Recently we took a Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Escape. We enjoyed much about the cruise, but the best parts were the stops in Roatan (Honduras), Costa Maya (Mexico), and Cozumel (Mexico). The ship also made a stop at Norwegian’s private island in Belize. We found that area pretty, but since my husband has limited mobility and needs a wheelchair to go long distances we found that port limiting—the ferry that took travelers from the island to the mainland wouldn’t allow us to stop his wheelchair while aboard. Nonetheless, we had three great other stops to enjoy. One of my personal favorites was Roatan in Honduras.
The coastline of Roatan at the Coxen Hole port is visually stunning. We voyaged out with Jon’s mobility scooter to see what we could see. In the port authority area, we enjoyed some cocktails and did a little shopping. Jon went back to the ship and I decided to do some exploring because I wanted to visit an animal park with a sloth encounter that I heard was a short walking distance away.
The port authority guards suggested I hire a guide and pointed the way to where I could find one. Lots of locals were standing there waiting for cruise-goers to need help. For a cash tip, a man escorted me the short distance (about 10 minutes) to the animal park. Along the way he told me about Honduran culture and economics, as well as pointed out vegetation. It was a very neat impromptu tour and I was happy to give him a tip for his time, knowledge, and company. He explained to me that the country was very impoverished and tourism was a major source of employment for Hondurans.
When we got to the zoo, it was a humble setup with a rustic booth out front to buy tickets for the animal farm. For $15, I was given a wristband and a guide to take me through the zoo; it was my understanding that you couldn’t independently visit the animals, which was good to protect the animals. Since I was alone, the park matched me with a couple. The three of us set off following our guide who took us on an amazing interactive experience with the animals. We were able to hold Capuchin monkeys, parrots, guinea pigs, macaws, and sloths (more on this in a bit). We saw white-tailed deer and other various animals. Seeing the sloths was a highlight of the visit. I loved “Flash” who was a three-toed sloth giving out hugs that day. I never knew how much I would adore a sloth, but I did—I broke out in the biggest smile and pure glee when our…