5 Reasons To Be An Expat On Roatan
The island of Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. Stretching about 40 miles long and a max of 3 miles wide, the island has an interesting topography of rolling hills with lush jungle to white sand beaches with turquoise waters! Becoming an Expat on Roatan has been the best choice I have ever made and what I have come learn is that Roatan offers a great lifestyle and opportunity to live a simple happy life.
Cost of Living
Living a simple island life is very affordable on Roatan! From long term rentals, dining out, groceries, and entertainments can all be done on a budget of $2500 or less! The most expensive item on the island is RECO (electricity) which is approximately $0.38/kwh – so it is important to find a comfortable home or rental with energy efficient appliances, good breeze and/or air conditioner units that are in each living space. While the Real Estate market is on the rise, the rental market has been stable around $1200/month for a two bed two bath home on the West Side. While there are cheaper and more expensive options, I would suggest that as a budget.
Easy Access – On & Off Island
When island fever kicks in or if you are just ready to go exploring the world on a vacation…Roatan has many options for getting off island. Whether it is taking a ferry to Utila, Guanaja or La Ceiba for a change of scenery or shopping, there are also plenty of international flights from Roatan. United offers year round direct flights to Houston (IAH) or seasonally to Denver (DEN). American Airlines offers year round flights directly to Dallas and Miami. Delta flies once a week directly from Atlanta all year. Sun Country offers season flights from Minneapolis.
I strongly suggest looking into flying in and out of San Pedro Sula which offers multiple airlines (11) that fly directly to Europe, USA, Mexico and S. American countries. These flights are often easily coordinated with local airlines CM and SOSA airlines for a quick 45 minute flight to Roatan.
Entertainment – Plenty to do
Living on the island can present many challenges but boredom is generally not one of them! Most expats find themselves in a bit of an adjustment period from the fast pace lifestyle of the first world. The island life can be as slow or jam packed as you design! There are plenty of relaxing days that can be spent at the multiple beautiful beaches, resorts, poolside lounging or chilling in a hammock. For the more active lifestyle, there are over 100 dive sites to explore, hiking, biking, fishing, paddle boarding, and any water activity that pleases you!
As the sun melts into the Caribbean, there are plenty of beach bars to enjoy happy hours, food, friends and live music to enjoy! Each neighborhood offers the expat community a place to gather to enjoy the company of foreigners, locals and tourists!
Opportunities – New Lifestyle or Business
The island offers a great deal of opportunities to enjoy a new life – for some it is retirement while others are starting a new phase in their life! Personally, I fell in love with the island lifestyle of simplicity, and came to Roatan for a new phase in my life! For those of us who want a new lifestyle, it is important to remember you are leaving your old life for a reason, so do look outside your comfort zone! Thinking outside of the box is how to have a successful island life! Many people coming to retire often find themselves with more energy for life and often open up or purchase small businesses. These businesses can be serviced based on what is missing or a hobby niche (ie bakery, cafes etc). The new life also leaves time for volunteering within the local community to help children, animals, medical facilities, etc.
Roatan offers a culture fusion of Islanders, Hondurans and Expats from N America, S America and Europe! The beauty of this melting pot is the friendliness of the different communities all interacting. The island has many communities which the Expats from around the world blend with the Islanders and Hondurans. This is most common when working and living in the tourist destinations.
On the island it is common to find groups of Latinos from S America, Americans, Canadians, Italians, Czechs, and British expats enjoying the island life.