Two currencies, two realities…
Many travelers have been asking about the cost of living in Cuba: food, lodging, transport, etc.
There are two currencies in Cuba and in many places like theater, museums, Casa de la musica, etc. you can find two entry fees: one for Cubans with the peso Cubano and another fee for tourists (strangers like Cubans call them 🙂 ) with the CUC.
In general, life with the CUC is expensive, and as expensive as in rich countries, sometimes even more expensive: restaurants, car rental, etc.
Eating and drinking
This means that you can eat a pizza at the quivalent of 10 CUC (10 US $) but you can also eat a pizza at 10 Peso Cubano which is 0,40 US $ !! And then if you keep eating with the peso Cubano, your life can be much cheaper. Of course, the quality of food goes down with its price 😀
In Cuba, in general, you can find accommodation between 5 CUC and 40 CUC a night. Casas particulares in Havana range between 15 and 30 CUC a night in general, breakfast can be included. The location is very important, because public transportation are difficult to understand and then if you want to save money on the price of the Casa particular, you could loose all the money you saved because you’re not well located.
The best way to move between Cuban cities is by bus. Avoid the train because it’s chaotic and very hard to get used to. The best bus company on the Island is Viaazul (www.viazul.com), very good service, reliable and not that expensive. They also have a very good Website and you can have a very good idea about the costs for moving from city to another. For example, a one way from Havana to Pinar del Río is 11 CUC.
For long distances, you can also take the plane with Cubana de Aviación (www.cubana.cu). More expensive but much quicker. For example, to go from Havana to Santiago de Cuba (one way):
- Viaazul (bus): 15 hours at 51 US $.
- Cubana (flight): 1h 25min at 135 US $.
You can easily survive in Havana with 30 CUC per day all expenses included. But you can also do it at 100 CUC a day depending on the quantity of rum you will drink and number of cigars you will smoke…