Hello. My name is Fadra and I’m an animal lover. I think it’s pretty obvious from my Instagram stream that my pets have pretty much taken over my life. But it’s not just pets that I love, it’s all creatures you find in nature (with the exception of spiders – just, no).
While I was unexpectedly taken in by all the flowers and beauty of the plants and landscaping at Beaches Turks and Caicos, I was also pleasantly surprised by the wildlife that crossed my path. Literally.
First of all, let’s talk about the undesirable critters first. It is a tropical environment, after all.
We arrived late on a Wednesday night (we’re talking plane landed at 8:30pm) so we picked a moderate hotel that would provide us a clean bed for the night. I can’t complain about the accommodations at Ports of Call Resort. The price was right and the rooms were nice. But we did have little ants in the bathroom.
I’ve heard they’re sugar ants and they’re harmless. I mainly just wanted to make sure they didn’t hitchhike onto any of my bags (which they didn’t). And I did see one mosquito in the room. With rumors of the chikungunya virus being spread throughout the Caribbean, I made sure I took care of him before I settled in for the night.
Surprising, other than some crazy moths and butterflies, I didn’t see a single bug on the island! Although I will admit that when we traveled to Little Water Cay, I did see this which, thankfully, was vacant.
Can you see the spiderweb?
I have a pretty good idea as to why I saw so few of critters of the insect variety… LIZARDS!
If you’re not a fan of reptiles, this might not be the place for you because they were everywhere! My first sighting was just outside of Ports of Call and I got so excited I snapped about 10 pictures!
But there were many more to come.
I’m sorry to say that my herpetology skills aren’t as sharp as they used to be and I can’t positively identify them. Native to the island are “a subspecies of the Bark Anole, Anolis scriptus scriptus, a dark brown lizard with yellow spots on its back that prefers tree trunks, Curly-tailed lizard, House Gecko, Croaking Gecko and Dwarf Geckos.” (source)
If I had to guess, I’d say most of these were anoles or curly-tailed lizards, which is a shame because I would have LOVED to see a gecko.
There were some lizards, though, that were very easy to identify. As part of the Social Media on the Sand conference, I chose an Island Exploration excursion not knowing exactly what I was getting into. Turns out it was this biology major’s match made in heaven.
Spending time on Little Water Cay (Iguana Island) gave me a look at some of the native species that are protected here. In fact, they’ll soon be offering birdwatching tours on the island in the early morning and evening.
No need to be afraid though. There herbivores eat plants and barriers found in the nature preserve. The only thing you have to watch for is your painted toenails on the raised walkway. They might look like a tasty treat to an iguana!
And if lizards just aren’t your thing, no worries there either. At any given time on the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa property, you could find a small but hearty kitty cat wandering around.
It almost seemed like there was a cat for each of the four villages there. I’m sure they get their share of scraps but they also do their job helping control the mouse and lizard population (yes, this was witnessed firsthand).
The cats were friendly though and were treated like part of the landscape. No one seemed to be bothered by them and one even settled under my table outside a pub one night and curled up on my straw bag. If it were for those pesky customs restrictions, I might have put him in my bag to take home.
So whether you love capturing unusual photographs on your vacation or you fall in love with the lush tropical landscaping or you want to treasure a little bit of the natural wildlife, I guarantee you can accomplish it all in Turks and Caicos.