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Retiring in  Roatan

retire in Roatan

Is this Heaven?

Earlier this spring we took a Caribbean cruise. Of all the spots we visited, the one I’d like to go back to is Roatan. I could definitely see myself retiring in Roatan. I would love to visit Roatan tomorrow and just sit there on the beach, with my feet in the clear blue water and the warm sun smiling down on my little bald head. ( see the full size pictures at the end of this post and you’ll see what I mean) And of all the many reasons to visit Roatan as a vacation spot or as a retirement plan, I have selected my personal top 5 reasons to visit Roatan. First though, while your still saving for retirement you’re probably asking yourself “where is Roatan?”

Where is Roatan?

Roatan is an island in Central America. One of three large Honduras Bay islands, it  lies off the northern coast of Honduras between Utila and Guanaja.  Sitting about 82 miles off the coast of Honduras it is 48 miles long and  about 5 miles wide at it widest. It is officially part of the country of Honduras, but in reality, its pure “Margaritaville.”  

UPDATE:  recently I  have been made aware of some serious crime in Roatan. Unfortunately, there is now danger in paradise. I just want you to be aware of  everything. Jim Walker has published an informative article about the problem of crime in Roatan. 

 Roatan has a tropical climate                               

Roatan BeachI’m pointing this out because today, as I write this, it’s about 4 degrees in Chicago, they are expecting 8 inches of snow . . and it’s almost the middle of March!  By contrast, if you visit Roatan in March the average temperature averages 84 degrees. The coldest month, January, is only 80 degrees and the hottest month, September, averages almost 88. It’s like “Goldilocks” weather, not too hot, not too cold, just right. It has two rainy seasons. One from around the first of July to the start of September. The second appears in January to February.  Throughout the year  occasional rains can quickly pop up, but the rest of the time its pure heaven. You can’t beat the bright sunshine and cool breezes. If one of your retirement plans is to escape the cold, then Roatan may be the place for you. 

 

Roatan has dazzling beaches

Last time we were there we just laid in our beach chairs and dangled or feet in the water. I was trying to come up with a retirement plan I could convince the wife of, but I’m still working on it. She’s not ready to be retiring in Roatan just yet, but she did agree it was as close to perfect as you can get. There are so many sparkling sandy coastlines it’s hard to pick the best. The turquoise-blue waters seem to come alive with light, as the sun reflects off the clear white  ocean floor. The fishing in Roatan is world-class also.

Mahogany BayFrom West Bay Beach to newly designed Mahogany Bay Beach, the choices are endless. I love relaxing around the beach at West End  because of its proximity to the restaurants and shops, and the view is pure Caribbean.Sandy Bay Beach to the east is another favorite when you want a little less people around. Mahogany Bay Beach  was built by the cruise ship industry  to cater to tourists and it’s definitely working. Currently, about a million tourists visit Roatan each year.

 Saving for Retirement is easy in Roatan 

Whether you are looking for a first class resort or just a backpackers hostel, Roatan has what you want. Recently, we found a nice little spot right across from the beach at West End. It’s called Crystal Beach .

Retiring in RoatanYou can get a one room cabin for about $700 a month. How’s that fit into a retirement plan? With nothing to do after that but soak up the sun and think about what kind of seafood you want for dinner.

If you’re looking for a more upscale resort check out Cobalt Coast Resort or an all-inclusive dive package at Anthony’s Key Resort.

Moving up in quality, another spot we found has nice little bungalows right on their own sparkling white beach.The Lost Paradise Inn on West End beach is a great spot to chill-out and let your troubles melt away. The place was full of snow-birds  doing just that. We are hoping to be joining them in the near future. The view is amazing and the beach is more than I can say. Check out their website for  some great pictures and all the info  at Lost Paradise Inn.

Early Retirement in Roatan is easy to get to

retiring in RoatanIf you want to visit Roatan it’s easy. Flying from Miami takes about 2 hours and you can land at Roatan’s International airport.  It’s only 761 miles by air and that’s about the same distance as Miami to Charlotte, NC. So, it really is close and yet, when you get there, you will feel like you’re a million miles from home.  You can also get there by ship.

Cruise Ship companies  have discovered the beauty of Roatan and quickly added Roatan to many of their cruises.

(In fact we are already booked to go back. Maybe I’ll convince her this time)

Diving in Roatan

Roatan is a diver’s paradise

Roatan lies right beside the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is over 800 miles long and stretches from Honduras to Mexico. And the great thing is you can step into the water in Roatan and swim right out to great snorkeling or diving spots. The dive reefs in Roatan are world famous  some of the best spots on the entire planet for fish, coral,  plant growth, and enjoyment.

retiring in RoatanVisit Roatan to work on your retirement plan and you’ll quickly find there are numerous dive shops and dive schools  along the coast. You can get PADI certified  for as low as $300 while enjoying beautiful diving locations at the same time. If you ask  any experienced divers around the world “where is Roatan?” … they all know.

Getting to Roatan

From the States, the best way to visit Roatan is by air. It’s only two hours from Miami and the fares are no too bad. Recently we found out that you can go toKayak.com and set fare alerts that will automatically E-mail you with the best fares to anywhere you pick.  there’s just not any good reason not to visit Roatan. This the most “tropical Island” I’ve ever visited. Oh, did I mention.. this is where they filmed Fantasy Island so naturally you can arrive on “the plane! the plane!”

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