Cuba operates as a dual economy. Its hard currency is the Cuban convertible peso (CUC$), which you will exchange and use in Cuba. CUC$ come in the following denominations: 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Please note that CUC$1 comes in both a coin and paper money configuration. The monetary unit used only by Cubans is the Cuban peso, also called moneda nacional or CUP.
Please note, as of December 2019, Cuba's cash economy is now shifting to accept U.S. dollars (USD). Private vendors such as artists, paladars, taxi drivers and souvenir markets are now accepting payment in USD, but will provide change in local Cuban currency, the CUC. We recommend that you bring a mixture of USD in small bills in addition to larger bills. You may still need to exchange some money into Cuban CUC for state run stores, such as for local official stores where you might buy water or entrance to evening shows or activities. Exchange small amounts at a time to avoid collecting too many CUCs as you travel. Your guide will be able to provide you with more details when you arrive. Please note that CUC can only be converted back into USD in Cuba.