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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?

“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

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

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


Kelly Lynch
Kelly Lynch
22:21 27 Aug 19
The 1st time we took this leg of the Disney Cruise 2 years ago, we opted to find our own charter options vs. going with the Disney Cruise excursion options. We were lucky enough to find Chrystal Charters and they did not disappoint! This 2nd time we of course went back to Crystal Charters and had another great time. Our guide Duncan and his 1st mate Cassie were AWESOME!!! We had a great time the the stingrays and starfish and they took us to a great local place for lunch. Thank you Crystal Charters for a great time in the Caymans! You're the BEST!read more
Lois Robbins
Lois Robbins
01:12 27 Aug 19
Crystal Charters is awesome!!! On a recent trip to Grand Cayman we booked a half day Excursion with Crystal Charters. The crew was amazing! There were 15 of us including children. They made sure all of us had everything we needed. They took us to Stingray city and then on to snorkel.. our day could not have been betterread more
Krystal Dry
Krystal Dry
18:42 24 Aug 19
We had a great 4 hour tour with Duncan and Cass that was fun for everyone in our group - from ages 3 to grandparents. First we went to Stingray City and played with the gentle giants, then we were off to a beautiful beach for lunch, then off to see and hold the starfish. Even though we didn’t have the best weather, we had a GREAT time, and highly recommend this company to anyone.read more
Tony Molina
Tony Molina
14:27 20 Aug 19
My large (14 person) family and I recently went to the Cayman Islands for vacation. We chartered a boat for a half day trip at 3:00 PM. IT WAS AMAZING! Not only were the staff knowledgeable and hospitable but they really made sure that everyone was accommodated and having a great time! Leaving in the after noon was a better idea because we felt the stops to sting ray city and starfish beach were a lot less crowded. Thanks to the crews recommendation we went to Caibo bar and restaurant for some drinks and appetizers! Thank you to Captain Sheldon and his crew!read more
Joanne Guarnaccia
Joanne Guarnaccia
23:35 19 Aug 19
LOOK NO FURTHER - FANTASTIC PRIVATE TOUR!Captain Sheldon and his crew were FANTASTIC! We started at Stingray Sandbar, onto Snorkeling, Starfish Beach and ended our tour at Kaibo Beach Bar. Our party of 15 were all impressed with the professionalism, patience and knowledge of Captain Sheldon and his crew. We really had a perfect day. Kristie was so helpful throughout the booking process. She promptly answered all of my numerous emails and answered all my questions with much appreciated politeness and efficiency. Look no further if you want to have one of the best experiences in Grand Cayman! Thank you Captain Sheldon and crew, Kristie and Crystal Charters!!read more
Jacob Didier
Jacob Didier
18:53 28 Jul 19
Awesome time with Crystal Charters Grand Cayman! Alex and Ricky were two very knowledgeable and very cool guys. Their experience and professionalism made for a great day of snorkeling, stingrays, and starfish. I’d give 6/5 stars if I could! Definitely plan to return next time I’m on the island and would recommend over any crowded group tour.read more

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