How to get your East Caribbean Dollars

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Where can I use East Caribbean Dollars?

You can use the East Caribbean Dollar in the following countries and territories:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Dominica (not to be mistaken for the Dominican Republic)
  • Grenada
  • Montserrat
  • St Christopher
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent & Grenadine

How much spending money will I need in the East Caribbean?

The East Caribbean Dollar is used in eight of the nine nations in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. These eight nations each have slightly different costs, so to help plan your budget we’ve looked at spending money in one of the most expensive, Antigua and Barbuda.

You can generally expect to pay:

  • Bottle of water: $3.5 (£0.99)
  • Local coffee: $14.5 (£4.11)
  • Local beer: $9.5 (£2.69)
  • Big Mac: 22 (£6.23)
  • 3-course meal for two: 250 (£70.85)

Budget your East Caribbean trip

The islands of the East Caribbean are amongst the world’s most blissful places, with their pristine beaches, bright towns and abundant wildlife. Many are picture-perfect honeymoon destinations, where watching a sunset to the sound of steel drums is almost compulsory.

Unsurprisingly, tourism is the main industry in most of the East Caribbean nations. Although this drives up prices for imported items, the islands are rich in local produce like fish, vegetables and exotic fruit (including the Antiguan black pineapple), so if you’re eating locally and shopping at markets you’ll save a lot of money.

Thrill-seekers will be kept occupied in Dominica, where centuries of rain has formed canyons, secret pools and cliff drops that make for thrilling exploring. Here you’ll also find the 115-mile-long Waitukubuli National Trail, a long-distance hike that includes waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, villages and farmland.

In the East Caribbean you’ll find tropical flora and fauna at their most dazzling – both on land and in water. Explore the coral reefs off the coastline, test your nerves at Stingray City in Antigua, or venture out to sea for a whale watching trip.

Over on St Lucia you can explore the Diamond Botanical Gardens, a huge collection of tropical plants and flowers in dazzling shapes and colours. Here you can take a dip in the mineral baths, known for the healing properties of their sulphate-rich water, which still use the original tank system from the eighteenth century.

All East Caribbean islands have a colonial past that deeply influences their present – whether that’s seen in an army barracks now used as a shopping complex, a working historic plantation, or in governmental structures that retain Queen Elizabeth II as monarch.

Low budget

Medium budget

High budget

Overall budget for 1 day pp: $93.86

Overall budget for 1 day pp: $346.64

Overall budget for 1 day pp: More than $700

Food & drink in budget

  • Bottled water x1 large: $3.28
  • Breakfast (for one): $5
  • Lunch (for one): $15
  • Dinner (for one): $40
  • Local beers x2: $10.58


Food & drink in budget

  • Bottled water x2 large: $6.56 
  • Breakfast (for one): $5
  • Coffee: $14.5
  • Lunch (for one): $35
  • Dinner, 3 courses (for one): $125
  • Local beers x2: $10.58

Food & drink in budget

  • Bottled water x2 large: $6.56
  • Breakfast (for one): $30
  • Coffee x2: $30
  • Lunch (for one): $45
  • Dinner, 3 courses (for one): $125
  • Bottle of wine: $30
  • Cocktails x2: $30

Activities in budget

  • Hike Falmouth Harbour to Shirley Heights: free
  • Snorkel hire, Carlisle Bay: $20
  • Birdwatching at McKinnons Salt Pond: free 

Activities in budget

  • Hike Falmouth Harbour to Shirley Heights: free 
  • Snorkel hire, Carlisle Bay: $20
  • Trip to Stingray City: $130

Activities in budget

  • Hike Falmouth Harbour to Shirley Heights: free
  • Trip to Stingray City: $130
  • Boat trip with snorkel hire: $120
  • Live steel band at Shirley Heights: $150

What denominations do East Caribbean Dollars come in?

The East Caribbean Dollar comes in the following denominations:

1, 2, 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 dollar

$5, $10, $20, $50 and $100

Leftover East Caribbean Dollars?

No problem. We’ll buy back East Caribbean Dollars you have leftover at excellent rates, leaving you with more cash in your pocket (and a tidier desk drawer).

East Caribbean Dollar FAQs

How much should I tip in the East Caribbean islands?

Tipping culture in the East Caribbean islands is very similar to that in the UK. 10-15% is a polite tip for good table service or for a taxi driver.

What kind of currency is XCD?

The code for East Caribbean Dollar is XCD, and the currency symbol is $.

Do I need cash or card in the East Caribbean islands?

For a stress-free holiday, we recommend having a combination of cash and card. While most vendors on the East Caribbean islands will accept major credit cards, the more local you go the more cash you’ll need. Fruit and vegetable sellers at markets won’t accept card, and local restaurants will be cash-only too. Ordering your currency in advance for home delivery will give you the benefit of discounted exchange rates and more certainty about how much money you’re spending while you’re away – no nasty surprises when you see your credit card bill at the end!

Are there ATMs in the East Caribbean islands?

In all East Caribbean islands, you’ll be able to find ATMs in many commercial areas such as airports, harbours and major supermarkets. Charges for cash withdrawal will vary depending on your bank.

What language do they speak in the East Caribbean islands?

English is the official language of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. English and French are both official languages in St Lucia. In each nation, the official language is spoken with a distinct dialect and locals often speak a Creole as well.

Are the East Caribbean islands safe?

Some Caribbean islands, such as Puerto Rico and Haiti, have a reputation for high crime rates and instability. The East Caribbean islands, however, are known to be safe destinations with low crime rates. As with anywhere, however, it is advisable to look after valuables and lock doors to ensure your possessions aren’t at risk of theft.

What is the food like in the East Caribbean islands?

The East Caribbean islands are home to some of the tastiest tropical fruit and veg in the world, and the fresh seafood is also top-quality. If you’re vegetarian or vegan you’ll find the best dining options in commercial areas.

Do you need a visa for the East Caribbean islands?

British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit any of the East Caribbean islands.

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