Quick money guidelines for Americans visiting Cuba
How much cash do I need in Cuba?
Expert advice for planning your Cuba travel expenses
Cuba travel budgeting is simple. Learn from Cuba pros.
All major expenses on your Cuba Explorer 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 trip 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 USD 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 Cuban pesos. An exchange fee of approximately 3%, as with all other currencies.
Best money practices and safety tips for your Cuba visit
- Change your US dollars into Cuban pesos at the airport on arrival or at your hotel. Alternately you can exchange money at a Cuban bank. 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.
- 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 as many pesos you plan to spend, plus a photocopy of your passport. Keep your passport, valuables, and extra funds in your hotel lockbox.
- Ostentatious displays of jewelry, cameras, and spending will attract pickpockets. Don’t let purses, cell phones, and valuables dangle.
- Export of Cuban pesos is limited to 2,000 CUP. Exchange your Cuban pesos back into American dollars at the airport. Note Cuban airports only accept foreign currencies for fees and purchases after you pass airport security.
Cuban money factoids for numismatists
- What does CUP mean? It’s the International Standards Organization ISO Code 4217 for Cuba’s national currency. Cuba (CU) + Peso (P) = CUP. Likewise, United States (US) + Dollar (D) = USD.
- What is the symbol for the Cuban peso? $ or $MN.
- What denomination is the Cuban peso issued in? Bills $1, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, $500, $1000. Common coins 5¢, 20¢, $1, $3, $5.
- RIP CUC (November 8, 1994 – December 31, 2020). The Cuban Convertible Peso or CUC, a dual island currency equal in value to the USD, is no longer in circulation.