Cuba, the costs
Unfortunately, in Cuba you can not assume that you can always hop by an ATM like we are used to in the modern world! The ATM’s are often empty or out of order and refills may take days to weeks. That means you should not rely on the ATM’s, but instead you have to calculate what you will be spending on your trip. And that’s pretty hard!
We decided to bring euro’s instead of dollars, because for us this was cheaper. Money can be exchanged at the exchange office upon arrival at the airport. You must do this right away, otherwise you will not be able to get to Havana (it’s a 20 minute cab drive from the airport). The government in Cuba has decided that tourists pay a currency other than the locals. For example, the tourists have to pay with CUC and the locals are paying with Pesos. 1 CUC is about € 0.90 cents and equals 1 dollar. It is not possible (in Holland) to get CUC’s before you go to Cuba.
We have tried to read everything on the Internet about the cost of Cuba, but everyone said something different. So we tried to calculate the average amount of money of all the stories wich we have read, and we took this wit hus. What we noticed during our trip to Cuba was that the prices for tourists were quite high.
For example, overnight stays, food and drinks, taxis and activities are quite expensive. For a night, the costs are around 25-45 CUC. It depends on which season you are in, so November to April is the high season in Cuba, so the prices are a lot higher then. The food and drinks are around 5-15 CUC per person per meal, Taxis within Havana are starting from 10 CUC and activities approximately from 30 CUC. Many tourists think that Cuba is cheap but this counts only for locals.
We spent 14 days in Cuba and assumed that we would spent about 1400 euros with his two weeks, so that means 700 euros per person including overnight stays, three meals a day, activities, transportation and all other occasions. Eventually we had 200 CUC left on our last day!