On our recent cruise to the Western Caribbean, we had a port of call in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is the home of Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park. This haven for the spiny-tailed iguana is one of Roatan’s top attractions.
Arch’s Iguana And Marine Park
Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park is located in the town of French Harbour. Although the iguanas are the stars of the park, they are not the only creatures to be found there. There are white-faced monkeys, wild turkeys, chickens, colorful macaws, and plenty of marine life. I saw an eel and tons of tropical native fish when we toured there. There are also plenty of native plants to look at as well.
The park isn’t very big, but that is good for people who don’t want to or can’t walk very far. You can see the iguanas as soon as you enter the park. There are several of them, too numerous to count. It is a short, downhill walk to the dock where you can experience the local marine life. If you feel like it, you can even feed the fish. This will bring them to the surface and make them easier to see. The guide tried to coax out a lobster, however, it was not having anything to do with us on that day.
Feed Iguanas By Hand
We fed the iguanas by hand, with a huge plant leaf of some type. I don’t know what the leaf was, but the iguanas devoured it, right down to the stem. Iguanas may be related to the dinosaur, but they are really gentle creatures.
Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park was established to help protect the endangered iguana. A local delicacy is iguana stew, which requires the meat from the iguana. Although hunting the iguana is illegal in Roatan, it is still poached for its meat for this stew. Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park protects these docile creatures on its farm where they can live peacefully without fear of poachers. We were told that any iguana that can make it to the reserve is safe and will be protected. For the future of the iguana in its native habitat, this is a wonderful thing.
If you ever go to Roatan, you should make it a point to visit Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park, and marvel at the wonderful wildlife that can be found on the Island of Roatan.