Carambola Botanical Gardens and Nature Trails Sandy Bay, Roatan, Honduras
Carambola Gardens Roatan Island Honuras

Carambola Botanical Gardens
Where Naturalists, Botanists, Professors and Students Come to Experience Nature!

Opened in 1985
Dedicated to the Environmental Education of the Children of the Bay Islands of Honduras

Inspiration for the development of Carambola Botanical Gardens on Roatan Island came from several visits to Lancetilla Gardens in Tela, Honduras. Lancetilla was established as an experimental site by the Tela Railroad Company in 1926. In 1974 the name was change to Botanical Gardens Dr. Wilson Popenoe, in his honor for establishing this experimental garden with exotic fruit trees and ornamentals from around the world. This garden boast the world’s largest collection of Asian fruit plants and today is one of Honduras outstanding eco destinations. This name is appropriate for us at Carambola to honor this extraordinary American explorer, educator and friend of Latin America who made a difference in this country and throughout Latin America, as we strive to make our island and our country as a whole a better place.

Carambola Botanical Gardens are situated along the banks of Mahogany Creek. This 40 acres of 100% Natural, Eco-Friendly, showcase of nature, is spectacular! Bridges connect walkways that lead the visitor through areas of flowering plants, ferns, fruit and nut trees such as Cashews, Soursop and Carambola (Star fruit). Hardwoods include Spanish Cedar, Teak, Cordia, Carreto. Among the natives we have Hog plum, Gumbolimbo (the Naked Indian/Tourist tree), Trumpet tree, Teta, and Masica to name a few. The palm selection consists of Royal, Fishtail, Areca, Phoenix, Pindo, Fan Date, Chamaedorea, Veitchia and the Majestic Norfolk pine that command the gardens. Magnificent  Royal Poincianas await you at the main entrance.


Carambola Star Fruit


Roatan Carambola Botanical Gardens Paths and Walkways


Roatan Cashew Nut Trees


Throughout the trails it is common to encounter rusty red rodents locally known as Guatusa rabbits feeding on Cohoon Palm nuts; also we find a large number of Anoli lizards (green and blue) and Green and Black Iguanas sunbathing on the sunny canopy branches. Other wildlife include endemics such Guatusa Ruatanica, Norops roatanensis (American Flag Anole), Ctenosaura oedirhina (Wishwilly or Garrobo).


Roatan Guatusa Rabbits


Roatan Anoli Lizards


Enulius roatanensis (Roatan Long Tail Snake), and Micrurus ruatanus (Coral Snake) are found on other areas of Roatan. From time to time you may see among the rocks in the dry creek bed a boa constrictor known locally as Pink Boa a very inoffensive shy an elusive snake that feeds mainly on rats. There is a very small population of white Tail Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) on Roatan Island which is the National Mammal.

The Garden today, is a wildlife habitat to resident tropical birds such as Caribbean White Crown Pigeon, Smooth Bill Ani, Golden Fronted Woodpecker, Brown Hawk, Fork Tail Emeralds and Green Breasted Mango Hummingbirds just to name the most common and a sanctuary to various species of migrants such as Warblers, Vireos, Thrushes, Tanagers and others from Mid August to May each year.


Green Breasted Mango Hummingbirds


Roatan Smooth Billed Ani


Baby Golden Fronted Woodpecker


The Environmental Eco-Friendly Education Program

All local Roatan students and teachers are allowed to enter the gardens free of charge. Teachers are encouraged to use the Garden's to teach students the importance of conservation and introduce "hands on" projects that will allow students to gain a better understanding of how nature works.

Middle School and High School students are given an introduction to native flora and fauna so they can better understand the environment they live in and how to preserve it. Agroforestry techniques are also taught to the students to develop school nurseries and engage students in conservation and propagation projects.

Carambola Gardens also participates in a large Roatan Community Outreach Program. A long term collaborative agreement has been signed with the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA) which is a local Bay Island non profit environmental organization working since 1990 in protected area management. The Environmental Education and sustainable Development is to further education through field trips for students to learn about the importance and uses of our flora and fauna and promote changes in attitudes. This will lead to our Islands long term protection and hands on activities such as agroforestry techniques in order to promote awareness for reforestation projects and adoption of school nurseries as well as area+s of the Island that need environmental protection.

On an annual basis, plants are donated to schools for school reforestation projects at public selected areas along our streets and main roads. The Gardens also serve as a special location for community meetings and workshops free of charge.

Our ongoing Roatan Recycling Program consists of collecting hundreds of large damaged plastic water jugs donated by Sun Water and then turning them into plant containers for our garden nursery. We also fill them with cement and use them as a support for our garden benches, thus reducing the volume of plastic that goes to our local garbage land fill.


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Web Site - Hosting - Roatan photos - by: Bob and Lynne Millsaps Roatan Island Honduras