You can exchange foreign currencies at the following locations:
This is where you’ll get the best exchange rate, but please note that there’s no bank near the Jibacoa beach-resort, the closest one would be in the town of Santa Cruz del Norte.
2. Cadeca (acronym for Casa de Cambio)
This is the official government’s currency exchange house. Exchange rate can be just a little bit higher than the bank but they usually are more conveniently located. Cadecas can be found all over Cuba: every airport, many hotels and resorts, downtowns, shopping centers, etc. There’s no Cadeca at hotel Villa Jibacoa (exchange is made at the Front Desk) but there’s one at hotel Memories Jibacoa (ex. Breezes).
3. Front Desk of hotels and resorts
Exchanging currency at your hotel is an easy and convenient option but usually not the best rate you will find. Service fees vary from a hotel to another, on average 3% to 6%. At Villa Jibacoa this is the only option but we found their service fee to be very fair.
Useful tips about money exchange:
- The passport is required to exchange money at a Cadeca or bank, but not at your hotel's Front Desk.
- Banknotes with rips, markings, or tears are not accepted so make sure to bring notes in good condition.
- Foreign coinage can be exchange, notes only.
- Before leaving the exchange desk, always check the cashier calculation to make sure that the right exchange rate was applied, and count your money to make sure to receive the right amount.
Many foreign currencies may be exchanged for CUC (such as: CAD, EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, MXP, DKK, NOK, SEK, and JPY) at the daily exchange rate, but not all banks, cadecas or hotels can handle all of these currencies. The "Banco Nacional de Cuba" publishes the official daily exchange rates in its website www.bc.gov.cu.
US DOLLARS: USD exchange against CUC is different; a 10% surcharge (penalty) is added; so avoid bringing US dollars if you're not American. This is the only foreign currency that is penalized with this additional fee.
You can exchange back leftover CUCs at the end of your trip but then the exchange rate (sale) is bad. The CUCs have no value outside Cuba so it's better to exchange smaller amounts at the time and budget wisely at the end of your stay. Note that the airport shops usually accept foreign currencies.
Travellers' checks: They are not very useful in Cuba because it's often difficult to find a place to cash them and you have to pay a commission. Plus, you cannot have them replaced in Cuba if you loose them or they get stolen, you'll have to wait until you come back home.
It's forbidden to take Cubans pesos (CUC or CUP) out of Cuba.
Lily & Normand