Honduras currency is called
Honduran money is not that difficult. Let's take the unknown out of the
Honduras money equation right now so that you
can better enjoy your vacation.
Honduras Currency and Money - Lempiras & Money
[This page - Money Issues (below), Shopping,
Honduras Real Estate]
Check Exchange Rate Now
– Buy your Honduras
money (lempiras) and cash your travelers checks (buy American Express at home) at
banks. When you arrive in Honduras, San Pedro Sula and Tegus
airports have exchange cages. Buy enough lemps to hold you until the next
day, when you can visit the bank.
Hotels and shops are going to charge you hefty commissions to
exchange for Honduras currency. It makes no sense to stand on the curb
with a money-changer (quite legal), flashing 3,500L (lempiras) in Honduras
If you see a bank without a line, jump in it while
you can and buy your Honduras money. Banks are slow, but safe. Major cities offer full
banking services if you have a command of Spanish and a lot of time. Take
US $s to Honduras. I didn't see a Canadian $ or a Euro once in Honduras
(visitors tell me that this remains current advice, May 2004).
– Use good judgment on handling Honduras money. If traveling
with another person, each person should carry half of the traveler’s checks and
half of the currency.
Make sure you have plenty of currency in 100- and 200-lempira notes. The 500-lempira note
(~$26.00) if often difficult to cash.
Have sufficient smaller notes (1, 2, 5, 10, and 20’s for buses, tips, etc.).
Take along a pocket calculator and leave it a school when your trip is complete. It will come in handy when your hotel bill
runs 2451 lempiras and you need to know how much that is!
Lempiras and Dollars -
Many of the shops and restaurants on the Bay Islands will accept dollars as
Honduras currency in addition to lempiras. Always ask in advance.
Lempiras are 'cash du jour' on the mainland, the only
currency you will see.
Exchange rates -
Honduras money and exchange rates fluctuate daily between the lempira and the
the lempira has taken a
the US dollar (because of commodity prices and fiscal
policy) in the last year. Numerous sites exist to help you with current exchange rates for
all currencies, to include US $s, Canadian $s, and the Euro.
• Best site
for exchange rate:
Oanda, mainly because I can print and clip a nice, small cheat-sheet (about
the size of a credit card) that I can throw in my wallet before I leave.
– Buy one at any luggage store. Keep your passport and extra Honduras
currency and loose cash in it.
Put the day’s anticipated money needs in your front pocket. Nothing more.
Some have reported problems with ATMs. (Jul 2004) -- A Siguatepeque
resident states that the machines function without problems in Tegus, San Pedro
Sula, and Siguatepeque.
On occasion, there is no cash available.
Those with recent experience are encouraged to
so that the information here remains current. Thanks.
If you are insistent on using that ATM, you can locate them for
MasterCard, by city.
– Some books will
encourage you to keep tipping to a minimum in Honduras and Latin America.
Implicit in that suggestion is “you don’t need to ruin it for the next North
American that visits after you.” Well, I choose to tip with Honduras money
(dollars, while stronger, may be inconvenient for the recipient although you
won't find anyone turning them away).
When to tip and how much? (Again, this is on the heavy side, I know).
◊ First, check your bill. Often, there is a 10%
◊ I generally tip 15%, depending on the service
◊ I leave 2% of the cost of an evening’s lodging on the dresser for the maid
(local Honduras currency).
Overdoing it? I don’t know but the small amount means 3-4 pounds of beans,
rice, or corn for the home of the person who is serving you.
◊ Bellhops can be invaluable allies. I tip
(again, with Honduras currency) them early in a visit,
posing questions before they slip out of the room. If he (and they are all
he's) has a good feel for the city, find out what days and times he works.
The information they can share is worth the money. If I go out
early for coffee and pastries (pasteles), I buy some sweets from the
bakery (panaderia) to share with the night staff and bellhops.
Traveling in Honduras is as inexpensive as it gets. Your Honduras money
goes a long, long way. Utila and
Roatan are among
the cheapest places in the world to become
PADI certified in diving. Food and hotels are extremely good values
for your money. Prices double from the mainland as soon as you step off the
plane on Guanaja, Roatan, or Utila.
– Markets are wonderful places to shop, but as well, are fantastic places to
people-watch. Every town, regardless of size, has a market. Hondurans, like
all Central Americans, shop daily for their needs. You can find everything from
coffee to nutmeg; used tires to machetes.
◊ Many North Americans haggle over prices in the markets. I don’t.
Not my style. You decide for yourself. I remember watching a
European woman bark at a young Guatemalan girl in a shop on Roatan, all to reduce
a price by 12 cents.
◊ If the price is outrageous,
merely turn away. If the merchant wants your business, the price will drop
to an appropriate amount.
Stores – If you arrive in Honduras and go “whoops, I should have brought
___________,” not to worry. There are modern, well-stocked department
stores in San Pedro Sula (three malls - see note below), Tegucigalpa (one mall), and La Ceiba. I had no trouble finding some
needed clothing in La Ceiba’s department stores at very reasonable prices.
Note: "City Mall" opened in November 2005 in San Pedro Sula and boasts of
225 shops as well as 8 movie theaters, 7 banks,
24 fast-food restaurants
and 4 standard restaurants.
When you are in the larger cities, stop in a music store. Grab one of
Guillermo Anderson's tapes. Anderson is the pop singer in Honduras.
We particularly like his Pobre Marinero but they are all good. If
you forget to stop, you can always order them from home. I have used this
site and received the CD's in a very timely manner.
◊ Hats and straw weavings; hammocks – Santa Barbara
◊ Woodwork – San Pedro Sula or El Progreso
◊ Leather goods – San Pedro Sula or Tegus
◊ Cigars – Santa Rosa de Copan and larger cities
◊ Handicrafts - Pech
Indigenous crafts, El Carbon, Olancho. Others: Valle de Angeles,
or Casa del Sol in San Pedro Sula at the Multiplaza
And don't forget:
◊ Coffee – anywhere but I
am particular to the coffee in Copan and Santa Rosa de Copan. Keep your
eyes open elsewhere for
a $2.50/pound variety. In another section, I more
fully discuss Honduras
◊ Knick knacks – San Pedro Sula Market
◊ Tunu (bark/wood) products –
Trujillo and the department of Gracias a Dios
◊ Pottery – Lenca
pottery in La Campa (near Gracias),
ceramic cooperative, pictured to the right
If you are anything like me, the minute you
hit the Bay Islands, you begin dreaming about owning a piece of this paradise.
Roatan is an absolutely remarkable, charming place and it is easy to fall in
love with it. While I didn't 'take the plunge' and buy real estate, some
visitors do. A couple of thoughts:
◊ Real estate prices are only going to
go up on Roatan. The island is on the verge of being 'discovered.'
The 'secret' is out. Cruise lines are now docking weekly in Coxen Hole;
sailing ships from Playa del Carmen moor every week in West Bay. All these
new visitors take note of the same thing you do -- gorgeous beaches and reefs, a
welcoming people, reasonable real estate prices without any taxes to speak of, a
wonderful climate, a low cost of living.
◊ A real estate agent who really knows
the island is worth his or her weight in gold. I had the good fortune of
meeting one, Larry Schlesser, a resident of West Bay and owner of
Roatan-Real Estate. Larry and his wife roomed next to us in
Copan. I took an immediate liking to this personable fellow. Maybe
it is our shared Midwestern roots, but I heartily recommend that you contact
Larry if you are at all considering real estate. Visit Larry's site thru
the graphic link below:
Buy a Purse
- Years ago, I saw the old men
of rural Guatemala carrying woven purses (called bolsa or bolso de
bolsillo). I bought one and have been liberated ever since. What an
ingenious idea! Sunglasses, toilet paper, travel book, notebook, pen, comb,
Imodium, etc. all in one place! You can buy a bolsa in any
open air-market. Now, if I could make that step in North America.
Next Section: Being away from home is always just a tad anxiety producing.
Let's minimize that by talking about
health and security matters.
Tips 1 | 2 |
Jump to Top