Tourist Activities on Roatan Island

Attention Divers, Snorkelers, Fishermen, and Cruiseship Passengers

You are probably coming to visit Roatan for its world famous barrier reef and its marine life.  The Roatan Marine Park is a local non profit organization that together with the Bay Island Conservation Association co-manages the Bay Island Marine Reserve.  This group operates under a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Institute of Conservation and Forestry Development, Protected Areas and Wildlife to manage the marine protected area along the northwest coast of Roatan.  This non governmental organization operates from donations from individuals, Roatan businesses and profits from its Eco Store.  Your participation is critical to keeping the Roatan Marine Sanctuary a world class snorkeling and diving location to visit.  To learn more about how you can contribute and participate in their activities, click here.  You can also visit their headquarters in West End. They are located just across from the white church.  Stop in and checkout their Eco Store and make a purchase or a donation! 

What do people do when they visit Roatan?

There are many things to do on Roatan, be sure to bring your camera.  Listed below is only a small sample of the typical activities that cruise ship passengers and  visitors enjoy.  If you purchase a "sim" card for you cell phone or have cell phone service, you might want to check our telephone directory.   Also check web links  of the tourist attractions.  The phone numbers listed below are local Honduras numbers.  Cell numbers have 8 digits.  It is also recommended that you limit your land tour or activities to between French Harbour and West Bay.

Frech Angelfish photo courtesy of Carlos Gordon, Roatan.

Scuba diving is readily available on the island and walk-in visitors do not need a reservation.  There are many independent dive operators in West End and they will be happy to see you.  There are several resorts that offer cruise ship passenger shore excursion packages.  For the do-it-yourself excursions, head to West End.


Find a remote beach to relax on or join the rest of the cruise ship crowd at West Bay and West End.   There are a lot of beaches in Roatan and you will have a lot of fun exploring and snorkeling at any of the sandy beaches. 

Zip Line Adventures

There are several choices for zip line adventures.  Two are in the Wet Bay area.  Gumbalimba Park and the South Shore Canopy Tour.  East of French Harbor is the popular  Pirates of the Caribbean Canopy Zip line.  They will pick you up at the cruise dock or hotel.  Palmetto Hill has 20 platforms, swing bridges, and a climbing wall.  Zip lines are located throughout the island.

Picture of Spooky Channel on Roatan Island Honduras.

The barrier reef is the second largest in the world and is only a 150 feet from the end of Sunnyside’s pier at Spooky Channel.  The barrier reef is protected as a Marine Reserve in the northwestern tip of Roatan.   A large variety of marine life will be seen while snorkeling and diving in this area.  Click on dive location for a map of the popular dive sites on western tip of Roatan and information about a new Dive and Snorkel Guide of over 78 dive locations in Roatan.

Picture of Mahi Mahi on the dock on Roatan Island.

Deep sea fishing and flats fishing.  This link will give you more information and links for reservation requests for fishing.

Carambola gardens in Sandy Bay

At the Carambola Botanical Gardens and nature trails youíll find a protected iguana and parrot breeding cliff, as well as some archaeological sites dating back to Mayan times.    Be sure to ask for a guide as this will make your experience here a lot more informative as the plants are not well marked.  The Garden is located on the main road near Anthony's Key Resort in Sandy Bay.  The garden is open 7 days a wek from 7 AM to 5 PM.   Their phone number is 2445-3117 and email is or 

Ocean kayaking is a popular activity on Roatan.  Rentals can be found at some resorts and in West End at Cannibal Cafe.  While you are there, you might as well stay for Mexican food for lunch or dinner.  Good food and low prices! 


Visit the Butterfly Garden with approximately 200 butterflies and 20 different species which are native to Honduras.  The Butterfly Garden is located along the main road just before arrive in West End, open Sunday through Friday 9-5.


Watch the dolphin show at the Institute for Marine Sciences.  Swim with the dolphins at Anthonyís Key Dive center in Sandy Bay.  You might even get a kiss from "Bob".   Contact them at or 800 227-3483 (US number) or 2445-3026.

Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) and the artifact museum of local history at Anthony's Key Resort in Sandy Bay.  Here you will find Mayan and Payan history and artifacts.  The RIMS facility is open 7am until 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm on weekends.  Contact them at or 800 227-3483 (US number) or 2445-3026.

Horses are also available in Sandy Bay and at Anthony's Key Resort.  Also, El Rancho Barrio Dorcas is located on the road to West End near Gibson Bight.  El Rancho Barrio Dorcas does have cruise ship offerings.  Contact them at or cell phone of 9555-4880 or email at


Stanley Submarine Adventure is for the serious underwater explorer.  Trips range from 1-1/2 to 4 hours and prices range from $400 to $1200.  Contact Captain Karl Stanley through this web site or by visiting him in person at Half Moon Bay CabinsOptions include dives up to half a mile deep, on a shipwreck, to underwater canyons, on a seamount, overnight baiting trips, or simply picking a spot on the chart and seeing what's there.  Contact them at

Take a tour to the Iguana Farm near French Key belonging to islander Sherman Archer where you can see more than 2,700 iguanas of many varieties.  He also has lobster, tarpon, and turtles in a large pen area at the water side.  There is an admission charge.  Telephone 2445-7743 or 2445-7482.

Mangroves in Jonesville.

Visit Jonesville where a dory water taxi takes you through the mangrove tunnels.  There are several small shops in Jonesville with hand made local crafts.  Tours can be arranged.

Captain Vanís Rentals is located in West End and West Bay. Rent vehicles, scooters and motorcycles for the day, week or more.  Let them help you see Roatan. Be sure to say hello to Murray when you are there.  Contact them at or WEST END: 2445-4076 or WEST BAY 2445-5040. Open 9-4pm/everyday.
At Yubu the visitors will learn about the descendants of the Garifuna, their history, journey and arrival in Honduras.  You will experience the music, songs and dance styles of the Garifuna people which play an important part in their ancestral traditions and are an integral part of their culture.  Yubu is located at Politilly Bight, just before the entrance to the Garifuna village of Punta Gorda (about 20 minutes out of French Harbour).  Check locally before going.  This is outside of the normally recommended tourist areas. 

It is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 AM - 3 PM, entrance fee is $5 per person.


Bodden Tours
Let Us Show Your Our Roatan

Many cruise ship passengers will find Bodden Tours (bus tours) as an excellent way to see the island.  They have a good reputation for their service at reasonable rates.  Check their web site for more information at  Contact them at their web site and arrange a custom tour to fit your needs and avoid all the hassles of negotiating a tour upon your arrival.  Other information on tours is listed at Island Tours Fishing, Taxi, Power Boat and Sailing

Water taxi service is convenient and easy between West End and West Bay.   The fare is 60 Lempiras during the day or $3 US.   Look for the dock near Eagle Ray Restaurant in West End.  The return trip from West Bay has two pickup spots and you'll easily recognize where to catch a ride.  Water taxis will go to other areas and be sure to confirm the fee before taking the trip.

Do It Yourself Excursions

See our locator maps


There are 2 cruise ship ports in Roatan. The Roatan port is located in Coxen HoleMahogany Bay (Carnival Cruise ships) port is 4 miles east of Coxen Hole.   Walking into Coxen Hole from the Roatan port is very easy.  Coxen Hole does not offer a lot for the tourist.  However, there are some hand carved wood items from the mainland.  If it is highly polished, it is probably not from Honduras.  If you are an adventure traveler, then a quick walk into town and catching the mini bus to other island locations should be considered.  Check the tours vs taxi information before venturing out.  Also, port information and some links to do it yourself excursions can be found at  There are excursion agencies besides the tour on the ship and with a little research you will find direct links to most tourist activities with web sites and phone numbers on this web site.  You can find a "contact us" link on the web sites linked here and you will be able to contact the activity of your choice without any middleman!  However, if you just want to book an excursion, then the agents at or are two booking web sites that can assist you.

Paya Key (operated by Anthony's Cay Resort) offers swimming, snorkeling, shopping, food, etc on a small island off the end of the airport runway.  They have two secluded beaches, a 70000 gallon swimming pool, a 5000 square foot lounge deck and garden paths. Their boats will pick you up at the cruise terminal for a short 5 minute ride to the island.  You won't see much of Roatan on this excursion but it is an inexpensive way to just "hang" in a tropical location.  The best water activity may be by the pool.  You can make reservations on their website at or contact them at 800-227-3483 or 504-9995-9589

Roatan Natural Soapworks was created with the idea of creating a local business that provides jobs and training and at the same time provides visitors to the islands with a unique, quality souvenir-product of our beautiful islands.

Cruise ship passengers can purchase the soap in a variety of locations or they can visit the factory which is east of French Harbour.  Come and see how avocado, lemongrass, madre caco and no see-um soap is manufactured.  You can visit their web site for more details or contact them at 011-504-2455-7568 or 011-504-2455-7586.

Note:  We do not "book" or make reservations for the above activities. 
This information is provided solely to inform visitors of activities available on Roatan and is not an endorsement of the activity.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017
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