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The lempiras ( , ISO 4217 code: HNL) is the currency of Hondurasmarker. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. The lempira was named after the 16th-century cacique Lempira, a ruler of the indigenous Lenca people, who is renowned in Honduran folklore for leading the (ultimately unsuccessful) local native resistance against the Spanish conquistador forces. He is a national hero, and is honoured on both the 1 lempira note and the 20 and 50 centavos coins.


The lempira was introduced in 1931, replacing the peso at par. In the late 1980s, the exchange rate was two lempiras to the U.S. dollar (the 20 centavos coin is called a daime as it was worth the same as a U.S. dime). As of September 10, 2009, the lempira was quoted at 18.925 HNL to 1 USD. U.S. dollars are widely accepted as currency on the Bay Islands, but the mainland mainly deals in Lempiras. Businesses in major tourist centers on the mainland will generally accept dollars, though.


In 1931, coins were introduced in denominations of 5, 20 & 50 centavos & 1 lempira. 1, 2 & 10 centavos coins were added in 1935, 1939 & 1932 respectively. The silver 1 lempira coins ceased production in 1937, with the other silver coins (20 & 50 centavos) replaced by cupro-nickel in 1967.

Coins currently in circulation are [98819]

  • 1 centavo - discontinued
  • 2 centavos - discontinued
  • 5 centavos - now rendered obsolete, prices are rounded to the next 10 centavos
  • 10 centavos
  • 20 centavos
  • 50 centavos

The Central Bank of Honduras is planning a new family of coins of 50 centavos, 1, 2, 5 & 10 lempiras. Such series is yet to be released.


The Bank of Honduras and the Banco Atlantida issued the first lempira banknotes in 1932. They were in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 lempiras. The Central Bank of Honduras took over production of paper money in 1950, introducing 50 lempiras notes in 1951. In 1975, 100 lempiras notes were added, followed by 500 lempiras in 1995.

Banknotes in circulation are [98820]

Image Value Color Dimensions Obverse
L1 Red 156 × 67 mm Lempira
L2 Purple Marco Aurelio Soto
L5 Green Francisco Morazán
L10 Brown Jose Trinidad Cabañas
L20 Green Dionisio de Herrera
L50 Cyan Juan Manuel Galvez
L100 Orange Jose Cecilio del Valle
L500 Violet Ramon Rosa

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