1950s chevrolet in Havana used for tourist trips.

Money matters in Cuba made easy

Plan your Cuba travel spending

Cuba has two currencies. One is for visitors and is called CUC. The other currency is for Cubans and is called moneda nacional. You will use CUC. Follow these worry-free Cuba Explorer money rules for safe Cuba travel.
Budgeting money for your Cuba tour When you visit the island with Cuba Explorer travel your major expenses are prepaid: accommodations, transportation, day excursions, and most meals. You only need to budget additional funds for tipping, optional entertainment and beverages, souvenirs, and meals not included in your tour package.

The purchasing power of the CUC is similar to that of the U.S. dollar. Carefully evaluate daily spending needs before departure. We recommend a minimum of $100 per day. It is better to bring more money than you think you’ll need rather than getting caught short of funds. But if you run out of money our Havana office will help you.

Stretch your spending power Changing U.S. dollars into CUCs carries an additional ten percent (10%) fee. This fee does not apply to other currencies. Some travelers purchase Euros or Canadian dollars to bring to Cuba – currencies for which there is no additional conversion fee. The overall savings is about seven percent (7%).

Travel safety tips for visiting Cuba

  • Change your cash into CUC at the airport on arrival or at your hotel. Your passport is necessary to exchange money. Never exchange money on the street or with an individual Cuban.
  • You do not have to exchange all of your cash upon arrival. You can convert half on arrival and more as needed during your tour.
  • Don’t take CUCs (Cuban Convertible Pesos) home! It is strictly prohibited, regardless of the amount. Remember to exchange CUCs back into U.S. dollars at the Cuban airport before passing through immigration.
  • All visitors must keep extra cash, identification and other valuables in your hotel room lock box.
  • When not in your hotel, only take the amount of money you plan on spending, plus a photocopy of your passport. Leave your actual passport in your hotel lock box unless you plan to exchange money.
  • Ostentatious displays of jewelry, cameras, and spending will attract pickpockets. Don’t let purses, phones and valuables dangle when walking around.