Sloths, Monkeys, and Macaws. A day in Roatan on a cruise. Mahogany Bay.

Sloths, Monkeys, Macaws – A day in Roatan on a cruise

Our recent Carnival Celebration cruise had a stop in Mahogany Bay, Roatan Bay Islands. This is a beautiful port. See how we spent our day and what we thought of our shore excursion.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information please see the Disclosure page.

Have an epic day in Roatan on a cruise. Monkeys, Sloths, Macaws. Mahogany Bay cruise port.

Our tour was scheduled for 8:30am and it left right on time.

Tip – Choose the earliest time as there is less chance the animals will be tired of interacting with people.

The buses were newer, clean and air conditioned.

Tip – Pay attention to who your tour guide is. There will be multiple groups and buses there at all the locations.

The workers were very friendly and seemed to really care about the animals.

Tip – Don’t wear jewelry. The monkeys and macaws will try to grab it.


This was one of the main reasons I chose this shore excursion. For some reason I have always wanted to hold a sloth.

They had us stand in a circle and we took turns holding a sloth. You stand with your hands cupped and they gently place a sloth on you. Your hands support the sloth and they hang on around your shoulders.

You cannot pet, touch or rock while holding the sloth. They instruct you to pretend you are a tree.

I thought they were surprisingly light.

Man holding a sloth

Once everyone had a turn holding a sloth, we headed over to the monkey pens.

Sloth claws hanging on to a man's back


In the monkeys’ pen, they also have you stand in a circle. The monkeys jump around and on you, often jumping head to head. They often move around quite fast.

Monkey on a man's head

Clearly I need to go back to get better pictures.

The workers will entice the monkeys to stop on your head for a photo by placing a sunflower seed on your head for them to stop and eat.

Top tip – Stand across from your travel partner rather than right beside. You’ll get better photos that way. They are so fast that it’s hard to get a good photo of your family member with a monkey if you are side by side.

Funny story – and maybe a word of caution.

Outside the monkey pens are cubbies that you place your belongings in before going in with the animals. The monkeys are sneaky and will take your glasses or anything they can get their hands on.

After our monkey experience, as I was bending down to collect my little purse and sunglasses from one of the cubbies, a monkey reached through the cage and grabbed my ponytail. He was after my scrunchie.

He was very strong and wouldn’t let go, one of the workers had to get him to let go. It was quite funny, I wish my husband caught it on video. But be careful, especially with children as they are quick and clever.


Next up was a visit with these beautiful birds. You enter their pen and once again stand in a circle. If you want to invite a bird to land on you, extend your arm.

The workers do make sure everyone who wants one gets a picture with these stunning birds.

They said many of these birds are rescued or surrendered.

One of them got ahold of my Apple watch cover, I thought for sure it was going to get it off. I was scared to do anything about it, again a worker to the rescue.

Macaw trying to get my watch off


After the incredible experience of interacting with the sloths, monkeys, and macaws we were back on the bus for a short ride to an iguana sanctuary.

Feeding iguanas a leaf

Here we are met with a different guide who gave us lots of information on the iguanas and how they are protected at that sanctuary.

The iguanas roam free. You can pet and feed them. They warned us to stay away from the black iguanas as they are carnivores.

Black iguana at the Iguana sanctutuary

When you pet/lightly rub their cheeks they lean into your hand like a cat often does. I didn’t expect that.

After interacting with the iguanas, our guide lead us down to the water to see the tarpons (fish). There is a smoothie shack there that the guide strongly encourages you to buy one.

There is a little souvenir stand there also that they encourage you to check out.

The final stop on this shore excursion was at the Roatan Chocolate Factory in a little shopping complex. There are samples of the different chocolate bars they make.

We were back at the cruise port at 11:30am. My favorite part of the excursion was the monkeys. My husband liked the macaws the best.

Tip – Bring several smaller bills for tipping the bus driver, bus guide, sloth guide, and iguana guide.

Mahogany Bay cruise port

The port was nice and clean with several little shops and a large public washroom.

One of the cool little shops in port is called the Rusty Fish. Everything here is made with recycled products. You’ll find jewelry, magnets, decorative pieces and even currency that is no longer in circulation. I loved this little shop!

The metal sloth below is a Christmas tree ornament.

Items I purchased from the Rusty Fish shop at the cruise port in Mahogany Bay Roatan Honduras.

In port you will also find a very lively Fat Tuesdays open air bar.


The other great thing about an early shore excursion is that it gives you time to still enjoy some time at the beautiful beach.

Mahogany Beach Roatan sign

From the port you can either walk or take the “magic chair’ chairlift to the beach for $15. Kids 3-11 are $9 – minimum height requirement is 32”. (Prices can change).

The chairlift stops frequently as it lets people on and off at each end. Don’t panic like me, I was convinced something was wrong with it and I was going to be stuck up there (yes – I have a fear of heights) lol.

Mahogany Bay beach chair lift
Great views of the ship from the chair lift.

Even though I was scared the entire time, I’d still recommend the chairlift over walking. Amazing views.

The beach is beautiful!

Mahogany Beach

Tip – If you are doing the sloth tour first like we did, wear your swimsuit under your clothes and bring your beach stuff with you. You can leave it on the bus during the shore excursion. Just be sure to always keep valuables with you.

There are lounge chairs, bars, a restaurant, massages and lively music. The prices when we went (Dec. 2023) were $5 for a beer, $3 for soda, and daiquiris were $11 and up depending on the cup (souvenir style).

Tip – Bring your own floatie.

These ones are great as they take up hardly any room in your suitcase and are very easy to inflate.

Aqua Original 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock Pool Float & Water Hammock – Multi-Purpose, Inflatable Pool Floats for Adults – Patented Thick, Non-Stick PVC Material – Navy

You can also rent floaties ($10), snorkel equipment ($20), paddle boards ($27/hr), umbrellas ($30), etc. Remember prices can change, this is meant only to give you an idea of what to expect.

When you are ready you can head back to the chairlift for your return ride or walk back to the ship.

Note that not all cruise lines dock at Mahogany Bay, some use a different port. You could take a similar sloth tour but not access Mahogany Bay beach.

After this day in Roatan, Mahogany Bay quickly became one of my favorite cruise ports. I want to go back and I’d do the exact same thing all over again it was that good.

Keep reading: