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ATMs and cash question on roatan

Mount Shasta...
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ATMs and cash question on roatan

Just about ready to head down to Roatan and Utila for a couple of weeks.....dang excited!

Been reading about the untrustworthy ATMs in the area and wondering what you expert Roatan travelers/residents do for cash? Not liking the idea of traveling down with all the cash we need for meals, activities, etc.....plus, we like to use local currency whenever possible.

Are there banks or ATMs in Coxen Hole that are trustworthy? What about at the airport?

Any help would be appreciated!

Canada
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11. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

Just about everyone at Eldon's-the only large grocery store we shopped at- was using a credit card both times we were there. As I said I am keeping an eye of my accounts but didn't feel it would be an issue. The two charges were on the account as expected and I kept my slips just in case.

California
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12. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

Last December I used my Citi-bank ATM in what I thought was a secure area. It was in Copan Honduras. It was a small room attached to a major bank. To enter it the guard outside opened the door. I used it three times and it was compromised. It took about three months and then I received several thousand dollars of purchases in Columbia. We are leaving for Roatan soon and I am taking the ATM card as back up but am taking cash. I do not feel comfortable doing this but will be using a safe provided. If we were compromised in what appeared to be such a secure bank, I cannot trust Honduras as far as money stealing. In my almost 40 years of travel this has happened one other time in Hawaii but those were the days when we got those copies.

Tokyo, Japan
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for Hakone-machi, Minato
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13. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

May 11, Sunday, Mother's Day. None of the ATM's were working in West End. Bring cash.

Painnurse, yes, Roatan is "Honduras," yet it isn't the mainland, especially around West End and West Bay. I sincerely hope it stays this way. :-)

Edited: 12 May 2014, 13:04
Seattle
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14. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

We used credit cards at most restaurants in West Bay, but always carried cash too. Glad we did when more than once either the power was out or Internet was down, so we had to use cash.

USA
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15. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

Travelers checks are probbaly best along with bringing some cash with you. I'd avoid using ATM's if at all possible. The local merchants won't have a problem with the travelers checks. Many dive shops and restaurants are happy to take paypal.

The banking system is a mess. The ATM's ahve been compromised since November and nobody knows how it's happening. It's a big problem for the locals.

Bring 20's instead of 100's. Not many places will cash hundreds. It's a big loss for them if tit's not real and they also have a limited supply of 20's. Make sure your money isn't torn or nowhere will take it. My advice is bring more USD than you think you'll need or travelers checks if you're worried about it disappearing.

Don't use the ATM's.

Canada
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16. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

I am not sure about the Traveller's Checks? I haven't had much luck in various places around the world. Fees charged or just not accepted.

As I already said, when we had larger restaurant checks I was lucky-maybe?- but didn't have any problems with hundreds or fifty dollar bills But do agree smaller bills are best.

Most of the places we went to regardless of the size of the bill either had an ultraviolet light or actually had a machine that could check the bills.

I did make sure our bills were pristine.

Menlo Park...
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17. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

The West End ATM's have had 3 problems of late. First the usual out of cash after a weekend. Second, nonfunctioning due to lack of power or other breakdown. Third, and most insidious, having a scanner inserted that reads both the account # as well as the PIN. So later someone, usually from Columbia, empties your entire account and you cannot imagine when the account was compromised. Whoever is doing this is making a lot of money.

The problem with travelers checks is that no one accepts them.

the problem with cash is that the bigger bills have to be in perfect condition or the bank will not accept them, so the merchants will not accept them. However smaller bills like a $1 and $5 need not be in perfect condition because they can trade in the local economy as though they were legal currency at $US1=20 lempiras. Increasingly I see dollars given as change. It may be that businesses or water taxis etc have accepted dollars in poor condition, so they are trying to get rid of them to Americans and Canadians, since they cannot bring them to the bank. You lose about 5% in this exchange, by treating a $US as 20 lempiras, since the $US is worth only 19 lempiras. Of course THEY lose 5% by accepting $US3 as the proper water taxi fare instead of L60.

So that leaves going to ATM's which are guarded by Uzi, like at the WE Petrosun or the airport. No one has reported a scanner problem at the airport, and they seem always to be working. It also leaves credit cards. until the card company cuts you off because of unusual activity in Honduras, since you forgot to advise them that you would be traveling. Maybe the final solution is Pay Pal.

Tokyo, Japan
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18. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

Bring new 20's, 10's, 5's and 1's. Used my 50's and 100's when anything was over the small bills, i.e. restaurants and larger supermarkets. $1's and $5's were the most popular bills. Rates are cheaper if you pay in cash, even for the exit tax at the airport. Had absolutely NO worries about carrying cash. I only carried cash for what I thought I would need for the day, and kept everything in the hotel safe. Never used credit card or the ATM while in Roatan for 2 weeks. Didn't see anyone using traveler's cheques, either.

USA
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19. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

I had no issues with the credit card at the grocery store. You don't need to take all 20's. You can go somewhere busier and use a hundo. I broke several at the sundowner to pay for my tabs and a few restaurants as well. Just bring cash is the better advice. The local ATM's give out money in lemps and it's not like it's going to be useful for you coming back.

Whitehorse, Yukon...
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20. Re: ATMs and cash question on roatan

How did you make out with this? We are going March 2015 and are concerned about the same thing.

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