It’s the high season in Roatán, which means most of the available residential rentals are taken. Though there were some options online, we knew from our experience traveling that we’re better off waiting until we arrive to find a place.
So once we got here, the first 4 or 5 days were spent finding a new place. Here are a few tips on how we did it.
Ask around at Sundowners
Sundowners is one of the local expat bars, and is typically filled with expats from the prime beach hours until well after sundown. We headed to sundowners because the owner has a few properties for rent right across the street. These were full, but some friendly expats who were helping us find the right people to talk to ended up having a room for rent themselves.
Check out the facebook group(s) Roatán Garage Sale
These sites offer everything from used shoes to apartments. The groups are closed, so you have to be approved to join, but I think you’ll make the cut. We saw quite a few listings on there for places to rent, though we ended up renting by other means.
Walk Around Town
Ultimately, this is how we found our place. When staying at Land’s End a few years ago, we kept passing a cute little house with a “For Rent” sign, and kept talking about the possibility of renting it and extending our 10-day stay into a month or two.
This year, we walked back past the same house, and decided to call the number on the sign and check it out.
The house had a few issues, most of which are pretty common in the tropics, but the landlord has been incredibly helpful in making repairs and installing improvements.
Our biggest issue here has been getting internet, but there are plenty of solutions for that, and they’re things we can go through in another post.
So now we have a house. I believe that altogether we called some 6 places, talked to a few people in person about our search, and went and looked at 4 locations.
Picking our favorite place took some deliberating, but since every day in the hotel cost as much as three days moved into our new home, we pulled the trigger pretty quickly.
There are a few things you should think about before renting a place here. The first thing is electricity. Air conditioning is extremely expensive here, (around $10-15 a day if you’re in a hotel that bills for it separately, which can easily be around 30% of your night’s stay) so you’ll want to make sure you find a place that has natural breeze or effective fans. Ceiling fans are best because they keep mosquitos from bothering you while also cooling the room.
Be sure to ask the landlord who pays for electricity when you start talking about price. Our electricity is included in our rent, but several places we looked at would have had us paying an electric bill every month. If you’re paying your own electric bill, it’s best if your home or apartment is separately metered. We’ve heard a few stories about people who ended up paying the electricity for several homes because they were all on the same meter.
Since we like to know all the terms of an agreement at the start, we chose to go with a place for included electricity for our own peace of mind, and we’ve never even had to plug in the air conditioner anyway.
Similarly, other utilities, such as gas and water, might be paid separately, but electricity is the most common. We pay to have our natural gas canister (to run the stove) filled by a truck that drives by every few days. It costs 300 Lempiras, or about $13. Based on our usage back in Chile, that should last us at least a month.
Running water is included in our bill, but we also buy the big 5-gallon jugs of water from another truck that drives around. In fact, we just got one delivered, and it cost us 35 Lempiras, or about $1.75. We also bought a pump for $4.
So, down to the banal details, that’s what it’s like getting a house rented here in Roatán. People have been incredibly helpful here, and we’re so happy to be spending the next three months in this community.