Soil forms only a thin cover over the Cockpit limestone, and as the rock soaks away most of the rainfall, the area’s plant life has had to adapt in order to survive. As a result, visitors see a proliferation of species that make the most of their rather limited means. Bromeliads collect dew and rainwater in the tanks between their leaves, while the thick, waxy leaves of other plants, such as the tiny orchids that colonize dead wood, take advantage of high humidity. There’s a huge range of bird life here, including 27 of Jamaica’s 28 endemic species; this is one of the few places you’ll see – and hear – profusions of shrieking green parrots. The feral pigs that root through the undergrowth are descended from those reared by the Maroons, and with hundreds of caves, bats are common – 21 varieties are found in the region. The limestone also provides a perfect cover for the Jamaican boa, or yellow snake. For more on the area’s unusual environment, visit wcockpitcountry.com.

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