It's just like the ride you take to the top of a ski hill, except on a snowy mountain, you brace against the chilly wind. But on the tropical Honduran island of Roatan, the breeze off the ocean is a refreshing pleasure as you dangle your flip-flops 67 feet above a tree canopy. And the view over beach, ocean, and lagoon are one-of-a-kind. The experience of wearing a bathing suit on a ski hill chair lift alone is worth the price of the lift ticket.
The 'Magical Flying Beach Chair' is the most unique experience at Roatan's Mahogany Bay. It's a popular, touristy, beach-day cruise port for Western Caribbean cruises. You can also arrive on the island on one of the regular and charter flights that bring guests to its all-inclusive resorts.
Here are other can't-miss experiences on this island that once was a former pirate hangout:
Explore the world's second largest barrier reef.
Roatan is near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, only surpassed in size by Australia's Great Barrier Reef. That makes it a diver's dream destination. A colorful coral reef nearly circles the island, home to countless varieties of sponges and schools of tropical fish, as well as turtles, dolphins, mantas and even whale sharks.
Certified divers can take excursions with expert local dive masters. If you're enthusiastic but untrained as a diver, no worry. Snorkeling on the surface gives you terrific views of the marine world off Roatan's coast, and you can take it up a notch by trying 'snuba'. The snorkel/scuba combo requires less experience, less equipment, than scuba diving, but still gets you to depths of up to 20 feet so you can be a bit more immersed in the ocean.
Take a catamaran tour.
Get out on that sparkling water and get the sea breezes into your hair as you soak up the sun on the netting hammock, enjoy a local, fruity rum punch over lunch, and even snorkel off the deck of a fun double-outrigger boat.
Treat yourself to a VIP day at the beach.
For cruise guests, Mahogany Bay has lounge chairs, beach volleyball and water sports on its 825-foot-long beach, but if you're looking for a more exclusive experience, it also rents air-conditioned beach cabanas for the day. They come with lounge chairs, beach accessories, wi-fi and and waiter service so you don't have to leave your idyllic enclave. You can even score a private beach area.
Meet the local wildlife.
Monkeys, capybaras, birds and butterflies, as well as orchids and other exotic flowers make Roatan their home. Visitors can get up close with Nature on land at the Roatan Butterfly and Bird Park, and Carambola's Gardens. Take a park tour or a more adventurous zip-line canopy tour.
Whether you arrive by land or sea, the first thing you'll notice about Roatan is just how lush the island is. You'll leave with amazing memories of its unmatched natural and marine environment, beach… and yes, that one-of-a-kind chair lift to the beach!
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