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10 Things to know about living on Roatan

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Top 10 things to know about living on Roatan…

  1. Island time is real! 
  2. Here is not there…don’t question it, just enjoy it!
  3. Island Medical & Dental Care are sufficient and affordable.
  4. Another set of flip flops & swimwear are needed!
  5. Bug spray is really needed for a few months
  6. Banking is a process but improved! 
  7. Cars aren’t necessary but are a luxury.
  8. Grocery shopping is an experience!
  9. Have a daily purpose.
  10. Amazon Prime is still an addiction here! 

Island Time…

What is this famous saying all about? Well, island time is the polite way of saying no one is on time, open or close when stated on signage or online, the hired vendor may or may not show up on time, that day or week!  It is a lifestyle of knowing there is always tomorrow, on Roatan we all have learned just to slow down and realize we can try again later to get that bill paid, shop, or repair something.  Many of us tend to get frustrated from time to time with the “manana” mentality but the locals just go with the flow and I strongly suggest enjoying the Roatan island time.   Meet a friend at sunset and not a specific time so that everyone enjoys a cold one around the same time frame! 

Here is not there…Roatan is an island in Honduras

Roatan offers a simple life that is not too stressful, fast paced, or even overly efficient most of the time but this is why we live and love it here!  Roatan is a great way of life and there is no need to try to bring the first world ways to Roatan!  Roatan is a place to live a relaxing life filled with simple joys like walking the beach, going for a dive, watching the sunset with friends or enjoying a hammock watching the world go round.   

Island Medical & Dental is Affordable & Sufficient!

Island medial and dental is definitely affordable and sufficient for all of your basic care! Personally, I use the doctors and dentists on the island for all of my personal care. The general medicine at Clinica Esperanza, Anthony’s Key, Dr. Ramos Clinic, CEMESA hospital and GARM clinic have always provided excellent care for me at affordable rates.  For example, I had kidney stones that required several doctor visits, medicine and ultra sounds and  my total expense for months of care was less than $500!   The dentists are top notch, as many visitors and cruise ship passengers use them for their affordable expertise!  Contact me for more information regarding doctors and dentists.  Pharmacies also have most generic medicines available.  

Bug spray…it’s needed!

As many of us land on the island, we are fresh meat to all the mosquitos and sand fleas!  Many people told me, three months and they will leave you alone, which all seems like a lie!  After years on the island, I still need to wear coconut oil for the sand fleas to not bother me.  The mosquitos are hit and miss depending on the time of year.  I strongly suggest using the natural oil blends!  I really like Nurse Andreas and Aegis which are both made and sold on Roatan. 

Banking, it’s an improved process.

Owning Roatan Real Estate is a luxury that many dream about! The great news is that as a property owner on Roatan, it doesn’t mean you have to open a foreign bank account unless you want to!  As many owners use property managers, it is not needed to try to open an account however, if you want to have a Dollars or Lempiras account it is possible.  There are two banks, Davivienda and Ban Pais, that don’t require residency.  Banking on the island has greatly improved as there are functioning ATMs, online banking and multiple locations to use but be prepared with a book for the lines as cell phones are not allowed on while inside. 

Buy extra flip flops and swimsuits…as quality can’t be easily found here!

Cars are not necessary but are a luxury!

Cars are a great luxury to have on the island as a full time resident!  As many people like the freedom to roam the island, run errands or not sweat too much getting to your favorite beach!   However, owning a car isn’t necessary as many people choose to own scooters for easy up and down errands or rent a car once every few weeks to run errands.  Purchasing cars is a bit different on the island, it is suggested to buy cars from the mainland (San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa) as they are more affordable.  Often the cars on the island and La Ceiba are rusted with high mileage and price tags.  Let me know and I am happy to share my Auto Buyer.

Grocery shopping is an experience, do it often!

Grocery shopping on Roatan is fun as it always tends to take hours filled with multiple stops and chats with friends from the island.  Without a doubt, you will know someone at Eldon’s, Plaza Mar, or your local fruit & veggie stand!  A good rule of thumb for all shopping, if you see it, BUY IT as it will be gone tomorrow!   Eldon’s has the largest selection of grocery items including many American brands, liquors and supplies. Plaza Mar carries a variety of local items and booze.  Local veggie and fruit stands are well stocked and fresh! 

Purpose…finding that daily routine.

Roatan is a great place to kick back and enjoy life!  Social drinking and partying is common and affordable so please be responsible when enjoying island life!  Finding a daily routine is an important part of island living as there are more hours in the day when you remove commutes and office time.  There are many great charities and organizations that would be happy to have volunteers to help the island people. 

Amazon Prime is available, it just takes a little longer…

Roatan is a great place to live and minimize your life and objects but we all enjoy a little shopping from time to time! Amazon prime and any other online shopping is available! There are a few mail services to the island that you can pay for an address and mail forwarding service such as DIP Shipping or Tropic Consolidators.  I strongly encourage setting up an account after your Roatan Real Estate purchase! This is a great way to send supplies, anything you need to buy such as swimsuits, shoes, household goods, etc.  They have mailing addresses for Miami, New Orleans and Houston that have boats sailing to the island weekly.   Living on an island doesn’t mean you live without, you just live a simple life and have a bit more time on your hands!

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About The Author
Krys Enger

Before moving to Roatan, I worked in Denver, Colorado as a successful licensed Realtor for five years. I came to the island on a few vacations and fell in love with the island's beautiful beaches, friendly community of locals and expats, the lush jungle, and simple island life. Once landing in Roatan, I decided to live the island life as a dive instructor exploring under water and teaching others to dive for my first year on the island. After a fun year under water, I moved into hotel management at a West End hotel, Cocolobo, for the past 9 years to help others enjoy their vacations and holidays! After a few years on the island I decided to invest in property on Roatan. After buying land and building rental apartments in West End, my partner and I continue to invest in property on the island. Recently, we have purchased new land and have a developed a small commercial rental space in West End. We have also purchased a small home for remodel and enjoy the building and remodeling process. Martin and I are happy to help give you ideas and contacts that have helped us in the process of building and remodeling! I have been selling Real Estate on Roatan for five years and have enjoyed helping others discover the island lifestyle with purchases of vacation homes and condos, retirement homes, investment properties, land, and businesses.

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