Dec 10, 2012

Fun things to do on Roatan

John and I have been to HondurasRoatan Island many times in the last twenty years. It has long been a favorite destination of divers.  Now it has been discovered by the cruise crowd who have fallen in love with the unspoiled greenery and are returning for a vacation. There are a plethora of things to do for divers, non-divers, and day-trippers. English is commonly spoken.

1.     Dive in: Roatan is on the world’s second largest barrier reef. The crystal waters and colorful corals are home to rich marine life. Dive resorts offer two to four dive trips daily including occasional night dives.  See spotted manta rays, barracuda, moray eels, parrot fish, and other colorful fish in their natural habitat.

2.     Life’s a beach: The island’s many beaches are the perfect place to laze in the sun. Spend the day in a hammock or on a lounge chair but have sun and bug protection handy. There are a slew of resorts with great beaches.  Including those at Infinity Bay, Turquoise Bay, Anthony’s Key and Mayan Princess. Several hotels offer Garifuna dance shows on various evenings.

3.     Museum: Anthony’s Key has a modest but informative museum. It is the best place to learn about the island’s exciting history that includes control by the indigenous people, the English and Spanish – and pirates. It is also home to a research center dealing mainly with dolphins but also other sea life.

4.     Zip it: The island has five zip lines for a bird’s eye view of the canopy.  But it is the adrenaline pumping thrill of zipping nearly a mile through the canopy of the dense forest that is the real draw.

5.     It is natural: Gumbalimba has several animals including friendly free-roaming monkeys along with a cave tour that tells the exploits of the pirates. Roatan was a haven for pirates.  The Butterfly Garden exhibits a variety of butterflies native to Honduras and Carambola Botanical Gardens is the perfect place for hiking along the jungle trails learning about the islands flora and fauna.

6.     Rent it: There are several rental car agencies for exploring the island but the more adventurous will enjoy discovering the island on a motorcycle or scooter.  The island is hilly but roads are paved and the island is only 36 miles long.

7.     Spa time: While spas are a new addition to the easy life on Roatan with most of the new upscale resorts adding a spa, massages have long been available.  Spa Baan Suerte offers Mayan Mud Wrap and Chocolate Cho-co-LAH-te treatment along with yoga.

8.     Fish and more fish: To catch or to eat, fish are everywhere.  It is only a short boat ride to the fishing hot spots for tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, sailfish, and marlin. Don’t want to fish then enjoy the many fish dishes offered at a variety of restaurants found everywhere on the island.

9.     Dolphin experience: One of the most memorable experiences on Roatan is a dolphin encounter. Even more special is swimming or diving in the open waters with the Anthony’s Key Resort 20 dolphins.

10.    Something for everyone: Ride a horse along the beach or on mountain trails or take the glass bottom boat on a reef-viewing trip or charter a sailboat for a day sail. Roatan has something for everyone including the adventurous and those who want to just kick back and enjoy the tropics.