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Roatan, the largest of the Bay Islands located off the northern coast of Honduras, has become a popular Western Caribbean cruise destination in the recent years. Given its location near a barrier reef, Roatan offers a variety of water-based activities and marine life to explore. You can also enjoy the beautiful beaches. There is also the jungle and the island’s native flora and fauna, plus the lively downtown atmosphere. If your next vacation is stopping on the island we have you covered. Here is our list of the Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a cruise, so you can make the most of your visit to this island.

Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a Cruise

Go Wild at Gumbalimba

Gumbalimba Park, located in West Bay, is a unique beachfront attraction. Unlike other beaches you can get up close and personal with some pretty awesome creatures. In addition, you can learn a bit of the island’s history as well. Coxen’s Cave, though man-made, offers some museum quality exhibits and artifacts as well as a 3D map of the island. In the Insectarium, you can read up on several species of bugs including the shiniest butterfly in the world and the strongest beetles in the world.

While touring the grounds, you can also cross a 238-foot-long bamboo suspension bridge. Not to mention you can pose with a macaw, and see the many iguanas roaming the property. Just don’t eat them, as iguana consumption is illegal on the island! The main attraction at Gumbalimba though is the White Face Capuchin Monkeys. In the Monkey Refuge, you will be greeted by these social creatures who are more than ready to pose for a selfie with you. Check out our visit to Gumbalimba in our complete shore excursion review.

Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a CruiseWhite Face Capuchin Monkeys at Gumbalimba Park

Make it a Beach Day

West Bay Beach is ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. So, of course, it makes our list of the best things to do in Roatan on a cruise. Most cruise lines offer excursions to Tabyana Beach which is actually just a section of West Bay Beach with reserved loungers. Bananarama and Mayan Princess are resorts located on West Bay that also offer cruise line packages with transportation.

Little French Key is a private island resort that is popular among cruisers visiting Roatan. Different packages are available including use of the white sand beaches, food, and drinks. There are also a number of add-ons like horseback riding, massages, and more. If you are looking for a private resort that is suitable for the whole family Maya Key might be the best option. Offering beaches, pools, restaurants, snorkeling, animal encounters, and more, this 11.5-acre sanctuary will certainly please everyone is your travel party.

Still want more? West End (different from West Bay), is located a short water taxi ride away from West Bay. This area is home to Half Moon Bay beach which is known for great snorkeling and tends to be less crowded than West Bay.

Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a CruiseMake it a Beach Day During Your Visit to Roatan

Visit West End Village

The town of West End, also referred to as “The Strip”, is known for more than just Half Moon Bay Beach. Located about 20 minutes from the cruise pier (35 minutes from Mahogany Bay), this tourist hotspot is hopping with hotels, restaurants, bars, artisan markets, and plenty of water-based activities. You can spend your day just strolling the strip and enjoying the lively atmosphere.

Or perhaps, you’d like to take advantage of one of the many dive shops located in the area for some scuba diving, SNUBA, or snorkeling. You can also take a glass-bottom boat tour, a fishing carter, or a kayak excursion if you’d prefer to stay above water. If you like to shop, you will want to stop in at The Rusty Fish art store to purchase some souvenirs made from recycled goods or Waves of Art featuring crafts from local artists. A visit to the Roatan Chocolate factory for some sweet treats is also a must.

Immerse Yourself in the Meso-American Reef

As previously mentioned, Roatan is known for diving and snorkeling, just like other nearby Western Caribbean ports of call like Costa Maya and Belize. Given its location on the Meso-American reef, the 2nd largest reef in the world, Roatan offers you the opportunity to view some spectacular coral formations and diverse sea life. Even though a majority of the dive shops are located at West End, you can have an amazing time snorkeling just about anywhere on the island. That means you can combine one of the many other activities with snorkeling to make for a perfect day ashore. There are several cruise line excursions offered that include snorkeling, and many cruisers also recommend booking with the local tour company, Bodden Tours. So, grab your gear, hop into the crystal-clear waters, and get ready for one of the best snorkeling experiences you will ever have.

Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a CruiseSnorkeling is One of the Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a Cruise

Soar to New Heights

If you’d prefer to trade the snorkeling, shopping, and ordinary beach days for something a bit more extreme, then why not soar to new heights during your visit to Roatan. Explore this beautiful Western Caribbean port of call from a completely new vantage point as you zip through the jungle on one of many thrilling zip line courses. South Shore Zipline Adventures, Mayan Jungle Canopy Zipline, Caribe Sky Canopy Tour, and Monkey Trail Canopy at Gumbalimba Park are just a few of the extreme zip courses available in Roatan. Do you have what it takes to brave these daring feats for an unforgettable experience during your visit to this port of call? We can’t wait to try out one of these zip line adventures during our next visit to Roatan. Many of the cruise lines also offer combination tours including ziplines with beach breaks and more, so you can enjoy the best of Roatan during your visit.



Have you visited Roatan on a cruise? What is your favorite thing to do in this Western Caribbean port of call? Drop us an anchor below to let us know how you like to spend your time when visiting Roatan, Honduras.

Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras on a Cruise

About the Author

DB & The Princess

Welcome Aboard! We are Don and Heidi, the husband and wife travel team behind We took our first cruise vacation together 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Follow along as we share our travel tips, cruise reviews, information on ports of call, and the latest cruise news to help you plan the ultimate cruise vacation. Are you ready to embark on your journey to “sea the world, one port at a time”? Read More...