Eco Caribbean Culture Park

Eco Caribbean Culture Park - Roatan

Off the top, this was a cruise line excursion 'hike'.  That should inform you on what to expect with this one.  It's not that it wasn't enjoyable or educational (it absolutely was!), it just doesn't exactly meet the natural or physical standards of most of my hikes.  Taking place on the Honduran island of Roatan, this was a guided hike through what seemed to be private property adjacent to what is known as the Eco Caribbean Culture Park.  This is a short drive north of the port town of Coxen Hole, near Roatan's north shore.  The park itself is small but is well designed and quite beautiful.  Various examples of local plant life are on display along wide, clear paths.  All are clearly labeled as well for easy identification.  A snack and drink stand are also among its amenities, along with a small souvenir stand and restrooms.  The tour of the park was the finale of this brief trip however, being preceded by the following short hike.

The hike, which on my visit was led by a wonderfully humorous and knowledgeable guide named Eric, began across from the Eco Park.  A dirt road ascends moderately here between a steep, forested hillside and a grassy field.  It doesn't take much climbing before you're looking across numerous, lush tropical hillsides.  Nearing the top of the climb comes both the hikes biggest visual highlight as well as (IMHO) it's biggest disappointment.  Here, seen through distant hills, the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea are visible.  Unfortunately, this isn't a natural viewpoint but rather the result of housing construction atop the ridgeline.  It's not at all very 'natural'.  Happily, beyond this point in the hike, things get a tad more woodsy.  From the viewpoint, the route drops steeply into the adjacent jungle.  Leaf-cutter ant trails crisscross the path and numerous vines lattice the trees overhead.  On my visit a pair of courting chameleons were seen as well as a tiny hummingbird nest, pointed out by Eric and looking like little more than a clump of grass attached to a small hanging twig.  Soon the path breaks out into a much more open area where numerous commercially grown fruiting plants are seen.  Eric good-naturedly ribbed us tourists on our lack of tropical ecology.  It was fascinating and I loved how Eric went about conversationally educating us on the subject.  The route then climbs the adjacent grassy ridge, where numerous other examples of local plant life are revealed.  Soon dropping off the far side of the ridge the route once again enters a dense jungle environment.  Winding down a narrow, vine-choked ravine (and deftly avoiding a rather large banana spider) the path soon reaches a small wood and wire gate as it breaks out into the open once again directly across from where you started.

Though not exactly up to my normal standards for a hike, this was nonetheless a fantastically informative and enjoyable introduction to the varied environments of Roatan.  Should I have the good fortune to visit Honduras again, I'll definitely benefit from what I learned on this visit in planning something a bit more adventurous.  In short, if you only have the brief amount of time I did, I would highly recommend this short excursion.  Roatan is an amazing place and one that I sincerely hope I can revisit someday in the future.  If anything, this little hike will certainly inspire you explore the region more!  With that I am pleased to invite you along on my short hike on the island of Roatan, always I hope you ENJOY!!

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  16.35500, -86.50197

Route Type:  Loop                      Difficulty:  EASY (Petzoldt Rating 1.40 )

Hike Length:  1.0 miles                Hike Duration:  1:30

Trailhead Temp:  85'F                 Trail Traffic:  NONE!

Min. Elevation:  60'                      Max. Elevation:  200'

Total Vertical Gain:  250'             Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile:  250'


  • Dave-Kathy Weemhoff

    on December 9, 2022

    Very interesting & enlightening! Love the variety of natures beauty!