The East End of Roatan is a very popular area for expats. Quiet, more rural, and a true taste of island life await you in the East End. Part of the Santos Guardiola Municipality, the East End is a term to describe the many different neighborhoods and communities that vaguely encompass everything East of French Harbour. There are several neighborhoods that are more popular with expats looking for island real estate, and many expats also look at the East End for land to build their own dream home.
If you’re considering a move to Roatan, start with our comprehensive guide to Roatan island to learn about the many popular areas on the island. And you can always get in touch if you’re wondering where to start in your island real estate journey!
Where is Roatan’s East End?
To give you a clearer idea of what we mean when we say the East End of Roatan, take a look at this map:
To get your bearings, you can take a look at all of our Roatan island maps. And, again, don’t forget about our fully comprehensive guide to give you an island overview.
Check out all of our Roatan maps for easy reference
Neighborhoods of the East End
The East End of Roatan has remained much more rural and fairly quiet, especially in comparison to the busy areas of West End or West Bay. While tourists still visit Roatan’s East End, it certainly does not get as many busloads of cruise ship day-trippers nor the majority of longer-term visitors to the island. For expats looking for a quiet retirement surrounded by stunning natural beauty, the East End might just be your dream come true!
Here are some of the more popular East End neighborhoods for expats in Roatan…
Located along the north shore just beyond Punta Gorda, Punta Blanca is a quiet community with a variety of real estate options from traditional local housing to lots and more. Marble Hill Farms is in this area and has long been popular with expat and tourist communities.
First Bight & Second Bight
As one of the first communities after French Harbour and French Cay, First Bight and Parrot Tree Plantation are south shore communities buzzing with expats and tourists. There are also many homes along the main road in this vicinity that are popular with expats. The much-loved Cal’s Cantina restaurant is along the main road overlooking First and Second Bights. Be sure to check out the available real estate in First Bight.
Another popular area for expats, Calabash Bight is along the south shore past Oak Ridge. This is well into the East End and therefore is much more rural and less frequented by tourists. A beautiful part of the island, this is ideal for those seeking a true escape from it all and who are more self-sufficient.
Camp Bay is one of the more popular tourist destinations on the East End of Roatan. The beach here is sort of the end of the road for those traveling from the western side of the island, with many expats making this their weekend getaway if they live on the western side. There is also a popular restaurant here, La Sirena, and real estate opportunities are plentiful.
Oak Ridge is one of the original settlements on Roatan and still holds that traditional flair. BJ’s Backyard is a local watering hole that’s been hosting all types for decades now; it’s considered a Roatan institution. Expats gather there regularly, so Oak Ridge acts as a hub for the East End folks.
There are a few new developments being built along Big Bight Road, which runs just east of Pristine Bay on the edge of French Harbour. These two new developments offer ample opportunities for expats looking to invest in anticipation of retirement! Take a look at Pangea Beach, Guaiabara Beach, and Coral Views Village to see real estate opportunities in Big Bight.
Tourism in the East End of Roatan
With increasing interest in the East End of Roatan by both expats and tourists, there are certainly opportunities for vacation rentals and property investment. There are dive resorts dotted along both the north and south shore, though those act mostly along the all-inclusive lines due to their relative isolation. But tourists looking to escape from the stresses and chaos back home have fallen in love with the quiet, rustic charms of Roatan’s East End.
Beyond Camp Bay being a popular spot for western Roatan expats to take a day trip or a weekend getaway, there are other popular tourist destinations in the East End. Punta Gorda is the island’s home of the Garifuna community, with extensive history in the area to share with visitors at their Flamingo Cultural Center. Cruise ship visitors head there, but a visit on non-cruise ship days for other tourists and locals has become quite popular.
The East End also boasts all the same fantastic watersports and outdoor adventures the western side of Roatan offers. However, the East End of Roatan is the only spot for kitesurfing! The winds here are best for this sport. There are also lots of easy day trips to enjoy from the East End, especially to other small islands and cays.
Another very popular option is a tour through the mangrove tunnels. Carved by the Paya indigenous peoples who lived on Roatan centuries ago, these tunnels through the mangroves make it easier to get from the north to the south shore, or vice versa. Mangroves are also teeming with life, so it’s a great opportunity to spot some interesting local critters!
Daily Life for Expats in Roatan’s East End
Retirement on Roatan’s East End is a quiet, relaxing affair that appeals to many North American and European expats especially. Far from the frenetic pace back home — and the terrible winters — retiring on the East End of Roatan means slowing down to enjoy the natural beauty and slower cadence of Island Time.
Of course, that slower pace means there is plenty of time for socializing and partaking in the many fun activities the island offers! Expats on the East End regularly gather for beach days, boat excursions, and live music at BJ’s Backyard. The expat community is very well connected and you’ll be quickly invited into the fold should you decide to join the retirees living the good life on the East End.
If you’re looking to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, you might just love life on the East End of Roatan. Contact us to get started with your East End real estate search. If you tell us what you’re looking for, we can ensure you have all the detailed information you’ll need to make the right choice for you.