If you came to Roatán with family and your child is too little to snorkel, or someone isn’t able, a trip on the glass-bottom boat (US$30 adults, US$15 kids) that moors at the dock near Foster’s is a good, albeit pricey, way to see a few of those fish that everyone else is talking about.
Somewhat corny, but fun nevertheless, is Gumbalimba Park (tel./fax 504/9914-9196 or 504/9946-5559, www.gumbalimbapark.com, 7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$20), a little natural oasis in West Bay complete with a waterfall, cactus garden, 100-plus species of orchids, 25 species of heliconia, and—the part that makes it worth a trip—a parrot, macaw, and monkey park where the trained animals roam and fly free. The animals are best viewed between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Be prepared to have any or all of the three tropical critters take perch on your shoulder. Guides are included in the price, as is transportation—be sure to take advantage of both (the guides will make sure you go home with that shot of a parrot or monkey on your shoulder). The park also runs canopy tours.
Gumbalimba Park, on the land of the owner of [node"82406 link Anthony’s Key Resort], has an assortment of attractions catering generally to the cruise-ship crowd, but available to others also, including a beach with snorkeling, clear kayaks for rent (to see the reef below), horseback riding in the park (US$35 for 1.5 hours). Snacks and meals are served at an outdoor restaurant. It can be pretty busy when the cruise ships are in town, or extremely quiet when they are not.
For a different way to see the beach, or a bit of the jungle if desired, contact Barrio Dorcas Ranch (tel. 504/9555-4880, www.barriodorcasranch.com), for a tour by horseback (US$35–40).
If all these activities have left your muscles aching, look for one of the impromptu massage shops that spring up on the beach when the cruise ships are in town, typically charging US$20 for a 30-minute massage.
One of the best places to arrange any activity is at the two Roatan Tourist Info Centers (www.roatantouristinfo.com, tel. 504/3336-5597) located near Foster’s and Bananarama. They offer tickets to Gumbalimba and for the glass-bottom boat, book catamaran sail and snorkel tours of Roatán (US$35), and can arrange activities around the island, such as a visit to the pirate canopy tour and iguana farm near French Harbour, Jet-Skiing in Flowers Bay, kayak rentals at West Bay, car rentals, and so forth. Surprisingly, prices are usually the same as you pay if you purchase services directly, or slightly more but transportation is included (a big perk).
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition