1950s chevrolet in Havana used for tourist trips.
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Quick, simple money guide for Americans visiting Cuba

How much money to bring to Cuba?

Cuba has two currencies in circulation. One is for visitors and is called Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). The other currency, “Moneda Nacional,” is used mainly by Cubans. You’ll be using CUC. Here’s our best advice for planning your Cuba travel expenses.
As of July 2020, Cuba no longer charges a 10% tax when exchanging US dollars.
Cash is King. Bring US dollars and convert to Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC).
US credit and debit cards don’t work in Cuba. Cashier’s checks are hard to redeem.
Bring more money than you think you’ll need. You don’t have to spend all of it.
If you get stuck short of funds on your Cuba Explorer tour, we will help.

Stress-free money planning for Cuba travel expenses

All major expenses on your small group tour are prepaid: accommodations, transportation, day excursions, and most meals. You will need funds for gratuities, optional evening entertainment, extra libations, souvenirs, and meals not included in your tour package.

Costs in Cuba are similar to the US. Best to bring more money than you think you’ll need so you don’t get caught short of funds. We recommend a minimum of $ 100 per day. However, if you run out of cash, our Havana office will help you.

Americans should bring US dollars to Cuba to convert them to local currencies. There is no longer a special 10% exchange tax on US dollars. There is, however, an exchange fee of approximately 3%, as with all other currencies.

Best money practices and safety tips for your Cuba visit

Cuban girls enjoying rum cocktail.
Money guidelines for Cuba to keep you safe.
  • Change your US dollars into CUC at the airport on arrival or at your hotel. Your passport is necessary when exchanging money. Never exchange money with Cubans on the street. Your guide will help you locate banks and exchange bureaus.
  • You don’t have to exchange all of your US dollars upon arrival. You can convert half at the start of your tour, and more later as needed.
  • Please keep extra cash, identification, and other valuables in your hotel room lockbox. Don’t walk around on the streets with lots of money.
  • Only leave your hotel with the amount of money you plan to spend, plus a photocopy of your passport. Leave your passport, valuables, and extra funds in your hotel lockbox.
  • Ostentatious displays of jewelry, cameras, and spending will attract pickpockets. Don’t let purses, phones, and valuables dangle.
  • Don’t take Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) home! It is illegal. Exchange your CUC into American dollars at the airport. Note Cuban airports only accept foreign currencies for fees and purchases once you pass airport security.