Cuba has two different currencies: the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). The CUP is used among locals while visitors use the CUC. The CUC cannot be exchanged outside of Cuba so visitors cannot purchase this currency prior to the trip. In Cuba, both Euro and Sterling can be exchanged for CUC at the Official Bureau de Change CADECAS; as well as in airports, banks and hotels. ATMs are also available in Havana and other major cities.
Generally credit cards – Visa and MasterCard not issued by a US bank – are widely accepted in large hotels and resorts. However smaller businesses might not accept credit cards so it always a good idea to have some cash on you if venturing outside the resorts.
While most of the resorts in Varadero accept credit cards, this is an exception rather than a rule for Cuba. Be sure to have some money on you if you plan on travelling outside the resorts as many places are unable to accept credit cards. It is a good idea to bring a couple hundred Euros or Pounds Sterling – make sure the notes are in perfect condition as they may not be accepted otherwise – with you to Cuba as ATMs are not wholly reliable, although exchange is available at most hotels and banks.
Service charges and room tax are generally included in price, however tipping is usual in Cuba especially since the tourist CUC is far more valuable to Cuban locals than the CUP. If you do decide to tip, one or two pesos are usually accepted with good grace.
All visitors to Cuba require a Visitor Card. Cuba Travel are happy to issue Cuban Visitor Cards at our offices at 38 Pearse Street, Dublin. Obtaining your Visa through Cuba Travel is a quick and easy process. In order to obtain a Visitor Card you must possess a passport valid for six months after your return date.
Alternatively you can visit the Embassy of Cuba , 2 Adelaide Court, Adelaide Road , Dublin 2, Tel 01 4750899/475299.