander through natural foliage. And, of course, the park is home to the Blue Iguana – a stunning reptile found only in Cayman.
Unfortunately, we didn’t spot one on this visit. They used to roam the park freely, but sadly due to attacks by wild dogs who have managed to enter the park, the Blues have been confined to a specially contained area that is fenced off.
The park is currently working on fencing the entire perimeter, so hopefully these stunning reptiles will be able to wander freely soon.
During our trip we visited a number of the gardens, including the Orchid Garden, the Heritage Garden, the Colour Garden, and we also waked the Woodland Trail.
I love the Heritage Garden, which is designed to highlight Cayman’s cultural heritage. The garden features a traditional Caymanian cottage, sand garden lined with conch shells, and lots of fruit trees. It’s fitted out as it would have looked at the turn of the century, with a caboose (an outdoor cookhouse which is separate from the main house) and an outhouse.
The Colour Garden is also a wonderful treat – it’s just so verdant and lush. Ella was mesmerised by all the beautiful colours and the huge palm leaves that criss-crossed the pathways.
We were also really luck to spot an Agouti that ran out in front of us, a treat as they are shy and therefore hard to spot, so it kind of made up for not seeing any Blues.
Been to Cayman? Visited the Botanic Park? Share your thoughts below.