This island is like Galapagos in Bahamian style, with iguanas scampering along the beaches at all hours of the day and night. Allen’s Cay is uninhabited.
Swimming pigs might be the most famous living attraction in The Exumas, but iguanas are really cool, too. Many cays are home to three species, which have a thoroughly prehistoric look about them, with bright scaly skin and mohawk-style spines. One of the best sites to spot a “mess” (the term for a group of iguanas) – is Allen Cay, also known as Iguana Island. Allen Cay can only be reached by boat.
The main attraction is the Allen’s Cay Iguana. One of the few places where you can still find these gentle, but fearsome looking, creatures. The iguanas are friendly and welcoming to visitors who bring them vegetables.
Be cautious when interacting with the iguanas, not only because they are endangered and protected by law, but also because they are still a wild animal. Place a piece of lettuce or perhaps a grape tomato on a long stick and hold it out. Then, let them come to you.
What is so special about the iguanas on Allen Cay?
Allen Cays iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornate) – a subspecies of the Northern Bahamian rock iguana – is unique to Allen Cay and a few neighboring isles. Growing to more than 4ft in length, it’s a giant next to its smaller cousins because it’s diet is so unusually nutrient-rich plants. These harmless lizards are threatened by poaching and supplemental feeding by tourists. Because they are endangered, treating these wild creatures with respect is critical to their long-term survival. We won’t feed them, but we can still take a selfie with them, right?