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The Caribbean

Little Water Cay: A Visit with Turks and Caicos’ Rock Iguanas

A rock iguana on Turks and Caicos' Little Water Cay

A rock iguana on Turks and Caicos’ Little Water Cay

Little Water Cay was only a five-minute boat ride from the eastern end of Providenciales (Provo), but they felt worlds away from each other.  While Provo is the most populated and developed island in Turks and Caicos, Little Water Cay is a nature reserve that is home to the nation’s indigenous rock iguanas.   Hence, the cay is also known as Iguana Island.

Arriving on Little Water Cay

Approaching Little Water Cay (Iguana Island)

Not wanting to miss out on a chance to see this endangered species, Johnny and I booked an hour-long excursion with Caribbean Cruisin’ to Iguana Island.  As soon as we got dropped off by the boat, a park ranger led us on a brief tour of the small island (or cay).

We would love to trade places with this little guy any time.

We would love to trade places with this little guy any time.

Some of the iguanas wore tags around their necks as a tracking device.

Some of the iguanas wore tags around their necks as a tracking device.

The park ranger was not the only one who greeted us upon our arrival.  The iguanas themselves were also out and about, curious to check out who the guests of the hour were.

This iguana wasn't being too shy

This iguana wasn’t being too shy.

We learned that iguanas are territorial beings.  Because each iguana occupies its preferred corner of the cay, and each also has its own distinctive physical attributes, the park ranger has become very familiar with these creatures and called them by name, such as Rocky.

This poor iguana was involved in a little brawl and lost its tail.  But no worries, iguanas are capable of growing their tails again.

This poor iguana was involved in a little brawl and lost its tail. But no worries, iguanas are capable of growing their tails again.

Boardwalks on Little Water Cay

Boardwalks on Little Water Cay

A super-sized iguana, but it's not real, hehehe...

A super-sized iguana, but it’s not real, hehehe…

An excursion to Little Water Cay gave us a glimpse of what the Turks and Caicos islands looked like before all the development that took place in the last few decades.  The flora and fauna found on this cay are all native to Turks and Caicos.  There are no tall palm trees that you often see at resorts and restaurants on the other islands.  Iguanas thrive on Little Water Cay because there are no cats and dogs preying on them.

A natural environment

A natural environment

An outlet to the sea

A path leading to the sea

After our short guided-tour, the ranger let us wander the island on our own.  Johnny and I decided to head towards the north shore, where it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

We walked all the way to the north side of the cay

We walked along this trail to the north side of the cay

Trees on Little Water Cay

Landscape of Little Water Cay

The iguanas dwell inside these rocks, earning them the name Rock Iguanas

The iguanas dwell under these rocks, earning them the name Rock Iguanas

Roaming around Little Water Cay made us feel almost like being castaways on a deserted island.  There was only one other couple who came with us on this excursion, and the entire time they stayed close to where the boat docked.  So we were completely alone when we trekked to see the ocean.

The cay has pristine, beautiful beaches

The cay has pristine, beautiful beaches

We stopped a few times to take pictures by the beach

We stopped a few times to take pictures by the beach

An overlook offering a nice view of the water

An overlook offered a nice view of the surrounding area

Tiny islands not too far from Little Water Cay

Tiny islands not too far from Little Water Cay

You can also get here by kayaks

You can also get here by kayaks

It took us about 15 minutes to reach the north coast, and it was definitely worth our time.  We were surrounded by the raw beauty of Little Water Cay.  The color of the ocean was just gorgeous, and the beach was covered with driftwood.  The unfortunate part was that we only had a few minutes to enjoy this scenery, as we had to hurry back to make sure we did not miss our ride back to Provo.

Beach on north side of Little Water Cay (Iguana Island)

beach

Nanette and Johnny on Little Water Cay

Nanette and Johnny on Little Water Cay

Although we only got to spend one hour on Little Water Cay, we were very grateful to be able to experience one of the last remaining unspoiled, natural areas in the Caribbean.

Other blog posts I have written on Turks and Caicos:

 

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