This report about living in Roatan, has been created for you by Paradise Properties, Mariposa a waterfront development on the picturesque Caribbean island of Roatan. Mariposa offers stunning Sea views, nearby dive sites, fruit trees and a boat dock. Mariposa is country living Caribbean style.
The island of Roatan offers something for everyone. Outdoor activities abound, with the second-largest barrier coral reef close to shore offering some of the world’s best SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Tourists, expats, and locals alike all take advantage of the gorgeous natural beauty of this tranquil island. The sunsets never cease to amaze, and the sea breezes always flow through your windows to remind you that you are in paradise.
The island lifestyle isn’t for everyone…it’s for those who love the feel of sand between their toes and the salt breeze in their hair. It’s for those who feel more comfortable in a swimsuit than a three-piece suit. The island lifestyle is for those who crave freedom and fresh air, who live life for each moment of sunshine rather than each minute on the clock.
There are very few islands in the world that offer an affordable lifestyle, however. Most are out of reach for the average working person, left for dreams and fantasies. But the island of Roatan has remained under the radar, which means the prices haven’t skyrocketed like other Caribbean islands have seen. Roatan is the Caribbean as it used to be – the charming, lush, natural gem without the interference of high-rise hotels or strip malls covered in neon lights. Roatan offers paradise at a discount, without discounting the beauty.
Living in Roatan is just like life back home: grocery stores and government offices, banks and gas stations, hospitals and private clinics, fun activities and welcoming communities. The expat community in Roatan is extensive and very involved with the local community on the island. Regular gatherings and events offer ample opportunity to make friends, meet new people, and contribute to the island communities. Multiple hospitals and medical clinics provide all the services someone might need, with even more new medical facilities being built to accommodate the growing population.
While an island lifestyle may be out of reach for most people – especially retirees watching their finances – Roatan’s low cost of living provides the perfect solution. A couple can live comfortably in Roatan on $2,000 per month or less, including amenities like maid service and laundry service and extras like dining out and enjoying some fun activities.
Your dream life is waiting…all you have to do is go for it!
Part One: How to Get to Roatan
Getting to Roatan is so much easier than you might realize! Only a 2.5-hour flight direct from Houston or Miami, the stunning Caribbean island of Roatan offers the convenience you need to travel to the U.S. quickly and easily to visit family…although they will want to be visiting you!
The Juan Galvez International Airport serves as Roatan’s central transportation hub, with direct flights arriving regularly from Houston (United Airlines), Dallas and Miami (American Airlines), Atlanta (Delta Airlines), and even Toronto and Montreal (Sunwing and TransAt Airlines seasonally). Direct flights from Belize City (Tropic Air) and San Salvador (Avianca Airlines) offer the easy opportunity to explore more of the cultural and geographical diversity that Latin America has to offer. Daily flights to the mainland offer convenient access to Tegucigalpa (capital of Honduras), La Ceiba (closest port city), and San Pedro Sula (closest major city).
In addition to the international airport, Roatan is also serviced by the Galaxy Wave Ferry from La Ceiba, Honduras. The mainland of Honduras is only about 35 miles away from Roatan, which makes for a quick 75-minute ferry ride at either the morning or afternoon departure time.
Finally, Roatan has seen a surge in tourism since the introduction of two cruise ship ports began bringing thousands of visitors each week. The Port of Roatan is partly owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Mahogany Bay is owned by Carnival Corporation. Their presence on the island offers a boost to the local economy, and introduces Roatan to many more potential vacationers, which has been noticed in the vacation rental market on the island.
Part Two: Roatan Neighborhoods
The island of Roatan is broken into two municipalities, with the western half of the island belonging to the Municipality of Roatan and the eastern half included in the Municipality of Santos Guardiola. The western side of the island is the tourism center, filled with scuba dive shops, gift shops, bars, restaurants, and vendors selling everything from jewelry to coconut water.
The eastern side of Roatan is more rural, retaining its traditional Caribbean charm and highlighting the very reason this island is gaining in international popularity. These are the most popular areas of the island you need to know:
French Harbour: French Harbour is the commercial center closest to Caribe Bight and Mariposa Lagoon. Filled with offices, grocery stores, schools, hardware stores, and more, French Harbour is your go-to place for all errands. The Mahogany Bay cruise port is just outside of French Harbour.
First and Second Bights: Both neighborhoods are located along the south shore, still centrally on the island and only a few minutes’ drive from the commercial center at French Harbour.
Caribe Bight: Mariposa Lagoon is located in Caribe Bight, along the south shore just past First and Second Bights. Our prime location grants convenient access to all commercial and business needs, while retaining privacy and tranquility in our stunning bayside community.
Politilly Bight and Milton Bight: Located along the north shore, both are popular expat communities.
Jonesville: Located just before Oakridge along the southern shore, offering a quaint fishing village feel.
Punta Gorda: Along the north shore rests the traditional Garifuna community on Roatan, where you can visit to learn more about their culture and how they first came to the island centuries ago.
Punta Blanca: Another popular expat neighborhood along the north shore, just east of Punta Gorda.
Oak Ridge: The seat of the Municipality of Santos Guardiola, Oakridge shows off the traditional island-style homes built on stilts into the water. You absolutely must visit BJ’s Backyard in Oakridge on a Friday afternoon when expats gather for a fun-filled jamfest over lunch and drinks right on the water.
Port Royal: Old Port Royal was the original English effort at a permanent settlement on the island – short-lived as it was. The homes in Old Port Royal are often boat access-only, making them definitively uniquely island-style!
Camp Bay: Drive until the road ends, and there you’ll find Camp Bay Beach. East End expats gather there on Mondays for a day of fun in the sun, calling it “Mondays Don’t Suck” in celebration of their island retirement. Who can blame us?
Coxen Hole: Coxen Hole is the center for the Municipality of Roatan, housing government offices, grocery stores, schools, and more. This is also where the airport and Port of Roatan cruise port are located.
West End and West Bay: The far western part of the island offers endless tourist activities, with hotels, bars, restaurants, dive shops, and gift shops lining the streets. West Bay Beach is the most popular beach for tourists, and is often rated as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Part Three: Residency or Tourist Visa?
The decision to apply for residency in Honduras depends entirely upon your personal circumstances. To start, if you’re only coming to Roatan for vacation and you are from the U.S. or Canada, you may enter Honduras without completing a visa application ahead of time. You will be granted a tourist visa of up to 90 days at the airport. Keep in mind that you must have a valid passport that does not expire within six months of your travel date. At the end of your tourist visa timeframe, you are required to leave the country for a minimum of 72 hours prior to re-entering.
It is possible to extend your tourist visa. The immigration office in Coxen Hole can grant a 30-day extension on top of your original 90 days, for a fee. This may come in handy if you plan to own a vacation home in Roatan in which you plan to snowbird, coming for only a few months during the winter. You could stay for up to three months on a regular tourist visa, but should you decide to stay for a fourth month, a simple visa extension would allow you to do so without having to worry about applying for residency.
Similarly, if you plan to own a vacation home in Roatan strictly to visit occasionally and perhaps rent out the remainder of the year, then you likely do not need to worry about applying for Honduran residency.
However, if you plan to make your home in Roatan your permanent residence, you absolutely should apply for residency. If you are retiring and plan to move full-time to Roatan, you may qualify for a retiree residency visa if you can prove a minimum pension of $1,500/month.
Alternatively, if you have income back home of a minimum $2,500/month in the form of interest or investments, for example, then you could qualify for the rentista residency visa.
An additional issue to consider is the amount of property you wish to purchase, as only residents may purchase more than 3,000 square meters (approximately 0.72 acres) or more than one property at a time on the island. Should you wish to purchase more than one property, or an amount of land greater than the 3,000 square meters, you will need to create a corporation in order to do so. You can gain your residency via the corporation should you wish to live in Honduras permanently.
Keep in mind that if you are in the process of applying for your residency, you may pay to extend your visa as needed while you wait.
Gaining your residency in Honduras does not require you to give up your citizenship elsewhere – even if you eventually become a Honduran citizen, you can still maintain a second citizenship. If you apply for residency in Honduras, you will be granted a 5-year visa, which must be renewed annually. At the end of that 5-year period, you can apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency must be renewed every 5 years.
Each person’s situation can be different, so it is best to consult with an attorney before making any decisions. All residency applications must be filed by a Honduran attorney.
Part Four: Construction on Roatan
Construction in Roatan varies greatly, which is why it is so vital that you utilize a reputable builder. At Mariposa Lagoon, we build our homes to exceed North American building codes. We use the best materials to work with the surrounding environment and we associate strictly with the island’s most reliable construction companies. We have done our research on the ground so you don’t have to worry about the quality of your future home. Keep in mind that building permits are required in Honduras prior to breaking ground, which your builder will apply for on your behalf. Those permits usually take around two weeks to approve and can cost approximately 5% of your total budget.
Building costs range between $75-$100 per square foot, depending upon appliances, interior finishes, and modifications. Our expertise combined with our relationships with reputable companies on Roatan allows us to build exquisite homes at the best possible price.
Something to consider with your new home design is that building in the tropics has different requirements and demands than building farther north. You will want to effectively use your outdoor space and to take advantage of the beautiful trade winds we experience in Mariposa Lagoon. Take a look through the designs and styles on our partner website: www.coastalhomeplans.com.
As in all places, there are requirements and restrictions on residential building in Roatan. Some of the more pertinent factors to consider are height restrictions and proximity restrictions to certain natural markers, including distance from the boundary of the property line; distance from the foreshore if the property is on the shore; and, of course, rights of way for utilities, existing pathways, and access roads.
Part Five: Tourism and Rental Properties
Tourism in Roatan is centered in the western half of the island. However, recently the island has seen a surge of interest in the East End by vacationers looking for tranquility away from the typical tourist crowds. Properties on the East End offer more space for less, more independence and less all-inclusive marketing with advertisements everywhere.
Relaxing on the beach on the East End means truly relaxing, while the more touristy areas host countless vendors hawking everything from illegally caught conch to cheap imported souvenirs. Because of this, more and more families and couples seek holidays away from the crowds to really enjoy an island escape. Vacationers coming from North America and Europe want to de-stress and find tranquility – that’s what they find in the East End of Roatan.
For those who opt to own a vacation home on Roatan, you could enjoy a bonus income by renting out your home as a vacation rental when you’re not using it yourself. This not only provides the finances necessary to maintain your property – perhaps with a bit extra! – it also ensures that your home is being cared for year-round. With a regular rotation of incoming guests, your home will be cleaned and checked regularly to ensure everything is secure and functioning properly. This is a huge relief for homeowners overseas.
Welcome to Mariposa Lagoon – Your Waterfront Estates
Our dream is your dream…You wake up to the sweet smell of mangoes growing on the tree outside your window as the sea breeze softly ruffles your window curtains. The birds are singing good mornings across the treetops overhead as the Caribbean waves softly kiss the sand. This is paradise.
This is life in Roatan. We have made our dream our reality, and we invite you to join us.
Whether you’ve been to Roatan many times or you’re just learning about its very existence, we invite you to come to Caribe Ponte Bight where you can see for yourself just how stunning our neighborhood truly is….the jungle, the fruit trees, the ocean views, and the astoundingly calm Caribbean waters at your doorstep. The protected lagoon of Caribe Bight is the ideal location for along Roatan’s southern shore.
Mariposa is unique that they have a protected lagoon, the property has a boat dock and is a great place to own a boat. You do not have to be a sea capt to enjoy the gentle water of the protected lagoon. There is coral reef a few hundred yards from the dock and several dive-sites at the mouth of the lagoon and a local swimming hole with rope swing a short distance from the dock. There are mangrove water-ways that lead to neighboring Jonesville you can explore by kayak or boat. The property will have its own beach and there is a small fruit orchard on the property. You can do all this without leaving the property.
We look forward to building your dream home! We have many floor-plans to choose from and will build your custom home to compliment the island breeze and amazing views. All homes will exceed North American Building Codes. Contact us for more information 828 – 371-0024 or 321-368-9921.
Contact Us To Start Your Dream Home Project in Roatan!