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Iguana Research & Breeding Station

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: | Off Mamey Lane, Utila 34201, Honduras
Phone Number:
+504 2425-3946
08:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 09:00 - 16:00
Tue - Sat 08:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Worldwide, the Utila Iguana "Swamper" is only found in the...

Worldwide, the Utila Iguana "Swamper" is only found in the mangrove swamps of Utila, Honduras, an area less than 10km². This fascinating animal is endangered due to threats from unsustainable development of the mangroves and beaches, over-hunting and by increasing pollution.

The Iguana Station's efforts are focused upon understanding the natural history of the Swamper by carrying out scientific research. A breeding program supports the population in the mangroves: more than 200 hatchlings have been bred and released every year since the project started. We also have an environmental education program in the schools of Utila and support a programme of sustainable development and tourism.

Much of our work here in Utila is undertaken by volunteers from all over the world who have joined our Volunteering Program. Contact us for more information about volunteering opportunities.

Visitors to the station are given a full tour, with explanations about the habits of this endangered species, as well as getting an overview of general Utilian wildlife. You will have the opportunity to see the Swamper at different ages, as well as the Highlander and Green Iguanas.

We also offer three amazing tours of Utila island (minimum of 2 people): 1) the Pumpkin Hill Tour - hiking to the highest point for the most beautiful view on the island; 2) the Rock Harbour Kayaking Tour - kayaking through the mangrove ecosystem to see Utilian wildlife, birds and iguanas; 3) the Water Cave Tour - an underground tour to fresh water to go bat watching! Contact us for more information or to arrange.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 54 reviews
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Cute little Iguana Research Station

Spent a few minutes at the Iguana Research station in Utila. Took a good 15 minute walk from centro but you can take a TukTuk as well. We got there at feeding time (8:30 am) and... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Angela K
Carleton Place, Canada
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54 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 43: English reviews
Carleton Place, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Spent a few minutes at the Iguana Research station in Utila. Took a good 15 minute walk from centro but you can take a TukTuk as well. We got there at feeding time (8:30 am) and watched the volunteers feed the many iguanas and turtles. No cost to you to visit but you can leave a donation (which we did).

Thank Angela K
Management response:

Thank you for your visit! Spread the word to help Ctnosaura bakeri of Utila! More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 March 2017

Everyone should visit the Iguana research station by principle. It's great to see local conservation efforts for a critically endangered species. You get to see and learn about the iguanas and other herpetofauna on the island, and importantly you can help support their efforts (they also have some cool shirts to purchase!).

Thank Dan G
Management response:

Thank you for appreciating our efforts! More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2017

We walked up to the Iguana station only to find that they were closed even though the sign said they would be open. However, we were still able to walk around and see the iguanas in the pens.

1 Thank CarlisleLori
Management response:

Apologies if the visitor centre was closed when you came up to visit. We're in the process of changing our opening hours (Tues - Sat 8am-5pm; Sun 9am-4pm; we also close for lunch around 12pm-1pm). We're glad you still got to walk around our gardens and see the iguanas. Thanks for your support! More 

Utila, Honduras
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 December 2016

Why not take a stroll up to this very local little iguana garden? It's a nice walk from town through the island to get to this house with a backyard full of iguana's in various stages of development. We went a few times and had fun trying to spot swamper.

Thank IveyP3
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2016

Iguanas are pretty easy to spot all over Utila but they are weirdly endangered because the locals like to eat them. Enter Iguana Research & Breeding Station. The tour was around five bucks and the proceeds go to help protect the iguanas and towards research. They have some giant iguanas living in the station. They also have other island critters... More 

Thank Klayton B
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2016

interesting creatures in an very challenging environment. Difficult to get to this place and not much publicized about it.

Thank Nadene C
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 April 2016

The people at the Iguana Research & Breeding Station are working to keep the endemic iguana of Utila from becoming extinct. There are people living there, on Utila that rely on anything they can find in the swamp to eat. Evidently this endangered animal is catchable and eatable, and hunger trumps extinction. Their facility is small and they rely on... More 

Thank chuck c
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 26 April 2016

Great little organization. Would recommend supporting their efforts. Be sure to stop and say hello to Coco a new resident monkey. He will befriend you and make you fall in love with him. It's mating season for the iguanas so they were really active while there.

Thank Alana K
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2016 via mobile

It was good to see the swampers, it was free to get in to and we wandered around, not a lot to see really but it is an important organisation on the island and is doing great work too!

Thank Hayley B
Plymouth, Indiana
Level Contributor
162 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2016

It was interesting to learn about the native iguanas in Utila. Important work is being done given the iguana's mangrove habitat being endangered in this area. The staff was helpful and friendly. This is a good way to spend a hour or so hiking off the main road.

Thank lrltshw

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