Roatán with its mountainous backbone is totally surrounded by coral reefs, offering superb diving as well as excellent fishing. The largest and most developed of the Bay Islands was once a well-kept secret but is now a cruise-ship port. Even with an influx of travelers, Roatán's beaches and diving are enjoyable.Roatán measures 64km/40 mi long and 126.4sq km/49 sq mi in area. Christopher Columbus is reputed to have landed here on his fourth and last voyage.
Coxen Hole, Honduras
Coxen Hole is the largest city and capital of the department of the Bay Islands. Although not much attracts travelers here it is the main gateway to Roatán: Both the airport and the ferry dock are located in Coxen Hole There is regular bus and van service leading both east towards French Harbour and Oakridge, as well as west towards Sandy Bay and West End.
Punta Gorda, Honduras
Punta Gorda was the first Garífuna settlement in Central America. The Black Caribs or Garífunas where marooned in Roatán by the British in 1796 and settled in Punta Gorda. To commemorate their arrival to Roatán, the Garífunas at this community have a carnival every year on April 12.
Oakridge is a small and very picturesque community with a strong African-Antillean influence. Oakridge has not changed much with the passing of time and services to tourists are scarce.
Sandy Bay, Honduras
The small community of Sandy Bay is the cultural center of Roatán. It is here where the Institute of Marine Sciences, The Roatán Museum, the Carambola Gardens and the Sandy Bay Marine Reserve are located.
Tropical Treasures Bird Park
Tropical Treasures Bird Park has a live exhibit of macaws, toucans and parrots that are native to Honduras, as well as a few species from South America. The birds, all from a private collection of many years, are in good condition and there are several species that are extremely rare, such as bufon's macaw, a large green macaw that is native only to Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. 17 species and over 95 birds are enjoyed in the park pleasantly shaded by big old mango trees.
Institute of Marine Sciences
Sandy Bay Marine Reserve
Snorkeling is available in the well-protected Sandy Bay Marine Reserve.
West End, Honduras
Roatán's west tip is home to international-style restaurants, lodgings, excellent beaches and diving.
Roatán Butterfly Garden
This tropical butterfly garden exhibits a variety of butterflies native to Honduras and the Bay Islands.Outside the butterfly house are a variety of tropical fruit trees, including cashews, hog plum, island plum and breadfruit.
French Harbour, Honduras
Roatán's biggest fishing port is the economic motor of the Island.
French Harbour Iguana Reserve
On the outskirts of French Harbour, a local islander has set up his own Iguana reserve. There are over 2,800 iguanas of four different species living on his property in French Key. There are good photo opportunities of these docile reptiles.
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