Confusing Currency in Cuba
One odd thing about Cuba which we're just starting to get to grips with is the dual currency.
Cuba operates two currencies, CUC and CUP. Both are legal tender in Cuba but one CUC (which is more or less pegged on and equivalent to 1 US dollar) is worth 25 CUP.
Most local stores and street vendors operate in CUP, and you can buy pizza on the street for 10 CUP (that's less than 50cents US) but it is very easy for a tourist to pay in CUC and find they are paying 25x the correct price.
Also some things you have to pay in CUC: hotels, taxis, Viazul (the tourist bus), which obviously makes them more expensive. It's not illegal for a tourist to have CUP but many people feel it is and make you think it is. For instance we bought an ice cream in Havana when we only had CUC and the price was written as $1. We assumed it was 1 CUC and the vendor didn't do anything to dispel our assertion. Yet in Viñales, once we'd acquired CUP, we paid this time $1CUP around 4 cents or a 25th of the price we'd paid before.
So Cuba could be cheap and can be cheap for the local Cubans, which I guess is what you'd want from a socialist country. Just another confusing thing to get your head around this crazy country
Leave a Reply.
Search posts by destination:
Useful Links to other sites:
Authors (in a very loose sense of the word)
Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!