money in cuba

One of the main reasons why the courses and services we offer, can be attractive for you is, besides their quality, their available cost. It is due to two facts: 1) we don’t need intermediate agents and 2) you pay in one of the 2 currencies used in the country, CUC.

What does the absence of intermediate agents mean? Based on our experience, we know that many students contract Spanish courses in Cuba in their countries with schools or institutions offering a complete intensive or extensive course paid in Euros or other currencies. The whole amount of money should be fully paid before their arrival in Cuba. However, you won’t have to pay a single Euro to us.  Because all transactions will be done in Cuba at the moment the service is being done in CUC.

In Cuba two national currencies circulate: PESO CUBANO (CUP. or MN) and PESO CONVERTIBLE (CUC). Our Students very often tell how difficult to know when to pay in one currency or in another is for them. That’s why we have decided to elaborate this post in which we are trying to explain how to use Cuban money during the stay in the country.

Changing your money.

In Cuba, it is possible to change in Banks and exchange offices (CADECA) according to the national exchange rate for the following currencies:

U.S. Dollar
Canadian Dollar
British Pound
Swiss Franc

Any foreign currency is charged by an 8% tax. However, it is not advisable to travel to Cuba with U.S. dollars, as this currency is penalized with a 10% more than the rest. (Overall tax for a US Dollar is 18%).

Peso convertible – CUC.

This currency is an equivalent to a U.S. dollar and it is only officially valued and used in the territory of the Republic of Cuba. It is  the most necessary for foreign tourists, as  in most  of the places at the service of tourism (hotels, restaurants, shops for bottled water, drinks and souvenirs, tourist buses and taxis, theaters, museums, discos, swimming pools, and others) transactions are in dollars.

cuban money_CUCs

Peso cubano – CUP.

The rate is  24 Cuban peso (CUP) to one convertible peso (CUC).Although tourists should change most of his money into CUC, it is advisable to get some CUP to buy fresh vegetables and fruits in Agromercados (green groceries), light meal in the streets of the City and for the payment of regular buses and shared taxis, normally used by Cubans. (See under this link the post referring to transportation in Havana).

It is important to take into account that some services offered in CUP (shared taxis) may be paid in CUC according to the official rate, that is, a long distance trip in a shared taxi costs 20 CUP, but a client can pay 1 CUC instead.

cuban peso

Although we, as Cubans are used to both currencies, we understand the difficulties the system implies for a foreigner. That’s why we are encouraging you to consult us with any question about this issue and we will glad to answer with the adequate information. Since our main goal is for you to learn Spanish in the best conditions. Therefore, we are willing to help you in issues like this, which could be troublesome during your stay in the country.

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