Crime on the Bay islands

For expats living there and for people like me and my considering relocating, how bad is crime on the islands? The mainland is designated by the US State Department as a no go travel recommendation. Lots of murder, rape, kidnappings. You don’t get much of an idea while being a tourist for a week on Roatan. Thanks.


Hi Bob and welcome to the forum. This is a great question. Since coming to Roatan we have never personally experienced a serious crime. While I do know of several circumstances, I do not pretend to know the full circumstances surrounding the crime. I have heard of several unprovoked attacks which also involved theft. The attacks I’ve heard about do not seem to be anymore often than you will find in US cities. Not that this brings anyone comfort. But to all those who were so concerned me and my family were making a huge mistake; they were wrong. Keep your eyes open,your wallet in your pocket, your phone out of sight, don’t be a showoff, blend in, and you’ll be fine.

A little history of our travel. We began coming to Roatan in December of 2012 with our sons who were 8 and 10 at the time. We moved to the island in 2015 full time and spent two years living on the island. Our kids would often spend days in West End or West Bay unattended by us without concern. We continue to operate our business on the island and return often.

Theft is your worst problem. Your laptop may cost more than many make in wages working for 3 months. So be smart and keep your goodies hidden, don’t be out at unreasonable hours, stay sober if you are out late, etc, etc. I had one backpack stolen when I left it unattended. I encourage everyone to keep their personal items out of sight. We also have a night watchmen to discourage any would be thieves.

FYI when on the mainland; we do go inside before dark, we do not wear jewelry, and we take only necessities when touring around and don’t linger in places with few people. The mainland and Roatan are night and day different. Honduras understands that Roatan is their governmental cash cow, which is why when theft begins to escalate; so do the police encounters.

I hope this helps and remember,this is one mans humble opinion and experience.