Mangrove canal tours Roatan reveal some of the rich history of the island. Probably originally carved out of the mangrove forests by the Native Garafuna people, these tunnels through thick vegetation were also used by 17th and 18th century pirates and buccaneers as hideouts and escape routes. Today, islanders still use these canals for transportation, and there is even a rather rustic bar and grill sheltered amongst the vegetation. You can purchase mangrove canal tours Roatan as shore excursions if you have arrived on a large cruise ship. This is convenient, as transportation will be included in the tour.
The mangroves are located on the east end of the island, and the cruise terminals are on the West End. If you want to visit on your own, you can take a bus or taxi from Coxen Hole or Oak Ridge or rent a scooter or car for the trip. Many tours that visit the other worldly mangrove canals will also include a visit to the unique Iguana Park or even the Turquoise Bay Resort for lunch and an afternoon at the beach. You will also be able to see monkeys, turtles, and other creatures at the Iguana Park. The canal tours also give you a more intimate view of rural villages lining the canals, many of which cannot be accessed except by boat.
Mangroves are unique trees that grow exclusively in saline waters in coastal tropical regions. The trees are adapted to low oxygen intake and have the ability to restrict their intake of salt and limit their loss of water. Stands of mangroves are generally very thick, and they almost always have canals tunneled through them, as in the Florida Everglades.