Money & duty free for Cuba

Exchange rates:

Convertible Peso
C$1 = CUC$0.75
€1 = CUC$1.11
£1 = CUC$1.53
US$1 = CUC$1.01

Currency & Money

Currency information

Prior to 1 January 2021, there were two types of currencies in Cuba – the Cuban Convertibles Pesos (CUC) and Cuban Pesos (CUP). The CUC was used by visitors, whereas the CUP was used by ordinary Cubans to buy daily essentials.

The Cuban government removed the CUC from circulation after 1 January 2021, and the CUP, now known as 'moneda nacional', becomes the only legal cash currency.

Cuban Peso (CUP; symbol ₱) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of ₱100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3 and 1. Coins are in denominations of ₱3, ₱1, ¢20, 5, 2, and the rarely used 1 centavo.

You should not take any Cuban pesos out of the country and must exchange them at the airport. The process will require your boarding pass. However, they may be limited international currencies available at that time so you may not be able to change all the Cuban pesos that you have. After immigration, only Euros, Pound sterling or Canadian dollars are accepted.

Credit cards

Mastercard and Visa are accepted, but American Express is not. Having said that, do check with your credit card providers to confirm that your card will work in Cuba.

ATM

There are ATMs, but visitors should check with your bank before your travel to confirm that your card will work in Cuba. Also, there are no ATMs available for drawing cash against Cirrus or Switch cards.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are not popular now and should be avoided.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1330-1600, Sat 0830-1200. Hours may vary.

Currency restriction

In theory, you can import an unlimited amount of foreign currency, although you may need to declare if the amount exceeds US$5,000. Technically, you cannot import local currency as Cuban Pesos are not available outside of Cuba. However, it has been reported that residents of Cuba could import up to 2,000 Cuban pesos.

As of 2019, some tourist venues are reported to accept USD but will provide change in local Cuban currency.

Currency exchange

Due to the prevalence of forged currency, only change your money at state-run CADECA exchange houses, large hotels or banks. Check the exchange carefully. Ignore individuals offering exchange facilities to avoid queues.

Cuba duty free

The following items may be imported into Cuba by travellers aged 18 years and over without incurring customs duty:

• 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 3L alcoholic beverages.
• Gifts up to a value of Cuban peso CUP of 1,000.
• Medicines for personal use (may need to show your prescriptions).
• Laptop for personal use.

Banned imports

Prohibited items include animal products, explosives, certain household appliances, and all pornographic material and drugs.

Restricted items requiring authorisation include firearms and ammunition, light motor vehicles, live animals and plants and their parts, certain foodstuffs, and works of art.

Note that GPS is not allowed.

Banned exports

Drugs, explosives, items of cultural value, manuscripts dating from between 1440 and 1500, library books, books edited by Libros Cubanos under the 'R' imprint, foreign editions published between the 16th and 18th centuries, Cuban editions published in the 18th century, and lobster in any form or quantity.

How many cigars can you bring back from Cuba depends on the import rules of your country. For example, if you are heading back to the UK, you are allowed to bring in 50 cigars provided that you don't have other tobacco products. If you are going to the United States, you are permitted to bring 100 cigars.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.