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Little French Key Island in Roatan, Honduras

When I asked my friend who took the same cruise last year, what her favorite part of the trip was, she said without a doubt, their visit to Little French Key Island in Roatan, Honduras. She’d read about it on Trip Advisor, and for only being 2 years in operation, it had many rave reviews. Besides hearing that it was a small private island with great amenities, when I heard we got to hold monkeys, I no longer needed convincing that it was the place to go. Swimming with dolphins one day, and cuddling with monkeys the next? It was just so surreal! The monkeys, I found, were just the tip of the iceberg.

Little French Key Island~Roatan, Honduras

I had communicated with the owner via email, and felt slightly nervous that I had a reservation without paying anything. It didn’t feel like a true reservation, but I had to just go with it. I had the option of paying cash or 15% extra with a credit card, so I opted for cash. Apparently, Honduras is known for their shipwrecks still in the water. We pulled into port near a very cool old looking ship. We got off the boat, and had to walk a little distance past locals trying to sway us to ride in their taxi, or go on their tour.

We found our driver, along with a few others from our ship, and took a 15 minute ride through the small island of Roatan off of the mainland, Honduras. Truly humbling to see how our lives are so different from those I saw out the window. Snapped a picture of these two boys selling fruit, as a reminder to my kids to be grateful for what we have.

Roatan, Honduras

At the end of the car ride, we hopped onto a little ferry that held 30 people, and were taken on a 5 minute ride to an even smaller island, Little French Key. I am a most horrible judge of space, but I’d say the island was about an acre total. We got a little tour, and we had the next 5 hours to enjoy it at our leisure. Where to begin??

Upon setting our stuff on a chair by the water, we jumped in to enjoy the crystal clear water. There was snorkel gear at our disposal, and a driver took us out on a boat to discover the reef nearby. My youngest was a bit nervous, but I was able to convince her to hang with me, and that I wouldn’t make her stick her face in the water. It was probably best that she didn’t realize she was 25 feet above the bottom, and at one point, 100 feet.

Coral Reef Snorkeling in Honduras

We snorkeled for about 20 minutes, then headed back to the island. Once back, the kids jumped off of the 10 ft. platform and just played in the water.

Honduras Beach Snorkeling

Grass Hut at Little French Key


We then enjoyed a most delicious local cuisine lunch. Lobster, seasoned chicken, steak, and plantain chips, rice, and beans! We also got 2 drink tickets each, and you better believe I asked for the virgin strawberry and pina colada daiquiris. Since I don’t drink alcohol and there was a slight language barrier, I had to make sure they understood–no alcohol, please!

Honduras Cuisine

It was so enjoyable to enjoy our meal in a cute little straw and wood hut hover over the water.

My husband took the 3 big kids out for a kayak ride, and my youngest wanted to explore the shore with me, which I was perfectly content to do. We enjoyed swaying in the hammocks, and leisurely roaming around finding shells.

Little French Key

We then went to discover the mini zoo.

OH, those monkeys were so adorable!

Playing with Monkeys in Honduras

And parrots of beautiful colors!

Parrots and Exotic Birds in Honduras

We knew we needed to head back to the port by 4pm, and at about 3 it started to rain. No thunderstorms, just rain. We felt like we had done just about everything on the island, so didn’t feel like it took anything away from us, it was perfect timing. We went back to the mini zoo one more time to get a closer look at their two jaguars. My son was quite enamored with them, and we’d heard we could “play with them” for a nominal fee. When I inquired for the sake of my son, the trainer said, “no kids.” I was bummed for him, but thought one of us might as well do it. I nominated myself.

I watched the trainer handle him, as if he were a household cat, trying to  nudge him in my direction, once pulling on his tale to drag him in my direction, and finally bending down to pick him up. I saw it as a playful move, that this trainer and the cat were old buddies.

I sat on a ledge holding a coconut, and he guided him towards me. Watching him man handle him that way, I felt pretty safe that I’d be ok. Though there were some nerves, I’ll admit. I think it actually made my son a little sad that I was in there instead of him, that wasn’t my intention. My husband took a few pictures through the cage, and the trainer took a few with my kodak under water camera on the inside. For $10 I got to play with a jaguar for 10 minutes. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to do that again.

Play with Jaguar

Quite unique, indeed.

We held the monkeys one more time, got our second fruity drink (after searching furiously through my backpack for the drink tickets, not giving up like my husband suggested), bought a conch shell, then hopped on the little boat to take us back from whence we came.

Little French Key kayak

If I had an airplane, I would have taken this shot, but I grabbed it from HERE.  Little French Key is just the bottom right island with the green roof and straw huts. Roatan is in the background, the left section is uninhabited as far as we could tell.

Little French Key Island near Roatan, Honduras

If you missed the other posts from our cruise, check out Tips for a  first {Family} Cruise, and our visit to Cozumel, Mexico. Next up is a day in Belize.

Find Little French Key on their website to reserve a visit.  I HIGHLY recommend spending a day here if you find yourself near Roatan, Honduras.

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. shae johnson says:

    How fun! This is were I went for my honeymoon!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Now that I’ve been, I’ve heard of so many people having gone there–it’s a paradise I never knew about!

  2. Wow, so beautiful and so much fun. Which cruise line did you take? (the Carnival?), I have a newborn (5 months) so I want to wait for another year before she starts eating real food.

  3. Ahhh! Wish I would have known about this little island gem! Love it! :)
    Julie recently posted..Paleo Dinner RollsMy Profile

  4. Absolutely stunning photos! And the cutest monkeys ever! They have a few monkey parks in Germany and France where you can get up close and personal, after seeing your pics, I’m determined to take my kids there this summer! I’ve heard the diving in Roatan is to die for. And the jaguar? Wow! What a cool adventure!
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    • Kristen Duke says:

      I’d love to take my kids to Europe someday, for sure go find those monkeys! I had no idea how beautiful Roatan was, never heard much about it before!

  5. tricia dunlap says:

    these pics are so colorful and fun! i can already see them on your Christmas card this year!

  6. Raelene Hill says:

    Loved the pictures. The animals were awesome – definitely now on my bucket list. When Georgina (who works for us) saw you with the Jaguar she said: “I can see that loving animals is a family tradition.” :) I love seeing your whole family together enjoying this great adventure!

  7. Your posts on your cruise have made us want to take one 150% more than we already do. I had a question on your French Key bookings. Did you book from their website and what package did you go with? We want to do the same stuff you all did and I want to be sure I book the right thing. :)
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  8. The day was perfect! I have to say I was a little hesitant to book an excursion that was not offered by the cruise line. But we were not disappointed. We signed up for The Little French Ke with roatan henry tour . We were meet at the dock by a very friendly guide from roatan henry tour company. He was very interesting and knowledgeable. We asked a lot of questions about Roatan but he did not mind. The ride to the restaurant was very comfortable. We were taken by boat to the island and were blown away by the beauty of the island and variety of activities that were offered. I recommend spending an additional $10 and go snorkeling by the outer reef. The kids enjoyed swimming and kayaking.

    We stopped by the zoo and were greeted by Richard and Lisa, the resident monkeys. We took turns holding them. Just adorable! Lots of photo ops! The zoo is also home to beautiful parrots. Some of them perched on our shoulders and arms.

    Lunch was included and surprisingly delicious with a variety of food and you can’t beat the two free drinks of your choice!
    thanks to roatan henry tour we had a wonderful time!