According to a government regulation US dollars and any other "convertible currency" in all the country is not any more freely circulating in Cuba.
The National Cuban Bank has released the 'PESO CONVERTIBLE', this is the official currency in Cuba.
Additionally, the Cuban Central Bank (BCC) established that from November 8/2004 onward, the exchange of US dollars for Convertible Pesos will bear a 10 per cent tax. The measure is applied to nationals and foreign visitors in stores, hotels, bars, cafeterias, taxis, rent-a-car companies and any other business previously accepted cash payments in US dollars.
You could not longer use US Dollars or any other foreign currency in Cuba , and if you bring dollars a tax of 10% will be applied to you at the exchange for Cuban Convertible Pesos (this tax will not be applied to other currencies). So it is recommended to bring Euros, UK Pounds or Canadian Dollars. You will change them while in Cuba , without the tax that will be applied to US dollar exchange and at the end of your travel you will be able to exchange back the remaining Convertible Pesos.
So now, in Cuba , there are two different currencies:
- CUBAN CONVERTIBLE PESOS
- CUBAN PESOS
1 Cuban Convertible Peso = 24 Cuban Pesos
You may exchange Euros, Canadian dollars, Pounds, Swiss francs, and others for cuban convertible pesos. The exchange rates for those currencies are set in accord with the exchange rates on the international market.
You will need Cuban Pesos to take buses (guaguas), to buy vegetables and fruits at the local market, perhaps some juice or a pizza in the streets.There are places that accept only Pesos Convertibles and other places only cuban pesos.
You can acquire 'pesos convertibles' at the airport, banks and at the Money Exchange Offices, called "CADECA" (you can find these offices everywhere in the country). You can obtain Cuban Pesos also in the CADECAs or at any local bank.
In tourist facilities and other service units, prices are set in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). In Varadero, Cayo Largo del Sur, Jardines del Rey (Coco and Guillermo Keys), Santa Lucía and Covarrubias Beaches, and Holguín province (tourist resorts on northern coastline), you can also pay in euros.