The island of Roatan off the coast of Central America is a green and blue paradise as seen from the sky. It is 35 miles of thick vegetation surrounded by turquoise blue waters. While most people come from around the world to dive and snorkel at the hundreds of dive sites around the island, there are also several opportunities to get up and close with the land animals, which is a fun experience for the entire family.
Watch your step at The Iguana Park at French Cay – The Arch family has been running a 12 acre farm for over 28 years which protects the island’s iguana population from getting poached. Over 2k iguanas roam free and visitors can get up and close with them. Watch your step because the iguanas take over the grounds, specially during feeding time. For $5, you can tour the grounds, watch Green Iguanas and Hammo Negro Iguanas as well as Monkey Lalas, Jesus and Blue Head lizards.
Face to face with monkeys and birds at Gumbalimba Park – Along with a vast area of botanical gardens with over 200 colorful plant and tree species, the park is also home to an animal preserve. Here you can get Capuchin monkeys to jump on your shoulder or pet a free-flying exotic Macaw. Other native animals include lizards, iguanas, rats and birds. The insectariam at Fort Gumba has thousands of butterflies from around the world that are unique in colors and designs. Some even look like cats, dogs and tigers.
Kissed by a Dolphin at Anthony Key’s – Anthony’s Key Resort and the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences offer opportunity to swim, dive or snorkel with trained dolphins. The dolphin encounter is just in waist deep water where you can touch, hug and kiss a dolphin. The trainers work one-on-one with each dolphin to teach them to respond to signals and perform tricks and dances for the audience. Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and a lot of fun to watch. It’s definitely a must-do in Roatan.
Here’s a video of Mr French performing some jumps for us.