GO ON AN ISLAND TOURMany tour operators offer guided tours of the island and we are happy to recommend several great guides who can pick you up from our dive shop in Roatan's West End. Or you can rent a jeep for the day! You can visit one of the island's many beautiful beaches, stop and visit the many tourist attractions or take a trip all the way to the East End of Roatan, which remains almost untouched. On the way you can visit Oak Ridge, a picturesque village built over stilts on the water and see the mangroves, which are so essential to the island.
Check out www.tourismroatan.com for more information about activities and things to do during your tour. There are lots of great restaurants to stop off at, and scenic beaches to chill out on. Paya Bay is one of the best, with it's secluded cove backed by steep jungle slopes. Visit Punta Gorda and taste authentic local cuisine or watch the traditional Garifuna dance. La Serena on the East End is the perfect spot to stop for the island's best rum punch and delicious fresh seafood. Enjoy the lush tropical scenery and stunning views as you tour around Roatan.
SEE THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
Carambola Gardens located in Sandy Bay is a pleasure to stroll around, with hundreds of tropical plants, most of which are sign posted and identified. Enjoy the sights and smells of banana, jungle cactus, hibiscus, chocolate trees. Choose from one of two trails, the mountain path or the jungle path, each of which take about 15 minutes to walk around.
A short 5 minute walk fromWest End village, the Butterfly Gardens is a fascinating place to enjoy during your surface interval. On any given day there are around 15-20 species of butterfly, with about 200 individuals. Join the guided tour (about an hour) or explore the park on your own.
The pleasant walkways with shaded benches are a perfect place to see and learn about Roatan's tropical trees, such as cashew, mango, hog plum, admiral plum, papaya, tamarind, bananas, key lime, sugar cane, bread fruit; and the lush tropical plants including more than 25 varieties of hibiscus flowers, crotons, heleconious, philadendrum, orchids, jasmine, ginger, ti plants, exora, pentas, lantanas, and parrot flowers. Roatan's Butterfly Garden is also home to many hummingbirds, and a small collection of rescued parrots and toucans.
GO TO THE BEACHEnjoy the beauty and serenity of Roatan's most beautiful beaches. Relax on crystal white sand and swim in the beautiful turquoise waters. Palm trees provide shade for those that would like to stay out of the sun. Be sure to take sun screen with you, and make sure you stay hydrated as the sea breeze can make it seem deceptively cool at times. West End village has lots of cafes and eateries lining the main road along the beach front. As well as local fare such as the infamous baleada, you can find many street vendors selling tacos, barbecues and fresh caught fish. Or you can dine on international cuisine at such as Thai and Italian food. In the evenings, West End beach is a popular spot, with lots of bars to choose from, make sure you try a frozen Monkey La La cocktail during your dive vacation on Roatan!
Half Moon Bay beach near our dive shop in West End is great for snorkeling and has a dedicated swimming area. You can rent snorkel gear from the Roatan Marine Park office or simply relax on the sand with a cocktail and get a beach massage. West Bay beach is easily accessible by taking a ride in one of the local water taxis which run every 15 minutes. Here you will find lots of activities available, like para-sailing and deep sea fishing or you can visit Gumba Limba Park to see the monkeys!
VISIT THE IGUANA FARM
One of the best little known treasures on Roatan is the Arch's Iguana Farm. The Iguana Farm is located along the main paved road in French Key, just past the French Harbour turn off when you are travelling west. Sherman Arch started the farm about 17 years ago as Iguanas have long been the key ingredient to make iguana stew on the island even though today, the iguana is "supposed" to be a protected species. Today, there are about 2500 iguanas roaming freely about his property, some over 4ft long! Feeding time is early afternoon and it is the best time to arrive if you want to handle the iguanas. Sherman has now added an enclosure to try and breed tarpon for release into the wild and for rescued turtles.
TAKE A ZIPLINE CANOPY TOUR
If you're looking for exciting things to do on Roatan, try a little topside adventure. If the idea of flying through the air over 60 feet off the ground appeals, check out the West End's most exhilarating attraction, the rain forest canopy tour. You are hooked onto a pulley on a thick steel cable and zip from one tree platform to the next at speeds controlled only by your grip on the cable. Start at the top of the mountain above West Bay and continue on a series of 11 cables all the way down to sea level, speeding through the canopy and catching fantastic glimpses of the island's ocean and reefs. There are now several operators offering zipline tours not far from West End village.