Island Spotlight: Roatan’s Central Region

roatan central palmetto

Roatan's Central Region

Trading bars and restaurants for government buildings, banking and commerce, you will find the central part of the island is where you frequent the most when there is something that needs to get done! While many expats choose to live further to the East or West, both will need to enter either French Harbour or Coxen Hole to run errands. But amidst the hardware stores, shipping companies, and banks there are amazing restaurants, secluded beaches, and stunning neighborhoods to explore, which are starting to become more popular due to their proximity to the major “towns” and amenities. Living mid-island also gives you the freedom to decide if for your next “beach day” you wish to head East to Camp Bay or West to West Bay Beach as they are equidistant from you. Let’s explore Roatan’s central region:

Coxen Hole

Coxen Hole, the capital of the Bay Islands, is part of Roatan’s business district. Here you will find retail stores, local shops, internet cafes, lawyer and broker offices, banks, the post office, the immigration and municipal offices, and more. Home to the Port of Roatan, on cruise ship days the streets become crowded as vans hurriedly transport tourists from port to town.

However, on its quieter days you will notice families doing their weekly shopping trip to Eldon’s or Plaza Mar, a couple sitting at the Central Park, and a variety of local restaurants and food vendors to enjoy. Coxen Hole is home to a large local population, with many homes existing amidst and on top of the central part of town.

Located only a few minutes between Coxen Hole and French Harbour lies the bohemian neighborhood of Dixon Cove, a pristine pocket of protected water on the southern shore of Roatan. This neighborhood offers views of Mahogany Bay, an additional cruise ship port, and miles of sprawling hills that overlook the remarkable Caribbean Sea.  Contact us at ZeUs Roatan Real Estate to send you information on available land and newly-built homes currently available in the area.

Palmetto Bay

When heading to Coxen Hole or French Harbour from Sandy Bay, you will most likely go down what is known as Mud Hole Road. Along this area you will find the local Blue Harbour Farm, Manawakie Eco Park, small residential developments, charming and secluded beaches, as well as the new Roatan Island Brewing Company. The brewery is the perfect place to spend a weekend with friends, offering ping-pong, a dunk tank, cornhole, locally smoked meats and other fare, and even an artisan’s market hosted on Sundays every few weeks!

Conveniently located near the brewery is the one of a kind private and eco-conscious residential community of Palmetto Bay. This exceptional community offers stand-alone homes, a beach-side pool, restaurant and bar, on-site diving, watersports, a shaded palapa and dock, several walking trails, and full-time security – all built with the mindset of coexisting in harmony with nature. And with the conveniences of Coxen Hole or French Harbour nearly 10 minutes away, what’s not to love? Other developing neighborhoods in the area include the communities of Hottest Sparrow and the private hillside community of Turtling Bay, both tucked amongst tropical trees with convenient access to a nearby beach and the new paved road.

French Harbour Area

Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park, Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hang Out, diving and enjoying the beach and cocktails at one of the French Keys…many of Roatan’s adventurous and iconic experiences can be found in French Harbour. And while a popular place to be on cruise ship days, French Harbour has plenty to offer expats and locals as well. For those living on the East, French Harbour is where they will come for a grocery run to Eldon’s, to pick up their box at Island Shipping, or to stop at the Bank in Jackson’s Plaza or the Mall.

For many, going to French Harbour means a day of shopping at the Megaplaza Mall, with stores like MegaPaca, Carrion, Katriny Bay, PayLess Shoes and more! French Harbour is also home to the new, state of the art Cemesa Hospital should you need a check up or have an emergency. There is no shortage of delicious food either! Head to GiLei’s Cafe for a casual breakfast or lunch, Silversides for a delicious brunch or early dinner, Kristi’s Overlook for Tex-Mex with a view, Herby’s Sports Bar & Sports Grill to catch the game on its 32 TVs, or Romeo’s for an unforgettable dinner right on the water with that special someone.

The surrounding French Harbour area is home to many luxurious communities. Pineapple Villas is one of the first to come to mind offering ocean-view condos with access to community pools in each building as well as a larger community pool next to the on-site spa and restaurants. Right next door is Pristine Bay offering luxury villas over the Pete-Dye designed Black Pearl Golf Course with jaw dropping Caribbean Sea views from the moment you drive into the property.

Big Bight

Near Pristine Bay is the north shore seaside development of Guaiabara Beach. This idyllic neighborhood sits on 15 acres of seamlessly blended outdoor and indoor living areas and has some beachfront and ocean-view hillside lots available. Other amenities of Guaiabara include a sea side Bar, offering 12 boat slips and a natural sea pool. In the same area, near Big Bight, lies the private, gated community of Coral Views. Coral Views offers a private beach, pool, dock, 24 hour security, and landscaping of common areas, all at a modest HOA fee.

A new beachfront development in the area is Pangea offering both beachfront and hillside ocean-view lots. Upcoming amenities will include paved roads, underground utilities, common area pool and deck plus an ample beach for Pangea owners.

First & Second Bight

First Bight is one of our favorite less-known areas on the island. This community is located in one of the areas of the island where snorkeling and diving are available right from the beach or dock. It is common to see Coco View and other big operation dive boats roaming the  waters of First Bight’s south shore enjoying the wonderful dive sites nearby. Also next to the protected bight, other common activities in the area may include kayaking and paddle boarding. To the other side of the Bight is the Parrot Tree Plantation gated community offering its owners paved roads, 24 hour security, underground utilities, large common area pools, common area beach and wonderful nature trails for daily strolls. Lots, beachfront condos and residential options are usually available in this community.

The advantages of being located mid-island mean you will be able to enjoy some of Roatan’s more remote beaches without the crowds, while still being able to successfully run errands and other day to day tasks. Daily life may be quieter, but with no shortage of activities and restaurants to enjoy, you won’t miss the dazzling night life of the west end.