Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras

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Roatán, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) off the coast of Honduras, is the Central American country’s largest island, and it sits atop an ancient, exposed coral reef. If that’s not intriguing enough for you, consider this: It is also positioned near the second-largest barrier reef in the entire world, the Mesoamerican Reef. The unique—and fragile—ecosystem is a draw for those who are interested in Honduran flora and fauna (butterflies, hummingbirds and monkeys are among the creatures you might see here) as well as those interested in beaches that invite maximum relaxation. Mahogany Bay, an eight-hectare (20-acre) section of Roatán’s port, has about 275 meters (900 feet) of white-sand beach, which can be reached by chairlift. In the Mahogany Bay cruise center, visitors will find unique restaurants and stores, including some selling local art made of salvaged materials. Other opportunities to shop include the Stone Castle Cameo Factory, where you can purchase cameos crafted from Honduran conch shells. Adventures on Roatán are, for the most part, low-key, with excursions ranging from garden visits to kayaking, snorkeling and zip lining.
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