Opening a bank account in Roatan will take a couple of hours you will need to bring two letters of recommendations from two residents.
Honduran banks offer accounts in dollars and lempiras. It is recommended to get accounts in both currencies. The dollar account can be used to deposit income from a US checking account. Such transactions can take up to 30 days unless they are wired. The dollars can be transferred directly into your lempira account. ATM’s are readily accessible throughout the Island to withdraw lempiras. The main banks on Roatan are Lafise with branches in West End and French Harbor and HSBC with branches in Coxen Hole and French Harbor. Banco Atlantida is a third choice on Roatan. If you are residing on the West side then Lafise is most likely the best choice since its new branch next to the gas station in West End is easy to access with fewer lines then other banks.
Currently the conversation of Lempira to Dollar is approx. 18.9. This value has not fluctuated.
ATM locations are:
West Bay: Mayan Princess
West End: Gas Station as well as through West End
Coxen Hole: HSBC Bank, Placa Mar, Airport (the ATM at the Roatan International Airport is the most reliable ATM on the island)
French Harbor: HSBC, Eldens Supermarket
International Credit Cards are accepted, but not in all places. Always ask first.
Wire transfers are available and very common. They should be pre-approved with banks in your country first.