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“Blue Harbor Tropical Paradise”

Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum
Ranked #30 of 81 things to do in Roatan
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Attraction details
Owner description: Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum is home to Roatan's most exotic tropical gardens and some amazing hiking trails. Featuring the only commercial hydroponic lettuce farm in the Caribbean, exotic tropical fruit trees, large orchid collection, heliconia gardens and a conservatory with an indoor waterfall surrounded by lush tropical plants. Enjoy our pond with several varieties of aquatic birds. Breathe deep and take in nature at Roatan's tropical Eden covering over 150 acres.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I’ve visited Blue Harbor several times since the Tropical Arboretum was begun some two years ago. This week, I took my visiting family for a tour which included both the hydroponic lettuce/herb farm and the Tropical Arboretum. I was amazed by the changes in the number and size of the plants, just in the past year.

Owner Kenn George has increased the size of the Blue Harbor property to some 170 acres, which includes a large enclosed Conservatory featuring a 23 foot high wall of orchids, with a waterfall and stream winding through lush tropical trees and plants, all identified with name signs.

Diane, a very knowledgeable young Roatan woman, first toured us through the two shaded hydroponic buildings explaining how the many varieties of lettuce grown for Roatan residents and visitors starts with a seed and in seven weeks progresses to its harvest and distribution to local grocery stores and restaurants. Before leaving this area, the water recycling process was demonstrated, and the recycling of all waste materials into compost was explained.

After a stop for a cold drink, horticulturist extraordinaire, Helen Murphy, took us on a tour of the Tropical Arboretum…first through the Conservatory, then to the pond stocked with tilapia, with a stop for feeding the ducks…all the time explaining the origin of the plants and the comparison between varieties, such as the key lime vs. the Persian lime. The walk through the orchard wound through the fruit trees with more commentary by Helen on the origins and fruits of the trees, plus tasty samples of the carambola (star fruit) and Malay apples.

My family was thrilled with the experience and I highly recommend this venue for Roatan visitors, as well as residents. The tour takes about an hour and the fee is $13, which seems very reasonable for an experience of this quality.

3  Thank barefootroatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

As local residents we were excited to visit the Arboretum and see the changes made since the Blue Harbor hydroponic lettuce farm was sold a few years ago. One fantastic addition to the “farm” on Mud Hole Road is Helen Murphy. When you talk about someone having a “green” thumb, it’s Helen.

Helen is the epitome of a master gardener/horticulturist – simply doing what she enjoys most. We met her years ago when she had her garden shop in LaCeiba and then visited when she relocated to Parrot Tree in Roatan. But even knowing her talents, we weren't prepared for the sheer beauty and depth of her ever growing project.

Our tour started at the lettuce greenhouse, where various lettuces and herbs are grown without soil in a controlled environment in trays on raised tables. The nutritional needs are provided by cooled irrigated water that flows in under the plants. The tour includes seeing how lettuce grows from the seed stage to the harvesting. One of the best parts of living here or eating in the better restaurants is the fresh lettuce from Blue Harbor. It’s delivered in plastic bags to the stores several times a week – always fresh and so nutritious..

After leaving the lettuce area, Helen took over the tour and we walked to the beautiful tropical conservatory, stopping to see the many citrus trees on the way. We were totally amazed at the kaleidoscope of colors and collection of beautiful healthy plants and flowers from all over the world. The collection of orchids and heliconias is huge and so colorful. It was a real treat seeing our first ever ornamental banana plant and decorative pineapple plant on Roatan!

After leaving the conservatory, we visited the cute ducks and enjoyed seeing Helen talk and interact with them -- they were very happy to see her and swam across the pond to us when we approached. Next was the fruit and nut grove. Of course we sampled some of the delicous and rare fruits (thank you Helen) – star fruit – gotta get one of those trees!

I’d highly encourage both locals and tourists to stop in and visit this unique attraction. It’s educational and very enjoyable!

4  Thank castaways01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Amazing Tropicals in a beautiful setting. And very educational hands on learning of how hydro lettuce is made. Absolutely the freshest and purest way to grow greens. And these greens are sold fresh daily to all the local quality restaurants in Roatan. I honeslty had some of the best salads I've ever had in my life on my visit. The taste and nutrional value you get from truly fresh greens just doesn't compare to anything you're accustomed to. I highly recommend a visit to Blue Harbor!

3  Thank Kent C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Went last December and will be back this December. The amount of thought and care that has gone into this project is truly amazing and commendable. Great for birders and nature lovers in general. Bring binoculars and a good camera, and plan to stay a while: you won't want to leave! Highly recommend it. Good for the soul!

3  Thank Zenia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

While visiting family friends who live in the are of Corozal (just a few minutes after Mudhole) we decided to pay Blue Harbor a short visit. We planned to stay for an hour but its beauty captivated us and ended up being there for almost 3 hours!!! It sure was worth it, do no regret a minute that passed by. There are so many different types of plants, they are all labeled which makes it fun to learn new facts about nature! Blue Harbor is a great place to see the beauty of tropical plants from Roatan. The pond at Blue Harbor gives it a tranquil vibe along with the funny ducks! It sure is a one of a kind place!
Congratse to Helen, the designer, for her hard and well payed-off work.

2  Thank Monish W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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