Mangrove Canals near Jonesville & Oak Ridge, Roatan
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.
Actions taken to promote environmental or social sustainability
Directly supports the local communities creating employment opportunities in a area with limited tourism.
Promotes destination stewardship as the local residents rely on this natural attraction for their livelihood.
Recreational Opportunities Available
Most tours set out from Oak Ridge and head westward passing through Jonesville, Lucy Point, Blue Rock, all the way through the mangrove canals and onto Caribe Point where they usually turn around and head back to where they started.
The tour takes place on board a traditional and slow paced dug-out boat or “Dory” as they are locally known. This is the typical mode of transportation used by the local residents to travel in every which way, usually lasting about one hour, but depending on your time schedule and sightseeing preferences can become a full day trip with a stop at a local watering hole for cold drinks or lunch, swimming, and/or snorkeling.
Depends on the tour operator and/or water taxi.