What Is The Roatan Currency?
Roatan’s currency is the Honduras Lempira, which is used across all of Honduras. The currency in Roatan is available in coin and paper bill form. The bills range from denominations of 5 to 500 lempiras.
What Is the Exchange Rate?
Although the exchange rate fluctuates all the time, the current exchange rate is around 23 lempiras per 1 U.S. Dollar. Historically, the exchange has hovered around 20 lempiras per 1 U.S. dollar. The dollar has strengthened consistently against the lempira over the years, which means you get more bang for your buck down in Roatan! View this link to see the current lempira to U.S. exchange rate.
Here is a quick tip to calculate prices while in Roatan. Take the lempira amount, drop the last digit and divide by 2.
Ex: 100 lempiras = 5 U.S. dollars. Take 100 and drop the last digit to get 10, divide 10 by 2 to get $5 U.S. dollars. Since recently the dollar has strengthened, it will actually be just a touch under $5! Wooohooo!
Are U.S. Dollars accepted?
The currency is roatan is the lempira, but U.S. dollars are accepted at most locations. Note, however, that you will likely receive some change back in lempiras. If the establishment has enough change in U.S. dollars, they will likely give it to you, but get ready to receive lempiras. Additionally if you pay in U.S. dollars, expect to have a slightly worse exchange rate at 20 LPS to 1 USD instead of the current 23 LPS to 1 USD. Not a big deal, but something to note.
If you do bring U.S. dollars, note that the largest denomination accepted is usually a $20 bill. This is because the merchant may not have sufficient change. So stock up on the $1, $5 and $10 bills if you can!
Are There Many ATMs on Roatan?
There are very few ATMs on Roatan. The best one is at the airport. There are two in West Bay, one in the West Bay Mall and one at the Mayan Princess. And there are also a few in West End. They dispense Roatan’s Currency, the lempira. However, they aren’t very reliable.
When you do encounter a rare ATM, they either have hefty fees, are out of money, or are not working properly. So I recommend avoiding them and bringing cash.
Can I Use My Credit Card for Purchases?
You can, but there are some risks. Some merchants only accept cash. Others will change a large fee. And some have no issues with it! Roatan has also had some issues with stolen credit card information in the West Bay and West End areas. I tend to be a little more cautious with my money when traveling internationally, and prefer to stick to cash.
Safe: Hotels and large excursions are usually safe to prepay with credit card, but I would avoid using a card with the small merchants, shops, restaurants, etc.
How Do I Protect My Lempiras at the Beach?
A common question I get asked is what to do with your Roatan currency when you go to the beach. Short answer, don’t leave them by your towel! If you happen to have a pocket in your bathing suit, don’t hesitate to take them into the water with you. They will dry out quickly in the sun and will not get damaged.
Pro Tip: Buy a Dry Pak Case
If you don’t have a pocket, or want some extra protection, I recommend bringing a waterproof case with you. My favorite is the Dry Pak Case. It’s small, inexpensive, and I have never has any issues with water getting into the case. It get’s awesome reviews on Amazon, and truly a must have product when visiting Roatan.
It will allow you to keep your valuables safe, dry and by your side while you enter the water.
You can store your cash, credit cards, cell phone, etc. and not have to worry about leaving it by your towel.