As you probably already know, Roatan is the largest and most developed of the three islands located 30 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. There is a main road that runs along the length of the island and many small ones that extend out to the various communities. Visitors arrive by sea on a ferry that departs from La Ceiba or by air through Roatan’s International Airport. Direct non-stop service is available from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and several Canada cities. Other airlines fly into the mainland and connect to Roatan.
Each area on the island has its own distinctive character and personality. West End has most of the tourist attractions and is a fun and lively town. In addition to numerous diving schools, locals and visitors come here for all sorts of entertainment. Restaurants, music, bars, bed and breakfasts and Internet cafes line the unpaved and rutted coast road. Cars and bicycles must slow to a snail’s pace leaving pedestrians free to wander and people watch.
Around a couple of rocky points south is West Bay. With the largest beach on the island, coconut trees and spectacular resorts make this idyllic tropical setting a great place to just relax and enjoy. For anyone who wants a low-key encounter with an exceptionally fine reef without a long swim or scuba gear, this is the place. A bit further down the road, at the furthest Western part of the island are several very fine developments with most being built to U.S. standards?
Moving East, Sandy Bay is considerably larger in area than West End, but doesn’t feel like it. The area is a collection of weather beaten houses, most built on stilts among patches of shady trees a hundred meters from the shoreline. Development has arrived, but it’s mostly limited to private homes and a couple of low key resorts.
The largest town is Coxen Hole, and is also the capital of the island. There is an excellent grocery store here. This is where some cruise ships dock and the location of the island’s international airport. Few expats actually live in Coxen Hole.
French Harbour is a bit to the East. Pristine Bay, our Pete Dye designed 18 hole golf course is here. Several excellent restaurants and hotels are here as well as some of the largest fishing fleets in the Caribbean. French Harbour is also the location of one of the island’s most complete grocery store. They carry a good selection of US items and will gladly import for favorite brand of peanut butter if you only ask. There is also a very good meat and fish market close by and wholesale chicken is available in this area. Most of the actual residents of French Harbour are old island families. Because of the good shopping, most of us consider French Harbour to be the center of the island.
Jonesville and Oak Ridge are small and colorful communities that have kept their charm for many years. Only recently has access to this area become easy. The island’s other major fishing fleets are here. The paved main road ends at Oak Ridge although electricity and phones are available a bit further East.
The northern part of the island and the extreme eastern part have only recently been made accessible by car, and keep the pure essence of quaint fishing villages, pristine bays. There are many beautiful waterfront lots still available at a reasonable price in this part of the island, many are water access only and require a boat to get to them. They can really give you a sense of living on your own tropical island.
In addition to the main areas listed above there are many fine developments with all Western amenities, recently discovered Bights and beautiful buildable lots with fantastic views. There are still some waterfront and water accessible lots available with fantastic views at reasonable prices. Generally the further East go the less expensive the property.