A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Cuba and the Cuban peso (CUP).
What's in this Cuba currency guide:
The official currency of Cuba (country code: CU) is the Cuban peso, with symbol $MN and currency code CUP.
Cuba is a beautiful and unique island nation located in the Caribbean, known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife. The country has a complex history and its own distinct way of life that makes it a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.
One of the main draws of Cuba for travelers is its history and culture. Visitors can explore the colonial architecture and historic sites of Havana, including the Old Town and the Capitolio Nacional, or take in a performance of traditional Cuban music at one of the many venues in the city. Additionally, Cuba is home to many museums and art galleries, which showcase the country's rich history and vibrant art scene.
Another popular attraction for visitors to Cuba is the island's natural beauty. From the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Varadero to the lush greenery and waterfalls of the Viñales valley, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, snorkeling and diving.
Cuba is also famous for its lively nightlife, with a variety of bars and clubs that offer live music and dancing, as well as for its good food. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of local dishes, such as traditional Cuban food like ropa vieja, moros y cristianos, as well as seafood.
While traveling in Cuba, it's important to keep in mind that the country has a state-controlled economy and a U.S. embargo that affects the availability of certain goods and services. Access to the internet is also limited, and travelers should also be aware that certain areas of the island are off-limits to foreigners.
Overall, Cuba is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone, from history and culture to natural beauty and nightlife. Visitors should be prepared for a unique and different experience and make the most of it while being aware of the restrictions and challenges.
Bring cash on your vacation. And lots of it. American travellers should note that credit cards and debit cards issued by American banks are not accepted anywhere on the island.
If you’re coming from Europe or elsewhere, there’s a good chance that the ATMs at the airport and major tourist destinations will accept your card, but it’s best to doublecheck with your bank before travelling. Beware that ATMs in Cuba have massive fees.
Some hotels, car rental agencies, and instutitutions run by the government accept credit cards (again, non-American), but it’s best not to count on it. None of the paladares (small family-run restaurants), casa particulares (home-stays), or small tourism businesses accept credit card.
ATMs and credit card machines are notoriously finicky in Cuba and you don’t want to be stuck with $US100 for a two-week vacation.
The best plan is to carefully budget how much money you think you will spend on your trip and add 10% – just in case anything goes wrong. If you can, bring the cash in euros. While Cuban currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the government charges a 10% penalty when converting dollars to pesos.
Bus travel is a dependable way of getting around Cuba, at least in the more popular areas. Víazul (www.viazul.com) is the main long-distance bus company available to non-Cubans, with fairly punctual and reliable air-conditioned coaches going to destinations of interest to travelers.
Renting a car in Cuba is easy, but once you've factored in gas, insurance, hire fees etc, it isn't cheap. Prices vary with car size, season, and length of rental. Bank on paying an average of CUC$70 per day for a medium-sized car. It's actually cheaper to hire a taxi for distances of under 150km. Driving here isn't just a different ballpark, it's a different sport. The first problem is that there are no signs – almost anywhere. Major junctions and turnoffs to important resorts or cities are often not indicated at all. Not only is this distracting, it's also incredibly time-consuming. The lack of signage also extends to highway instructions. Often a one-way street is not clearly indicated or a speed limit not highlighted,
Cuba is a cyclist's paradise, with bike lanes, bike workshops and drivers accustomed to sharing the road countrywide. Spare parts are difficult to find – you should bring important spares with you. Throughout the country, the 1m-wide strip of road to the extreme right is reserved for bicycles, even on highways. It's illegal to ride on sidewalks and against traffic on one-way streets and you'll be ticketed if caught.
The most important ferry services for travelers are the catamaran from Surgidero de Batabanó to Nueva Gerona, Isla de la Juventud, and the passenger ferry from Havana to Regla and Casablanca. These ferries are generally safe.
The vast majority of Cuba's tourists gravitate to the attractive arcs of white sand that pepper the country's north coast and offshore islands. But, explore beyond the beaches and you’re in a different domain, a land of fecund forests and crocodile-infested swamps, abandoned coffee plantations and rugged mountains as famous for their revolutionary folklore as their endemic species.
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Cuba.
Cuba is a unique and fascinating country that has long been a popular destination for travelers and expats. The island nation has a rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant nightlife, which have made it a popular destination for retirees and adventure-seekers. However, living in Cuba as an expat also comes with its own set of challenges.
One of the biggest challenges for expats in Cuba is the country's struggling economy, which can make it difficult to find stable employment and afford basic necessities. Additionally, Cuba's state-controlled economy and lack of private enterprise can make it difficult for expats to start their own businesses or invest in property.
Other challenges for expats in Cuba include:
Despite these challenges, many expats in Cuba are able to adapt to the local way of life and enjoy their time on the island. Many expats find that building a strong network of friends, both local and foreign, can help to make the transition to life in Cuba a bit easier.
It's also important to note that Cuba has its own way of life, different from many western societies, and it is essential to have an open mind and adapt to the local culture and way of living.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Cuba:
Understand Cuban peso currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the CUP exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Cuban peso bank account: A local CUP bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Cuba. It may also be more convenient to use a local CUP bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Cuba. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Cuba. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Cuba, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
The exchange rate of Cuban peso (CUP), or the amount of CUP that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest USD/CUP rate plus recent trend, chart, and historic rates.
12 May 2023
|no change||2 Week|
25 Feb 2023
|no change||3 Month|
26 May 2022
|no change||1 Year|
27 May 2018
|1% ▲||5 Year|
28 May 2013
|13.5% ▲||10 Year|
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to Cuba or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Cuban peso.
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It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Cuban peso can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect CUP exchange rates before making any financial decisions.