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Hello all...Just thought I would relate an unfortunate incident that happened in Jose Marti airport a few days ago while there. A Cuban National woman was exchanging CUC's at the airport freely with the public, and was approached by the police. She and the buyer were taken away, they did a 3 day stint in the can and lost ALL of their money. So be careful out there. John

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On 12/14/2019 at 3:24 PM, Monterey said:

How did you know the person spent 3 days in jail?  You go and find out?  Something is fishy about this story.

Small troll, small mind. I'm just giving the information you don't like it move on. Or are you going to chase me around and take your piñata shots on every thread I comment on? 

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I just left Havana 1:1 is the going rate easily. Several places we went people were asking us if we wanted to exchange money. I would suggest only exchange what you are going to spend. Once you enter airport almost impossible to get rid of CUC, once you get passed sercurity they do not even accept CUC anywhere or at dutyfree. They only accept USD and other foreign currency.

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5 hours ago, Mandale said:

I just left Havana 1:1 is the going rate easily. Several places we went people were asking us if we wanted to exchange money. I would suggest only exchange what you are going to spend. Once you enter airport almost impossible to get rid of CUC, once you get passed sercurity they do not even accept CUC anywhere or at dutyfree. They only accept USD and other foreign currency.

No problem there. I have no issues spending all the CUCs lol

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  • 4 weeks later...
19 hours ago, ChrisMG said:

I'll be going in a couple of weeks. Should I only take American with me? Or will I need some CUC as well

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If you plan on buying anything in the shops, you will need to convert to CUC. Where are you staying? If you are staying at a casa, you will likely get 1:1 without a problem.

Use all of it before you walk into the airport and do not plan to buy anything in duty free. Make all of your purchases before the airport. 

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If you plan on buying anything in the shops, you will need to convert to CUC. Where are you staying? If you are staying at a casa, you will likely get 1:1 without a problem.
Use all of it before you walk into the airport and do not plan to buy anything in duty free. Make all of your purchases before the airport. 
We will be at Playa Presquero in Holguin. So for any LCDH purchases CUC?

Thanks

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I doubt we are at the point where LCDH will take USD unless someone has seen that recently? The CUC may be dying but it's not dead yet. Talked to a friend in Havana today. He said 1.15 CUC to 1 USD maybe if you hustle for a bit or dig deeper, but yes everyone seems to be able to get 1:1 right now. Which should be good enough--I don't need to come out ahead on the exchange but it is nice not to be hit with the USD 10% penalty.

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13 hours ago, DSegal said:

I doubt we are at the point where LCDH will take USD unless someone has seen that recently? The CUC may be dying but it's not dead yet. Talked to a friend in Havana today. He said 1.15 CUC to 1 USD maybe if you hustle for a bit or dig deeper, but yes everyone seems to be able to get 1:1 right now. Which should be good enough--I don't need to come out ahead on the exchange but it is nice not to be hit with the USD 10% penalty.

That's good to hear. Is it 1:1 at the cadecas, or on the street?

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On 1/15/2020 at 5:28 AM, garagedragon said:

That's good to hear. Is it 1:1 at the cadecas, or on the street?

For sure not the cadecas.  Though some hosts (AirBnB/Casa) may have money to exchange, I doubt many will have as much as most of us spend.  The average family doesn't have 2k in CUC laying around.  I've also wondered where people can get legit money on a 1:1 exchange. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most casa owners may not be sitting on $2K but many know people who run exchange side businesses. So often they’ll make a call and someone can show up who has more money to exchange than you will need. This may require your trust—which I enjoy doing but I realize isn’t for everyone. My experience is high have to give your US $ to the person, who then leaves, and returns with CUC. These have traditionally been the folks who offer better rates. 1:1 or perhaps a little better lately. A year ago it was 95:1 or so. We’ve all heard of 1.15:1 now but I think the extreme. To be clear, you can find folks on the street but my advice is to work through someone casa owner knows. Just that one extra layer of trust helps. They make some $ and you save some $. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 11:47 AM, tdlfoto said:

For Canadians, is it best to bring Canadian or US cash for exchange? Or use bank card to make withdrawal in CUC?

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I've just returned from Trinidad and the best option is to bring CAN$. Most shops accept credit cards but pretend that credit card machine doesn't work (turned off). 

Shops don't accept US$ except at the airport where they charge 10% tax on US$.

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On 12/17/2019 at 11:33 PM, Derboesekoenig said:

No problem there. I have no issues spending all the CUCs lol

When I left home, and when I returned...

6DD38D46-27D5-4CAA-93CB-4D75F48A60AD.jpeg

FC9E6F0C-8A91-471A-B500-95CEF3B0B9B5.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Checkout revolico.com, it is the Craigslist of Cuba. There are quite a few buying USD at 1.10 or so. In the search (Busqueda) put "compro dolares" and you'll see the list. I don't suggest you get involved with anyone here, its just a measuring stick. You can also use it as a bargaining tool: "Yeah but I got a guy on Revolico, that's willing to give me $1.10". John

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I've had success over the last two years when I went in bringing British Pounds Sterling to exchange for CUC instead of USD.  We lose a little bit of money going from USD to Pounds but you get more CUC with those pounds than you would if you exchanged that same amount in USD.  I go to any bank and do it.  This is my personal experience and opinion but I've done it through "a friend of a friend" before at someones house in Havana and got a rate of $1USD - .92CUC (at the time this was very good) but figured out this way and I maximize all my funds for the trip better.  Just IMO. 

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