Should I change my money at the airport?

Question: How do i ensure i don’t get cheated when changing money at José Martí International Airport Cadeca?  I am arriving from London Gatwick with around £1000.  Should i change them all at once? Into small notes?

Answer: Here is the site for the latest average exchange rates at CADECA.
The rate may be a little bit less at the airport so the best is to change a small amount there and the rest at one of the many Cadeca money exchanges facilities in the city. For easier spending you can ask for 20 CUC notes.  The CUC is the Cuban convertible currency.

4 thoughts on “Should I change my money at the airport?

  • Always count out your bills out to the teller. I put 350 cdn through the window as a stack and was told it was only 300. I had to stand my ground and ask to talk to her superior before she gave me the correct amount. I think this is more common than we would like to believe.

  • I changed some money at the airport but the owner of my casa particular was able to contact someone he trusted and I was able to receive 96 CUC per 100 US dollars. I think the bank was giving 87 per 100 at the time.I used him several times without problem.

  • When changing money at CADECAs there are a few things to keep in mind, as well as any time/place you exchange money:
    – ask for your receipt. This will show the exchange rate & the workers name [if there is a problem later]
    – present documention [ie. passport]

    Varadero airport seems to have earned fame for trying to rip tourists off within the CADECA by not giving the exact amount written on your receipt, or simply not asking for your passport & thus not giving a receipt to make it an official transaction.
    I believe it’s even more common at airports because many tourists arrive excited or tired & aren’t always 100% aware of what’s happening.

  • Ever since all the CADECA (Casa De Cambia) locations have been linked by computer, you will see that the screen that displays the exchange rates is actually a page on the CADECA website (internal, not accessible from the general internet) and the rates at the Havana airport is the same as at locations throughout the city. Some hotel-based ‘exchange’ booths and even banks may have different rates. My experience in Varadero is that the airport CADECA rates and the rates in town are the same. Always take the receipt that is automatically generated by the transaction, and compare with subsequent exchanges. Note that the rate may change day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.

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