As the largest of the Bay Islands in Honduras, Roatan is quickly becoming the Caribbean's fastest-developing destinations. A long, narrow islet stretching for 37 miles, Roatan is surrounded by a coral reef system brimming with vibrant colors and kaleidoscopic sea creatures, including rare fish and turtles. On a Caribbean cruise with Princess, passengers have the opportunity to get in touch with their adventurous side as they snorkel, hike and zipline through the lush landscape.
Pet an iguana, feed a monkey: Roatan is a wildlife haven
Few people have had the chance to have a close encounter with a monkey, and at Gumbalimba Preservation Nature Park, Princess Cruises passengers will not only get to see these primates, but also hold them, play with them and take memorable photos. An informed guide takes visitors through the dense forest where tropical birds like parrots and cockatiels coo and caw as they flutter by with their technicolor feathers.
After crossing a suspension bridge in the middle of the jungle, hikers on Caribbean shore excursions will come face to face with white faced monkeys. At ease with the many humans who come through the refuge center, these curious primates will climb all over visitors and are notorious for snatching snacks and sunglasses.
Passengers won't want to forget their camera on the ship when they step foot in the family-owned iguana farm - one of the most popular attractions on Roatan. With nearly 3,000 of these reptiles roaming around the property, Sherman's Iguana Refuge is not for the squeamish, but the photographic payoff is worth the effort.
Eco-hiking through the wilderness
Environmentally conscious travelers on Caribbean cruises have the option of taking an eco-friendly hike through the jungle. Led by a knowledgeable guide, the tour takes visitors through areas of the forest where rare and exotic plants grow in abundance, and the guide will share stories of folklore and provide information about plant-based medicinal remedies locals have used for years. Continuing through the dense wilderness, hikers will learn about various hardwood species that are used in the west for building houses and furniture pieces.
After learning about the island's flora, hikers will walk up to Mount Maria where 360 degrees of majestic Caribbean vistas awaits them.