Roatan Revisited - Living
On The Island Of Roatan
by Lyle Burke
near Punta Gorda - Garifuna Village
- is an island of pristine beaches, lush jungle covered
hills, welcoming people, unique cultures, world renowned
diving and an endless array of activities. It is Caribbean
and it is inexpensive Caribbean. The island of Roatan,
the most developed of the Bay Islands Archipelago,
is located only 40 miles northeast of mainland Honduras.
Are you looking for an island with Las Vegas style
entertainment? Or championship golf courses? Maybe
a choice of 5-star hotels? Well then, Roatan Island
is not the place for your next vacation---
On the other hand, if your idea of a wonderful Caribbean
experience includes world class diving and water sports,
a beautiful mountainous island offering both spectacular
vistas and beaches, friendly English speaking native
islanders, and a chance to rediscover the art of the
casual conversation, then read on-----
Maybe I should start over-I never imagined that a
trip taken with my sister back in 1993, would have
become a catalyst for a lifestyle change for my family
and myself. We were so taken with the island, that
several trips later, in early 1996, I made the move
with my wife and two daughters to Roatan.
Group at "Hole
in the Wall"
When family, friends, and clients ask what had brought
us to Roatan, it was easy to name several things that
appealed to us other than the sheer natural beauty
of the Island and friendly Islanders.
To begin with, although not a mainstream destination,
there are regular direct flights from either Miami
or Houston to Roatan's small but modern international
airport airport. Infrastructure, although basic, continues
to improve. Computer buffs won't find DSL service,
but they will be able to log on at several Internet
cafes/hotels on the island.
Scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing our Hobie Cat,
was just a few minutes away from our front door on
beautiful West Bay Beach. There was nothing like walking
down the beach to West End Town and stopping by the
Boulangerie, known for their delicious French pastries
and hot, local coffee. In the evening, West End town
offers a lively assortment of eateries and roadside
pubs where it is not unusual to hear people conversing
in French, German, Spanish, Italian, English, as well
as the local
Fresh seafood was only a short drive away at the
Flying Fish in Cozen Hole. Here we had a wide selection
to choose from, and purchased our pick of the catch
at bargain prices, next to the boat that caught it.
When we felt the need to be pampered, we would drive
to French Harbor for sunset cocktails at the French
Harbor Dive and Yacht Club, steeped with an old world
colonial feel to it. And then onward to either Romeo's
or Gio's Restaurant in French Harbor Town for gourmet
fare with an island flavor.
Boarding the water
taxi at Oak Ridge
A must, whenever family and friends came to visit,
was the scenic drive to Oakridge. Often referred to
as the "Venice of Roatan", most traffic
around Oak Ridge is via water taxis, or private boats.
Oak Ridge is the largest community on the sparsely
populated east end of the island. From the bus stop,
where motor and water vehicles meet, we would take
a water taxi through the mangrove tunnels and dock
at Bob and Rhonda's "Hole in the Wall Bar and
Grill", known for their great bar-b-que and local
flavor. In the late afternoon, we would board our
water taxi and boat up to pristine Carib Bight, for
a refreshing swim in crystal clear water. Another
colorful spot on the East End is Punta Gorda. The
first Garifuna settlement in Honduras, this village
was first settled in1797. A carnival occurring April
12 each year celebrates the founding of this community
and is an event to plan for.
When island fever struck we would hop on a short flight
to La Ceiba, a lively city on the coast of Honduras.
There we could catch a movie, shop, or make plans for
white river rafting or a trip to the Mayan ruins in
For over four years I worked with an international
real estate firm helping others realize their Caribbean
dreams. In early 2000, fulfilling a promise made to
my oldest daughter we relocated to San Antonio Texas
so that she could prepare herself for college.
Parrot Tree Beach
Prior to leaving Roatan, I began putting together Tropical
Pathways, a company specializing in real estate investment
tours. I wanted to utilize the experience and knowledge
that I had gained as a realtor on Roatan to help others
make profitable and safe investments in real estate.
At the same time, I am able to maintain a connection
to an area that I truly love. Tropical Pathways currently
offers investment tours to Roatan, Panama, and Belize.
Our travel calendar offers several travel dates, throughout
the year, for each destination.
Sleepy Roatan is beginning to wake up and catch the
eye of potential investors because of the excellent
real estate buys currently available. Whether you
are looking for a residential lot, a finished home,
business and or commercial property, there are variety
of choices with excellent value for the dollar. If
you are looking for a very good investment opportunity
or simply a change in the pace, believe me, Roatan
is worth a look.