5 adventures in Roatan, Honduras

A tranquil island off the coast of Honduras, Roatan boasts the best of both the Caribbean and Central American cultures. Whether you want to experience the colorful local scene or just engage in a little (or a lot) of R&R, you can do both in this fascinating yet undiscovered destination.

Roatan is about a 20-minute plane ride or hour-and-a-half ferry ride from the Honduras mainland.

Snorkel around a sunken ship
Legend has it that a ship called The Snigg was coming from Belize, missed the entranceto the channel and sank in the reef. You can check out The Snigg for yourself: Rent gear with Mike at Black Pearl Divers (www.blackpearldivers.com) and prepare to start humming the “Titanic” theme. The boat — not enormous but a sight to see regardless — sits in shallow water, so it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. Once you take it all in, though, poke around and see how an abundance of fish and coral have made the vessel part of their habitat.

Where to stay: This excursion is only open to guests at Las Verandas (www.las-verandas.com), which had a soft opening last year. The sprawling property is part of Pristine Bay Resort, a larger development featuring a beach club, residences, a spa, restaurants and a marina. At Las Verandas, you’ll wake up to the waves lapping outside your beachfront villa. Start your day or end your night with a dip in the hotel’s luxe infinity pool, or your villa’s own private pool. Into golf? The Pete Dye-designed course is ranked No. 1 in Honduras (and boasts an eccentrically wonderful pro in Thom Gilfoil). On your first night, you’ll probably be tired from traveling, so take it easy and dine at the property’s Las Pergolas restaurant. The produce comes from Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, a bustling hydroponic farm on the island.

Beach it on your own private island
Hop a ferry to Pigeon Cay,a private white-sand island, for a day of undisturbed relaxation. Try not to step on one of the island’s many conch shells (but don’t remove them — it’s illegal). Before you head out, swing by a gas station (yes, you read that right) to pick up a baleada for lunch on the beach. It’s like a Honduran take on a breakfast burrito: eggs, chorizo, beans, avocado, cheese and sour cream wrapped up in a flour tortilla. The locals eat them at all times of the day.

Where to stay: For a truly off-the-grid experience, book a stay at Mango Creek Lodge (www.mangocreeklodge.com). Welcoming managers DD and Doc run the small group of waterfront huts that boast just the necessities for the perfect warm-weather vacation: a bed, a bathroom and a hammock. Take a break from your private deck to hang out with the two parrots in residence.

Get down and dirty on a dune buggy
The guides leading the Sand Blasters Dune Buggy Tour (http://roatanmjtours.com) are knowledgeable and friendly, but the real star of their show is Panchita, their domesticated pet monkey who will happily sit on your shoulder if you’d like. Sand Blasters’ go-carts look like they would easily roll over, but are surprisingly stable. And for good reason: Your first course takes you up rocky mountains that don’t have roads. From there, you’ll traverse the jungle, a mud pit (we suggest wearing clothes you won’t mind leaving behind) and the private Palmetto Beach, which only the locals really know to visit. Rinse off in the crystal-clear water before the tour ends.

Where to stay: The tour will bring you to eco-friendlyPalmetto Bay Plantation (www.palmettobayplantation.com), a resort that, like Mango Creek, also has private huts. Hit the outdoor restaurant for a banana smoothie and to take in the view. Does it look familiar? “Temptation Island” filmed there in the early 2000s.

2 more adventures

Soar to new heights

The operators of Caribe Sky know that you’re probably terrified to zip-line, but they’ll crack jokes to get you through it. And you’ll be glad to conquer your fear: The views of the treetops below are indescribable. You and your small group will soar 12 times through the forest, on routes that are both quick and luxuriously lengthy. You control the speed on your line, so you can opt for a thrill ride or a more relaxed glide. Bonus: Your guides will take pictures of you while you’re in the air, so you can brag to your friends upon your return home.

Explore out west

Start your day on the beach at West Bay, and break for lunch at Vintage Pearl, which is run by Sarah Benke, an expatriate from Oregon. Asked why she decided to uproot her life, all she does is point to the beach and say, “This.” After lunch, hitch a water taxi to West End, where you can wander the local streets and souvenir shop. We like Waves of Art (www.waves-of-art.com), featuring jewelry, pottery and textiles made in Central America.

More information

Getting there: American Airlines flies to Roatan from Miami on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays; and from Dallas/Ft. Worth on Saturdays.

Where to eat: Jack’s Harbor View Grill (www.facebook.com/jacksharborviewgrill)
Jack Mitchell, formerly of South Carolina, infuses flavors from his Southern upbringing into the steaks and fish he serves at this waterfront restaurant.

See the sights: Book a shuttle bus tour with the knowledgeable and charismatic Emsly Hyde (www. hydetoursroatanhonduras.com), who will give you an insider’s view of Roatan’s many villages.

Bring this home: The banana rum cake from Roatan Rum Company (www.roatanrumcompany.com) will give your friends a taste of your island adventures. But maybe buy two so you can keep one for yourself.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…

Education

Checkmate: The advantages of teaching your child chess

The game of chess dates back to sixth-century India and has long been associated with strategy and concentration. Schools and after-school programs are capitalizing on…