Roatan Excursions

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Dolphin Encounter & Tabyana Beach


Tour Description

A 15-20 minute drive from the Cruise Ship dock complex will take you to Anthony's Key Resort, where you will be introduced to the world of the dolphin.

You will meet your guide for the day and receive an informative orientation on bottlenose dolphins. After donning your flotation vest, you will be led in groups to interact with these friendly creatures.

Standing waist-deep in the water, you and your fellow group members will meet your dolphin for a 30-minute encounter. You will have the unique opportunity to touch, feed and play with the dolphins during your encounter, all the while learning about these amazing marine mammals.

At the end of your encounter, you will have a further opportunity to ask questions of the dolphin specialist. A video of your encounter will be available for purchase at the Resort.

This adventure gives you an intimate, exhilarating and enlightening personal experience interacting with dolphins.

After your Dolphin Encounter, you will take a 30-minute bus ride to Tabyana Beach, located in Roatan's West End. Tabyana Beach is Roatan's most popular beach, and the destination of most of the passengers coming to the island by cruise ship. It features a white sand beach, warm inviting waters with good snorkeling in the reefs and amenities available at the adjacent resort.

This tour provides you with a day pass at the Henry Morgan Resort at Tabyana Beach. You have access to private sun loungers, fresh water showers with changing and restroom facilities, a local gift shop, and a bar. In the background they play Caribbean music to add to the atmosphere.

Here, you can swim, snorkel (bring your own equipment), walk down the beach, lie in the sun or under the shade of palm trees, play volleyball, or rent banana boats or kayaks (see note below). Some tours include a barbeque lunch.

Return transportation to the Cruise Ship dock complex is available all day, departing every half hour. Check with your ship for the return schedules.

Note: Minimum age is 4 years. Children under 4 years of age may participate free of charge while being held by a paying adult. Children under 4 feet tall must be held by a paying adult while in the water. Guests must be able to stand in waist deep water without assistance. All transportation is provided. Equipment is available for rent at the beach.

Activity Level:


What you'll do


Meet guide at Belize City Tourism Village

Board bus and drive to Bacab Eco Park (45 minutes)

Kayaking activities (1 hour)

Free time at Bacab Eco Park, including lunch (2 hours)

Re-board bus and return to Belize City Tourism Village (45 minutes)

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Excursion Length: 6 Hours

50% This activity will take up about 50% of your time in port.

Tour Prices:

Norwegian: Adults, from $159; kids, from $149

What You Need to Bring:

  • Comfortable shirt and pants or shorts
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Bathing suit
  • Biodegradable Sunscreen--don't harm the reef
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Bring cash for incidentals
  • Bring your camera. Amazon sells a great feature packed Nikon 13 MP point-and-shoot camera that's waterproof, shockproof and family friendly for less than $100.

Cruise Line Offering This Tour:

NCL icon NCL

What Else You Need to Know:

Transit to the site: You'll board an open air local island bus at the Coxen Hole dock, and it'll take you about 15-20 minutes to reach Anthony's Key Resort, for the dolphin encounter. The drive to the beach resort on Tabyana Beach will take another 15 to 20 minutes.

Who should take this tour:

  • Dolphin lovers
  • Kids and their parents
  • Folks who've always wanted to interact with a dolphin
  • Folks looking for a truly unique and magical experience
  • Folks looking for a dolphin encounter AND to spend some time at Roatan's most popular beach

Additional Venue Information:

Bottlenose Dolphins. The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known dolphins. The animal is gray, varying from dark gray at the top near the dorsal fin to very light gray and almost white at the underside. This makes it hard to see, both from above and below, when swimming. Its elongated upper and lower jaws form what is called a rostrum, or beak-like snout, which gives the animal its common name, the Bottlenose dolphin. The real, functional nose is the blowhole on top of its head; in fact the nasal septum is visible when the blowhole is open.

Adults range in length from 6 to 13 ft (2 to 4 meters) and in weight from 330 to 1,430 lb (150 to 650 kilograms), with males being on average slightly longer and considerably heavier than females; however, in most parts of the world the adult's length is about 8 ft (2.5 m) with weight ranges from 440 to 660 lb (200 to 300 kg). The size of a dolphin appears to vary considerably with habitat. Those dolphins in warmer, shallower waters tend to have a smaller body than their cousins in cooler waters.

The Bottlenose Dolphin normally lives in small groups, usually containing up to 12 animals. However, group size may be highly variable since they live in fission-fusion societies within which individuals associate in small groups that change in composition, often on a daily or hourly basis.

The species is commonly known for its friendly character and curiosity towards humans immersed in or near water. It is not uncommon for a diver to be investigated by a group of them. Occasionally, dolphins have rescued injured divers by raising them to the surface, a behavior they also show towards injured members of their own species. Such accounts have earned them the nickname of "man's best friend of the sea."

Their diet consists mainly of small fish with occasional squid, crabs, shrimp, and other smaller animals. Their cone-like teeth serve to grasp but not to chew food. When a shoal of fish is found dolphins work as a team to keep the fish close together and maximize the harvest. They also search for fish alone, often bottom dwelling species. Sometimes dolphins will employ "fish whacking," whereby a fish is stunned (and sometimes thrown out of the water) with the fluke to make catching and eating the fish easier.

The dolphin's search for food is aided by a form of echolocation similar to sonar: they locate objects by producing sounds and listening for the echo. Dolphins also have sharp eyesight. The eyes are located at the sides of the head and have a reflecting membrane at the back of the retina, which aids vision in dim light.

Bottlenose Dolphins communicate with one another through squeaks, whistles, and body language. Examples of body language include leaping out of the water, snapping jaws, slapping tails on the surface of the water, and butting heads with one another. All of these gestures are a way for the dolphins to convey messages.

The dolphin's sleeping cycle lasts for approximately 8 hours during each 24 hour period, in increments of several minutes (or less) to several hours. During the sleeping cycle dolphins remain near the surface swimming slowly or "logging," occasionally closing one eye.

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