Roatan – Honduras – LIVING on a GRANDPAcking Budget

Roatan - West End - Mermaid

AUGUST 2017:

OVERVIEW:

I have already posted the GRANDPAcking Costs for Roatan. These demonstrate that GRANDPAckers cannot afford to LIVE on Roatan Island using our standard GRANDPAcking approach.Roatan Island Map

However, it is such a unique destination that it is worth showing how GRANDPAckers CAN LIVE on Roatan on a GRANDPAcking budget with only a few ‘minor’ adjustments to lifestyle.Roatan - West End 3

In this post, I explain how…


CROSS REFERENCES:

Read Roatan – Honduras – Information for more detail.

Read about Honduras Retirement Locations.

Read about other Honduras Destinations and Travel Budgets.

Read about GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


SPREADSHEET SUMMARY:

Roatan GRANDPAcking Costs (Cheap)


MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON GRANDPAcking COSTS:

I did not live on Roatan to GRANDPAcking standard – I couldn’t afford to.

My costs are broken down into:

  • Cost of Existence: The basic costs of just being there
  • Cost of Living: The additional costs that make being there fun

MY COST OF EXISTENCE (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.


Accommodation:

My initial accommodation at Georphi’s DID NOT meet ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’. It was a Single Room that I booked because it was the cheapest that I could find on the internet.Roatan - Georphis - Single Cabin Roatan - Georphis - KitchenetteRoatan - Georphis - Ensuite EntryRoatan - Georphis - Room Entry

My room had a Single Bed and a private hot water bathroom.

I managed to get a discounted rate of HNL529 / night (US$23). I booked 3 nights. This gave me enough time to look around to find an apartment.

I found a Studio Apartment opposite Palapa Papa’s for US$600 / month including electric. I negotiated them down from US$650 – which I was able to do because it was Low Season.Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Cabins

My apartment was at the front of the complex of 8 apartments.Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Back Cabins

The room was a reasonable size …Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Room

… it included Cable TV and kitchenette …Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Entry

… and a private Bathroom with plenty of hot water.Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Vanity Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Shower

.. and, I had a deck with a hammock looking out over the main road to the waterfront.Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Deck Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas - Studio Hammock View


Transport:

I walked everywhere around West End. You don’t need any transport.Roatan - West End 4

I also walked the 3kms from West End to West Bay and back (45 minutes each way). The beach walk (which includes traversing a couple of rocky crags) is a very pleasant walk.Roatan - West End - Walk to West Bay 5Roatan - West End - Walk to West Bay 2


Communications & Fees:

I had, previously, purchased a TIGO Honduras SIMcard in San Pedro Sula. In Roatan I  topped it up with HNL1,240 and bought 3 data plans. Two of these were 5.5GB 1 month data plans costing HNL565 each. I found myself getting through a lot of data.Roatan - West End - Bar Arena

In Roatan your own simcard is almost a necessity.

My Honduran Visitor’s Visa cost me US$2 at the Honduran border.


Food & Drink:

I averaged HNL220 / day on food.

I ate Breakfast and Lunch at home in my apartment. My average cost for Breakfast was HNL40 / day.

I don’t really eat Lunch anymore. A good Breakfast keeps me going until Dinner time. So, I bought groceries / snacks from the Minimarts to keep the cost of Lunches down. My average cost for Lunch was HNL34 / day.

I averaged HNL138 for Dinner but I didn’t have a Fruit Juice (preferring beer). My Dinners were simple and ranged from a Chicken Nacho Soup to half priced Pizza. I tried to eat where the discounts were on different nights.Roatan - West End - Dos Hermanos - Chicken Quesadilla HNL140Roatan - West End - Calelus Pork Chop Meal HNL115Roatan - West End - Splash Inn - 14in Deep Blue Pizza Roatan - West End - Anthonys - Chicken & Banana HNL80


Summary:

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was HNL698 / NZ$43 / US$31 / €26 / £24.


MY COST OF LIVING (COL):

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were HNL601 / NZ$37 / US$27 / €23 / £21. This was enough to LIVE on.


Getting There:

It cost me HNL715 for the ferry from Utila Island to Roatan Island and HNL100 for the taxi from the Roatan Ferry Dock in Coxen Hole to West End.Utila - Direct Ferry to Roatan


Drink / Partying:

I was out every night and averaged HNL99 each night on beer. This was, usually 3 beers in the Happy Hour down at the Booty Bar (HNL30 each) or 2 beers after 8pm (HNL50 each).Roatan - West End - Bar Arena

BUT, I had quite a few party nights 🙂Roatan - West End - Blue Marlin - Karaoke Roatan - West End - Palapa Papas Wednesday Music


Personal:

My main cost was HNL120 on a haircut.


Entertainment / Trips:

I didn’t do any SCUBA Diving but spent HNL350 on a snorkelling trip.


Shopping:

I bought some minor items to keep my apartment clean.


Other / Gifts:

I have included tips for food in the price of the food (above). I spent another HNL200 on tipping in addition to that.


Summary:

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at HNL902 / NZ$56 / US$40 / €34 / £31 per day. This was 69% of my total budget … I had 31% left to play with. I had all the money that I needed to have a fun time.


WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:

Again, costs are broken down in Cost Of Existence (COE) and Cost Of Living (COL).


Cost Of Existence (COE):

Unlike my costs, these costs meet GRANDPAcking Standard.


Accommodation:

  • You will need a couple of days to find your long term accommodation
  • For your short term accommodation, search online well in advance and keep looking regularly until you find something ‘acceptable’ to you for up to US$43 / night
  • This may or may not be to GRANDPAcking Standard… but it is only for 2 nights, so don’t worry too much about it… it should be perfectly adequate for that price
  • Georphi’s is a good cheap option
  • Once in Roatan, look at Where To Stay and see what you can find
  • Getting your accommodation at a good price is ‘key’, so take your time and get it right
  • Make sure that it comes with free cooking facilities / a kitchenette as this is also ‘key’ to keeping your meal costs under control
  • Take ‘cash in hand’ when you are ready to do the ‘final deal’ on the one that you have chosen
  • Discounts on the asking prices are hard to get, so keep your search limited to places listed for no more than US$700 / month
  • You should be able to get somewhere good for US$650 / month including electric

Transport:

You will be ‘island-bound’ because you cannot afford the cost of a round trip on the ferry.

However, I have included a weekly Colectivo Trip to Coxen Hole.


Communications:

You will need a prepaid 1 Month TIGO 1GB data package for HNL455 (HNL55 for the SIMcard and HNL400 for the data plan). If you buy this on the right day (there is, usually, a promotion every 3 days) you can get some text and talk time included at that price.


Fees & Visa:

I have included a nominal ‘pro rata’ cost for your 3 month tourist visa.


Food & Beverages:

  • The Breakfast budget is for something simple with coffee back at your apartment at an average cost of HNL100 / day
  • The Lunch budget is for something simple with fruit drink back at your apartment at an average cost of HNL120 / day
  • The Dinner Budget is for something from the Lower Quartile of a budget restaurant and includes a drink
  • The owners of your accommodation should be able to arrange for you to get 5 Gallon containers of drinking water which cost HNL50 per refill

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about HNL1303 / NZ$80 / US$58 / €49 / £45 per day. This is 100% of your daily budget.


Cost Of LIVING:

This leaves you NOTHING to live on.

You will have to eat Dinner back at your apartment if you want some spending money.


CONCLUSION:

For those of you that love beach holidays, look seriously at Roatan but heed this post on how to do Roatan on a budget.

There are things to do in Roatan but they, mainly, revolve around beach life… relaxing, swimming, reading books, sipping beers …

By living in an apartment and being sensible with meals you can keep close to your GRANDPAcking budget.

But, expect to go over budget (how much depends on your lifestyle) so, if you do come, save up some extra money somewhere else first.

For this reason, Roatan still DOES NOT make it into my GRANDPAcker Retirement Reviews.


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