Bigger, better and more colourful displays are at the Pirates Caves and Mini Zoo in Bodden Town.
With the help of resident artist Jayne Ford, Manager Gill Stern has given the gift shop and mini zoo a new look.
A mural of Cayman’s pristine blue waters, pirates, pirate treasure, sea turtles, shipwrecks, colourful marine life, plants and the beach decorates the front of the building and parrots, Cayman flora and fauna highlight the back walls.
The paintings on the wall and the life-size pirates perched on the side of the building make an eye-catcher for tourists.
But the highlight of the park is the caves. Caverns that were plugged up for centuries are being excavated and made more accessible and Mr. Stern said he is doing research so tourists and locals can learn more about the history the caves hold.
Pirates Caves offers visitors a view of where pirates lived, ate, slept and where they hid their treasures.
Legend has it that pirates’ gold is buried in caves along the Bodden Town coastline but so far the location of these treasures has remained a mystery.
Visitors can explore the underground and take in a self guided nature walk through lush tropical flora.
All plants along the nature walk are labelled. There are breadfruit, broadleaf, calabash, duppy bush, tamarind, neesberry, genip, silver buttonwood, aloe and more.
Visitors can also meet some of Cayman’s native animals such as the Cayman rabbit, iguanas, chickens, parrots, soldier crabs and lizards.
A 3,000-gallon fresh water tank holds stingrays, goldfish and other tropical fish.
An old Cayman house on the property has also been restored and contains artefacts of yesteryear.
The gift shop has a sand floor and a tremendous amount of pirate items for sale including paintings of Cayman.
‘Bodden Town is a town rich in the history of the Cayman Islands and with the help of local residents I want to share that with many who pass this way,’ said Mr. Stern.
‘I want to create someplace where they can stop, rest, enjoy, see and be educated about the beautiful and fascinating things about our island.
Mr. Stern wants to work out a partnership with schools to bring students on guided tours so they can learn about Cayman culture.
The gift shop is open every day from 9-am-6pm. Those seeking more information on the caves can call 947-3122.