How much money do I need in Cuba?
Cuba is a lot more expensive than most developing countries. Be prepared to pay as much on the tour in Cuba for food and services, as you would in any western ‘developed’ country. This is mainly due to the Cuban Government placing large taxes on anything considered “non-essential”, or anything to do with tourism, and also due to the artificial exchange rate for the CUC. The trade embargo placed on Cuba by the United States also has some effect on prices. Most visitors find Cuba more expensive than they anticipated.
How much you take along with you on the tour is obviously a personal matter. If you intend to purchase many souvenirs in Cuba, or if you enjoy spending it up on a big night out, we would recommend that you take a bit more than the estimated amounts below. In total as an estimate, where no meals or activities are included, you need to allow about 35 to 60CUC per day for expenses for the tour not including local payment and souvenirs.
- View our recommendations on How to access your money in Cuba. (Foreign currencies currently accepted in Cuba)
Personal Tour Budget Summary
Expenses you will have once you arrive in Cuba
- Local payment (see individual tour details for amount)
- Food - Allow about 25CUC to 40CUC a day for food where no meals included
- Other - drinks, souvenirs, communications
- Optional activities and excursions (see list)
- Taxi to airport for departure - 20CUC to 25CUC
- Tips (see below)
- Accommodation: Every night of the tour.
- Transport: To complete the itinerary. Transport for optional excursions and day trips is not included.
- Breakfasts: for each day of the tour, except the arrival day.
- Local guide: throughout.
See: Individual Tour Costs for more information on your particular tour.
- International Flights
- Visa and passport fees
- Insurance (Travel Medical Insurance is required to participate on the tour)
- All meals (except for breakfasts)
- Optional activities/day-tours/excursions
- Airport departure transfer
Tipping on the Tour
There will be times during your tour in Cuba where there'll be opportunities to tip local service providers - such as drivers and local guides. This is a completely optional practice to show your appreciation for excellent service and you should never feel obliged to do so, especially if you feel you did not receive good service. You may tip individually, or your tour guide will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Also at the end of the tour, if you felt your tour guide did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated (see also the section about your tour guide).
For local guides on day trips and other optional activities in Cuba, as a suggestion we recommended a tip of 2 to 5 CUC per person.
Local Payment in Cuba
The Local Payment must be handed to the tour guide at the first group meeting in Cuba (usually on the morning of Day 2 of the tour). This will be accepted exclusively in CUC (Cuban Pesos Convertibles) cash. What is CUC?
Why do I have to pay a local payment?
We have part of the cost of the tour paid by you locally in Cuba for these reasons:
- Sometimes we have problems sending the large amount of money to Cuba to operate the tour. Having the tour guide collect a certain amount in cash, directly from the travelers at the start of the tour, acts as a safeguard against possible delays or complications in the transferral of money to Cuba to run the tour. This way the guide will at least have some cash to be able to start the tour and not compromise any of the services we provide, until the rest of the money arrives.
- The local payment allows us to lower the upfront payment amount for the tour, which means that less or your money is collected as commission by travel agents, and advertising agencies. This means that the overall cost of the tour is lower.
What part of the tour does the local payment pay for?
The local payment does not cover any one particular aspect of the trip - such as the local flight or included excursions. Instead it goes towards paying for our total cost of running the tour (including accommodation, transport, guide, guide expenses etc), the majority of which we need to pay for in cash in Cuba.
Individual Tour Costs
- 15 Day Original Tour - inclusions
- 15 Day Original Tour - spending money
- 8 Day Original Tour - inclusions
- 8 Day Original Tour - spending money
- Westen Cuba Tour - inclusions
- Western Cuba Tour - spending money
- Complete Cuba Tour - inclusions
- Complete Cuba Tour - spending money
- Essential Cuba Tour - inclusions
- Essential Cuba Tour - spending money
- Vinales extension - inclusions
- Vinales extension - spending money
- Varadero extension - inclusions
- Varadero extension - spending money
- Eastern extension - inclusions
- Eastern extension - spending money