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Critters of Cayo Largo

Just came back from Sol Cayo Largo. I spent most of my time hiking around trying to find local wildlife. I had several printouts from Google Earth of different parts of the island and walked off to a different direction every day after breakfast. I think I did between 12 and 20 kilometers per day based on Google Earths measurements.

This is a Green Turtle leaving the nest where it had just laid its eggs and was going back into the sea as quickly as possible. Picture was taken at seven in the morning. I was on the beach well before sunrise and was really surprised to see at turtle at this hour as I had been told that they lay eggs after sundown;


Black Hawk, taken in the fields:


Cuban crocodile taken in back of Pelicano near the small garden and tower. I was walking along the small paths that circle around the ponds and almost walked into it. Scared the c**p for a moment, it was guarding its nest. Its mouth i open so it can cool off.


black necked stilt;


Nice shots. The tour guides would normally show you where the crocs live. :wink: A good surprise for anyone hiking towards the tower from Pelicano through that swamp and fish farm.

Where are the sssnakes? LOL

Nice pics, thanks for sharing. I wish there was more wildlife to see in the Holguin area, although I could do without stumbling across a crocodile.

Great pictures! I figured you would see more of the island than most do. No snorkelling this trip?

No I didn’t snorkel. I realized why I was avoiding snorkelling lately and its because several trips a go, I started to have a mild pain in my ear after snorkelling. The problem had been growing and occuring quicker after each trip.



How big is the fellow in the above posting? with no references he could be hand or man size.

from the top:

the nesting green turtle was probably at 3 1/2 feet (Shell)

the Crocodile was about seven feet

Iguana about three feet from head to tail

The bottom was a baby Green turtle just released, about three inches maximum.

Lots of strange 2 legged critter there too !
Especially at midnight !!
Great shots sssnakes. I have seen big iggys at the beach but I never seen a crocogater ( The day I do, THE RUM TREES ARE GOING TO TAKE A S@%T-KICKING ). yikes !!!

Where was that crocogater in relation to the Sol resort and the path between them

I think that one is between Pellicano and the tower beside the greenhouses.

As spunky wrote, there are a few ponds surrounded by mangroves between the tower and Pelicano. The people that work at the plant nursery, beside the tower have a crocodile that seems to hang around thier small greenhouses (for lack of a better word). Might be becasue they occasionally feed it.


This croc was to the west of the small barn where they have horse rentals (closed when I was there). There are small footpaths that follow some of the edges of the ponds. Lots of fresh water turtles in the ponds and some interesting birds also hang out there.

There was a fish farm in there a couple of years ago. A la carte for Crocs. We saw the smaller female on one side of the path and hundreds of large fish in the pond on the other side. (Lower-right ponds in above view.)
Had we not known about the Crocs, my reaction might not have been as “cool” as sssnakes’.
Maybe “All Day Fish Buffet” better describes the set up we saw.
A well fed Croc is a happy Croc. Eh?

I think horse rental is finished on Cayo Largo, at least that is what I heard. Too bad, as it was a good way to get into difficult places without walking. The croc at the gardens next to the horse rental used to be part of the tour if you went into town on the bus. Yes, they do feed it. :slight_smile:

I just wanted to clarify that the croc that I photographed, wasn’t the croc that hangs out near the gardeners. I knew from prior reading on the internet that they had one that was kind of a pet. I wasn’t all that interested in seeing that one.

The one I saw was near its nest which was a big pile of sand, and located away from the gardening area and tower. You could tell from its tracks that it would occasionally walk on top of the nest. I enjoy finding things on my own.

Your Croc is a good deal bigger than the other. You say nest? Is there a chance this is a female? That would make 3 crocs on CL now including the resident male.

I would assume that there are crocodiles throughout Cayo Largo. if you look at CL from Google earth you can see lots of potential areas for them to live inside the island. There are many mangroves surrounding the interior lakes.

I walked up some of the trails on the photo below to see if I could find some good vantage points. But the problem with mangroves is that the trees surrounding the edges make it very difficult to see the interior of the lakes.


i was told by the guy who works at the turtle place in the village that a good place to look was the big lake north of the airport runway. I did go there but wasn’t fortunate. If they’re in the water, chances of seeing them are pretty slim. They have to be up on the banks. i didn’t explore all the banks though on the north side of the lake which would seem to have great potential

I’ve seen lots of crocodiles in Costa Rica, and Tanzania as well as alligators in the southern U.S.so I was familiar with what to look for. You just need to put in the time and hopefully get lucky.

The next time I go, I have a really good area that I will try to look at on CL

great pics sssnakes ! sorry to hear you’ve stopped snorkelling though. Can’t blame you…ear pain is awful as I recall :slight_smile:

North of the airport, I’ve been to the end of the lake on the left on the way to Playa Luna, Mangrove Central with a stream access to the sea. Using my 2 Croc rule, I wasn’t looking for them. Oops!

So I take it this croc was not fenced in? Yikes!!! Crocs can outrun humans. Wasn’t this quite dangerous?

Did we mention, “well fed croc”?