Question: I am currently in Costa Rica and am coming to Cuba in the next couple of weeks. Can I take out colones (Costa Rican money) here and then change it into pesos when I arrive in the Havana airport or can I take out $US here and then exchange them in the airport or will it be easy for me to just use the bank in the airport with my passport and Australian Debit Mastercard to take out money?
Answer: The largest Casa de Cambio (CADECA or exchange booth) in Havana (see address below) says that Cuba does not accept the colón as a currency of exchange. So it’s best you leave these at home.
Cuba does, however, accept the US dollar. For further information including where to find current exchange rates, consult the answer to the question How can I locate info about money exchange? It’s located in the Havana Times website on the Cuba Travel page under Currency.
CADECA also says that your Australian Debit Mastercard is acceptable for use in Cuba. You will need to show your passport when you take out money against it.
However, we would suggest that you come to Cuba with some US cash (or Euros) for exchanging at the airport rather than using your credit card, which would be better to use at CADECA in the city.
In Havana, the largest CADECA – open daily from 8am to 10pm – is found in Habana Vieja at the following address:
Obispo # 257
e/ Cuba y Aguiar
Tel 860-2696 extension 117