Tips to know before you step off the plane:
1. ATMs do not accept debit cards. You can only withdraw cash on Visa cards, not MasterCard. So, be sure to top up your credit card before travelling to avoid any surprise fees.
2. Take GBP, Euro or Canadian cash for any conversion to local CUCs. American dollars incur an unpleasant 10% penalty fee.
Also worth knowing: Foreign currency can be changed at government run Cadecas. These kiosks stand out with the long queues extending out their doors.
3. Cuba has two currencies; the CUC and CUP. 1 CUC = 24 CUP. Most tourist venues (casa particulares, hotels, restaurants, museums, etc.) accept CUCs. Typically, visitors need minimal, if any, CUCs for a handful of local shops, restaurants and cafes geared towards resident Cubans.
Also worth knowing: Watch out for street cash converters who may try to give you the wrong currency, old bills or a bad rate. It is safer to go to the Cadecas to exchange money.
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