As you enter the lush environs of Naia Residences en route to Naia Resort and Spa, one can be forgiven for thinking that they had taken a wrong turn and wound up in a sort of modern-day beachside Eden. Coconut trees line the roads, but not in a linear, contrived way. Their retinue of seagrape trees, cocoplum, and palmettos are in attendance as well. At 212 acres, Naia Residences is vast when compared with other properties on the peninsula. It is also the widest point of this generally narrow strip of land. The flora here is technically classed as littoral or coastal forest and replete with mangroves, gumbo limbo trees, and other trees that like the sand and salt. This lush habitat has attracted many different life forms to the area. Below is a list of only a few of our land-dwelling creatures:
Among the most common creatures to be seen around here is the agouti. These cute, seed-eating rodents can often be seen by the sides of the roads here in the early morning and at dusk. They are related to their larger (tastier) cousins, the gibnut. They are also known as ‘bush rabbits’ due to their movement resembling that of rabbits.
Once more common in the area, the grey fox still stealthily prowls the underbrush searching for prey. Their favorites include lizards and small iguanas. They tend to be very playful with one another, especially the younger ones, and are rarely out on their own.
Coati, or as we call them locally, quash, are a long-tailed mammal that lives in relatively large family groups. If you see one crossing the road while you’re driving, stop and wait a minute. There will probably be 5 or 6 little ones trailing behind!
One of the most iconic species of Naia. The young ones are a brilliant tropical green, and the males, as they age and grow, take on a bright orange cast. This orange color becomes more accentuated during the mating months. Garobo is the local name given to these mature male iguanas, and many people in the country prize their flesh. Don’t worry; our menu has not become that adventurous yet.
Black Spiny Tailed Iguana
Yes, there is a second iguana species on the property! Scourge of the garden and eater of fresh shoots, the black spiny-tailed iguana, locally known as ‘wishwilly’ are plentiful here at Naia. And it’s no surprise given the plentitude of good things for them to eat. Unlike their green cousins, there is little differentiation between the genders aside from the males being somewhat larger.