Roatan Shore Excursions

Roatan shore excursions are available from ships that dock in both of the island's cruie terminals, one in Coxen Hole and one at the Carnival cruise port in Mahogany Bay. Cruise passengers can purchase their shore excursions directly from the cruise line, in which case virtually everything is included, or can wander out of the terminal and book tours on their own. The latter are generally less expensive, but come with some caveats. You need to be attentive of what kind of transportation you choose. Buses can be slow and overcrowded. Not all taxis are legitimate and can be expensive. But if you are a savvy traveler, you will find more freedom, less regimentation, and fewer crowds on your own. Since cruise ships generally dock at the island only for a day, there is limited time to explore the island. This means that Roatan shore excursions offered by the cruise line can be the most effective way to experience the most the island has to offer. 

Mahogany Bay & Mahogany Beach

Mahogany Bay & Mahogany Beach
Mahogany Bay & Mahogany Beach

Mahogany Bay was once an undeveloped area of the island. In December of 2009. It was aquired by Carnival Cruise Lines and turned into one of the region's exclusive cruise terminal complexes. It is a sheltered bay with a fabulous and long pristine beach. The Mahogany Beach complex includes great shops and boutiques selling excellent souvenirs, several restaurants and bars, a number of outlets offering beach equipment like floats and snorkeling equipment. There is even a great Roatan diving site here in Dixon Cove that has two partially submerged wrecks. There are, of course, also rows of sun beds and umbrellas and waiters to bring you refreshing drinks and snacks. 

Canopy Zip Line Tours

Canopy Zip Line Tours
Canopy Zip Line Tours

Another popular way to enjoy Roatan shore excursions is the island's interior on rainforest canopy zip line tours. The island of Roatan has rainforest areas, as do many Caribbean islands. The south shore has one of the best areas for this, and many Roatan shore excursion will come to this place where you zip line through the canopy as well as traverse one of the canopy suspension bridges through the trees. Here, you are apt to see some of the island's many iguanas, numerous exotic birds, delicate tropical flowers and ferns, and even long vines reminiscent of Tarzan. 

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is one of the most important and popular activities on the island. Roatan is set in the midst of one of the world's greatest barrier reefs. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is exceed in size only by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Every cruise line will offer Roatan shore excursions that include diving. Since most cruise ships spend only a day on the island, these diving excursions are usually fairly short - only a couple hours or half a day. This allows the passengers to experience other aspects of the island. The entire island is surrounded by excellent dive sites that include wreck, canyons, caves, steep walls, and shallow beach areas showcasing numerous colorful fish. 

Island Tours

Other Roatan shore excursions that do not involve the sea include visiting unique places on the land. These include the Roatan rum cake factory or the Stone Castle were you find unique cameo art carved into sea shells. There are also mangrove canal tours through tunnels of thick vegetation in a small boat. Shopping, of course, is popular. Many cruise shop passengers simply purchase transportation to the best shopping spot. 

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