Green Iguanas (iguana iguana)
Green iguanas range from Mexico through Central and South America and many of the Caribbean islands. There are also feral populations in California, Florida and Hawaii. Each country I visited has its own shade or tint of iguana iguana to admire.
Iguanas are arboreal. They are good swimmers, jumpers, diggers and baskers. The Caribbean islanders call them tree or bamboo chickens and say (surprise!) they taste just like that poultry.
Where do you find an abundance of wild iguanas on Aruba? Take a stroll through the grounds of the Renaissance Hotel in Oranjestad. Here are all the generations, from tender babe to grumpy old codger.
Who knew adult male green iguanas on Belize are orange and females are red? If you visit the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich you may meet an iguana who has learned to ride the river ferry from her riverside basking spot across to visit the shopkeepers for veggie handouts.
- Grand Cayman
In addition to rare blue iguanas, Grand Cayman has a feral population of green iguanas as well. They are a different species and do not even speak the same iguana head-bob language.
- Key West, Florida
This iguana has seen it all from his sidewalk perch on Duval Street.
- St. Thomas, USVI
Iguanas on St. Thomas have bright pink lips.
You will find them grazing in grassy fields and basking on rocks by the water. Don't forget to look up. One might be just over your head.
- Devil's Island, French Guiana
The great-great-great-great grandfathers of these iguanas watched ragged French prisoners struggle to exist on this infamous island. These two live in the old cistern.
- Guanacaste, Costa Rica
If you are driving across the Rio San Rafael be sure to stop at the Las Iguanas Restaurant. Hundreds of iguanas stop by for daily handouts and to bask in the trees beside the river.
In Carara National Park we discovered an iguana face-off. A green iguana was nose to nose with a spiny tailed iguana.