Yes, keep in mind a conversion fee may apply.
We recommend to budget at least 100 convertible pesos per day (about $100 US dollars). This amount will cover standard meals and evening entertainment, as well as transportation costs. You may spend more but if you are mindful of where you eat and what transportation modes you use, you can easily spend less (i.e. touring around the city in a classic car is more costly). You’ll probably want to budget more if you’re considering buying gifts such as cigars and rum as well as partaking in several excursions/activities.
The major legal currency for Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso, CUC. It’s what you exchange your foreign currency for and make all your purchases with in Cuba. Most tourists will only ever deal with CUC. For international exchange purposes 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso = $1.00 USD. Note that there is a 13% penalty charged when exchanging USA dollars cash, so, you will only receive 87 centavos CUC for one USA dollar when changing the money, allowing for the 13% interest.
You can exchange USD for CUC at the airport, most hotels, exchange bureau in town centers and some banks. The current fee for exchanging is 13%, i.e. for 100 USD you will get 87 CUC. The fee is the same no matter where you exchange your currency. You will need your passport to exchange money. In Cuba, they will not accept bills that are torn or written on when exchanging into CUC.
When exchanging money into CUC, try to get small denominations to make purchases easier, as many places (little stores, bars and restaurants do not always have the possibility to break down larger notes for you).
You can exchange money at the airport, some hotels or banks. We suggest that you do not use Travelers Checks because they are not insured and may not be accepted. Therefore it is essential to travel with enough cash during your entire stay in Cuba. Note: You may find small locations called Cadecas where you can also exchange money.
US-issued credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards were not previously usable in Cuba; this is changing with new regulations and more and more places will start to accept these for purchases or withdrawals, but not yet! It is advisable to bring cash in order to make any purchases in Cuba or pay for most services. Most places will not take USD, so you must exchange currency upon arriving. Tips however can be given in any currency. Traveler’s Checks may also be difficult to cash while in Cuba
The second legal currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso, CUP, which is rarely used by the vast majority of tourists, but it’s still something you should know about, as it is perfectly legal for tourists to use.
Considering that the average Cuban monthly salary is $25, tipping is expected and appreciated.