I wanted to do something totally unique during my visit to Roatan, Honduras. After all, it was my first time here, and of all the Caribbean ports on my cruise, I was looking forward to this one the most.
I looked through many options, including the excursions offered bythe cruise line directly, but nothing was grabbing my attention. Then I came across Private Roatan on the Wild Side. I was travelling with a friend, and since we both like animals, I knew this one would suit us both perfectly. We booked and the rest, as they say, is history!
We were met just outside the Mahogany Bay cruise terminal by our local guide. The Roatan shore excursion today had an added bonus as it was a private tour! Just my friend, our guide and myself. Perfect.
We first made our way to the Iguana Sanctuary, and what an experience it was! Everywhere you looked there were iguanas; they were huge in size and quite literally had free run of the place.
Our visit was met with torrential rain for most of the day and we were told that usually there were hundreds more reptiles at ground level, however, on this occasion, a lot of them were taking shelter in trees. Either way, I was impressed and had to watch every step I took. As we made our way further into the sanctuary we also came across several turkeys, a hen and her chicks, a rather cheeky monkey named Coco, and at the bottom near the water was an area where you could feed lobsters and other marine life. It was an impressive place, and if memory serves me correctly, it was only $8 for the privilege of visiting.
Next we made our way towards another animal sanctuary on the other side of the island. Here we had the chance to get up-close and personal with some cute and rather cheeky white-face capuchin monkeys. Yes… We went inside their enclosure!
We played with them, fed them seeds and occasionally told them off for exchanging between themselves what sounded like unpleasant monkey words. This one experience was the highlight of my entire Caribbean cruise. To be in such close proximity with these creatures and in a place where they had huge enclosures and were clearly loved by the people that looked after them was a wonderful experience. You could tell every animal there was a happy one!
They also had toucans there, along with another two other species of monkeys, parrots, and a few others, including a Christmas-born baby deer that they had named Noel. It was the middle of January when we visited, so she was only just a few weeks old and very sweet.
Finally it was time to say adios to the animals. For the rest of this Roatan shore excursion, our guide took us on a tour of the island. She was absolutely brilliant! She didn’t rush us — the tour should have been 3 hours long but it ended up being 4 hours and she didn’t mind. She was more than happy to take that extra time to show us around her beautiful island and, best of all, she didn’t charge us another cent for doing it. She genuinely enjoyed her job.
My friend and I had the time of our lives, even with the torrential rain! We had one-on-one experiences with some amazing wildlife and saw about 90 percent of the beautiful island of Roatan — all in 4 hours!
Our guide dropped us back at the cruise terminal at the end of all the excitement, and we still had plenty of time to explore Mahogany Bay and grab some quesadillas.
It was one of the most ideal Roatan shore excursions, and if visiting there again I would be incredibly tempted to take the same exact one again!