If you’re considering moving overseas, there are so many considerations to take into account in your planning. Let’s cover some of your Roatan FAQs more in-depth. Today, we’re talking life in Roatan: neighborhoods and developments.
Moving to Roatan can be a life-changing experience for you. Slow down, appreciate the beauty of nature, and explore a whole new world in the Caribbean.
But island life isn’t just a one-size-fits-all experience. You might envision a sprawling sea view from your quiet hillside home, while another person might picture a luxurious condo with plenty of amenities for an island-style retirement.
Roatan Neighborhoods and Developments
There are many different areas on the island of Roatan that can be broken into neighborhoods and developments for easier recognition.
First, there are two municipalities on the island: Roatan and Santos Guardiola. The municipality of Roatan is the western half of the island from French Harbour to West Bay. The municipality of Santos Guardiola is the eastern half of the island from First Bight to Old Port Royal.
Within each area, you can find more developed and less developed neighborhoods. But, generally speaking, the eastern half of Roatan is much less developed and more rural than the western half.
There are also many planned developments and communities in Roatan that have grown in recent years. Let’s break some of those down, alongside some of the popular neighborhoods for expats.
Popular Roatan Neighborhoods for Expats
Expats tend to look at several popular neighborhoods in Roatan. Primarily, those popular areas are Sandy Bay, West End, West Bay, Pristine Bay, Palmetto Bay Plantation, Keyhole Bay and several neighborhoods on the East End. Those include Parrot Tree Plantation, First Bight, Punta Blanca, Calabash Bight, Camp Bay, Calabash Bight and Politilly Bight, among others.
Within the western half of Roatan, you’ll find many neighborhoods with lots of real estate listings appealing to expats.
If you’re looking for houses in Roatan, take a look at Turrets, Turtle Crossing and Lighthouse Estates in West Bay overlooking the point of Roatan. You can also look at some neighborhoods along West Bay Road, including around Tamarind Drive.
Other neighborhoods with plenty of houses include Mangrove Bight and Gibson Bight, Sandy Bay, and the Lawson Rock community, which includes both condos and houses.
You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for condos or apartments throughout the western half of Roatan. There are many options in West End and along West Bay Beach in particular, in addition to the Lawson Rock community in Sandy Bay.
Developments in Roatan for Expats
Expats also tend to love the many planned developments and communities in Roatan. You can choose from the more luxurious options at Pristine Bay, offering a private beach, clubhouse, and the island’s 18-hole championship golf course.
Or enjoy the location of Lawson Rock in Sandy Bay with its appealing rental market offering snowbirds the perfect combination for an investment. These condo units especially frequently rent well as vacation homes, so you can come enjoy paradise for a few months each year, and then allow a property management company to facilitate the rentals throughout the rest of the calendar.
Keyhole Bay, just up the road from West Bay Beach, is another luxury opportunity for a quiet retreat from the crowds. Sunset Villas in West End is an incredibly popular neighborhood offering both residents and visitors walking access to all of the bars, restaurants, and activities of this vibrant community.
Parrot Tree Plantation and Palmetto Bay Plantation offer a variety of home options and are both centrally located for easy access to commercial French Harbour, including the brand new hospital based at Mega Plaza. They both enjoy great convenience while staying far off the main road and the tourist crowds.
There are other neighborhood developments with amenities, like Turtle Crossing and Lighthouse Estates in West Bay, that enjoy community pools and landscaping, in addition to security and utility set-up.
Where Should You Live in Roatan?
Your own situation is unique, so only you can decide what’s best in terms of location. But you should certainly consider several important questions.
Do you need to work or are you retired? If you require work and are seeking employment, you’ll need to consider the availability of jobs in reference to homes.
While Roatan is not a large island, the single main road is narrow and winding and can be very congested when cruise ships are in port. Commuting long distances is not ideal.
If you can work from home, then you probably need to just consider your access to reliable internet. Ask around and test speeds before committing to a lease. If you’re building or buying real estate, you can ask neighbors which company they use.
Then again, maybe you’re coming to Roatan to pursue a new opportunity as an entrepreneur! Take a look at our available commercial land and properties for ideas.
If you want to walk to restaurants, bars, shops, or activities, you should look at developments, or at the far western side of the island.
Living on the East End absolutely requires a vehicle, as the public transport is not as readily available without the high tourist volume the western side receives.
These are all considerations to take into account when choosing neighborhoods and developments in Roatan. The lifestyle you want will determine your search starting point, but you might have to compromise based on your specific circumstances.
Family Life in Roatan
If you’re moving to Roatan with your family, it’s also vitally important to consider everyone’s needs for daily life.
Schools, activities, job opportunities, and access to commercial areas are all considerations you should remember while looking at real estate opportunities.
There are many more schools available – especially bilingual private schools – on the western side of Roatan. French Harbour, Coxen Hole, and Sandy Bay all offer opportunities for expat kids.
There are plenty of activities for kids, too, from sports to arts to all the amazing water-based activities of island life. Check out programs offered by the SOL International Foundation to get an idea of community opportunities.
We’ll delve more into this and other considerations throughout my Life in Roatan series.
Be sure to check out the rest of my blog for more insights into real estate in Roatan, and never hesitate to reach out with any questions!