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  • FIRST POST
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 21st Oct 19, 5:16 AM
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    Aubrey Thicket
    0 WOW
    Anybody been to Cuba in last year? Question about money etc
    • #1
    • 21st Oct 19, 5:16 AM
    0 WOW
    Anybody been to Cuba in last year? Question about money etc 21st Oct 19 at 5:16 AM
    Hi guys

    Were off to Cuba in a few days. What is the best advice with regard to money m. This was a late deal so we have no time to get Cuban Pesos etc.

    Also, what about plug adapters?

    Thanks all
Page 1
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 21st Oct 19, 6:26 AM
    • 10,266 Posts
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    DigForVictory
    • #2
    • 21st Oct 19, 6:26 AM
    • #2
    • 21st Oct 19, 6:26 AM
    The local tobacconist went last year, thinking he’d need pesos but low denomination dollar bills were absolutely fine (& preferred). Your bank may blink at you insisting on single dollar bills but the Cubans won’t!
    Have a wonderful time! & sorry not a clue about electricity.
    • JamoLew
    • By JamoLew 21st Oct 19, 6:44 AM
    • 163 Posts
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    JamoLew
    • #3
    • 21st Oct 19, 6:44 AM
    • #3
    • 21st Oct 19, 6:44 AM
    Take notes. Cash points are few and far between and you can usually change money in the hotel. There is also an exchange at the airport - but we never found it.
    The exchange rate is fixed to the American $, we found the rate was better in Havana than in Varedero.

    You can only change money in the country. Make sure you are aware of the difference between CUC and CUP.
    As a tourist, you will be using CUC, the CUP is mainly for locals and usually used for buying essentials such as food, the CUC is for "luxuries"
    1 CUC = 25 CUP, so check you change very carefully, although our impression and experience was that Cubans are exceedingly honest.
    CUCs have pictures of monuments on one side of them where as CUP have pictures of people (on both if I recall)
    It take many people to make a monument is a good way to remember

    In the hotel we stayed, most of the electricity sockets were the Amercian type, but the odd one or two were the European type. Take a couple of each adapters and you should be fine.

    Enjoy and have a great time, it's a fabulous country with very a friendly and welcoming population. Although immigration at the airport doesn't feel like it and definitely felt very "bizarre"
    Last edited by JamoLew; 21-10-2019 at 7:03 AM.
    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 21st Oct 19, 9:57 AM
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    leylandsunaddict
    • #4
    • 21st Oct 19, 9:57 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Oct 19, 9:57 AM
    Is it you that's asked on the Cuba forum on TA?

    If so, you have been given replies from people that have been to Cuba umpteen times. No point me going over it as well.

    Cuba is a lovely country and the people are so friendly. Go and enjoy! Use the cadeca at the airport to change a small amount for tipping before you get to your hotel. Tipping in the currency of the country you're in is the best way. The Cubans won't refuse to take USD notes but they're better off with CUCs. No point buying them and then changing them, especially as there's a 10% surcharge. That way you can use coins or notes and they don't have to change them.
    Last edited by leylandsunaddict; 21-10-2019 at 10:07 AM.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 21st Oct 19, 12:35 PM
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    Voyager2002
    • #5
    • 21st Oct 19, 12:35 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Oct 19, 12:35 PM
    When I was there in 2013, there were lots of cashpoint machines... and in any case, you can always take your card inside the bank (with your passport) and get cash over the counter. The many money-changers (Cadeca) will also give cash for a card and are much faster than banks, although they have long and fast-moving queues. I cannot believe that any of this has changed over the last few years.

    Only take US dollars for tipping: if you exchange them anywhere official there is a ten per cent fee, which you can avoid by bringing pounds instead. (Cuban people can use US dollar notes in ways that foreigners cannot, and would often prefer them to CUC.)

    As for the comments about everyone being honest -- while crime is low, I was short-changed in the Holguin airport cadeca and encountered another scam there later, so do not relax completely. Remember that hotels and resorts give far worse exchange rates even than airports, so change money in town whenever possible.
    • Bellagio1
    • By Bellagio1 21st Oct 19, 5:20 PM
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    Bellagio1
    • #6
    • 21st Oct 19, 5:20 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Oct 19, 5:20 PM
    I have been to Cuba from the UK on 62 occasions and I can assure you that you should take Sterling. Clean, untorn bills with no writing on them, in 10, 20 or 50 denominations. Please note that Scottish notes are not acceptable.

    Do not even take US dollars for tipping as the recipient will be penalised by 10% when exchanging them. The everyday Cuban you will meet is not interested in receiving one dollar bills, they want CUC's.
    • Wanderingpomm
    • By Wanderingpomm 21st Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    • 253 Posts
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    Wanderingpomm
    • #7
    • 21st Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    The local tobacconist went last year, thinking hed need pesos but low denomination dollar bills were absolutely fine (& preferred). Your bank may blink at you insisting on single dollar bills but the Cubans wont!
    Have a wonderful time! & sorry not a clue about electricity.
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    Most places wont take dollars and if they do it will be a terrible exchange rate. There is an embargo so are difficult to use.
    and are better options but get local currency at the airport.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 21st Oct 19, 7:28 PM
    • 13,381 Posts
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    Voyager2002
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 19, 7:28 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 19, 7:28 PM
    Do not even take US dollars for tipping as the recipient will be penalised by 10% when exchanging them. The everyday Cuban you will meet is not interested in receiving one dollar bills, they want CUC's.
    Originally posted by Bellagio1

    The sort of people who work in resorts and receive dollar tips are not "ordinary Cubans". And in any case, someone in the extended family will be collecting dollars for the next trip to Miami...

    Bottom line: any kind of tip will be appreciated (apart from foreign coins) but do not take dollars for your own spending.
    • Bellagio1
    • By Bellagio1 21st Oct 19, 8:06 PM
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    Bellagio1
    • #9
    • 21st Oct 19, 8:06 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Oct 19, 8:06 PM
    If you are a UK citizen why would you buy US dollars to take to Cuba?. It doesn't make sense. To start with you would have to pay a commission to buy them whereas you can just draw Sterling notes from your bank with no commission charges.

    Also the sort of people who work in resorts need tips in CUC's to help buy the everyday things they need. Not only that I do not know of any Cuban that just 'visits' the US. .US visas are hard to come by.

    If their extended family visit from the US they come loaded with cases full of goods (I believe it's 120 kilos) to distribute to their family members and they are certainly not looking for a few dollar bills to help offset the cost.
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 21st Oct 19, 8:51 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    Aubrey Thicket
    Thank you to all you guys who took their time out to assist us here. So, it’s unanimous...

    Sterling it is.

    Bellagio1 please can you advise us on what plug to take (we are Spending half the time in Havana and half in Varadero).

    Thanks again guys.
    • Bellagio1
    • By Bellagio1 21st Oct 19, 9:09 PM
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    Bellagio1
    Although the power supply in Cuba is mainly 110 volts, most of the modern hotels have dual voltage with all the sockets in the room being 220 volts. Usually in the bathroom there is an 110 volt socket suitable for shavers and charging batteries. All UK appliances will work in Cuba and all you will need is an adapter. The sockets in the rooms are cleverly designed so they will take the North American flat 2 pin and the European rounded two pin plugs. Personally I would go for North American flat 2 pin.

    Even casa particulares that are mainly 110 volts usually have one socket that is 220 volts because of the air conditioner.
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 21st Oct 19, 9:13 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    Aubrey Thicket
    Cheers Bellagio

    The info on coatings and flights etc is in the TA thread. I’m texting back and forth with my friend.

    Thanks for your help.
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 21st Oct 19, 9:35 PM
    • 287 Posts
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    Aubrey Thicket
    Costings not coatings.
    • beardocuba
    • By beardocuba 21st Oct 19, 11:44 PM
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    beardocuba
    In Cuba now
    Certainly Cubans prefer US $1 dollar bills to 1 coins, say - but those travelling abroad to buy things (I suspect more go to Panama than Miami) aren't going to travel with an enormous pile of $1 bills - they prefer $100 bills to take up less space. If you tip with CUC, they can then decide whether to use them to buy things in Cuba or exchange for USD

    (By the way - it used to be that the US gave 5 year visas for some to visit family there - so they could travel repeatedly. That has stopped, though those with such visas are still able to travel).

    And as mentioned, there are ATMs in most places - except some of the tourist areas.
    Last edited by beardocuba; 21-10-2019 at 11:48 PM.
    • JamoLew
    • By JamoLew 22nd Oct 19, 6:57 AM
    • 163 Posts
    • 217 Thanks
    JamoLew


    Bellagio1 please can you advise us on what plug to take (we are Spending half the time in Havana and half in Varadero).

    Thanks again guys.
    Originally posted by Aubrey Thicket

    did you not read my post or believe what I had written ?
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