QUESTION: We are planning a “people to people” five-day trip for a family of three, departing from the US the last week of June 2016. Things are changing so fast; would appreciate some up-to-date information about two topics…
Can you give advice on the currency situation? Are US dollars used in daily transactions? Or do travelers still exchange dollars into CUC? (And lose 13% in the process.)
We would also like to book lodging through Air B&B to better connect with local people. Since most Cubans have no internet, there must be some “middle men” acting as agents. Do you think it a good idea to use AirB&B? Or do you suggest doing something else for affordable places to stay?
ANSWER: The currency situation has yet to change. The Cuban government said it will take off the 10% penalty when the US allows the Cuban state companies to open dollar accounts in the United States. That hasn’t happened yet. You can save some by taking either Euro’s or Canadian dollars with you instead of USD.
No problem using AirBnB. People who rent find a way to have email or use the Wifi public points to connect. Most either have email at home, legal or not, or someone who does makes the connections for them. There are also other Casa Particular sites for booking homestays.