Things to Do in Roatán

June 17, 2014 No Comments

Roatán offers diversity for everyone visiting. It’s just a short walk from downtown Coxen Hole. Right across from the port is Maya’s Key. This private cay is home to the Bay Island’s Interpretation Center and Ethnic Honduran Art Exhibit Center.

To immerse in local culture and cuisine, head to West End Village, just a 20-minute ride from the port. Here you can find restaurants, bars, shops, and water-sports vendors. Discover local Honduran crafts such as native Garifuna paintings, handwoven baskets, Lenca pottery, mahogany carvings, and much more.

Water taxis connect the West End to the West Bay. Here, you can get closer to nature at Gumbalimba Park, Roatán’s finest preservation park. Explore unspoiled trails where flowers and butterflies give way to the shade of the forest canopy. Delight in the tranquil sounds of the garden waterfall. Befriend the brilliant winged citizens of the Bird Sanctuary, where friendly parrots and macaws play. Enter the Monkey Refuge and get acquainted with the white-faced capuchin monkeys. Trace the steps of the real pirates of the Caribbean inside a re-creation of Coxen’s Cave, where you’ll encounter the infamous Captain John Coxen. Enter the Gumbalimba Insectarium and discover the world of insects from the region. After exploring, dive into the freshwater pool or take a dip in the Caribbean Sea. Snorkeling, Snuba, and clear kayaking are also available at Gumbalimba.

Up the coast from West Bay, you can head toward the East End of the island and discover the villages of Sandy Bay, Jonesville, and Oak Ridge. In Sandy Bay, visit the Institute of Marine Sciences and Roatán Museum at Anthony’s Key Resort. Here you can view archaeological pieces that date back thousands of years. Or, take a swim with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at the Institute for Marine Sciences. Across the way from Anthony’s Key is Carambola Gardens, which is home to the “Chocolate Tree.” Jonesville and Oak Ridge offer a view into the island’s complex system of mangroves, which can be explored in dugout canoes.

If golf is your game, Roatán is home to the Pristine Bay Resort’s Black Pearl Golf Course. With 18 holes and sweeping views, it’s a memorable experience for players of all abilities.

Roatán’s coast is a diver’s paradise, complete with over 130 snorkel and dive sites. Coral grows thickly on walls that begin in clear, shallow waters that drop to the purple depths of the Caribbean Sea. The Sandy Bay–West End Marine Reserve has some of the best dive sites.

This tour does double duty as both a snorkeling adventure and a toes-in-the-sand beach day. Grab your mask and fins for a swim alongside schools of tropical fish. Walk right offshore into one of the island’s most spectacular coral worlds. Then, head back up to the soft sands of Tabyana Beach to play a little volleyball or just soak up the island sunshine.

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