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Utila – Money & Communications

CURRENCY
The Honduran currency is the Lempira or “lemp” for short. The “lemp” is quite a weak currency and on Utila the US Dollar is widely accepted (but you get your change in “lemps”). Utila is quite a cash economy – people do use credit cards but the majority of transactions seem to be in cash.

BANKING
If you remember going to Europe in the 1980’s then this is roughly the same experience.  US citizens seem to have little problem accessing their money from Utila – for most other nationals it seems to be a difficult process. One solution is to load up your credit card before you depart and then go to the bank and draw cash on this. US bank/credit cards seem to work on the few ATM’s available – but not UK based ones.

CREDIT CARDS
Are becoming more accepted – especially at larger operations. American Express can be a problem and debit cards do not seem to be accepted widely.

LANGUAGE
English is widely spoken in the Bay Islands. But, at least a moderate grasp of Spanish would be sensible to obtain before arrival.

INTERNET / MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE
If you had visited Utila in the past you would have needed a Satellite phone to reliably reach the outside world, there was no mobile phone “roaming” that worked and the Internet was “intermittent”. Things have changed. You can ring the UK form your smartphone (provided you have set it up correctly and are willing  to pay the tariff) and the internet is available via various methods.