2014 cost of living in Roatan: One month

In case you missed it, I’m breaking down what it (approximately) costs to come to Roatan for a week, a month, and a year. Check out the weekly estimate in my previous post and stay tuned for my yearly estimate. Here’s my cost of living estimate from 2013 for more info. Keep in mind your costs can vary GREATLY depending on the depth of your wallet. These are averages, but I’ve seen people blow an incredible amount of cash here and I’ve seen others skate by spending only the bare minimum. You can have fun and enjoy your vacation either way so just do what works for you! Without further ado –

Here’s what you should expect to pay…

if you’re coming to Roatan for a month:

Housing: Rent a house! It’ll save you tons over a hotel. $500-$6000, depending on how fancy schmancy you want to get.

Food: This goes with the rent a house thing – it’ll save you tons over eating out every single meal for a month. Let’s not even address what that would do to your arteries and just talk about your wallet. Go grocery shopping, cook some dinners for yourself, and eat breakfast at home. It’s so worth it. Keep in mind the groceries cost the same as or more than they do back home. It’s easy to drop $200 on a cart of normal (not crazy super healthy hard-to-find organic stuff) food. Whatever you spend back home on a monthly basis, estimate the same here.

Transportation: If you’re staying in West End or West Bay, no need for a car and you’ll be fine spending the $5 roundtrip for groceries every once in a while. If you’re renting a place slightly outside of town, you may want to consider renting a car while you’re here. Keeping in mind what you’ll save renting a house over staying in a hotel, renting a car would certainly make your stay more convenient. Again, not at all a necessity, but a convenience. You can probably work out a good deal for a month-long rental, but estimate around $1000-1500 depending on the size of vehicle you need for your group.

Activities: If you’re diving the whole time you’re here, it’s best to stick with one dive shop to get a killer deal on dive packages. A month of diving? Let’s say you end up doing about 25 dives during your stay, you’re looking at about $1000 once you factor in gear rental, Roatan Marine Park fees, and TIPS!!! Did I mention tipping your divemaster/instructor yet? Because it’s important. And managing a dive shop has made me even more sensitive than I was as a waitress because at least Americans and Canadians acknowledge that tipping your waitress/bartender is just part of going out. However, apparently people just completely brain fart when they dive and it blows my mind how many people walk out the door after absolutely raving about how wonderful their dives were and how grateful they were with the extra time and attention they received and the incredible customer service they experienced. Amazing. Just gone. No second thought. PLEASE TIP THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP YOU ALIVE AND SHOW YOU AN AWESOME TIME. /end rant. (Also, sidenote, I don’t receive any tips for what I do nor should I. I’m just ranting on behalf of my divers and boat captains who don’t have their own blogs to be able to rant.)

Other expenses: A month’s worth of expenses could include utility bills, drinking water, cleaning supplies, fuel, you name it. This should be the same as your random expenses back home based on your family/group size so plan accordingly. (ie I live with a walking talking garbage disposal so our grocery bill is astronomical, but on the flip-side it costs us only a few bucks to get to and from work each week together.) Plan accordingly based on your vacation style – are you coming here to relax and lay on the beach every day? Your expenses will be minimal beyond rent and food. But if you’re coming here to partake in any and all fun island activities available, bust out the Benjamins. (Speaking of which, in case you didn’t know the U.S. Dollar is accepted everywhere here. The basic exchange rate is 20:1 but some places change theirs based on the actual daily bank rates. Super important: lots of places do not accept credit cards and the power goes out frequently so ATMs may or may not be your friend. Bring cash. And make sure that your U.S. cash is not ripped/taped together/written on as nobody here will take it. I know that sounds silly but it’s for serious. You’ve been warned!)

Maybe that wasn’t very helpful for planning your trip because I can’t give actual numbers since you could be traveling solo or with a giant posse. Lo siento. But I promise to keep providing more info on my lovely home and all the cool things you can do and see here. In the meantime, stop worrying so much about budgeting and just come visit already!

5 thoughts on “2014 cost of living in Roatan: One month

  1. Hahah love the tipping part! Some of us do have our own blogs to rant on 🙂 We make things easy at our shop…15% gratuity gets added to all final bills (we tell them about it during pre-booking), and then the guests they can raise or lower it at their discretion at checkout. Never had it lowered or removed once, and gets bumped to 20% often! Works like a charm. A lot of people just don’t realize it’s customary (especially new divers…I include that tidbit in my open water courses hehe!)


    • I’ve often considered adding it to our prices, but being in West End makes it harder than being at a resort. People come here looking for the cheapest rates so it’s a tough line to walk. We have signs on board our boat and in the shop explaining and reminding customers to tip, but still. Nothing. Most people tip decently but many people just walk out the door. You’re doing a great job getting the word out to help all dive instructors. Keep it up!!!


  2. Odd that incuding the tips at %15 percent considering standard in Central America is 10, Nonetheless its good it is looked at. I do not know where this person shopped but except for basic local produce,groceryshopping costs are higher than the US or Canada by a longshot. And then the say Utilities are about the same?? Our rates per KWH on Roatan are about 4 times the US average . $500 a month will get you very basic, re read, very basic home and you will have to pay for electricity and maybe water


    • Hey Eric! Thanks for your input – you’re right that electricity is 4x more expensive here than in the States. I mentioned that in my first article since many house rentals will charge for electricity usage. I probably should’ve included it again here in case people didn’t read the first one though. Groceries depend on what you’re buying. If you buy the same brands you bought at home then you’ll definitely pay more since they’re imported here. If you buy local and generic brands (which is what I did back home, too) then groceries are about the same. As I mentioned, $200 for a cart of groceries here is typical and that’s what it was back home for me as well. That’s from living in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington, DC, so of course it could be different in other parts of the country. As for a home rental, $500 is certainly not the most basic of homes here. There are plenty of places that rent for less. And of course houses can rent for thousands based upon location and amenities. I’m just trying to cover all the bases so everyone from backpackers to retirees has an idea of what could work for them. Thanks for reading!


  3. Pingback: 2014 cost of living in Roatan: One year | AWalk on the Run

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