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Cuba has a double currency system that sometimes can be confused for the visitor. Where to change? Are credit cards accepted? What´s the exchange rate?? Does the dollar have a tax?? This are very frequent and valid questions for any tourist visiting Cuba.

As all country, the island has its particularities and it is something simpler of that what it seems. The official currencies that circulate in Cuba are CUP (Cuban Peso) and CUC (Cuban Convertible).

Both currencies have legal course. The Cuban Peso have a low exchange rate and is mainly used to pay national services; it is the payment currency for Cubans working in government employments. CUC is the "hard" currency and the one that visitors obtain when they change their own currencies at the airport, CADECA, banks, ATM, etc.

In theory, CUC is supposed to be used by tourists, but in practice you can specifically to have your money in CUP with an approximate exchange rate of about 24 Pesos for CUC.

The most extended payment form is cash, in Cuba there is almost no credit card payment implemented. Lodgings at casas particulares, restaurants and other services are paid in cash in either currency to the rate of 1 CUC = 24 CUP. There are places that accept other currency types, which their owners will have to change in CADECA to be able to use in Cuba, but is not the usual.

Only in some hotels, Rent a Car, and Commercial centers you can use card payment. Hence the better way is to bring cash.

The best currencies to bring for their exchange rates are Sterling Pounds, Euros and Canadian Dollars, although at CADECA it is possible to change Mexican Pesos, Australian Dollars and of course the American Dollar which is exchanged to a rate of 1 to 1 but has an additional 10% tax.

Where to exchange money?

Thorough the whole country there are banks where, with you credit/debit card you can extract the equivalent in CUC. ATM are located in the banks, where you can use credit cards that have not been issued in the United States. The most feasible are Visa International and Master Card.

The American Dollar has an unfavorable exchange rate because, as told before, 10% tax is applied. The exchange rate for 1 USD is approximately 0.90 cents of CUC in the banks and CADECAS. There are private persons that will exchange for a better rate but it is not advisable.

CADECAS are places located thorough city of Havana and they are also called as Exchange houses. Any currency is exchanged to CUC and/or Cuban pesos. The nearest to the tourist areas are located at Obispo Street in Old Havana, at Neptuno street in Havana Center and at 23rd and O streets in Vedado.

In the airport there are two CADECAS. It is advisable that when arriving, to change a small quantity good enough to make payments the first day, and then to change a little more elsewhere. The right amount to change depends on each visitor and his/her plans, but keeping in mind that he or she will probably have to pay an airport transfer, take one meal and probably visit some place, the most advisable sum is around 100 to 200 CUC.

Outside of Havana, CADECAS, Banks and ATMs, are located mainly downtown where most of the casas particulares are. If you are not sure of being able to find some place to exchange outside of Havana, the wise thing to do is to carry cash.

To know if your lodging will be near places to change money download OsmAnd App to your smartphone and then download Latin America and Caribbean map to work offline (cubacentralamerica). It works perfectly without being connected to internet and it is a very useful application not only for checking currency exchange spots but others like recreational places and addresses in general. GPS will also work.

To be up to date with exchange rates you can visit Banco Metropolitano website. It is important to keep in mind that rates can change according to the monetary international System.


  • To present a copy of your passport to change money in a bank or CADECA, but not in the reception of the hotel.
  • Rips, stains or breaks in a bill note are not allowed. So make sure of taking bill notes in good conditions.
  • Change your money only at official places (Banks, CADECA and hotels)
  • CUC doesn't have any value outside Cuba, therefor change small amounts.
  • And Remember to have the airport tax in hand when leaving the country. 30 CUC.



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