Go to visit the Iguana Farm, or Iguana Hideout. Here a family are trying to breed many iguanas. There is also a lagoon where there are some fishes and turtles. With a little contribution to provide for the animals maintenance, you'll can visit the farm, where you'll be surrounded by the iguanas, which eat leaves from your hand. I advise you against the visit if you don't like those animals. I like them very much, they have a strange ancient charm...that it seems to jump in the dinosaur age!
If you have some extra time, you can get a really good feel for the place by just taking a drive/ride around the island. You will see where and how people live, from the simplest abodes to the more elaborate. People hanging their laundry, sitting outside socializing, children playing etc. You can also get a nice variety of views of the bays and beaches and also the more lush inland forests.
During my many years in the US, I have visited many shelters, charity organizations, and other places to help the needy, but Child Sponsorship International really touched my heart. Brad and Debbie Warren are the directors of this orphanage in Roatan and they are really community leaders helping all of the children in Roatan. If you are visiting Roatan, please visit their site if you are interested in bringing additional supplies with you on your trip. As a friendly reminder, if you pack an extra suitcase full of donations... it magically gives you extra room for souvenirs on the way back!
To check out more about CSI Roatan, please visit their site: http://www.csiroatan.org
First let me say I am all for conservation of and endagered animals. That said, me being a newcommer to the Island of Roatan I was very interested in meeting as many local people as I could. Sure I met some Americans and Europeans and such but it was the people from the little village of Flowers bay that I wanted to get to know better. My house is just on the ouskirts of this area. While at the beach bar one night everyone in the place was wonderful, all three of them. After spending many hours that night having a beverage or two, listening to mostly country music, and playing cards I was invited the next night to Join in a Mccoy or Macoy, i am not sure of the spelling. A traditional stew like meal consisying of some local fruits and Veggies as well as Island Rabbit, Chicken and Iguana. I was happy that they were nice enough to Invite me and was truly excited about it. Things stewed many hours and flavors were very good, A little spicy . Had a great time. Wherever we visit we try to take the time to meet locals and learn local customs. This was truly a memorable experience.
Flowers Bay it self is a little off the beaten path as there is no paved road and the dirt road that is there does not go anywhere.
The town does not have any real industry and is made up of small homes around the bay. The loacls here are very friendly and we found them to be most helpful when called upon for assistance.
The church seen in the picture is one of the oldest on the island and has been used durring bad storms as a shelter.
Fresh fruit is plentiful on the island. Here is Coxen Hole it is pretty cheap. It does not look pretty, but it tastes much better than the spray-painted junk we get at home. Peel it yourself, and let those juices dribble down your shirt...
DO the Iguana farm just past French Harbour-signs on the road, but are small so look close on the right hand (South)side of the road as you go. If you hit Parrot Tree (Big Entrance) you've gone too far, but might stop there to try out the white beach and coffee shop anyway. Sorry. I digress. Sherman's lizard pets number 3,000 he says, I don't doubt it. The farm is his home, so when you pull up and think, "is this the place?" Yeah, it is. Some are person-sized HUGE critters in red, green and orange. Ask to meet Big Red and take a photo, otherwise no one will believe you when you return home.
Donation of a few dollars simply pays for his food to rescue these animals that are hunted here for meat. Again chip in extra buck or two if you can.
Go at noon any day for feeding time and bring a camera. You WILL we amazed!
Iguanas can not feed without sunlight to digest food. If it's cloudy that day plan for another day when the guys will come out of the trees for a snack at lunch. Also ask to see Sherman's other pets in the sea, huge fishy fellows!
Tip provided by:
Waylon and Sandy Sims
Coral Beach Inn's Photos
Paya Bay offers a boat trip to some of the other islands nearby. It costs a little bit of money, but a good lunch is provided, and you get to see that part of the island from a different perspective. So much of a place we see only from one perspective, and it is good to see the island from the sea. This boat trip takes you out, in the waters protected by the reef, to the islands east of Roatan (whose names I'm blanking on Utila and...)
Anyway, you land on a deserted beach where you eat lunch and pick up the black/green smooth rocks on the sandy bottom. Then, you get back in the boat and head around the island, landing on a tiny desert-island. Well, it's more tiny and deserted, but has some trees on it. You stay there for a while to snorkel or walk around (it's not very big-300 feet by 80 feet or so?)
We met two guys traveling together who had brought their own Zodiac boat and were traveling Central America by that boat, or something like that.
After a while, you get back in the wooden boat and head home, going through, on the way, a sea of mangrove swamps. Ah, fun!
For a really nice sunset view, go to Tres Flores, a restaurant on top of a ridge overlooking both sides of the island. It is said that sometimes the sun sets into a green sky. Green only for a second or two. It is sort of hard to get here, mainly to find the road. Basically, as you head east, the road, a dirt trail on the left side of the main road, which makes you take basically a v-turn, winds up and up. There is a hairpin turn, and eventually you come to a place where the road splits. Go straight (left) shortly thereafter is Tres Flores. They are closed, but I don't think they'd mind you looking over their rail. They had such a nice restaurant, but very few customers. I will warn you, though, that the road can get a bit difficult, so enjoy!
If you like offroading, there is a nice road somewhere off the above-mentioned road. It is quite difficult, and if you get stuck, you have no one to help you out, so you had better make it in one try. It is private land, so I wouldn't recommend it.
There is an internet available at the Hotel Comedor in Coxen Hole. I am not sure how much they charge but I saw a sign on the street while walking around the market area.
This is where you get information on the island and get free maps. They can also give you options on what to do in the island. This is located at the Mahogany Shoppling Complex.
There's not much to buy here- some Honduran dresses and arts. This is where we paid our fee to get in to the Mayan Jungle Canopy.
While visiting Roatan, we drove by this beautiful church in the West End. We belong to a Baptist Church in Texas, but ours does not overlook the beach!
For $3US you spend a whole afternoon following well marked trails up a rain forest mountain among the ferns, orchids, spices, fruit trees and mahogany trees