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MONKEY/SLOTH "ZOOS COMPARISON - We've visited all 3!

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We recently returned from Roatan.  We visited Manawakie this time.  Since we have visited all three "Monkey/Sloth Parks", I thought I'd write a brief comparison.  

 

First, do not expect any of these to be a "Zoo" as we think of it.  They are all small, independently owned places with relatively few animals.  The main difference, and best reason to visit, is the rare opportunity to interact with and hold the animals.  We live near the Pittsburgh Zoo.  They offer a "Sloth Encounter".  You are not even guaranteed to be able to hold a sloth, but will be able to touch one.  WHAT - $150?!?!

 

One of the deciding factors would be - where else are you going?

 

DANIEL JOHNSON'S MONKEY AND SLOTH HANGOUT

If you are planning on Pirates of the Caribbean Zipline or spending the day at Little French Key, Daniel's will be the closest.

From Coxen Hole, Daniel's is about 25-30 minutes.  Pirates Zipline is 25-30 minutes, then just 5 minutes+/- to Little French Key.  Or, direct from Coxen Hole, Little French Key is 25-30 minutes.

 

Daniel's - Main attraction - Sloths and monkeys.  We have visited 3 or 4 times and have always been able to have plenty of time holding a sloth, interacting with the monkeys and holding large birds.  They have had several other small animals in cages just to view.  Daniel also offers a mangrove tour and snorkeling, but we have not tried them yet.  I would say 30 minutes is plenty of time for this stop.  Mobility:  Level, dirt/mud(depending on the rain).  Small, so those who can only walk short distances would be fine.

 

MANAWAKIE PARK

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Manawakie would work.  It is 15-20 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would backtrack towards Coxen Hole and continue to West Bay, approximately 30 minutes total from Manawakie.

 

Manawakie - Monkeys and sloths.  This is the newest "zoo".  They have rabbits,, agouti, and hummingbirds, as well as a few other animals.  I anticipate they will add additional animals as revenue increases.  This is by far the most "educational".  If you aren't planning on going to any other sights, this is a good choice.  You would probably spend 1 hour here.  They will speed up in case you are not interested in something, if you ask politely.  You will learn about the plants, foods, medicines, culture, and animals.  The guides are very good and keep it interesting, letting you touch and smell things as you go.  My family generally doesn't want to learn while on vacation, but we really liked this place.  Mobility:  Some gravel, Dirt/mud(depending on the rain)  Small inclines and steps.  This is not a good location for anyone who has severe mobility issues. Steps are sturdy and well built.  The entire area is small, so if you can climb 6-10 steps, you will be fine.  I consider this the best sight if you want to visit animals and learn something about the port you are visiting.

 

VICTOR'S MONKEY BUSINESS

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Victor's would be the closest.  It is about 15 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would continue South 15 minutes +/-.

 

Victor's.  Main attractions are the Monkeys and Sloths.  They have large birds, deer and a few other animals.  This "zoo" is the most crowded.  We have been her many times.  While we like it, we definitely can tell we are being gently hurried along.  Your time holding the sloths and interacting with monkeys can be very brief if there is a crowd waiting.  On port days, it can be quite busy.  I don't want to discourage a visit here, but just know that you may be asked keep moving.  I like to get lots of photos of my family with the animals, so this sight is not the best.  The monkeys are very unpredictable, so it may or may not be easy to get good pics.   Mobility:  Level, some gravel, Dirt/mus(depending on the rain).  This is not a large "zoo", so if you can walk short distances, you should be fine here.  

 

We like all of the parks for different reasons.  I think you get the most for your money at Manawakie.  If I just want some quick photos, Victor's is close.  If we are going to Little French Key for the day, Daniel's is super convenient.  Also, we may try the mangrove canoe tour next time.

 

You will have a guide at all of the above.  Please tip them generously.  They are working for tips and rely on them.  Our guide at Manawakie was a public school teacher who takes the bus here to earn extra income as teaching doesn't pay well.     

 

Just a side note,  the snorkeling and beaches here are absolutely fabulous.  Make the most of your day and make time for the beach.  So sad when I hear people say that they are not leaving the port area.

 

I highly recommend Rony's Tours.  He has been our guide for 10+ trips and has become a friend.  His vehicles are nice with a/c.  He can accommodate 2 people or large groups.  He has friendly drivers that work with him.  He has a great option for a private tour.  Just $25 per person for a driver for your group for the entire day.  Then, pay as you go for the sights you'd like to see.   He also has other tours if you don't mind joining a group.  We have always felt safe and have many wonderful memories of Roatan.  I'm sure you will have a great day with Rony!

 

 

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26 minutes ago, #1TravelMom said:

We recently returned from Roatan.  We visited Manawakie this time.  Since we have visited all three "Monkey/Sloth Parks", I thought I'd write a brief comparison.  

 

First, do not expect any of these to be a "Zoo" as we think of it.  They are all small, independently owned places with relatively few animals.  The main difference, and best reason to visit, is the rare opportunity to interact with and hold the animals.  We live near the Pittsburgh Zoo.  They offer a "Sloth Encounter".  You are not even guaranteed to be able to hold a sloth, but will be able to touch one.  WHAT - $150?!?!

 

One of the deciding factors would be - where else are you going?

 

DANIEL JOHNSON'S MONKEY AND SLOTH HANGOUT

If you are planning on Pirates of the Caribbean Zipline or spending the day at Little French Key, Daniel's will be the closest.

From Coxen Hole, Daniel's is about 25-30 minutes.  Pirates Zipline is 25-30 minutes, then just 5 minutes+/- to Little French Key.  Or, direct from Coxen Hole, Little French Key is 25-30 minutes.

 

Daniel's - Main attraction - Sloths and monkeys.  We have visited 3 or 4 times and have always been able to have plenty of time holding a sloth, interacting with the monkeys and holding large birds.  They have had several other small animals in cages just to view.  Daniel also offers a mangrove tour and snorkeling, but we have not tried them yet.  I would say 30 minutes is plenty of time for this stop.  Mobility:  Level, dirt/mud(depending on the rain).  Small, so those who can only walk short distances would be fine.

 

MANAWAKIE PARK

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Manawakie would work.  It is 15-20 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would backtrack towards Coxen Hole and continue to West Bay, approximately 30 minutes total from Manawakie.

 

Manawakie - Monkeys and sloths.  This is the newest "zoo".  They have rabbits,, agouti, and hummingbirds, as well as a few other animals.  I anticipate they will add additional animals as revenue increases.  This is by far the most "educational".  If you aren't planning on going to any other sights, this is a good choice.  You would probably spend 1 hour here.  They will speed up in case you are not interested in something, if you ask politely.  You will learn about the plants, foods, medicines, culture, and animals.  The guides are very good and keep it interesting, letting you touch and smell things as you go.  My family generally doesn't want to learn while on vacation, but we really liked this place.  Mobility:  Some gravel, Dirt/mud(depending on the rain)  Small inclines and steps.  This is not a good location for anyone who has severe mobility issues. Steps are sturdy and well built.  The entire area is small, so if you can climb 6-10 steps, you will be fine.  I consider this the best sight if you want to visit animals and learn something about the port you are visiting.

 

VICTOR'S MONKEY BUSINESS

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Victor's would be the closest.  It is about 15 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would continue South 15 minutes +/-.

 

Victor's.  Main attractions are the Monkeys and Sloths.  They have large birds, deer and a few other animals.  This "zoo" is the most crowded.  We have been her many times.  While we like it, we definitely can tell we are being gently hurried along.  Your time holding the sloths and interacting with monkeys can be very brief if there is a crowd waiting.  On port days, it can be quite busy.  I don't want to discourage a visit here, but just know that you may be asked keep moving.  I like to get lots of photos of my family with the animals, so this sight is not the best.  The monkeys are very unpredictable, so it may or may not be easy to get good pics.   Mobility:  Level, some gravel, Dirt/mus(depending on the rain).  This is not a large "zoo", so if you can walk short distances, you should be fine here.  

 

We like all of the parks for different reasons.  I think you get the most for your money at Manawakie.  If I just want some quick photos, Victor's is close.  If we are going to Little French Key for the day, Daniel's is super convenient.  Also, we may try the mangrove canoe tour next time.

 

You will have a guide at all of the above.  Please tip them generously.  They are working for tips and rely on them.  Our guide at Manawakie was a public school teacher who takes the bus here to earn extra income as teaching doesn't pay well.     

 

Just a side note,  the snorkeling and beaches here are absolutely fabulous.  Make the most of your day and make time for the beach.  So sad when I hear people say that they are not leaving the port area.

 

I highly recommend Rony's Tours.  He has been our guide for 10+ trips and has become a friend.  His vehicles are nice with a/c.  He can accommodate 2 people or large groups.  He has friendly drivers that work with him.  He has a great option for a private tour.  Just $25 per person for a driver for your group for the entire day.  Then, pay as you go for the sights you'd like to see.   He also has other tours if you don't mind joining a group.  We have always felt safe and have many wonderful memories of Roatan.  I'm sure you will have a great day with Rony!

 

 

 

I understand Gumbalimba has sloth now. do you happen to have a review of that place as well. 

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Sorry, I should have added Gumbalimba.  We have been there.  It is totally different.  You will spend more time here as they have waterfalls, cave, pool, and lots of roaming animals and more.  The price is $35, more than twice as much as the others.  The monkeys and birds are not in cages.  Depending on the crowds and the animals themselves, you may get to hold/interact with them or not.  We had friends who visited and the animals just seemed "sick of people" that day, so they didn't really get to hold/interact with them.  You will definitely see the animals, but may have limited opportunities to hold them.  The guides have food, but sometimes, the monkeys just come and grab the food and then run away.  I don't think they offer the opportunity to hold sloths.  They have a few hanging in the trees, but we were not allowed to disturb them

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3 hours ago, #1TravelMom said:

Sorry, I should have added Gumbalimba.  We have been there.  It is totally different.  You will spend more time here as they have waterfalls, cave, pool, and lots of roaming animals and more.  The price is $35, more than twice as much as the others.  The monkeys and birds are not in cages.  Depending on the crowds and the animals themselves, you may get to hold/interact with them or not.  We had friends who visited and the animals just seemed "sick of people" that day, so they didn't really get to hold/interact with them.  You will definitely see the animals, but may have limited opportunities to hold them.  The guides have food, but sometimes, the monkeys just come and grab the food and then run away.  I don't think they offer the opportunity to hold sloths.  They have a few hanging in the trees, but we were not allowed to disturb them

 

Thank you!! 

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And, unless he's changed things around, if you do a Victor Bodden tour, you will go to his place.  No need to head to any of the others.  but stay away from the cashew wine, LOL.

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Yes, I have talked to people who booked with Victor Bodden and requested to go to another park, but were persuaded to go to Victor's.  His park is nice, but Manawakie and Daniel's are much closer if you are in Mahogany Bay and do not plan to visit West Bay.  

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Thanks Travel Mom.

We will be going to Manawakie on our next cruise (probably with Rony's).    However, this is our second priority.   Could you advise the best snorkeling area for colorful coral and fish from the park?   

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We love West Bay. There is snorkeling right from the beach. You just walk right  in to the reef. There is an incredible channel where you swim between 2 massive walls of coral extending on each side of you. There is a great diversity of ocean life, and the largest parrot fish we've ever seen.  Wehave visited there many times from a cruise ship. Last summer we spent 8 days at the Mayan Princess and snorkeled there every day. Amazing!

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Thanks Travel Mom,

With Romy's snorkeling choices ( will copy/paste below) which would you choose with our priorities?

Priorities...quality snorkeling with plenty of color, ease of snorkeling (wife can't swim, but loves to snorkel w/ a vest),we have our own equimpment, restrooms & shade when we want to take a break, $$$, less vendors and crowd.

Romy's options....

West Bay Beach - free access (beach chairs,rest room facilities not included)West Bay Beach Shore Snorkelling (snorkelling gear not included)West Bay Beach - Paradise Resort Day Pass (+ US$ 20 P/P)Off Shore Snorkelling by Boat (+ $30 P/P)West End Beach Village, Food, Shopping, Swimming etcWest Bay Beach – Mayan Princess Resort day pass (+ US$ 25 P/P)West Bay Beach – Infinity Bay resort day pass (+ US$ 25 P/P)West Bay Beach – Foster Resort day pass (+ US$ 10 P/P)West Bay Beach – Bananarama Resort day pass (+ US 10 P/P)West Bay Beach – The Beach Club day pass (+ US$ 10 P/P)

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The reef is in front of Infinity.  But, it is $25pp.  Bananarama is a few minutes walk for $10pp.  Infinity has a pool, Bananarama does not.  If you just need a restroom, somewhere to get out of the sun and grab some food - I'd just throw towels in the sand near the reef and then walk to Bananarama for lunch and some shade. If you want to relax in a lounge chair and use a pool, Infinity is nice.

 

The reef is super easy here, but quite shallow in places.  Gently sloping sand - walk right on to reef.  I think you will love it!

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I vote for Infinity... for ease if access to the reef with no boats, potties and loungers. 

 

If ya pitch your towel on the sand the bugs may well eat you alive. :0) 

 

The red/brown roof is Infinity, note the green flag acess directly in front. 

The yellow flags are the swallow bits

Screen-Shot-2016-06-15-at-4.07.36-PM-960

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Thank you for this info!!  Can you please give me the contact info for Rony's?  TIA

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Thanks TravelMom and Guest.   We'll do Bananarama if we don't have much time and Infinity if we have the time to enjoy the facilities a bit.

One more ?, is the snorkeling area actually marked with flags to indicate the areas?  If not, some other way to tell if an area is full of reef too shallow to snorkel comfortably?

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It is not marked.  Use the map as a guide to enter.  If you feel an area is getting shallow, just turn around.  Don't miss the channel, such an amazing opportunity.  If you' are an experienced snorkeler, you will know thisl.  But, I always tell people to just relax and float, just kicking their feet the tiniest bit and look at the beauty. I have seen so many people snorkeling who are just swimming and kicking like crazy and miss things.   It's easy to miss things on the bottom, eels, rays, octopus,

 

We have snorkeled many places, this is one of my favorite.

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Yes, I've tried to get my wife to just relax and use her fins.   But, she is not completely comfortable yet.  Perhaps this trip.

By channel do you mean the 20-25' area on the map above?

 

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The channel is the acess point marked in green flags from the sand in front of Infinity to the 25ft areas. Some people have trouble finding it and can't get out to the 25ft area. 

 

There maybe local guys on the beach willing to guide you for a price or there maybe a few guy in the water directing people. 

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1 hour ago, storm1507 said:

Thanks Guest.   I think we have enough info now to try it on our own.



 

 

 

Good Show! 

 

Have a grand time!

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Thanks for the info on the sloths! I just booked a January cruise and the ship is stopping  in Roatan. Since I’m doing this solo, I have 100% control of what I pick to do and I want to see some sloths.

 

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We are thinking of doing Rony's with the sloth and snorkeling.  I see a lot of tours that have boats to take you out snorkeling.  We are family of 4 with 12 year old twins.  Have gone snorkeling twice.  Does anyone recommend paying for boat and guide for an hour or two, or will we see enough just from shore. 

 

Also, how bad are the bugs?  We are going in Feb on Symphony.  I wouldn't mind relaxing on the beach/pool also but if the bugs are bad, we may just stay in the water.  Thanks

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West Bay has incredible snorkeling. It is perfect for beginners and advanced snorkelers. We have been snorkeling for more than 30 years and it is one of our favorite places. So easy to just walk right in from the beach. I would not pay for an additional boat tour.   We've seen an incredible amount of sea life there including the most colorful, gigantic parrot fish we have ever seen.

 

 The last few times we have been to Roatan, we have not had any issue with any type of bugs. Last summer, we spent 8 days there and had no problems at all.    The bugs were actually terrible at Paradise Beach in Cozumel. We had never experienced a problem there before period

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Travel Mom we are doing a private excursion with Rony's in March for a group of 9 & we're doing Gumbalimba as the animals don't seem caged. We are looking at other stops along the way and was wondering if you had any recommendations. We have 2 beach days already planned so didn't think we'd care to do another. Chocolate factory was a thought also. Would West Bay be close if we wanted to stop here. Thank you for any help you can give.

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Gumbalimba is only a few minutes from West Bay.  Also only a few minutes from South Shore Zipline- super fun!!!   The chocolate factory is only about 10 minutes away. Don't expect anything big, it's just a small shop, but interesting.

 

Not sure if this would appeal to you, but we always stop in Rony's neighborhood  near the ship and give things to the children.   They are so precious and very appreciative of anything you give them.

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On 11/18/2019 at 7:41 AM, #1TravelMom said:

We recently returned from Roatan.  We visited Manawakie this time.  Since we have visited all three "Monkey/Sloth Parks", I thought I'd write a brief comparison.  

 

First, do not expect any of these to be a "Zoo" as we think of it.  They are all small, independently owned places with relatively few animals.  The main difference, and best reason to visit, is the rare opportunity to interact with and hold the animals.  We live near the Pittsburgh Zoo.  They offer a "Sloth Encounter".  You are not even guaranteed to be able to hold a sloth, but will be able to touch one.  WHAT - $150?!?!

 

One of the deciding factors would be - where else are you going?

 

DANIEL JOHNSON'S MONKEY AND SLOTH HANGOUT

If you are planning on Pirates of the Caribbean Zipline or spending the day at Little French Key, Daniel's will be the closest.

From Coxen Hole, Daniel's is about 25-30 minutes.  Pirates Zipline is 25-30 minutes, then just 5 minutes+/- to Little French Key.  Or, direct from Coxen Hole, Little French Key is 25-30 minutes.

 

Daniel's - Main attraction - Sloths and monkeys.  We have visited 3 or 4 times and have always been able to have plenty of time holding a sloth, interacting with the monkeys and holding large birds.  They have had several other small animals in cages just to view.  Daniel also offers a mangrove tour and snorkeling, but we have not tried them yet.  I would say 30 minutes is plenty of time for this stop.  Mobility:  Level, dirt/mud(depending on the rain).  Small, so those who can only walk short distances would be fine.

 

MANAWAKIE PARK

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Manawakie would work.  It is 15-20 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would backtrack towards Coxen Hole and continue to West Bay, approximately 30 minutes total from Manawakie.

 

Manawakie - Monkeys and sloths.  This is the newest "zoo".  They have rabbits,, agouti, and hummingbirds, as well as a few other animals.  I anticipate they will add additional animals as revenue increases.  This is by far the most "educational".  If you aren't planning on going to any other sights, this is a good choice.  You would probably spend 1 hour here.  They will speed up in case you are not interested in something, if you ask politely.  You will learn about the plants, foods, medicines, culture, and animals.  The guides are very good and keep it interesting, letting you touch and smell things as you go.  My family generally doesn't want to learn while on vacation, but we really liked this place.  Mobility:  Some gravel, Dirt/mud(depending on the rain)  Small inclines and steps.  This is not a good location for anyone who has severe mobility issues. Steps are sturdy and well built.  The entire area is small, so if you can climb 6-10 steps, you will be fine.  I consider this the best sight if you want to visit animals and learn something about the port you are visiting.

 

VICTOR'S MONKEY BUSINESS

If you are planning on South Shore Canopy Zipline and/or spending the day at West Bay, Victor's would be the closest.  It is about 15 minutes from Coxen Hole.  Then, to reach South Shore/West Bay, you would continue South 15 minutes +/-.

 

Victor's.  Main attractions are the Monkeys and Sloths.  They have large birds, deer and a few other animals.  This "zoo" is the most crowded.  We have been her many times.  While we like it, we definitely can tell we are being gently hurried along.  Your time holding the sloths and interacting with monkeys can be very brief if there is a crowd waiting.  On port days, it can be quite busy.  I don't want to discourage a visit here, but just know that you may be asked keep moving.  I like to get lots of photos of my family with the animals, so this sight is not the best.  The monkeys are very unpredictable, so it may or may not be easy to get good pics.   Mobility:  Level, some gravel, Dirt/mus(depending on the rain).  This is not a large "zoo", so if you can walk short distances, you should be fine here.  

 

We like all of the parks for different reasons.  I think you get the most for your money at Manawakie.  If I just want some quick photos, Victor's is close.  If we are going to Little French Key for the day, Daniel's is super convenient.  Also, we may try the mangrove canoe tour next time.

 

You will have a guide at all of the above.  Please tip them generously.  They are working for tips and rely on them.  Our guide at Manawakie was a public school teacher who takes the bus here to earnextra income as teaching doesn't pay well.     

 

Just a side note,  the snorkeling and beaches here are absolutely fabulous.  Make the most of your day and make time for the beach.  So sad when I hear people say that they are not leaving the port area.

 

I highly recommend Rony's Tours.  He has been our guide for 10+ trips and has become a friend.  His vehicles are nice with a/c.  He can accommodate 2 people or large groups.  He has friendly drivers that work with him.  He has a great option for a private tour.  Just $25 per person for a driver for your group for the entire day.  Then, pay as you go for the sights you'd like to see.   He also has other tours if you don't mind joining a group.  We have always felt safe and have many wonderful memories of Roatan.  I'm sure you will have a great day with Rony!

 

 

Thanks for all this infor #1TravelMom.  We used Victor Bodden a few years ago and went to his monkey & sloth park then to West Bay.  On our upcoming trip we are considering Daniel Johnson's and Little French Key.  What is the most cost effective an most timely way to get from Coxen Hole to Daniel Johnson's then to LFK for 2 people?  Also, have you ever done horseback riding in LFK or Roatan?

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