7 Roatan Island Adventures Your Kids Will Love

Roatan Island kids

Roatan Island KidsThe island of Roatan in Honduras is well-known as having the “second largest coral reef” in the world. If you’re looking to sunbathe, snorkel, and search for buried treasure, this is it!  In fact, Roatan was home to thousands of pirates back in the day.  Aside from the turquoise waters, white sands and phenomenal beaches, it is the perfect destination for families with kids who seek adventure.

Roatan Island Must-Dos

When our son’s two-year birthday was approaching, we quickly jumped on the idea of doing one last “free” trip and Roatan was on the top of our bucket list.  Notably, Toronto has direct flights to Roatan, Honduras so there’s many flights and vacation packages available. Being the backpackers we are, we opted to book flights separately for added flexibility. Surely, you can’t beat a $500 return ticket per adult. Plus, our toddler would fly for free! It was a no-brainer.

In any event, Roatan has lots of activities suitable for families. We enjoyed every minute.  Most of all, our toddler loved it! Below, is our top 7 adventurous things to do with kids in Roatan.

Roatan Island Kids

1. Daniel Johnson’s Sloth Hangout. Head down the road to the “French Cay” and when you reach a fork in the road, continue on the right until you reach this local sanctuary. Owned and operated by a local family that lives on-site.  It’s a great experience for the kids to learn about native animals to Honduras; such as the Capuchin and spider monkeys, Scarlett macaws, and darling Sloths.  Included with the entrance fee is a personalized guide. Furthermore, there is more than enough time to touch, hold and interact with some of the animals.  Beware of the spider monkeys though as they’re known as professional pickpockets!

Roatan Island Kids

Roatan Island kids

2. Arch’s Iguana Farm. Another local family run operation which all started out with one man’s love for Iguanas. Walk past the entrance and descend down the hill where hundreds of iguanas are patiently waiting. For $1 US, there is an option to buy banana leaves to feed the iguanas. If you’ve never seen an iguana (or dozens of them), it definitely is a sight. Most kids find iguanas fascinating. Close your eyes and imagine travelling through time to the Jurassic era. Who would’ve thought we would be able to see our dinosaurs long-lost cousins?

Roatan Island Kids Roatan Island kids

3. Carambola Gardens: Get your hiking shoes ready for some rugged terrain. Surrounded in nature, there is so much to explore at the Carambola gardens.  Take a peek at different trees, plants, flowers, fruits and nuts.  Hike to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the sea. It is a moderate climb as there are some steep inclines. However, if you’re doing this trail with children, take caution especially during or after a rain fall. There are no hand rails or barriers and trails tend to get slippery and muddy. We recommend leaving the stroller behind, as it’s more practical to bring a child carrier instead.

Roatan Island Kids

4. West Bay Beach. White sands, turquoise waters, and a smooth, long stretch of beach. Kids (and adults) love swimming here. No need to bring water shoes as there are no rocks in sight. Temperatures can get very hot in the summer time.  For this reason, don’t forget to bring sun protection such as SPF clothing, sunblock, sunglasses and sun hats.

Moreover, the West Bay beach area has many restaurants and resorts that face the beach. If you’re visiting for just the day, it may cost a pretty penny just to hang out. However, there are several restaurants on the beach that offer customers access to their beach chairs when you order a meal.

Roatan Island kids5. Gumbalina Park. The major attraction here is the zip-line also known as the “zip and dip.” Kids and adults can take a 30 minute guided tour to view the suspension bridge, Capuchin monkeys and macaws. The property boasts over 20 acres that contain a botanical garden, sandy beach, fresh water kiddie pool, eatery, and animal section.

6. Roatan Butterfly Gardens. View different species of butterflies, native plants and flowers. In any case, it’s a good place to let the kids loose to explore and stretch their legs. Marvel at this unique attraction with a personal guide. And if you’re lucky, you may see a Queen Long Wing!

Roatan Island Kids

Roatan Island Kids

7. West End Beach. Also known as “Backpackers Haven.” Why? Because you’ll see locals, backpackers, cruise shippers, and all kinds of tourists hanging out at this beach.  Bring your snorkelling gear to get up close to pretty corals and tropical fish. You can’t miss the West End Beach! Along the main strip there are many quirky touristy shops and vendors, massage stalls and touts selling snorkelling trips. Aside from all the excitement, West End beach is a good place to relax in the shade and watch life go by.

Roatan has lots of fantastic places to explore, learn and discover in regards to ocean, plant, and animal life. Generally speaking, if it is “cruise ship” day, be ready for long line ups and big crowds.  To bypass this, check the cruise ship schedule. Even though it has been centuries since the last pirate lived on Roatan, the island is still full of wonder and untold treasures.

Sometimes, travelling with young children takes more than just skill.  It takes a positive attitude and heaps of patience. Read Infant Travel: When Your Baby is Your Backpack for more backpacking tips.


Roatan Island Kids

Roatan Island Kids

Author: Darlynne

Darlynne founded Live Love Backpack to inspire others to make a positive difference in the world through traveling, volunteering, and self-awareness. Darlynne has traveled to over 76 countries. Family adventures include backpacking off the beaten path, hiking in Ontario and creating happy memories.

32 Replies to “7 Roatan Island Adventures Your Kids Will Love”

  1. ROATAN – Stunning photos and story!

    1. Thank you Matcha! If you haven’t been to Roatan, we highly recommend it!

  2. Hola! I’ve read your entire blog! I can’t stop reading…..can you write more entries PLEASE? My kids would like it here. From a mombie. 😛

    1. Thanks for reading mama bear! I’m working on it…Just subscribe and you will automatically get my entries once they are published. Take care.

      1. Done! Awaiting the next one. xox

  3. When I think of Honduras, safety comes to mind. Would love to bring the kids here. What was it like?

    1. Hello Wes, Honduras mainland usually has a bad rep to visit and as a backpacker with kids, I would exercise caution and common sense. However, the island of Roatan is fairly safe; full of tourists and expats. Of course, with anything, common sense is key. Usually we like to talk to locals and expats about where to venture out and what places are safe etc.

      Hope you have the chance to visit this fun island which has something for everyone. Your kids would definitely enjoy it. What’s not to love? If we have the chance, our family would go back in a heart beat.

      1. Thanks for the input. It’s good to hear Roatan is a family friendly destination.

  4. Hi. Was debating on taking the kids to Roatan Bay of Islands yet your blog entry made me re-think it since there seems to be lots of kid oriented things to do and see. Thanks.

    1. Glad to hear Vegi! Roatan is definitely a kids paradise! You won’t regret it. 🙂

  5. Hey my son LOVES dinosaurs atm. Those iguanas would seriously drive him bonkers with excitement. We would like to go to Roatan but find the packages are so expensive. What sites do you go to find reasonable packages?

    1. Our son loves dinos too, Sophie! “Rawwrrr” as he would say! Roatan is a pricey destination if you are looking to stay in a resort. It also depends on the season you decide to go. We went mid-Dec and booked flights separately. Where are you flying from? We’re from Toronto and there are direct flights that are reasonable. For Roatan, we booked everything separately but sometimes will check http://www.redtag.ca for last minute deals.

      1. I’m from Milton, Ontario so would be flying from Pearson airport. I never thought of paying for flights separately. What airline did you fly with? Thanks again

        1. Hi Sophie,
          Since we’re more independent travellers we like to book things separately. Sunwing flys directly to Roatan which is great considering it is less than a 5hr flight. If you go during low season, the prices are reasonable. Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  6. Honduras looks much lovely then I would imagine! This would definitely be a place that I would go. Thanks for the great information!

    1. Anytime Brian! I think you both would like it in Roatan!

  7. Hi looks like you had a great time in Honduras. Maybe we can join you next time.

    1. Of course, Auntie! The more the merrier. We would love to see you!

  8. We are a family with a 6 month old and planning a trip to Honduras (especifically Roatan).
    Is Roatan safe (i.e. do we have to stay in a resort or can walk out on our own)?
    Is the weather too hot for a baby (i.e. humid, tornadoes)?
    Is Roatan up to par with food (i.e. North American choices)?
    Never travelled with a baby before and read Roatan is a popular place for families. Thanks.

    1. Hi Juniper,
      When we went to Roatan we felt very safe and met lots of other families who felt the same. We stayed outside of the resorts in a local town which was low key and “authentic.” We got advice from our host and locals where to go and even ventured out on a wild road trip with another family. We went in Dec so the weather was nice and warm. Whenever it got too hot, we would just stay under some shade or take a nap. We stayed in an apartment so we mostly cooked our own food. Depending where you stay, lots of resorts/hotels have Western fare and there are even two groceries for self-catering. We were surprised to find almond milk and vegan cheese at a grocery called Eldon’s. Roatan is a beautiful island especially if you enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. As mentioned in my blog, Roatan has lots of fun and interesting things for kids of all ages (parents too)!

  9. Thanks for writing this. I want to go to Roatan. I only speak Spanglish. Lol. Do you need to be well-versed in Spanish to get around here?

    1. Hi Chris,
      Roatan is full of expats and tourists. You would be fine getting around without one word of Spanish. Although knowing “Hola” and “Gracias” are two words that get you smiles and a warm welcome from locals.

  10. Beautiful family photo!

    1. Thank you Lea. Stay tuned for more adventures.

  11. I have read and looked at your Roatan adventures, I enjoyed it very much since I am a lover of nature, especially the flower garden,they looked familiar to me. It gives me joy and happiness just by looking at the beach, as if I’m away on a vacation.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Dolce. Come back anytime!

  12. You guys are truly the definition of adventurers! The media only paints negative stories of Honduras so I am glad that you all gave it a chance! Belize is also on my travel list as well as Honduras.

    1. So true, Jonsaba. If we believed everything we read or heard, we would be missing out on so many amazing countries! Sometimes you just have go out there, explore and decide for yourself. Happy travels.

  13. Wandering wanda says: Reply

    Totes would cross these off my list even if I don’t have kids….yet. ATM I’m planning a trip to Roatan.

    1. Amazing! These activities are fun for adults too! We definitely had a great time. Let me know how your trip goes Wanda.

  14. Little luggages says: Reply

    DIggin’ it. Glad I came across your blog on Instagram. It’s a pleasure to meet other traveling families who are not afraid to travel outside of the box.

    1. Likewise! If you have a blog, feel free to post your link. We would like to visit!

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