Caribbean islands are located in north of the equator in the tropical part of the Atlantic Ocean. These include, for example, the Bahamas, which lie deep in the north, Barbados, Cuba and almost 38 other islands and archipelagos.
Each one has either gained independence or is still part of a previous colonization. Therefore, different currency units and payment methods apply on each of these islands.
Countries that are equipped with the euro today are:
- Saint Martin
- French Guiana
The reason for this is French colonization in the earlier years of the French Revolution in 1789, which is why French is also the national language in these countries.
You can officially pay with the US dollar in the following countries :
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- American and British Virgin Islands
The currency here differs from American dollars to the respective dollar currency of the island (group).
In Jamaica, for example, the currency is called the Jamaican dollar. The same goes for Barbados and other states. The reasons for this also lie in the respective colonization times. The respective official language is also largely based on the respective currency. Most of the time, Spanish, French or English are spoken.
In Cuba, the Dominican Republic, San Andrés and Cozumel (Mexico), pesos are still used today. Even if these have the addition of a symbol that is almost identical to the dollar, the dollar is not the currency here.
Of course, most stores and shops still accept the US dollar as a means of payment, as you can easily exchange it yourself. However, the exchange rate in shops and hotels is usually very bad.
Should money be exchanged when traveling to the Caribbean?
Anyone who takes a trip to the Caribbean should therefore find out in advance which currency and which national language apply.
As a tourist, it is usually cheaper to withdraw money in the local currency from a local bank with a credit card, as most credit cards have low exchange rates.
Of course, a credit card payment is also suitable for many things, but it must be noted that the service fees and sometimes unfavorable exchange rates can be charged by the hotels and sellers.
Changing currencies, for example from euros to dollars, is easy and often without high costs in the many exchange offices.
The following also applies: You often get a better rate on site than at your house bank in your own country.
Many German banks now set high exchange fees, especially when it comes to currency that is neither in stock nor in use.
A currency that is generally accepted in the Caribbean is the US dollar. However, the exchange rate is usually very unfavorable.