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5 Reasons Why Roatan is a Great Place to Experience Island Life

roatan island

Channer Amos

Are you one of many expats who crave island living? If so, Roatan, Honduras, could very well be the ideal retirement spot for you.

With stretches of smooth beach and glittering blue water as far as the eye can see, life in Roatan can provide you with the opportunity to finally slow down.

If you need more convincing, here are five reasons why Roatan, Honduras, is the perfect island retirement destination.

1) Connectivity

Although you may be dying to leave behind the bustle of North American life, the prospect of being cut off from your loved ones back home may be keeping you from taking the plunge.

Luckily, Roatan can offer expats the best of both worlds.

You can have your peaceful island getaway, while staying in close proximity to the U.S.

The tropical paradise of Honduras is only a 2.5 hour plane ride from Houston, Texas, and it’s served by major airlines on a daily basis.

In fact, Continental Airlines offers daily flights from Houston and New York to the city of San Pedro Sula on mainland Honduras, and direct flights to Roatan are available every Saturday.

2) Diverse culture

roatan island


For many expats, one of the major perks of retiring to or visiting a new place, is experiencing new people and new cultures.

And in Roatan, you will have the chance to do just that.

Made up of a unique blend of cultures, the end product is modern day Roatan. With a very colorful history, Roatan’s cultural background is a mixture of Caribbean, European, and African heritage. So if choose to make it your home, you will be exposed to a diverse collection of people on a regular basis.

In Roatan, English is the dominant language, which makes it an ideal spot for North American expats. But many of the locals also speak Spanish, and in certain areas, you will even hear traditional Garifuna spoken.  Adding to the collage of cultures, the Garifuna are the descendants of native Indians who were deported from St. Vincent Island to Honduras, by the British in 1797.

3) There is so much to do

roatan island

Marc AuMarc

Yes it’s true, island life can be tranquil and relaxed, but it can also be bursting with activity, and Roatan is filled with great options.

A snorkeler and diver’s dream come true, Roatan is encompassed by a barrier reef that lies around 300 feet from the sparkling, white sand shore.

With over 130 accessible dive sites (some with shipwrecks and Mayan artifacts to explore), snorkeling and diving in Roatan is sure to be an adventure.

And who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic whale shark, the largest fish in the world.

Of course, if diving isn’t really your thing, there are many other ways to pass the time.

Try catching a ride on a magic flying beach chair (much like a ski lift) and travel 1,200 feet in the air towards the private island of Mahogany Bay, or pull out your camera and snap some photos in the Carambola Botanical Gardens.

You may also wish to spend your days kayaking, hiking, coasting along a zip line, or simply watching the clouds roll by. It’s all possible in Roatan, Honduras.

4) Slow down and live the life of a beach bum

roatan island


With unspoiled beaches and water temperatures averaging at 27°C (80°F), Roatan is definitely a beach lover’s paradise.

The most popular beach, West Bay Beach, was described as “pitch perfect” by Lonely Planet and it isn’t hard to see why.

Along with stunning beauty, there are dive shops, restaurants, and pubs scattered along West Bay, so you’ll never have to venture too far from the water as you stretch out with a drink and a good book.

And for those looking for something a little more low-key, the beaches along the northern coast are much more secluded and in some areas, you may even find yourself all alone.

5) Island hop

roatan island

Dave C.

Once you’ve settled into Roatan life, take the opportunity to explore the other bay islands and all that they have to offer.

Utila is the flattest of the islands and is about 18 miles off mainland Honduras.

Here, almost the entire population lives in the island’s main town of East Harbor, and because the town is so spread out, you may want to rent a bicycle to cruise your way around.

Utila is also known to have one of the cheapest dive certification courses on the planet, so if you would like to receive quality dive training at an amazing rate, give Utila a try.

Guanaja is the eastern-most island and has sprawling beaches and reefs on all sides.

Dubbed the ‘island of pines’ by Christopher Columbus, Guanaja is the only island to be dominated by conifers.

The tallest of the bay islands, you can hike Michael Rock Peak (1, 350 feet) for breathtaking views of the turquoise sea, and because there is only one small road linking the towns on Guanaja, the majority of travel happens on the water.

Consider Roatan

Even though we only mentioned five, there are many reasons to consider making Roatan, Honduras, your final retirement spot.

So pack your bags, book your flight, and head down to this island paradise to start discovering some more reasons for yourself.

You won’t be disappointed and you may even find the island getaway of your dreams.

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