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The 6 best nature reserves in the Caribbean

The 6 best nature reserves in the Caribbean

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Bonaire National Marine Park

Bonaire

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One for your scuba diving bucket list, the Bonaire National Marine Park is an unrivalled location for witnessing marine conservation first hand. The park includes 2,700 hectares of reefs and mangroves, which includes all the waters surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.

There are 86 incredible dive sites to choose from in order to see more than 350 fish species and more than 57 different types of coral. Aside from green and hawksbill turtles, divers can hope to see eagle rays, parrotfish, grunts, groupers, blue tangs, frog fish and butterfly fish among others.

Get the full experience by heading under the surface with one of the many dive operators on the island, or else enjoy a spot of snorkelling from the shoreline. Additionally, there are boat tours and eco-friendly water sports available.

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Tortuguero National Park

Costa Rica

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Costa Rica has a total of 28 national parks, three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so nature buffs are spoilt for choice. One of the most popular on the Caribbean coast is the Tortuguero National Park, famed for the vast numbers of sea turtles that come to nest in the area.

The park has an intricate tapestry of canals, rivers, beaches and lagoons to explore by boat, canoe or kayak with a local expert, who can guide you through the labyrinth and point out the long list of protected plants and animals living within the Barra de Colorado Wildlife Refuge.

Green macaws, jaguar, sharks, caimans and crocodiles all call the lush rainforest their home in addition to the various sea turtle species. Loggerhead, hawksbill, slider, leatherback and green turtles can all be spotted during nesting season, which usually lasts from March to mid-October.

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Blue Iguana Nature Reserve

Cayman Islands

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Saved from the brink of extinction, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas are majestic creatures not to be missed. Visitors can explore the park on foot with a gentle guided safari tour or custom tours can be arranged in advance.

Accompanied by one of the two Blue Iguana wardens, the trails allow visitors to see the iguanas in their natural habitat, with no more than one mile of walking. The park’s visitor centre has refreshments available as well as a gift shop.

Tickets can be bought from the beautiful Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, where visitors can explore a variety of local flora and fauna, including world-famous orchids and incredible indigenous butterflies.

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