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Private Boat Charter Adventures in the Cayman Islands

Mangrove Tour.

Project Description

Crystal Charters Cayman

Eco Tour Grand Cayman

An Educational Tour of Grand Cayman’s Most Valued Ecosystem

eco tour Grand Cayman

Slow cruising through the red mangrove forest as the sun begins to set is the perfect way to end any day. These mangroves play a vital role in our ecosystem and are essential for the islands well-being. During your eco tour of the mangroves, our educated captains will teach you and the little ones all about our ecosystem as we journey through these enchanting forests.

Plan Your Adventure

What are Mangroves?

Mangroves are groups of trees and shrubs that live in saltwater and can only be found growing along tropical coastlines. They have an intricate root system, called prop roots that look a lot like tentacles giving the trees a very exquisite look. These striking roots are often submerged in the water, while the rest of the tree lives above the water line. This structure makes for a very unique habitat for all different kinds of island wildlife.

Why Mangroves matter?

eco tour Grand Cayman

“If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.”

Mangroves provide the foundation for the food chain that feeds all marine life found in the Cayman Islands. They act as an important nursery area for small fish and invertebrates. The roots provide a shelter like sanctuary to protect these fish from hungry predators while also providing a rich source of food – creating an ideal environment for these juveniles to grow and thrive. The waters of Cayman are teeming with vast aquatic wildlife because of the essential functions these mangroves provide.

As you travel around the Cayman Islands you will find yourself surrounded by crystal- clear waters – this is thanks to the unique and complex root system of the mangroves which filter out sediment and other pollutants. This amazing root system also helps prevent shoreline erosion, protects against coastal storms by reducing the impacts of waves and distributes important nutrients for surrounding ecosystems.

Mangrove wood is resistant to rot making it great for creating furniture, building boats, houses and fishing gear for the surrounding coastal communities. Medicinal plants can also be found within the mangrove ecosystems which communities use for their healing properties.

Red Mangroves

eco tour Grand Cayman

All plants need fresh water to live but not the red mangroves, they make it themselves! Adaptation allows them to desalinate seawater through reverse osmosis—taking in water and leaving the salt behind.
Another distinct feature of the red mangroves is that they actually grow in the water. When it comes to reproduction, mangrove trees do it like no other. The red mangroves have very large seeds which is actually a small plant with roots that are already growing. When it falls from the parent tree it can grow on the muddy sediments below the tree or float in open water for many months until the roots find a suitable spot to grow.

Black mangroves

These grow where there is shallow water during high tides. Since they thrive in shallow waters, their roots are modified to act as snorkels to help the plants breathe since the soil is normally too thick. Unlike their red counterparts, the black mangrove does not have the salt excursion technology but passes out the salt through salt glands on the leaves. You can actually see the salt crystals forming on the upper parts of the leaves, or if you don’t have a keen eye, you can always give it a taste!

White mangrove

This is the distant cousin of the mangrove family since it normally grows on dry land. White mangrove trees have straight trunks covered Sulphur yellow lichen which makes it appear pale at a distance.

Learn about Biodiversity in the Mangroves on our Eco Tour

eco tour Grand Cayman
After learning how this magnificent mangrove forest provides an extensive food web and shelter from predators, it comes as no surprise to discover wildlife of all kinds thriving within this environment. This complex ecosystem provides a home for iguanas, parrots, juvenile sea turtles, crabs, mussels, snails, shrimp and a variety of fish, bird and insect species. Here you will also find some of the most unique species of aquatic wildlife that include: octopi, sea horses, starfish, floating sea anemones, orange sponges and even upside down jellyfish! The mangrove forest is a dream come true for all nature and animal lovers!

Adventures


Jennifer Beauchamp
Jennifer Beauchamp
13:20 21 Jul 19
I wish I could give this company more than 5 stars. They are amazing! I emailed so many times with questions and was always answered quickly and with great customer service. Our charter was a 4 hour trip on the 45 foot boat with Willis and Brandon. They were incredible. They could not have been more helpful. They got in the water with us and picked up stingrays and helped us hold them! We went to see the starfish at Starfish point and again the staff jumped in, found starfish for us to hold. They were incredible with my 3 year old and even entertained him in the water and gave me my own time to go snorkeling as he couldn’t get the hang of snorkeling. It was an amazing day! I highly recommend them!read more
Caden & Cullen
Caden & Cullen
02:50 20 Jul 19
Crystal Charters was great!! Was our best day on the island. They were very accommodating. Made sure we had everything we needed. Took us where we wanted to go. Top notch service. Would book them again no doubt!read more
Jen Jobe
Jen Jobe
02:16 18 Jul 19
We loved our experience with Crystal Charters. The boat captains did an amazing job with our group of 6 kids varying from 7-14 and all different ranges of snorkeling abilities. They helped the nervous kids at sting ray city and showed everyone unique fish during the snorkel. Kristie did a fabulous job booking our day and accommodating all of our needs. We highly recommend them and will use them again.read more
kaili klieman
kaili klieman
15:28 17 Jul 19
Awesome experience! We chartered a boat for snorkeling, stingray city and starfish point. Everything was excellent- communication with the office and the crew of the boat. We had a group of 16 ranging in age from 3-71 and everyone enjoyed themselves. We also did the mangrove tour and biobay and it was another great time for all. I would highly recommend doing these tours!read more
Chris Halvorson
Chris Halvorson
17:58 11 Jul 19
I asked my wife to plan a day that included swimming with the stingrays. This private charter was totally the way to go for our family of 6. The boat and crew were great! We were able to plan our day the way we liked it and fill the time with the activities that interested our family. Alex, our captain, made sure we had the most amazing day. I would recommend this to families and small groups!read more
Mary Vacek
Mary Vacek
21:23 08 Jul 19
We booked a 5 hour private charter and they made the whole day great. They knew the best places to go and the staff was really friendly. We went to Stingray City, snorkeled near the coral reef, and Starfish point. They were also incredibly knowledgeable about the wildlife, and made the whole experience really great. we ended our lunch at Kaibo which was excellent. We will definitely call Crystal Charters next time we’re in Grand Cayman.read more

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