There are two peso currencies in Cuba. In addition to the original currency called “Moneda Nacional”, which is the valid means of payment for the local population, there is a so-called tourist currency.
The Peso Cubano, or CUP for short, is the currency used for state wages and services in the country. CUP also stands for the ISO code of the Cuban currency. The pesos are divided into centavos.
One peso is worth 100 centavos. However, these coins are rarely in circulation. The banknotes in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos are common. On the banknotes and coins, the currency is indicated in one peso and in three or more pesos.
The second currency in Cuba is the Peso Cubano Convertible, or CUC for short. The legal framework for this money was created in 1993 and 1994. The denominations of the banknote values correspond to those of the CUP. The CUC, the convertible peso, is the currency for higher value and state unsubsidized consumer goods. The second currency has a fixed exchange rate of 1: 1 to the US dollar. A currency converter can be used to easily calculate the euro amounts for the CUC and the CUP.
History of the Cuban Currency
Cuba can look back on a very eventful history – this also applies to that of its currency. Cuba was discovered by Columbus in 1492 and conquered by the Spaniards after 1508. Common coins are of Spanish origin or special Spanish-colonial coins.
In the 1850’s, the peso in gold was first introduced as a unit of account, and from 1857 the Cuban peso was introduced as a paper currency. Finally, in 1898, Spain granted Cuba independence and around the turn of the century afterwards the US dollar was used as an external means of payment.
Cuba’s current currency has been the peso since 1914. The exchange rate at that time was one US dollar for one peso. The term “peso” comes from an adaptation of the Spanish word “peso”, which means something like ”
Exchanging money into Cuban pesos
As a tourist, it is advisable to make all payments in the CUC currency. This currency cannot be changed outside of Cuba; it is exchanged by the Cuban central bank in relation to the dollar. For German tourists, a dollar that is weaker than the euro means that they can get by on their holiday budget in Cuba more cheaply.
You can change money in official exchange offices, banks and most hotels in the country. At these locations, it can be assumed that the current exchange rate and, above all, will not receive any counterfeit money.