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Excursions in Havana - Advice from one of our partners as of November 12, 2021

Here is what René Lopez Zayas shared with us today.

"Useful information for your stay in Varadero, Cuba.

Based on the experience of the last outings in Havana and the exchange with customers, I would like to advise Canadian or European travelers to bring, apart from the equally relevant bank cards, some cash in dollars USD or EUROS respectively , for possible expenses in Havana or elsewhere, such as souvenirs, drinks or meals, or to change a few USD or Canadian dollars, or even euros as the case may be, into Cuban pesos for the same purpose.

Most merchants and owners of bars and restaurants in Havana, as well as taxi drivers, currently have difficulty accepting Canadian dollars, mainly due to ignorance of this currency which is much more popular in tourist resorts. Business owners in the capital often only accept USD dollars or euros, instead of Cuban pesos (CUP).

In Varadero the informal exchange rate is very anarchic. A CAD or USD dollar, as well as the Euro, can be exchanged at very different rates, but always advantageous compared to the exchange rates of the official hotel office, maintained by the Central Bank of Cuba

In the bars and restaurants of the city of Havana inflation is hitting hard, like everywhere in Cuba at the moment.

For example, a coca cola is sold today in Habana Vieja for around 100 CUP and a beer for around 150 CUP with rare exceptions. Cocktails are sold for around 250 CUP.

It is therefore better not to rush and to get the best possible exchange rate, via your Cuban friends, acquaintances or employees of hotel facilities, while being careful of scams, the latent possibility of coming across unknown with malicious intent, since it takes everything to make this world.

To prepare for your next trip to Cuba, make sure to bring your bank cards of course, but also enough of your money in cash and only change into Cuban pesos in small quantities tailored to occasional needs.

This is what I leave you with now and I wish you a good trip to Cuba soon."

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