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Currency Exchange

5 posts
1 review
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Currency Exchange

Has anyone used the ATM on Big Corn? Any problems getting cash on the island?

Give the recent strength of the dollar, I noticed the currency rate is now 20NIOs to 1USD. Do you recommend dealing in NIOs to get a better deal with taxis, restaurants, stores, etc...

How are tips handled on the islands?



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39 posts
81 reviews
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1. Re: Currency Exchange

There is one ATM on the island which doesn't accept PINs. We stayed at Paraiso, and an elderly German couple didn't have a VISA card, and nobody would accept American Express travelers checks. The ATM wouldn't accept any of his PIN numbers, so I ended up paying his bill with my VISA and he gave me the travelers checks.

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35 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Currency Exchange

I had no problem getting out cash but I did have a Cirrus card.

I seem to remember that I could pay by card in one or two of the restaurants, and in the airport.

Don't rely on the card system as it can go down for days if there is a storm.

I wouldn't leave big tips, small change is appreciated in restaurants, not necessary in taxis and some loose change is ok if kids help you carry your bags onto the boat.

Its usually better to use Cordobas if you can as it is harder for people to change dollars out there so they might not be swayed by the impressive exchange rate!

good luck


Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
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20 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: Currency Exchange

I believe that the ATM will only take debit cards, unless you are getting a cash advance on your VISA,Etc. I've heard that they keep it pretty well stocked with money. In spite of that, when we go later this week, we're taking cash! Our room at Casa Canada has a safe & we will pay our bill with $50 bills. On Little Corn, we're staying at Los Delfines, which has a safe in the office for guest's use. There, we'll pay with $20 bills. Other than that, we'll change US into cordovas at our hotel & pay in local currency. That way, you lessen the rish of getting short-changed!

Chicago, Illinois
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14 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Currency Exchange

There were ATMs in the Managua airport, we didn't encounter any on the islands. I would HIGHLY recommend you take bills smaller than $20. $20 is a lot of money to them and almost impossible to change. My friends and I would have to take turns paying for everything because no one could make change. As soon as you get Fives and Singles back, you spend them and are back to the big bills. It would be more convenient to deal with the bulk of all the extra $5s and $1s instead of minimizing your cash by taking $50s and $20s, which are really only useful for paying for hotels and big meals.

5. Re: Currency Exchange

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