How to Move to Roatan Island

The idea of moving to a tropical island sounds like a dream come true! But, of course, there are plenty of logistics to worry about with any sort of house move. Here are some important tips on how to move to Roatan island, with insights specific to our beautiful slice of paradise in the Caribbean.

How to move to  Roatan IslandHow to Move to Roatan Island

Roatan enjoys excellent connections with the U.S. and Canada via direct international flights. This makes your journey much easier than it could be for such a small island!

We also have many options for cargo to be shipped from the U.S. or elsewhere in Central America.

If you’re moving here full-time without keeping a home or storage unit back home, then it’s especially important to consider your packing and shipping options. The best thing to do whenever you move home is to minimize – you don’t want to just take everything without considering its value in your new home.

Shipping Items to Roatan

There are several notable shipping options for sending your belongings to Roatan. A few you might recognize, while others are Honduran-based companies.

DHL and FedEx deliver to Roatan, with an office across the street from the international airport collecting and holding items for pick-up. This option is best for small shipments, like small Amazon deliveries or important paperwork.

Island Shipping and Dip Shipping are two other popular options for shipping items to Roatan. Both of these are local companies that offer excellent service for crates and pallets to be brought to Roatan.

Carefully consider what you might actually need versus just shipping your whole home. Remember that this is a tropical island, likely meaning a different climate from what you’re used to experiencing. That affects what you need to bring as well.

For example, electronics will deteriorate more quickly in salt air, so if you’re moving to a beachfront home you want to consider the types of electronics you might import. If there’s no way to repair any issues in Roatan, is it worthwhile?

If you have questions about shipping certain items to Roatan, feel free to contact me anytime!

Packing to Move to Roatan Island

If you’re bringing most of your belongings with you on the plane, it’s important to pack carefully. You can check in several pieces of luggage, but you’ll want to ensure that what you’re paying to bring is worthwhile.

Remember that we do have plenty of options for shopping on the island, plus easy access to the mainland for other items. You aren’t moving to the middle of nowhere with zero options to replace or buy new clothing.

Remember also that Roatan is a rather casual island. You don’t need to bring all your black tie formalwear here! Flip-flops and casual summer attire are absolutely appropriate year-round.

You’ll want a waterproof jacket with a hood for rainy season, along with some cold-weather clothes. You’ll be surprised, but once you live here for a little while, even 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) will make you shiver!

Pack what you need, but know that your lifestyle here will be different than back home. You’ll be outdoors more often than in front of the TV and you’ll be spending time with friends regularly. It’s the island lifestyle we all love!

Do you want some more tips for moving to Roatan? Be sure to check out the rest of my blog with tips for potential expats in Roatan. You can also reach out anytime with questions – I’m more than happy to help!

All the Best Annual Events in Roatan

Annual Events in Roatan

Annual Events in Roatan

There certainly is no wrong time of year to visit the island of Roatan! We celebrate so many fun annual events and we love to share those times with visitors. Whatever your vacation plans entail, here are all the best annual events in Roatan that you might want to plan your visit around – whether to enjoy the festivities or avoid them for smaller crowds!

Spring Annual Events in Roatan

One of my favorite annual events, the Music Festival for the Angels happens every March. This outdoor jamfest benefits two wonderful organizations here in Roatan: the SOL International Foundation and Clinica Esperanza.

Clinica Esperanza provides vital medical care to our island’s residents. You can donate to Clinica Esperanza throughout the year via their website. There is also a list of in-kind donations they regularly need, so make a little space in your suitcase and bring some supplies to Roatan!

If you’re from Canada, be sure to contact Not Just Tourists before you leave to see if they have any medical equipment heading to Roatan. You can help deliver it by just checking in an extra suitcase for your flight. It’s that easy!

Another major annual event in Roatan is Semana Santa, or Easter Week. While the dates vary each year, Semana Santa is a week of fun in the sun! Tourists from all over Central America flock to our beautiful islands as schools and businesses tend to close for much of Holy Week.

Lots of North Americans have time off during that time as well, so it’s a busy – but electric – time for Roatan! Large cruise ship crowds add to the large Semana Santa crowds, so it’s a common time for expats and other Roatan residents to avoid West Bay Beach and West End altogether.

But if you’re ready for a party atmosphere and some great people-watching, this could become your favorite week of the year!

Summer Annual Events in Roatan

Come June, Roatan enjoys the annual SOL International Foundation Dive Shop Olympics. West End and West Bay both become a playground for all sorts of fun competitions, all to raise money for the fabulous SOL Foundation.

You’ll see street hockey tournaments and three-legged bar crawls, beach volleyball matches and basura boat races (basura means trash in Spanish…you can imagine the creativity that goes into this one!).

The SOL Foundation is a fantastic part of our community in Roatan, so please support them whenever you visit our beautiful islands. You can donate throughout the year to the wonderful work of the SOL International Foundation through their website.

Another popular Spring/Summer event is the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition. It is typically held at the end of May each year, but Roatan will host this international competition in August 2017, in conjunction with the 2017 AIDA Freediving World Championship in Roatan.

Hosting the World Championship is a huge honor for Roatan and just shows how important the sport is for our island. The annual Caribbean Cup has become so popular that the two events will coincide in August for an international event of incredible scope.

Autumn Annual Events in Roatan

The ever-popular Roatan International Fishing Tournament is held in September each year, during the week of Honduran Independence Day (September 15th).

The Fishing Tournament is a fun atmosphere for all, with an almost Carnival atmosphere in West End and many visitors coming from all around the world to compete and enjoy the island life.

Whether you fish or not, you’ll love the celebratory feel of this week in September. During this otherwise quieter time for the island, the Fishing Tournament offers us a fun distraction!

Also in September, the annual Sundae by the Sea event raises money to benefit Clinica Esperanza. Unfortunately, this year’s event is currently postponed with no definite rescheduled date yet. Hopefully this is just a short-term delay for such a fantastic fundraising event!

Winter Annual Events in Roatan

A new event on the annual calendar is the Roatan Humane Society’s Annual Fur Ball held in January. This is one of very few times that Roatan residents will don their finest for an evening of glamor and fundraising for the island’s stray animal population. After three successful years in a row, I hope this one continues for many more to come!

Winter is also the busy season for Roatan as snowbirds join us for several months to escape the snow. More cruise ships arrive in the winter than other times throughout the year, so just keep this in mind for your planning.

If you want some wintertime sunshine, then you’re sure to find it in Roatan! But if you’d prefer to avoid all the crowds, consider staying farther from the tourist hotspots or consider coming at a different time of year.

Winter is also our rainy season! Don’t forget that all that lush tropical jungle we love has to be properly watered. Rainy season isn’t like monsoon season, but there are still plenty of days with rainfall between October and March.

Storms are also more likely, although we are luckily outside of the main hurricane belt of the Eastern Caribbean.

And, don’t forget, this is also the holiday season in Roatan! We love to celebrate by supporting each other in the community and giving back where we can. We would love for you to join us in these endeavors.

Best Annual Events in Roatan

My favorite annual events are the ones that bring people together for happy memories and good causes. The Music Festival for the Angels is an all-time favorite that I highly recommend everyone enjoy.

One of the charities that benefits from the music festival is the SOL International Foundation, whose summer Olympics event is always a favorite for anyone in West End or West Bay especially. There’s bound to be something fun and entertaining going on throughout that competition, so just ask around while you’re here!

The fishing tournament and the freediving tournament bring people from all over the world to our little island, so even if you don’t care about the actual activities, it’s a fun environment to have such a variety of people gathering together to enjoy a common interest.

Whatever events are your favorites, be sure to schedule your visit to check them all out! And remember that many of these events are fundraisers to support our community and to ensure that everyone benefits from the increasing popularity of Roatan.

If you have questions about your visit or about moving to Roatan, contact me anytime! I love this island life and I love to share it with others.

Americans in Roatan

Roatan has become a very popular spot for both expats and tourists coming from North America. Canadians and Americans especially love the convenience of reaching this Caribbean island directly. There are many Americans in Roatan who live here part-time or full-time. If that’s something that you’re considering, let’s look at the logistics involved in moving to Roatan as an American.

Photography Roatan.Online

Photography Roatan.Online

Expat Americans in Roatan

Americans who move to Roatan tend to fall into a few different categories. Many move here full-time to enjoy an active, outdoor retirement.

As a retiree, life in Roatan can be pure bliss. You’ll stay active with plenty of outdoor fun to enjoy, plus there are always social activities and volunteer opportunities available for you to explore.

Another group of Americans in Roatan are the workers. They’re the professional scuba divers and the bartenders; they’re the teachers and the real estate agents. This group moves to Roatan for a better lifestyle in a better climate.

And then there are the snowbird Americans in Roatan. They come for three months during the winter to escape the cold back home while enjoying the comfortable tropical climate of the Caribbean.

American tourists are allowed to stay in Honduras for up to 120 days total without requiring a visa, so snowbirds enjoy the ease of travel as well. I’ll go more into that below.

Finally, there are the transient Americans in Roatan. This is a large contingent for various reasons. Many of the working Americans who come here look at Roatan as merely a stop along their journey. They might work here for a year or two, and then they’ll move on to another place to work there for a while, and so on.

This group will rent a long-term apartment and you’ll usually hear their scooters coming from a mile away because they’re old and have been passed through the ranks of transient visitors.

Americans Visit RoatanAmerican Visit Roatan

American tourists are another huge component of the fabric of Roatan. Since the cruise industry invested in two ports on the island, the number of annual tourists arriving has increased dramatically.

Add to that the increased airlift from more U.S. cities and it’s easy to see why Roatan is gaining popularity for American tourists . It’s easy to get here, it’s easy to love this island, and it’s easy to make this a new favorite annual vacation destination!

American tourists in Roatan find the island familiar enough to feel comfortable. English is spoken by everyone, U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere, and driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

It’s pure paradise without any hassles!

How to Move to Roatan as an American

If you’re considering moving to Roatan and you’re from the U.S., you’re lucky in having a variety of options available to you.

First, you should consider the length of time you intend to live in Roatan.

If you’re thinking of snowbirding here, coming for just the winter months and enjoying the tropical climate, then you might not require residency at all.

American tourists receive a tourist visa upon arrival in Honduras. That allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days.

You can request a 30-day extension before your visa expires to maximize your time at 4 months total. The immigration office in Coxen Hole can assist you with the extension.

If you’re coming as a snowbird, you can visit as a tourist. The only reason you might require residency is if you want to purchase real estate and your acreage exceeds the limits for a foreigner (more than 0.72 acres).

If you’re retired and want to move to Roatan permanently, Americans can apply for the pensionado visa. You must meet the monthly income threshold and adhere to government regulations for the application and renewal processes.

The pensionado visa comes with some extra perks, too! You can import a vehicle and a container of personal items duty-free. Keep in mind when importing a vehicle that local mechanics might not be familiar with your make and model.

If you can’t buy replacement parts or get them appropriately handled, it could be more of a burden to keep your car here.

For all types of residency and legal questions, a local Honduran attorney is necessary. There are many reputable attorneys in Roatan who are all bilingual and can assist in all necessary applications.

I’m more than happy to recommend one to you based on your specific needs.

American Buying Real Estate in RoatanAmericans Buying Real Estate in Roatan

Foreigners are allowed to purchase real estate in Roatan without requiring residency status. You can purchase up to 0.72 acres in a single purchase, so most homes and lots won’t pose a problem at all.

If you do want to purchase a larger tract of land or multiple properties as an investment, you can create a corporation to do so. Your corporation will hold the property as a Honduran entity.

If you start a corporation, you can then apply for residency as well, making it easier for you to stay as long as you want and to work if you need to do so.

You can peruse the Roatan MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to see the wide variety of real estate opportunities available in Roatan.

Whether you’re looking for a condo, a villa, or a commercial property, I’m sure we can find the perfect opportunity for you.

And, if not, there are plenty of lots available where you can build your own dream home or business!

Do you have any questions about what life is like for Americans in Roatan? Feel free to reach out anytime! I’m always happy to help.

Top Destinations in the World: Roatan

Roatan a Caribbean destinationThose of us who live here know it already, but the word is getting out: Roatan is a premier destination. We are regularly on the list for places to visit and islands to live on. In fact, in TripAdvisor’s “Best Of 2017” list, Roatan is one of the top destinations in the world!

Top Destinations in the World

Roatan comes in at #15 in the entire world according to TripAdvisor rankings. Considering the wide range of places included in that top destinations list, we are thrilled to see how much people love Roatan!

Other top destinations in the world include London, Paris, Rome, and NYC. Amongst those giants of tourism and historical fanfare, Roatan seems even smaller. But that’s what makes this list so wonderful.

Being voted by travellers as a top destination in the entire world is a true honor. It means that the smaller numbers of tourists who visit Roatan as compared to those massive capital cities all believe that Roatan is worthy of the accolades.

We’re more than proud to receive the recognition from all our visitors. But, those of us who live here will say this isn’t news to us!

We’ve always known that this piece of paradise is one of the top places in the whole world.

Visit Roatan in 2017

If you haven’t yet visited our beautiful tropical isle, there’s no better time than the present. With continuous recognition on an international scale, we will undoubtedly grow and change in the years to come.

From a real estate perspective, of course that’s promising! Buyers can still grab a great deal now before prices inevitably rise with increased interest in Roatan.

Sellers can make plans with confidence that their property will sell quickly as more and more people want to move to paradise.

It’s no wonder that even cruise ship tourists ask for real estate tours. Once you see the beauty of this Caribbean island, it’s easy to get sucked into what we call The Vortex.

Roatan just mesmerizes you and keeps you here longer than you might have intended to stay.

(I’m not saying you should purposely miss your cruise ship all aboard…but if you do, just give me a call and I’ll help you find a great place to stay!)

Why Is Roatan a Top Destination?

There are so many reasons to love the island of Roatan. If you look through TripAdvisor for the island, you’ll notice endless activity options.

Roatan is known as a scuba diver and snorkeler’s paradise. The coral reef that fringes close to shore is the second largest in the world, smaller only than the famous Great Barrier Reef.

Roatan also offers plenty of other water activities, from paddleboarding in our calm sea to deep-sea fishing only a few minutes from shore.

You can walk through botanical gardens or soar through the jungle on a zipline canopy tour.

The diversity of fun on this small island is truly astounding! Add to all that the breath-taking natural beauty and you can easily see why visitors love Roatan so much.

I love Roatan so much that I moved my family here after years of living in the States. Our lifestyle is dramatically better here. We have the Caribbean Sea as our front yard and playground…it was the best move we ever made.

If you want to move to paradise, let me know what you’re looking for and let’s make it happen together. I look forward to helping make your dreams your new reality!

 

Scuba Diving in Roatan Honduras

Roatan is known as a scuba diver’s paradise. In fact, it’s the reason tourism developed on the island as more and more divers started visiting and requiring more services. Scuba diving in Roatan Honduras is one of the bucket list places for divers around the world. Let’s talk about why…

Dive Sites in Roatan

Roatan is surrounded by the second-largest barrier reef in the world: the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It stretches from the Yucatan Peninsula down and around our Bay Islands of Honduras. It’s so close to Roatan’s shore that you can easily swim out to snorkel or dive, without needing a boat.

Most diving in Roatan is, however, boat diving. It makes it easier to reach different dive sites and allows you to drift dive safely. The currents aren’t strong in Roatan, but it’s still nice to stay along the wall and not have to double back to the boat.

The Roatan Marine Park oversees the installation and naming of dive sites around Roatan. Their conservation efforts are absolutely vital to the survival of this fragile ecosystem, so it’s important to support them however you can.

They have buoys for over 50 dives just around the West Bay/West End/Sandy Bay area alone! They also patrol the coastline to prevent illegal poaching or other activities.

Scuba Diving in Roatan Honduras

The scuba diving conditions in Roatan are outstanding! We enjoy extensive visibility, warm waters, and minimal currents. That’s also what makes Roatan such a premier location for students to learn to dive. It’s a beautiful, comfortable location to do scuba courses.

There are dive shops all around the island, from the East End to the end of West Bay Beach. If you move to Roatan and want to dive, you can choose whichever dive shop is your favorite. Many will offer discounts to locals who want to dive regularly. It’s also a great way to show your friends and family more of the beauty of Roatan when they come to visit!

Throughout much of the year, dive shops tend to use 3mm shortie wetsuits for guests. Dive professionals often opt for full wetsuits only because they’re in the water all day everyday. If you’re diving in the height of summer, you might not even need a wetsuit at all!

Living in Roatan and Diving

Since I moved to Roatan, I’ve learned not only the basics of diving…I’m actually an Advanced Open Water Diver! I’m proud to say that because I think it’s so important to see and understand the coral reef system around our island home. Once you see the beauty and the diversity of marine life that’s there, you can’t help but want to protect it.

As residents, whether local or expat, it’s our responsibility to do our part supporting the Roatan Marine Park and encouraging sustainable practices in tourism.

The coral reef here is amazing and it’s what draws massive tourism investment annually. But, most importantly, it is fragile and susceptible to human interference, so we need to be careful and protect it for future generations.

If you move to Roatan, you simply have to try scuba diving. Even if you only try it once, it’s important to understand what’s under the surface so we can all work together to keep Roatan beautiful.

Are you thinking of moving to Roatan? Do you already scuba dive? Get in touch and I’ll share my insights from living and diving here in Roatan.

 

Sunny Casual Lifestyle in Roatan

The island life is truly the best life. In the Caribbean, we can relax knowing that we never, ever have to deal with winter weather. We enjoy beautiful sunshine all year long, which just makes people happier and friendlier. We all enjoy this sunny casual lifestyle in Roatan. It’s a huge part of why I decided to move to Roatan, and I think you would enjoy it, too.
Roatan Lifestyle and the benefits living on a islandBenefits of a Casual Lifestyle

In Roatan, we don’t worry about labels or name brands. We’re not competing with each other to get the latest cool sneakers or the flashiest watches. We don’t waste our time, energy, or money on those materialistic things. Sure, you can still choose to be fashionable and stylish! But you don’t have to keep up with anyone here in Roatan.

Because our weather is so warm and tropical year-round, we also don’t have to worry about a winter wardrobe. Again, that’s time, energy, and money saved! We can wear the same things all year long, adding another layer when rainy season starts and we all think it’s freezing cold at 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C).

In Roatan, we don’t judge others by what they do or do not have. You can walk barefoot down the street and wear a bathing suit every day. Or you can dress to the nines because it makes you feel good! Life in Roatan is carefree and easy and it’s all up to you.

Just know that whenever you do meet someone on that street, you should stop and chat. It’s a friendly community here and our sunny weather lets us linger outside without freezing to death. That’s a beautiful thing.

Sunny Casual Lifestyle in RoatanThe art of living on a island Roatan

The climate in Roatan is what draws many expats to the island. We have tropical warmth – and humidity! – throughout the year. We never worry about heating bills, but we do have fans and air conditioning.

The sunshine is what attracts people to the island. With that sunshine comes white sand beaches and crystal clear Caribbean water. We also get plenty of rain though! That’s what makes Roatan so beautifully lush and green. When the rain comes, don’t worry, it’s just doing its job to keep Roatan lovely and then it will pass along and leave us with the sunshine once again.

You can count on summer temperatures staying above 80F/ 27C and the humidity being high. During the winter, temperatures do drop and the rains come, but we rarely drop into the low 70sF/23C. More typically, you can plan to wear shorts and a t-shirt all year long.

If you’re packing for a vacation in Roatan, leave the fancy stuff behind – you won’t need it. All you need is beachwear and casual clothes, and don’t forget your smile!

I love the sunny casual lifestyle in Roatan. It’s what drew my family here to enjoy a better quality of life. If you’re thinking of a move to Roatan, contact me and tell me what your plan is – I’m happy to help you find the right home and access the best resources.

 

Life in Roatan Honduras

I love talking about life in Roatan. I love sharing how incredible this island is with anyone and everyone who asks. Roatan is home for me and for my family, which is why I also love helping other people find their own homes in Roatan.

What I do for work every day is fun and rewarding, especially when someone moves here for a better life and I get to see that happen in real time. Life in Roatan is about community and about appreciating everyday beauty. I get to share that with new people in my work all the time. It’s a true pleasure!

Living in Roatan Bay Islands

Living In Roatan Bay Islands

Daily Life in Roatan

Daily life in Roatan is filled with small moments of joy. There are endless reasons to smile here, starting from the moment you wake up to hear guacamayas singing and to feel the sunshine streaming through your bedroom window. I have no curtains in my windows!

Maybe you’ll hear the sounds of the sea: boats driving by, soft lapping of the surf on sand, the splashing of kids playing nearby. Life is a beach!

Maybe you’ll hear the sounds of the jungle: birds flapping away from branches, palm fronds rustling in the breeze, the scurrying of an iguana across your gravel driveway. Its the tropics!

From those early morning moments until you go to sleep at night, you’ll be mesmerized by your own senses. You’ll smell fresh mangos and cashews growing in the trees along the roadside, its the season right now! You’ll see vibrant sunsets and make shapes out of clouds in the sky. You’ll feel powder soft sand under your feet and the warm water of the Caribbean Sea as you wade in to go swim! 

You will be consistently dazzled by life in Roatan as an expat!

Why I Moved to Roatan

I moved to Roatan for better opportunities for my family and myself. I spent much of my adult life in the U.S. so I know what it’s like to hustle and to work endlessly toward that American Dream. But I also know that my work-life balance is unbelievably better here in Roatan.

In Roatan, we can afford a comfortable home to enjoy island life. My son can grow up exploring nature and being surrounded by a supportive community. Kids grow up as part of the community here – they aren’t sheltered away all the time in front of a TV or computer.

My family gets to spend much more time together here because we aren’t commuting to work and to school far away. We aren’t running around like mad just to make ends meet. Here, we enjoy quality time together. 

We don’t just see each other for a few hours between workdays – we spend time together. It’s an absolutely invaluable aspect of life in Roatan.

Roatan Real Estate Agent Lifestyle

The thing I love most about being a Roatan real estate agent is helping people achieve their dreams. I love seeing someone decide to move to the island in search of a better life, and actually finding it.

I love catching up with clients after a few months and seeing how their transition to island life is going. A vast majority of the time, they find it to be easy and fun. And it’s often considered to be one of the best decisions ever made.

I made this move for my family and I truly enjoy seeing other families enjoy the same benefits we now see every day. If you’re thinking about making the move for a better life in Roatan, I’m more than happy to help.

Reach out any time and let me know what your dream is. Let’s see if we can make it happen by working together.

International Living Loves Roatan

International Living magazine has been raving about Roatan for a while now. They consider Roatan to be one of the best retirement destinations in the entire world! Take a look at some of the reasons why International Living loves Roatan…

International Living Loves Roatan

International Living Loves Roatan

Roatan is an Easy Caribbean Island

Roatan offers an easy island lifestyle for retirees where they can save money. They love that a retired couple can live here on $2,000/month and enjoy a carefree outdoor lifestyle. The climate here is especially ideal for snowbirds who love to come for a few months each winter to escape the cold back home.

Roatan Has Affordable Real Estate

International Living loves Roatan for its affordable real estate. If you’re in the market for a condo by the beach, you’ll find plenty of options here. We have beachfront condos and condos in popular neighborhoods with lots of amenities nearby. Some condo communities have pools and bars and restaurants, while others are quiet and peaceful. Take your pick!

Roatan is Small but Eclectic

Roatan boasts incredible diversity for its small size. From the people to the activities to the amenities, this small Caribbean island is not short on charm or fun! Come see for yourself the many faces of Roatan.

West Bay Beach Has It All

International Living loves West Bay Beach – just like everyone else does! Voted the best beach in Central America two years in a row now, West Bay Beach has something for everyone. You’ll even find some of those fantastic and affordable condo opportunities right on the sand!

Roatan is Welcoming

Our laidback socializing and our breathtaking scenery combine to create the ideal place to relax. Life in Roatan is slowed down and the people are welcoming and friendly. Head to the bar by yourself and you’ll end up making several new friends. Head to a dive shop or the beach and you’ll chat with everyone around you. Roatan is a true homecoming – even if you’ve never been here before!

We all know International Living loves Roatan, and I know exactly why. I made the move here for a better life for my family and we’ve never regretted that decision. Contact me to come see for yourself why Roatan is so popular for relocation overseas. I think you’ll love it here!

Minimize to Move to Roatan

Moving to a new home anywhere in the world means you have to pack up absolutely everything you own and decide what stays and what goes. When you move far away, requiring a flight to reach your new home, minimizing is the only realistic way to get there. Here are some tips on how to minimize to move to Roatan.

Minimize to Move to Roatan

Minimize to Move to Roatan

Minimizing can be difficult. It’s scary to donate or throw things away that have been part of your life for so long. It’s hard to go through all the memories we accumulate in a home and choose what to bring with us to this next phase of life.

But minimizing is also a cleansing opportunity. You can eliminate a lot of physical items in your life that take up space and time and money, all while still retaining the memories.

When we moved our family to Roatan, we made many tough choices on what to keep and what to leave behind. But every decision was with our goal in mind: a better quality of life for all of us in paradise.

What You Don’t Need to Bring to Roatan

What You Don’t Need to Bring to Roatan

Roatan is an island in the Caribbean. That already enables you to minimize if you have been living in a cold climate. There is no need here for a winter wardrobe, no need for big heavy blankets or space heaters or thick curtains.

You can already eliminate all those winter-related items before you move to Roatan. Eliminating those types of items might feel incredibly liberating!

Roatan is also a very casual island. There’s just no need to bring all your formal wear, your dress shoes, or your designer labels.

Sure, there are certain occasions you might dress up and there are certain items you just don’t want to leave behind. But you simply don’t need the volume of these types of items you might have needed back home.

Here, you’ll be in casual wear all year long, with sandals being the most formal footwear we tend to get!

You don’t need to impress anyone here. We’re not comparing outfits or purses or watches in Roatan. Life here isn’t about keeping up with anyone. So don’t worry about moving into a new home and having neighbors judge what you bring. We’ll just be happy to welcome you to paradise with a smile and maybe a cold cocktail!

What You Do Need to Bring to Roatan

What You Do Need to Bring to Roatan

If you’re moving to Roatan, you’ll find certain items from home to be better quality or much cheaper than you’d find on the island. Here’s where you need to consider the difference between going on vacation and moving somewhere new. If you love specific brands but because of import costs they’re 7x the price in Roatan, you should consider trying other brands until you find a new one you like. But if you simply can’t live without specific brands for certain items, you can always bring a supply with you from home each time you go visit.

Or you can order them and ship them to Roatan. Or ask a friend to bring some in exchange for a free place to stay on the island. You can get creative – and if you’re really desperate, you’ll find a way!

Need more tips for your move to Roatan? Contact me anytime…I’m happy to help!

Utilities in Roatan

Roatan RECO farm

Aerial photo of the RECO wind farm

Moving to a new place can create a lot of headaches when it comes to logistics. Learning about local companies and what options might be available for utilities in Roatan are primary concerns for new expats. To give you a general idea to get started, here’s a breakdown of current options.

Electricity in Roatan

The main electric company in Roatan is RECO – the Roatan Electric Company. Their services have expanded greatly over the past several years, but we are still living on an island. That means power fluctuations and outages somewhat regularly.

Another common problem for island utilities is the cost – electricity in Roatan is likely about 4x higher per kilowatt than you’re paying back home right now. That’s something to keep in mind when you’re tempted to leave the air conditioning on all day!

If you’re interested in alternative forms of energy, solar panels can be a wise investment for your new island home. RECO has also recently started new 28MW LPG fired power plant and  wind energy, so we might see electricity charges dropping in the future.

Cable and WiFi in Roatan

There are several companies offering cable and internet services in Roatan. Island Cable TV and Max Communications are both very popular and offer different packages to meet your needs.

You’ll find both companies offer local as well as foreign cable stations, so don’t worry about missing out on your favorite TV shows from back home.

Phone Services in Roatan

Landline deals are common with a cable and internet package for your home, although many expats opt out of a landline at this point. If you do want a landline, look into VoIP services that allow you to make international calls over the internet.

Alternatively, there are many smartphone apps that allow you to make free international calls from your cell phone. WhatsApp, Skype, and even Facebook all allow free phone calls over WiFi.

For your cell phone plan, you want to first make sure your smartphone is unlocked if you’re bringing it from home. That allows you to simply purchase a new SIM card in Roatan for a local number. You can do a pay-as-you-go system for data, texts, and calls, depending on how much of each you might need.

Tigo and Claro are the two main providers for cell phone plans. Which one you choose will most likely depend on where you live – you want to make sure you have coverage in your area. Claro tends to cover more of the East End, while Tigo focuses on the western half of Roatan.

Drinking Water and Propane in Roatan

If you don’t have potable water from the tap, you’ll likely be using the very popular 5-gallon jugs of drinking water at home. You will purchase your first full jug at cost (about $5), and then when it’s empty you can exchange it for a full one for only about $1.50.

My recommendation: buy at least two jugs at first, that way you don’t forget to pick one up and end up out of water completely. Have a back up around, just in case!

Propane tanks for your oven and grill will run on the same type of system as the drinking water. You will purchase the initial full tank, and then you can exchange for a full tank as needed. Prices vary depending on the size of your tank.

For both drinking water and propane, you can arrange for the company to deliver full bottles/tanks to you. This is especially helpful if you have storage space to get several water containers delivered and then not have to worry about running out randomly.

Utilities in Roatan

Utility companies can change, costs will vary, and your personal experiences with customer service or delivery or availability can all vary. I am more than happy to offer my personal recommendations for anything related to life here in Roatan. But always keep in mind that these are just my personal experiences!

Other expats may have other advice that differs, and that’s all fine, too. The many expat Facebook groups are another great resource for specific questions related to utilities in Roatan – you can poll a large group for some interesting responses.

And, as always, contact me anytime with questions about your move to paradise.

 

Jorge ChavezAbout Jorge Chavez, Roatan Realtor  RE/MAX Agent
I’m Honduran-born, but spent most of my youth in the U.S. After starting a career in Georgia, I decided the island lifestyle was exactly what my family needed for a better quality of life. Now, I want to help you achieve that same dream. Whether you want to spend your winters in paradise, purchase a vacation home, or move to Roatan full-time, I’ll help you find the perfect home. Want to learn more? Check out my full bio, or just contact me and introduce yourself! I’ll be glad to meet you.

If you have any comments or questions, Please feel free to drop me a note.

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