PLEASE NOTE: An important change took place on January 1, 2021 regarding currencies. Cuba has put an end to its dual currency system (CUC and CUP). This long-anticipated unification leads to the definitive removal of the CUC (Cuban convertible peso) in favor of the CUP (Cuban Peso). More information below.
Since January 1, 2021, there is now only one legal currency in Cuba:
The CUBAN PESO (code: CUP)
24 CUP = $1.00 USD (fixed rate)
Between 1994 and 2020, Cuba adopted a dual-currency system, both called pesos. One is the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the other is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), the latter was pegged to the US dollar at par (see history of the CUC below). But on December 10, 2020, the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel announced the unification of the two currencies resulting in the abolition of the CUC, starting January 1, 2021.
Denominations of Cuban Peso (CUP) Banknotes :
1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 pesos
Denominations of Cuban Peso (CUP) Coins :
1, 5, and 20 centavos
1, 3 and 5 pesos
You can only get Cuban Pesos in Cuba
This currency is not traded internationally, so it cannot be bought in advance outside Cuba.
As of mid-July 2020, the 10% tax on USD in cash has been removed.
It's the only foreign currency that was penalized with this surcharge since 2004.
It’s strictly forbidden to take Cuban Pesos out of Cuba
You must exchange your remaining pesos before leaving the country. Note that airside shops in Cuban airports (departure area past immigration) accept foreign currencies (USD, EUR, CAD) and credit cards.
Where to exchange money Credit cards / Debit cards
History of the CUC:
The Convertible Peso (CUC) closed currency was first introduced in 1994, but the US Dollar still remained the preferred currency for tourists until November 8, 2004, when the US dollar ceased to be accepted on the island. Since then the CUC became the “tourist currency” to substitute the US Dollar (USD). At first (1994 to early 2005), the CUC was pegged to the USD at 1:1. In April 2005, its value was increase to 1.08 USD, and then in March 2011 the Central Bank of Cuba devaluated the CUC by 8% against all foreign currencies, so this measure now pegs again the CUC at 1 to 1 with the US Dollar.
And later, in October 2013, the Cuban government was announcing its intention to eliminate their dual currency system (CUC and CUP). It was a little over 7 years later, on December 10, 2020, that President Diaz-Canel finally announced the unification of the two currencies resulting in the removal of the CUC (Cuban convertible peso) in favor of the CUP (Cuban peso), starting January 1, 2021.
Lily & Normand