General questions about the area

Hello! My name is Rhonda, My husband is desperately trying to convince me to move down there. We currently live in Texas, I’m reading trying to get as much information as possible, but it is overwhelming- of course a lot of what he’s showing me is all the GREAT things, BUT I am a skeptic so I want to make sure I have all my facts correct so I might be on here a lot…please bare with me! Ive been reading on my own…
read somewhere that although the sand on the beaches is gorgeous there are sand fleas… and there are lots of snakes and other dangerous animals. Also electric is expensive & that crime is heavy down there…HAVE to lock your doors! See my concerns

Thank you



I’ll share some threads with you

I moved here in 2008. I live in Sandy Bay on the beach. Theft is an opportunistic crime and happens throughout the island; not just in the “poor” neighborhoods. Yes you have to lock your doors and your car doors. Yes you should not walk alone at night because the streets are dark and that’s when criminals can get the advantage. A lack of a working judicial system is also a worry since even if you catch the thief they will most likely be out of jail in 24 hours. The beaches all have sand flies…especially think during dawn and dusk. Yes electricity is costly at almost 40 cents per kilowatt. So is Gasoline for your car. It’s an island and the infrastructure is just getting built up but prices will be high because everything needs to be shipped here. Mostly there are alot of island dogs and cats… expats try to spay/neuter but never can keep up. Snakes? well we are in a jungle so I suppose so. I have rarely seen any in my yard but plenty of homeowners do. Plenty of geckos and iguanas tho. Visit first… dont come here thinking you can change it into what your home and life is in Dallas.


Hey Rhonda I’ve been there twice, once in January and the other in june. First time there was lovely, wanted to go back because of the weather and of course the beaches. The second timer I came for two weeks, again wonderful being more laid back rather than trying to see and do everything. But the second time the sand flies made way of me. Maybe because the beaches weren’t groomed cause no ships were coining IDK but I got bite many times. I had large whelks that got infected and they hurt. They looked so innocent, tiny little bites but some turned ugly. I found out afterward that the only antidote was a salve found only on the island-- To late for me – But overall the island is wonderful and I’m sure I’ll be going back one time or another-- Look at some past replies on the sand flies, certain areas are worst than others. Once I flew back to Texas I had a 6 day road trip to Washington State, that was miserable with the heat and infection in my body :frowning: I still have scars today. Good luck in you adventures, totally check out first and get a hands on before you make any commitments.


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Its a good place but like the others say. Visit the island first and see how things work out for you. Crime wise ive walked on the streets and nothing has ever happened to me. Even at night. Obviously not safe maybe just luck. But other than that its a fun place. Work wise nothing really good unless you are already retired or work online from home having a US job.

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Hi, Rhonda

In seven days, my husband and I will have lived here for one year. We share space with a Doberman, a Min Pin, and a big, black housecat who has decided the outdoors is his playground.

Since we love our new lives here on Roatan, sand flies are just something we deal with. There are ways to protect your body and the space where you live. I haven’t encountered any snakes yet (although I sure did in Florida!). I do have a friend here who was robbed at gunpoint. My husband was a Deputy Sheriff in the States so he encountered that all the time.

We love Roatan for the kind, caring local people. And the natural, easy-going, peaceful environment. No one is in a hurry. We demand nothing and try to be grateful in all things. We live way out on the East End of the island and are building a home on the beach. Our choice is very rustic, and minimalistic, with an emphasis on our comfort and convenience. We have never swum in such pristine water as the Caribbean Sea and so we do a Sea Soak several times a day. While Florida had nice weather year-round, we enjoy the “rainy season” of Roatan and know we will look forward to it every year following the long, hot, dry days. The weather so agrees with us that we just soak it up!

Roatan is affordable for us. This morning I bought 3# of fresh jumbo shrimp for L675, which is $27.00. There were 61 shrimp which we froze for six different meals. So, about $5.00 for a meal of the best shrimp around. We rent a 2/2 home just steps from the Sea and pay $750 a month for rent. Yes, electricity is quite expensive, so we have learned to practice conservation. We have A/C in our bedroom only. If the day is extremely hot (like today: The outside temperature is 92 F., feels like 105, so said my desktop weather station), we turn the A/C on for our afternoon siesta and then again in the early evening before bed. In Florida, the central air ran 24/7, set at 73 degrees. Yes, it has been an adjustment, but we are happy to make it.

“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old. We grow old because we stop hiking.” – Finis Mitchell

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
― Henry David Thoreau

We are the exception, rather than the rule. We visited only one time (for two weeks) before we decided to sell everything in our long-time South Florida home, and become residents of Roatan. The standard recommendation - and it is a very good one - is to visit several times first. Stay in different areas of the island and see what it feels like to you. Then, if you and your husband both love it, you’ll know your path.

We wish you the best!


I live in TX and just bought a house on the Iron Shore in West Bay. We love it down there!


Great read! Husband and myself plan to move there in 2 years.


Thank you all for your posts. My wife and I are considering and all good advice. At least our eyes will be open when we visit.


Hello there @Rhonda-Paul – The Sand fleas are there, but they aren’t an issue if you know that. The issue comes when people go to the beach and aren’t equipped with repellent.

Just pack a bag with your repellent, your sunblock, and a water bottle and you’ll be alright.

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