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Maya Key Private Island Retreat

<!--break--> <p>Enjoy a 5 minute boat ride to an 11 acre private island where you’ll spend the day relaxing on a white sand beach under swaying palm trees or lounging poolside. Maya Key has a lot to offer the entire family, from snorkeling on the second largest barrier reef, to animal encounters with exotic wildlife that make the island their home. All of the animals have been donated, confiscated, injured or rescued. </p> <br> <p>You can explore the life size replicas of the Copan Mayan Ruins, the Mayan Interpretation Center /Art Exhibit Center and the animal rescue center all on your own or join one of our many tours that take place throughout the day. Interested in sharks and sea lions? You can participate in a Shark Snorkel or a Sea Lion Encounter for an extra charge. Enjoy a delicious island style buffet which is included. Honduran souvenirs are available for sale on a cash basis. </p> <br> <strong> Note: </strong> Bring a swimsuit, towels, sunblock, insect repellent and cash if you wish to make a purchase. Snorkel equipment and lockers are available to rent.
Average:
4.867 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(15 Reviews) 15
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (15 reviews)
5 stars
13
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
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15 of 15(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Review 1 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
UP2015
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Party size: 4
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: April
Cruise Date Year: 2015
Favorite activities: Adventure
Favorite port: Roatan, Honduras
I want to go here next: Alaska
Date:April 10, 2015
Fun with Sea Lions
The island is home to a small zoo and animal sanctuary. One of the features of the sanctuary is a sea lions encounter. Sea lions are not native to the Caribbean but were rescued and for a small additional fee you can have an up-close encounter with them (or sharks if you choose). We were able to get several (free) pictures with rescued Capuchin monkeys, The pool was nice and the lunch acceptable. A water taxi goes back and forth between the island and the pier every half hour. Overall an excellent excursion.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Susietx
Location: Texas, USA
Party size: 2
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: March
Cruise Date Year: 2015
Favorite activities: Relaxing
Favorite port: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
I want to go here next: Caribbean
Date:March 25, 2015
Maya Key Best Excusrion Ever
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Superb transportation, got off the ship walked 30 steps there was a nice ramp to the boat to take us to the island and we could return anytime we wanted. We noticed that the employees working on the island are very reserved. The beach was nice, the pool was refreshing, the luncheon was great. The best Sea Bass we have ever had and that is coming from two ladies that fish and know what fish should taste like. The animals were unique and beautiful. There is so much to do you can't do it all in 4 hours. I would definitely do this excursion again and highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
LaurenE
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Cruise Date Month: March
Cruise Date Year: 2015
Favorite activities: Adventure
Date:March 12, 2015
Favorite Excursion of the Trip!
Being an animal lover, I was sold when I heard this was an animal sanctuary. The price is reasonable when you consider all there is here! I also want to note that we were informed on the island that the money they bring in from the ticket sales goes to care of the animals! So it is kind of a good cause too! This place has something for everyone. Nice clean beach area with lounge chairs, very well done Mayan Ruin replicas, many species of animals and birds and excellent snorkeling. A nice lunch was included that consisted of rice, beans, chicken, fish and salad. They have a bar with reasonably priced drinks as well.
My favorite part by far was when we got to go in and play and feed and hold baby monkeys! There was no extra fee for this and the guides offer to take your pictures with YOUR camera! You can also hold the lovely Macaw and they take your pictures as well. At the time they had baby sea turtles that they let you feed and hold.
The snorkeling did cost a little extra but definitely worth it! The reef was nice and beautiful colorful fish everywhere! I even saw a sting ray. At the end of the reef is a huge drop off that is really a sight to see!
You can also pay to do guided snorkeling in their designated area with sting rays and and nerf sharks. We were pretty bummed we missed out on that one, because we lost track of time! There is so much to do, I just wish we had more time. It is nice, the ferrry returns to the port ever 30 mins, so you can really go at your leisure.
Last thing to note, we did get a few sand flea bites that day so make sure you bring that bug spray.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
shelby11
Date:March 9, 2015
Best excursion of the trip!
This was by far my favorite excursion of my trip! The boat ride from our ship to the island was only 5 minutes. We got to hold monkeys and baby sea turtles. They have jaguars and birds, we really enjoyed chatting eith the parrots. The snorkeling was great despite the choppy waves. They have lounges in both the sun and the shade so everyone can enjoy the beach. Lunch was rice & beans with some meat and banana chips. Make sure you bring bug spray!!! There are sand fleas--they bite and they leave bug red blotchy marks.
Its not really kid friendly which makes for a nice relaxing day in the sun
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
tigerfanatics
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Party size: 4
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: February
Cruise Date Year: 2015
Favorite activities: Family oriented
Favorite port: Roatan, Honduras
I want to go here next: Hawaii
Date:March 7, 2015
Best Excursion Booked
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Forget going on a expensive long drive to some animal sanctuary... there's one on the island! It's a 5 minute boat ride to a pristine island with beaches, pool, mock Mayan temple, and practically a zoo. Leopards, Jaguars, Monkeys, Macaws, Sea Lions, Turtles... You can go in with the White Faced Monkeys and they climb all over you (for free), and there are feeding times listed. There are guided tours, a gift shop, loads of beach chairs, a pier, snorkeling, and lush beautiful plants everywhere. I was very impressed.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
jayjonbeach
Location: Mississauga, ON, Canada
Party size: 2
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: November
Cruise Date Year: 2014
Favorite activities: Adventure
I want to go here next: Europe
Date:November 26, 2014
Our fav excursion so far from 8 done on 2 cruises
THIS ISLAND HAS A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING! (its especially good if you like animals) My only regret here was there was so much to do we did not have time to do everything, as the boat did not dock until 10am this day which cut us a little short (though if we planned it a little better we would of had more time, I'll try to help here:) )
So there were 2 main groups going over, and one was sold out, best book this one ahead if you are keen on it, its a great value maybe the best we have seen, $60 with great lunch included and some nice activities as well.
A boat picked us up right around 10:30 and it is only about 2 minutes to get to Island. As soon as you step foot on the island you will see an activity board, you might even want to snap a pic of it (can't find mine now dang!) so you can refer back to it. Basically there are "free" activities that will run from 11am right until about 2:30pm or so. A couple of things I remember are a baby turtle feeding, a beach animal encounter where they bring an animal or two and YOU get to take pictures with them (you don't have to buy photos like everywhere else), and don't miss the tour of the ruins and animals, I almost dismissed this but basically this is a tour of everything on the Island, and we wasted time in morning doing this ourselves when I think at 1pm - 2pm a guide will run you through lots of great history in the ruin section, show you artifacts and jewelry, and all the animals on the Island as well like parrots & other birds, monkeys, snake, boar, crocodile, leopard, and more.
Note that the lunch was very good, they had Salad, bbq chicken, fried sea bass, coconut rice & beans, fried banana chips and tea and lemonade to drink all included (not buffet however, you go up once). They also had a bar to buy drinks from. Note that lunch is only until 1pm, we were not hungry as we ate late breakfast and this also threw wrench in our time schedule so eat early breakfast my advice.
The 2 beaches are somewhat small but very nice and potentially empty, we were the only ones there and yes no vendors to bug you, stuff was safe on beach but lockers are there if wanted. Plenty of Chairs and Umbrellas are there. Water was really warm in Nov 2014, and was great since weather was only so-so. Note there is also a nice looking pool there, we did not use as we swam at the beach. Note there is apparently great snorkeling off the end of the dock, and snorkel gear was I think only 6 or 8 dollars. This was my big regret as later in trip our snorkeling excursion was cancelled, we just ran out of time here otherwise I would have done it. Next time!
Last but not least are the Shark/Ray and Sea Lion encounters available here. These are priced at a great value, only 25 or 30 pp, and we did both and were really glad we did our shark excursion was cancelled next day in Belize. So for the Sharks, be prepared to literally be FACE to FACE with them, and keep your hands on rope or at your sides as they can mistake it for a fish. They are nurse sharks so not interested in you but this was the warning we got. They are swimming right around you like 12 of them, roughly 8-10 feet long each it is quite freaky! You will also get to see a few rays, I was hoping to get closer to them, but alas we only swam above a couple of them and did not get close like with Sharks. This lasts about 30 mins.
The Sea Lion encounter is a shorter duration but really worth it if you want some up close pictures with one of them, they really are adorable. You get to hold hands, hug and even kiss the Sea Lion, you have someone else take all the pictures and you don't pay for any pictures (nice change from other places once again)
We will go back here in a heartbeat. I think if you plan it you can do everything and what a great day, I mean swim with sharks and rays, take pics with the sea lion, take a tour of ruins and all animals with a guide, have a great lunch, enjoy the beach and then do some snorkeling all for 120 or so. Even without the extras you are going to have a full day especially if you will go snorkeling.
43 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
krischouinard
Date:April 20, 2014
Beautiful Relaxing Day on the Island
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User submitted photo
We enjoyed our day visiting the island. The shuttle service was very good and prompt. We had a good time visiting the animals especially the sea lions. The lunch was excellent...loved the sea bass and the rice and beans!!
Video Review:
(click on the play button to start movie)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Bosnatis
Location: Kennesaw, GA, USA
Party size: 5
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: April
Cruise Date Year: 2014
Favorite activities: Family oriented
Favorite port: Cozumel, Mexico
I want to go here next: Hawaii
Date:April 13, 2014
Great beach day to relax and snorkel
The day started with a 5 minute boat ride to the island. Only two cruise ships were at port this day so we had the island to ourselves. Plenty of chairs and tables to set your personal items down. No vendors so all your stuff was safe. (they did have lockers available but they are not needed) We took pictures with a small alligator and macaw. We spend about an hour touring the island by ourselves looking at all the animals. The kids loved this part. (Three boys 7, 11 and 12) We then went to the end of the pier where we went snorkeling. We had our own gear, they do have some for you if needed. Once in the water you follow an underwater trail marked by coke bottles then you are in the open. It was windy this day so the current was pretty tough. My 7 year old had a tough time. We snorkeled around a bit then went out and the drop from about 10 feet was crazy to about 100 feet. Plenty of room to snorkel in the 10 feet of water. For the next few hours we hung out at the beach. We headed to the see the sea lions which was nice. For a fee they had some one on one interaction with a sea lion. We sat and watched. We then went and had lunch which was served until 1:30. You can only get in line once so make sure you get enough, it was very good food. Traditional rice and beans, sea bass, chicken and plantains. Water and tea included. Alcoholic beverages and soda available for purchase. Beer was $4. We then headed to the pool for a few hours before we left the island. The boats back to the ship went back every 30 minutes. Our day was very full but we did get to do everything on the island. Plenty of pictures to take of all the rescued animals. If you watch the video on NCL.com it is very accurate of what goes on the island.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
RobinS
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Party size: 4
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: March
Favorite activities: Family oriented
Date:April 1, 2014
Great Family Excursion
This was a great get away for our family and friends. The beach is small but perfect. The kids had a great time in the water! Some of the kids/adults from our group went snorkeling off the pier and had a great time. We enjoyed relaxing at the beach and also walking around to look at the animals. Lunch was served and it was great!! There was a pool also when the kids were done at the beach. This was the most relaxing day and we were the last to leave the island that day! If you are looking for a low key, relaxing day at the beach, this is the excursion for you!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Adventurous: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
CanadianIslander
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Party size: 4
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: March
Favorite port: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Date:March 26, 2014
Best value
This 'little' island is small enough to wallk all the way around.
The animals are a good sample and it's extra nice to know that this was a sanctuary & they are 'rescued'. And I was impressed at the quality of the cage set up.
The guided-tour was fun & we had lots of time after to walk around.
My spouse & a friend had been here the year before, and did the "Tabyana Beach Day and the Gumbalimba Preservation Park Tour" .. and she noted that this island was a better value ... unless you like monkeys really want monkeys on you ?
We did not take in the snorkeling but others that came back from it spoke of how wonderful that was.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
DennisS
Location: Coastal NC
Cruise Date Month: February
Date:February 19, 2014
Great relaxing day!
This island is literally a one minute boat ride from the ship. The beach is small, but there was still enough room for everyone. There are many types of animals in roomy and natural enclosures around the island - which you can circle in about a half hour. They had interactive encounters with birds and a baby croc. They also have 3 Sea lions you can see up close. The best were the howler monkeys that roam free in the trees. The food was good - chicken, fried sea bass, rice and beans, and salad - included in the tour. The bar was good and reasonably priced. There's also a swimming pool, some recreated Mayan ruins, and a small gift store. We saw a lot of staff cleaning up leaves and debris - so the place was clean. Since it is a private island - NO VENDORS AT ALL!!!! it was great, especially considering the mobs that are everywhere else. I did a lot of exploring away from the regular areas, and got a lot of sand flea bites. My wife didn't get bothered at all. They have boats leaving every half hour, so you make your own schedule to go back to the ship. Bottom line for us was a wonderful day.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
ukoldav
Location: Springfield, Ma, USA
Party size: 2
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: January
Favorite activities: Adventure
Favorite port: Belize City, Belize
I want to go here next: Caribbean
Date:February 8, 2014
Relaxing, fun time!
I snorkeled off the pier while wife was sunning on the adjacent beach. We attended the Sea Lion feeding time which was fun. We took the escorted cultural Mayan tour (reconstructed), which also took us past animal sanctuary (jaguars, crocs, birds). Clean changing rooms. Clean pool and lunch was good.
Snorkel reef begins 150 feet from end of pier in a maze of coral reef and continues to an underwater dropoff where fish congregate. Good visibility, Average snorkeling.
Time went by fast. Take the earlier excursion out for more relaxing time.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Adventurous: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
screwloose
Location: Auburn, NY, USA
Party size: 6
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: December
Cruise Date Year: 2013
Favorite activities: Adventure
Favorite port: Alexandria, Egypt
I want to go here next: Alaska
Date:December 11, 2013
Beautiful and clean ! Must see ! !
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One of the Prettiest and cleanest places to visit ! ! Snorkling along this reef was amazing ! ! Anyone that has visited other counties know how unsanitary conditions can be ...... not here ! ! Lunch was great , beach was beautiful and no one trying to sell you anything. Cant say enough about this place if you want a nice relaxing day , this coming from a very adventurus person !
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Adventurous: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Texasgin
Location: Edmonton, AB
Party size: 2
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: December
Cruise Date Year: 2010
Favorite activities: Adventure
Favorite port: Willemstad, Curacao
I want to go here next: South America
Date:September 29, 2013
Good Rainy Day
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It was raining on the day we were here. The food was wonderful and so were the drinks. We did go watch some people snorkel but raining so hard we did not do ourselves. The weather let up and we sat and went in the water. Walked around the Island and saw all the animals.
It would have been a great Excursion if the weather was better. We still stuck it out and made the most of our day.
We still had a lot of time to go shopping.
We would do this again.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Maya Key Private Island Retreat
Overall: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fun: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Adventurous: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Family Oriented: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Cultural/Educational: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
SweetSeMae
Location: Orlando, FL
Party size: 2
I traveled with: Family
Cruise Date Month: November
Cruise Date Year: 2010
Favorite activities: Adventure
I want to go here next: Caribbean
Date:September 9, 2013
A great self guided relaxing day
My husband and I are avid cruisers and when we went on our honeymoon on the EPIC we were looking for something a bit low key. There are a lot of guided excursions, and beaches. What makes this very different is that it is a private island (a small one) and that you are free to roam about the entire place. This was the absolute best part of the excursion. It is set up as a small animal sanctuary, beach and "Mayan ruins" (this is a re-creation not actual ruins). We spent some time talking to the animal caretakers and they informed us that all the animals were rescues and that it was privately owned and operated. The leopard that they discuss in the video was someones pet that they had to have removed. They are in very natural habitats and well cared for. You are however right on top of them and could actually reach out and touch them, although since they are wild I wouldn't recommend it. There was a beach and food which we did not eat so I cannot speak to that. Bring money if you want to rent any gear, purchase food, souvenirs etc. You can leave the island whenever you would like the boat leaves every 20 min or so.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.