Caribbean adventure

This was not a nature trip, so I have few photos of wild critters to share.  We did see a lot of fish (no underwater photos, though), and we did visit a lot of tourist shopping areas (nothing to photograph there either).   However, it was delightful to be warm without wearing three layers of clothing and the humidity felt great — for once.

Excellent snorkeling at this beach on Roatan Island, 30 miles off the east coast of Honduras.

Excellent snorkeling at this beach on Roatan Island, 30 miles off the east coast of Honduras.

Sheltered coves and flat, white sand beaches that lead into vibrant coral heads filled with a diverse collection of fish make Roatan Island one of the most popular dive spots.

Sheltered coves and flat, white sand beaches lead to vibrant coral heads filled with a diverse collections of fish.  This was some of the best snorkeling we have experienced in the Caribbean.

Cozumel Island off the east coast of Mexico is way too popular with the tourist crowd, but our bus tour to a small Maya village took us past the rugged but scenic eastern coastline.  Hurricane Wilma did significant damage to the vegetation on the island in 2005, and there are few big trees on this mostly desert island.

A few small temples, residences, and public spaces are all that remain of this small Maya  village in eastern Cozumel Island, Mexico

A few small temples, residences, and public spaces are all that remain of this small Maya village in eastern Cozumel Island, Mexico

The wildlife highlights of this island adventure were the Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas which seemed to be everywhere.

Big-headed lizards, some more that 3 feet long, bobbed their heads at us and often waited until they were almost stepped on before moving.

Big-headed lizards, some more that 3 feet long, bobbed their heads at us and often waited until they were almost stepped on before moving.

Color morphs of the Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas.

Color morphs of the Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas.  I’m not sure what determines this color change.

Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura similis) are native to Mexico and Central America and have been introduced to Florida.  Their range overlaps with the Green Iguana, and they are about the same size, but are not that closely related (different genus).  Both species are popular in the pet trade and as potential menu items (…tastes just like chicken).

The other commonly seen critter at the Maya Village was the Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus), a paler and quieter version of its northern mockingbird cousin (Mimus polyglottus).

This guys was singing up a storm:  whistles, chirps,  tweets, a potpourri of  calls.

This guy was singing up a storm: whistles, chirps, tweets, a potpourri of calls.

Tropical mockingbird on Cozumel island

See my pretty, long tail...

See my pretty, long tail…  This really is a tropical bird, ranging from southern Mexico to Brazil.

5 thoughts on “Caribbean adventure

  1. Looks like a great place to visit. I haven’t snorkeled in years, but it’s a lot of fun in clear water like the Caribbean shoreline. I always stayed on the reef – I was afraid of the deep water because it was so dark!

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