Thirdeyemom

Flora and Fauna at Gumbalimba Park

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more, click here.

My last morning in Roatan was a short one. I only had a few hours to explore before catching the early afternoon ferry over to the mainland where I would began my volunteer work and spanish courses the next morning.

Despite my hesitation, I decided to go check out the nearby Gumbalimba Park. Diane, the owner of West Baby B&B, highly recommended it yet I was a little concerned it would be a tourist trap. The admission to just the park was $30 and in my opinion is relatively expensive especially for Honduras.

I read a few reviews online and did a google search on the park which is known for its zipline canopy tour. The first thing I found in my search was a 2008 article about a cruise ship passenger who fell to her death from the zipline during an excursion to the park. I know that things like this can happen anywhere but it unnerved me. I decided to just go check the park out for its flora and fauna and pass this time on the canopy tour.  All in all, the fun encounters with the monkeys and parrots made the park definitely worth the while and the photos made my children laugh hysterically. Check them out for yourself!

I arrived early in the morning before the cruise ship passengers took over the place and had the park all to myself. Part of the admittance fee included a 45-minute guided tour where I learned a ton and got face to face with the monkeys and parrots.

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The first part of my tour included a visit inside here where I looked at thousands of preserved dead insects that gave me the creepy crawlies. I did enjoy the gorgeous butterflies though. The blue one above on the sign is native to Honduras.

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I couldn’t resist photographing all the gorgeous tropical flowers. They still had drops of rain left on them from the morning downpour.

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Here is a starfruit. I had never seen one before but when I got home found one in my grocery store!

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This is where the starfruit got its name.

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Gorgeous bougainvillea and hibiscus are everywhere. Hibiscus are used to make a delightful drink and also jams.

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Birds of paradise roam the park and island.

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Can you spot him?

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Iguanas are known to be eaten in Honduras yet they are an endangered species so if you want to be ethically correct, they are best to be avoided.

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Next stop were the parrots. The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras however it is only native to the mainland, not the Bay Islands. Thus these ones were brought in to the park. Scarlet macaws live from 85 to 100 years!

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Ok…I had to play it up a little and be a tourist. I sure enjoyed having my very own scarlet macaw on my arm though!

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Polly want a cracker?

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

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Another beautiful parrot in a nearby tree.

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Hello Beautiful!

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Next stop was the monkeys! This was the part I was really waiting for.

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This is a white-faced monkey smiling proudly at me! The brown animals in the background are called “island rabbits”. They hop like a rabbit but really don’t like like one.

The guide warned me to not get spooked in case a monkey jumped on my head. Hmmmm? Interesting I thought. As I approached this monkey below he came closer and looked friendly enough. My guide told me to reach out my arm and let him come over to say hello. So I did.

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And this was the result….close encounter and attack of the fluffiest monkey I’ve ever had on my head! (P.S. I don’t normally like to put so many pictures of my sweaty self on the blog but I thought these were so funny as the monkey was all over me and half the time I couldn’t see! He was super fluffy though and my kids wanted me to bring him home!).

And now for the silliest part….the “hola” parrot. I had to record these hysterical parrots as they sounded so real and human-like that it made me laugh. Check it out…

I hope you enjoyed my walk through the park! As you can see, as long as you go with the flow and have an open mind than anything is possible (like monkeys climbing all over your head!).

Stay tuned..

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