Last November, my boyfriend and I visited Roatan, Honduras, as part of a Western Caribbean cruise. As I’ve mentioned before, cruises can be a great way to explore several different ports on a limited budget and schedule (provided your ship stays afloat, of course).
Research is a crucial aspect of any successful trip, and cruising is no different. I use a variety of online resources, but one of my favorites remains Cruise Critic, a one-stop information cornucopia of all things cruise-related. While perusing the CC message boards, I quickly discovered what I wanted to do in Roatan—and I knew Devin would agree.
Just 37 miles long, Roatan is a small island off mainland Honduras. I could tell just by photos that it would be my favorite port, but it was also the stop with the shortest amount of time. Although I’d love to spend a week here, there’s not much to do in Roatan if you only have six hours. You can snorkel. You can shop within the Carnival-constructed port (the horror!). Or you can rent a car with a private driver and see the island from an insider’s perspective. You can guess which option we chose.
Based on the advice of other CC members, we decided to book a private tour with Victor Bodden. Sure, the company comes highly rated and was super-affordable ($40 per person). But the kicker for us? Victor Bodden offers a series of inexpensive add-ons to the tour—one of which was a mini monkey zoo.
A note about Devin and me: We have a thing for simians. We’ve been to Miami’s Monkey Jungle not once, but three times, for example. So there was no way we were passing up what TripAdvisor named as one of its “top 10 places to monkey around”.
And Victor Bodden’s Monkey Business did not disappoint. While the area itself is small, we were pleased to see that the animals seemed happy, clean, and healthy. We were shown from cage to cage by our friendly and knowledgeable guide. There were howler monkeys, spider monkeys, night monkeys, birds, and even squirrels and deer.
Best of all, we were able to actually get in two of the cages and interact with some sassy white-faced capuchin monkeys, which reminded us both of our mischievous youngest cat back home. (Note: If you decide to hang out with the monkeys, keep a close eye on your belongings—they’re skilled pickpockets!)
After spending about a half-hour with the various animals (and getting my hair done by an overly friendly parrot), we continued on our island tour—but not before vowing to come back some day for a longer visit. If you’re in Roatan—well, lucky you! And if you’re also smart, you’ll seize the opportunity to truly monkey around with some new friends.
What are some of your “Don’t Miss” travel experiences? Share them in a comment!