Bring cash to Cuba
Cuba is one of the last economies in the world where there is a cash only economy. So how much money do you need to take to Cuba? Of course, this depends on your life style. How much does a car cost?
Except in some hotels, plastic money is useless. To make matters worse, the few ATMs they have don’t accept your card (or will swallow it). You could go to a bank to get money with your credit card but please ask your bank if your card is valid in Cuba.
We mean it: Take cash to Cuba
The best way to an excellent money to Cuba is Cash. Big notes are no problem.
Some people think they should take Dollars since that is the number one international currency. That would be a mistake since Cuba is “at war” with the US they impose a 10% penalty to the Dollar. So if you are going to take money to Cuba, take Euro’s, Swiss Franks, Mexican Pesos or British Pounds.
Good travel shops have a money belt that you use as a regular belt.
It is a very discreet and functional way to transport and stash money.
How much money do you need?
How much money you need depends on the life style you want to lead, how manny friends you want to make and how much you know. In Cuba the ‘I don’t have a clue’ tax is very high. A typical budget will double if you are paying this tax. That’s why our book is a very good investment (and it’s funny too).
In Cuba, nothing is what you think it is. That is the fascinating aspect of the working man’s Paradise but also one of its pitfalls. Proper preparation will substantially reduce the cost of your stay.
How much money can you import?
Well up to 5000 $ you don’t have to declare your money. Above that you have to. Declaring it does not really matter… You can bring as much as you like… Cuba as a state likes you to bring money (and leave it behind).
Money in Cuba is different
We spent a whole chapter in our book on money because it is a surprisingly complicated matter in Cuba. They have a double currency system. CUC and MN. To make things clear they are both indicated with a dollar sign and both called Peso. But one is worth 25 times more than the other. This simple phrase alone should convince you that you should prepare at least a bit before you go to Cuba.
A typical budget for prepared people would be around 40-60 Euros per day per person but unprepared this can easily double for exactly the same holiday. Prices for a cup of coffee vary from 2 CUC to 1 Peso in the next door place. That is 50 times cheaper! For the same coffee… Taxis will charge you a high ‘no clue tax’, as will restaurants, casas and everybody else. Get a clue please!
Get a clue!
We recommend a good preparation before you decide to take your money to Cuba, it makes a huge difference. It’s always better to be prepared than surprised… And you will be surprised!
To help you prepare we wrote a ‘tell it like it is’ no-nonsense guidebook. Please read it; it will enhance your pleasure and reduce your costs.
Please don’t think this blog explains everything… the book goes one or sometimes two levels deeper :-)…
If you want, you can get it here. We offer a no good, money back guarantee and since we’re not Cuban, we stick to our word :-).
Anyway, on this page we have a tip that will save you a few hours at the airport… you’re welcome 🙂