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Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
2 posts
7 reviews
Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

I will be visiting Roatan. Before I convert my Canadian dollars I want to ensure that all places accept Lempira.

I will have some US currency with me but am I am safe bringing a good amount of Lempiras to pay for my excursions and diving?

Sudbury, Ontario
Level Contributor
882 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

Hi Kona...nice to see someone else from Sudbury heading to Roatan. We love vacationing on the island and are heading back in 2018 for 9 weeks. Yes Lempira's are accepted every where on the island. Can you get Lempira's thru your bank without charge? If not you don't have to go with any at all as when you pay in US dollars most places will give you back Lempira's as change. But as US$ are accepted everywhere there really is no need to exchange CDN for Lempira's at all.

I'm sure you already know this but CDN$ are NOT accepted anywhere on the island...and there is nowhere any person could exchange them on the island if they wanted too!

Enjoy your vacation,

Mary Jane from Lively

Tokyo, Japan
Destination Expert
for Hakone-machi, Minato
Level Contributor
7,716 posts
2. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

US dollars can be used anywhere on the island. US $1's, $5's, $10's will be handy, but $20's, $50's and $100's can be used for the "big items." Clean, crisp and not torn, ripped or written on bills. You can also use credit cards, but check with your vendor whether they will charge a fee.

If you pay in US dollars, ie $5 for $4 worth of food, you change will most likely be in lempiras. That's how get a "collection."

Here're a good read.

roatandiver.com/travel-tips/currency-roatan

And a recent thread.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29201…

Edited: 07 April 2017, 20:26
Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,767 posts
91 reviews
3. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

dive shops, taxis, excursions and resorts all quote their prices in $US. Restaurants may quote both dollars and lempiras. Prices in grocery stores generally are posted in lemps, but you may pay with either. Even the water taxi between West End and West Bay will tell you $3 thought the "official" price is 60 lemps. So even though the lempira is the official currency of the country, on Roatan you wouldn't know it. Personally I use lempiras for small things, since then I know what the exchange rate is. On the water taxi i save all of 44 cents by paying in lempiras. Over the course of a week that may buy me a beer.

One thing you will need to know is what medium a resort or dive shop accepts. They may accept your credit card or PayPal with a hefty fee. Or alternatively they may want cash dollars. Up front. In past years I dove with shops that either accepted a check mailed to a US box or a credit card without extra fee. This year I'm diving with a shop that I can pay with PayPal without fee. But I'll also be a week in Utila where they want $US up front for the entire stay, diving and room. Yeow. The required method of payment may be a factor in which resort or dive shop you use.

Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
2 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

Thanks for your reply Mary Jane I appreciate the information. The fact you spend so much time there and that you are returning reassures me that I won't be disappointed with my trip.

When I get back I'm sure all the ice will be gone offof Whitewater Lake! Cheers

Ketchikan, Alaska
Level Contributor
1 post
10 reviews
5. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

the Lempira is the currency being used however the money exchange is no longer available at airport making is very hard to get ,the bank is the only place on the island to get the local currency in large amounts I just returned from there on 5-6-17 ,the bank is located in coxen hole there is a lot of traffic if driving and no place to park plus hours of long lines making it not pleasant ,the next time I go I will take with me 10$ ,5$ and 1$ dollar bill and lots of them ,I went thinking 20 $ bills would be ok but no they cannot give change on the beach if you want to make a purchase so small bills is the way too go, I have been there 8 times and never dissatisfied

Edited: 08 May 2017, 01:41
Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,767 posts
91 reviews
6. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

If you have to exchange your loonies into something (which you do) or carry some currency to Roatan with you, it should be $US. You will lose a tiny bit in some small exchanges. But it is basically accepted everywhere for large transactions. And any left over are easily exchanged back home. It would be irresponsible of me to suggest that anyone use the ATM's on the island because they are generally compromised. But personally I have been using them to get up to 4000 lempiras at a time both in Utila and in downtown West End, with my 5 step procedure that I feel protects me from scamming. With lempiras i know that I'm paying when a price at a restaurant or water taxi is listed in lempiras. And I can use leftover lemps against my hotel or diving bill when I leave.

Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
9,405 posts
50 reviews
7. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

Bring enough money for your stay, if possible. The ATMs on the island have a tendency to be down, not just for a few hours like here in the states, but for days.

Calypso, North...
Level Contributor
896 posts
1 review
8. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

...and with a quick SEARCH here on TA you'll find others reasons why ATMs should not be depended upon.

9. Re: Is the currency Lempira used everywhere in Roatan?

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