Caribbean Wildlife & Marine Life
From monkeys and manatee… to whistling ducks and pigs that swim – Caribbean wildlife and marine life is amazingly diverse
In the Caribbean wildlife pages you will get an insight into the weird, wonderful and diverse wildlife of the region. So drag yourself away from the beaches, get active and take time out to discover the diverse Caribbean wildlife.
Check out the rainforests, sea, caves, treetops and rivers. You can watch turtles nesting, iguanas basking in the sun, monkeys swinging in the rainforest canopy, and swim with dolphins or snorkel with stingrays.
The Caribbean is an incredible region – not only for its warm sea, sun, sand and rum cocktails – but also because of its diverse Caribbean wildlife. Discover it… and read about wildlife in our Caribbean Books & Book Reviews section.
Country by Country
Caribbean Wildlife & Marine Life
Diverse Caribbean wildlife
Birdwatching is a popular Caribbean wildlife activity where birding enthusiasts can discover hundreds of species of birds. Other Caribbean wildlife and marine life found include: turtles (leatherbacks, greens, hawksbills), whales, dolphins, stingrays, Antillean Manatee, Iguana (endangered black iguana or swamper, wild green iguanas), basillisk lizards, common caiman, a variety of frogs – such as tree toads, brilliant red poison-dart frogs, and Jamaican snoring frogs.
There are three-toed sloths, Marmosets, monkeys (Mona, mantled howler, capuchin,, spider, white-faced capuchins), river otters and whistling ducks. Also, amazingly, there are Jaguars, pumas and rarely seen ocelot.
Additionally there are coatimundi, peccaary, tapir, crocodiles, snakes, butterflies… and even wild pigs that swim! You’ll find them splashing around in the waters of the Exumas – the Out Islands of the Bahamas.
Whale spotting & turtle watching in the Caribbean
For the majority of the year whales and dolphins will be spotted somewhere in the Caribbean, with the summer months giving the best chance of spotting migrating pilot whales off the Bahamas as well as off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic and around the Turks & Caicos Islands.
There are many islands where Caribbean turtles can be seen and where a number of turtle conservation projects are in hand. The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group.
The mission of the Sea Turtle Conservancy is to ensure the survival of sea turtles within the Caribbean region through research, education, training, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which they depend.
Birdwatching, or birding, in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a birdwatcher’s Mecca. From bird colonies in Tobago and Little Cayman to the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad and the Frigate Bird Sanctuary in Barbuda, ornithologists will find the Caribbean one of the most rewarding regions in which to spend a dedicated birdwatching holiday. Check out the individual Caribbean countries featured in this section for more detailed information on the Caribbean wildlife found in and around each country. Also, discover more in the Caribbean wildlife books reviewed by Active Caribbean in the Caribbean Book Reviews section.
Family Caribbean wildlife adventures and experiences
There are stingray “cities” not far off-shore from a number of Caribbean islands where you can snorkel with stingrays.
There are also opportunities to get up close and personal with dolphins in sheltered areas, these are very special dolphin encounters for the young – check out Dolphin Encounters in our Family Adventures section.
Best of all though is to see dolphins in their natural habitat on a dolphin spotting trip. There are also whale spotting sea boat excursions. At certain times of the year you might also be lucky to see turtles nesting on protected beaches.