I had an amazing day on the island of Roatán thanks to the BEST tour guide Guillermo with Roatán Fun Tours.
Things to note:
* Roatán Fun Tours WILL WAIT for you to get off of the ship. They will not leave
without you! As a cruise ship passenger, it is stressful trying to get somewhere
by a certain time, especially when the entire ship tries to get off at the exact
same time. Rest assured you will have piece of mind with Roatán Fun Tours!
* The Melon Water was a nice personal touch!
* You will get a tour from a Roatán native, which means learning about the culture
and the Island's history as you travel throughout your day!
* Since I was traveling solo, I was able to control the pace of the day and the time
spent at each location. Guillermo will tailor your day as you wish! I was not a
huge shopper, so we spent less time at the market store, and more time at the
beach!!! You don't get that courtesy with the big bus tours!
Overall, I had an amazing day at Roatán & it was all because of Guillermo!
I'll admit it was a bit tricky navigating through the cruise port, and it was quite overwhelming of the amount of people with signs pouncing at you at the port exit. However, I asked the security guard to help me find "Gate 3" as the instructions for the meet up stated, and he pointed out my tour guide was pleasantly and calmly directly across the street from the exit waiting for me, holding a sign that said "Roatán Fun Tours."
My tour guide was Guillermo and I had a private tour of the island. To begin the tour Guillermo stopped off at a local fresh market cart and bought me an island favorite "melon water." I had been to Roatán once before and missed out on that. It was the most refreshing drink I have ever had. Guillermo explained that is was fresh smashed/pressed watermelon combined with water and it was served over ice. With melon water in hand, we began our journey.
Guillermo was a very cautious driver. He explained the "rules of the road" to me, from his (as a Roatán native) perspective and said "there are no rules." There were no traffic lights, no lines on the roads, no speed limits, but he was a great driver who did not speed or tailgate other vehicles.
Our first stop was to Manawakie Park, where I interacted with sloths and monkeys. This was definitely the highlight of my trip. Since I was on a private tour, I also had a private tour at this park. I got to interact with the monkeys first & then the sloths. It was an amazing experience. Neither Guillermo, nor the park leads rushed me at all. I was able to take all of the time I wanted to interact. They had a park photographer that took pictures while I interacted with the animals, and they also allowed me to take my own selfies w/ my cell phone as well. At the end of the tour, I paid $20.00 USD and they sent me the 56 pictures that they took of me as I interacted w/ the animals. Great deal! Guillermo patiently waited for me to complete my tour, with again, no rushing, and no crowds. When I was ready, we moved on to the next stop.
The next stop was the Mayak Chocolate experience. Here, they gave a brief overview of how they grow and break the cacao beans to create the magical chocolate they serve. Next, they provided a sample of at least 6 or 7 different types of chocolate they make. We also could see the "chocolatiers" making the chocolate bars through the glass window. We then could browse their store and I absolutely made a purchase! The white chocolate in particular, was so much different than I ever tasted! It was delicious. I was able to buy a mixed box of 9 chocolate bars for $15.00. Again, Guillermo walked around the store and gave me all of the time I needed for browsing and shopping.
Next, we stopped in at The Rusty Fish Craft Market, which was right across the parking lot from the chocolate store. This had all sorts of handcrafted items, mainly jewelry, and hand carved items from wood. Everything in the store was handmade and beautiful. This was a great place to buy a few souvenirs to commemorate my time in Roatán.
The next stop was to the Roatán Rum Company, which offered their homemade rum and rum cake selections! This was also a great stop! They let us sample a great selection of both rum cakes and rums. I purchased their Spiced Rum ($30) as well as a 6 pack of rum cakes ($39.) All transactions were in USD. In addition to the rums and rum cakes, the also had a selection of hot sauces & premium Honduran coffee infused with coconut rum. They also had premium hand rolled Honduran cigars infused with chocolate rum. Overall, this was an excellent location stop. As if that wasn't enough, when you walked out the back door of this place, there was a breathtaking view from the mountaintop down to the oceanside, which made for a fantastic selfie capture! We ran into Guillermo's son, Jeffrey, who was giving another group a tour of the island! It was so great to meet the magic behind Roatán Fun Tours! I love that this is a family run company as well.
The next stop was to the Beach! Guillermo took me to the West Bay beach area that had a place to grab lunch, Annie's Boardwalk Café. I ordered two Monkey La Las which are one of the signature drinks of the island. It's similar to a mudslide and the cost was $14 each. I also ordered the two lobster tail entrée that was $28. They did upcharge a small fee to use a credit card, so USD cash is preferred. They also have free wifi as well as a restroom for customers. After my fantastic lunch, I walked the beach a bit. There are a collection of hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. along the beach with each offering a different type of music. Each provided its own set of beach chairs. It was very active in the West Bay, so if you are looking for a quiet beach retreat, this was not for you. I spent the most time at this stop and relaxed a bit before heading back to my ship.
Our last and final stop was at the "Roatán" sign to get the signature picture! Guillermo pulled off to the side of the road, and snapped a few pics of me with the sign. He is a great photographer, since he was able to capture the entire sign without cutting off any letters!!
We then headed back to the ship!
If you want the tailored experience to tour the island, Book w/ Guillermo & Roatán Fun Tours!