Cuba has two currencies: Pesos Cubanos, or National Currency (CUP), and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). Neither of these are internationally convertible, so should be exchanged before leaving Cuba. CUC is the most commonly used currency among tourists. It is pegged 1-1 to the U.S. dollar, and is worth about 24 CUP. Visitors should only change currency into CUC at official exchange houses, or CADECAs, located near major tourist locations and some hotels. The government levies a tax of 10-20 percent for exchanges of U.S. dollars. Such taxes are not levied on exchange of other major currencies such as the euro.
Most Cubans earn their salaries in CUP, which can be used for purchases of basic staples in some local markets and shops. However, most restaurants, hotels, and other establishments a visitor will frequent require payment in CUC. The average visitor will generally not have a need to purchase CUP. The country has announced plans to abolish the dual-currency system, but no set schedule has been announced yet.