An irresistibly clear, aquamarine sea…rugged terrain covered by lush jungle canopy…vibrantly colored tropical flowers… What’s not to like about this romantic Caribbean island? This is a place where you can sink your toes into fine, soft golden sand on a picture perfect beach.
When you’re ready for a swim just ease your way down a perfectly sloped beach into the lukewarm Caribbean Sea—Roatán offers more than its fair share of pristine beaches on calm, protected bays. And you’ll find a selection of welcoming communities that expats call home.
Here are five key reasons expats choose to live on Roatán over other Caribbean islands.
1. Natural Beauty with Diverse Outdoor Activities
Roatan is beautiful. It’s not densely populated (neither are the other islands)…and everywhere you look you’ll see beautiful shades of blue from the ocean and land that is deep green and punctuated with flowers. The water is clear and warm and the beaches are white-sand.
The island is rugged, with many hillsides offering stunning panoramic sea views. For decades scuba divers, snorkelers, and anglers have vacationed here. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, teaming with vibrant fish and coral, surrounds the island. So you’ll have your pick from a multitude of water-related activities.
Boaters appreciate the deep-water marinas. And Pristine Bay is known for its stunning golf course. Adventurers can also pick from five zip lining parks, where they can zip through the jungle canopy, with a view of the Caribbean Sea and the reef as a backdrop.
2. English is Commonly Spoken
Despite being part of a Spanish-speaking nation (Honduras), the majority of Roatán’s residents speak English. Knowing some Spanish helps, but isn’t critical on the island.
3. Affordable Cost of Living and Real Estate
For such a spectacular Caribbean island, the cost of living and property prices are surprisingly affordable. Some expat couples who live on Roatán and own their home spend less than $1,500 a month. But it’s best to budget $2,000 to $2,500 per month if you’d like to rent in a popular beach community. (The cost of living varies from one expat village to another.) The island’s real estate market is still recovering from the 2008 market hit. You can still find a good selection of two-bedroom, two-bathroom homes and condos available for under $250,000.
4. First-World Convenience
This island has an international airport, two cruise line ports, and several hospitals. You can fly directly to the Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatán International Airport, which is modern and accessible. United, American, Delta, Avianca, and SunWing fly to Roatán. (SunWing charter flights fly from Toronto, Canada.) Roatán’s main roads are paved, so it’s easy to get around most of the island.
In June of 2016 the Hospital Cemesa opened in French Harbour, providing world-class facilities and services, and 24-hour emergency care. And you’ll find high quality grocery stores, such as Eldon’s. This modern chain sells the type of products you’d find in a North American store, including specialty, imported products that expats seek out.
5. Welcoming Expat Communities
An active community of expats exists in at least four of the villages. Each village has regular gatherings and activities where expats socialize, often working together for a cause.
If you’ve ever dreamed of living on a Caribbean island, be sure to check out Roatán. It’s still possible to get a lot of bang for your buck on this island. And the friendly expats who live there are happy to explain why they chose Roatán over other Caribbean islands…
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