🌍 Assist Me, LP! What forex ought to I convey to Cuba?

On this sequence, Lonely Planet’s crew of writers and editors solutions your journey issues and offers suggestions and hacks that can assist you plan a hassle-free journey. This week, Brendan Sainsbury, who has been touring to Cuba for over 25 years as each a information and a guidebook writershares his high tips about forex within the nation. 

Query: Hello, I’m touring from the UK to Cuba for the primary time, which forex ought to I take?

Brendan Sainsbury: Cash continues to be the trickiest query for vacationers considering a visit to Cuba with the state of affairs altering repeatedly.

A fast recap. Cuba now has one official forex: the Cuban peso (CUP$). Convertible pesos had been phased out in 2021.

After over a 12 months of hyperinflation and the expansion of a rampant black market, the Cuban authorities radically re-adjusted its alternate charge in August 2022, from 24 pesos to a US greenback to 120 pesos to a US greenback. 

That is the speed you’ll get if you happen to change your cash in government-run banks and Cadecas (alternate cubicles). You possibly can examine the present charges for all the principle currencies on the Cadeca website.

What to eat and drink in Cuba

Squeeze each second out of your subsequent trip with suggestions and methods from Lonely Planet in our weekly e-newsletter delivered to your inbox.
The outside of Lodge Encanto Imperial on Las Enramadas promenade © BobNoah / Shutterstock

Euros are finest

Because it stands, euros are the very best international forex to convey to Cuba as a result of it’s probably the most extensively accepted and topic to the bottom financial institution charges (approx. 2 %). Moreover, many non-public businesspeople (restauranteurs, taxi drivers, homestay homeowners) desire to be paid straight in euros fairly than Cuban pesos (though they’ll settle for each). Some state-run companies additionally settle for euros.

Sterling can also be a viable possibility however, whereas it’s readily exchangeable for pesos in Cadecas and banks, it’s much less fascinating amongst locals as a way of direct fee.

US {dollars} will be exchanged in banks and utilized in non-public companies, however they’re not accepted in state-run locations.  

The foundations for People visiting Cuba in 2022

Young dancers perform for tourists in the Callejón de Hamel
Younger dancers carry out for vacationers within the Callejón de Hamel © Alvarfuente / Shutterstock

Bank cards & ATMs

Non-US-affiliated bank cards are accepted at most government-run institutions. Certainly, at some state-run locations (together with resorts, resorts, automotive rent and bus stations), you possibly can solely pay by bank card. Outdoors of the state sector, Cuba continues to be primarily a money economic system.

Most British Visa/Debit playing cards will work in Cuban ATMs, however the machines will solely dispense Cuban pesos. 

Don’t purchase too many Cuban pesos in a single go. They haven’t any worth exterior Cuba. Additionally, keep in mind that, if you happen to stick primarily to the non-public sector, you possibly can pay for a lot of issues in international cash (ideally euros).

Carry loads of small payments for suggestions. Tipping is significant in Cuba, particularly given the present financial local weather. 

See the actual Cuba on these high highway journeys

A Attractive Day within the Lifetime of Cuba

Different suggestions in your Cuba go to

  • Keep in casas particulares (homestays) and eat in non-public eating places to place cash straight into the pockets of bizarre Cubans.
  • Go to Havana’s fabulous Fábrica de Arte Cubano.
  • Ensure that your ‘vacationer card’ is included within the bundle when reserving your flight. 
  • Don’t change cash on the road, or on the black market.

Cuba lodging 101

When you have a burning journey query you want to Lonely Planet to reply, please contact us here. We are going to choose one query and publish the reply every Thursday.