The mangrove canals on the east end of Roatan are considered by many as one of the most beautiful and exotic natural landmarks on the entire island. Their exact location is in the municipality of Santos Guardiola on Jonesville Point, on the south side of the island between Caribe Point and the seaside community of Jonesville, with the neighboring town of Oak Ridge further to the east.
This intricate network of mangrove canals link these coastal communities, granting commuters safe passage through much calmer waters, instead of going outside the reef into the open ocean. A specific section of these canals cuts through the dense red species of mangroves that grow naturally in the area. No one knows exactly who built it, but these narrow passages create a memorable experience for passersby as they cruise along this tunnel-like canopy of mangrove trees providing shade as well as smooth sailing through this amazing natural ecosystem. Add open bridges to these narrow waterways and “The Venice of Roatan” definitely fits the mold as a suitable nickname for this area.
Local folklore has it that these canals were once used by the Paya Indians (the island’s original inhabitants) as well as English pirates.