I have a couple of questions. I have scoured the thread and the FAQ and the search function, but I´m still a little confused.
I hope to make a sidetrip while I´m in Cancun.
Firstly, what is the go with money. I have US$ but I believe there is a heavy commission to change these. Should I get a load of Mex Pesos and change those, or can I use my debit card (Australian) to use at atm´s...if any/many?
My other question is in regards to accomodation. I will either get a package deal with flight/3* hotel, but would the hotel allow....er, 'overnight' guests?
Or, I will Casa it, it seems cheaper, but don´t you have to have a hotel address on your tourist card upon entry? Can you put the name and address of a Casa?
Yes ,there's a surcharge on US dollars of about 10%.
ATM's are very limited : less than a handful in Havana and none in other towns. Don't bring travellers checks issued by a US bank. Best is to change your currency in banks or, Cadeca (Casa de Cambio) all over the island.
Daily exchange rates (and foreign currencies accepted) are posted on this Cuban bank's site :
Very few hotels allow overnight ; ) guests. Best is to use a casa but avoid changing ; ) guests every night : could be considered as prosti... and casa owner could risk losing his casa, if not a heavy fine.
Casas are cheaper and yes, you can put a casa address on your tourist card, even if you don't really have a firm reservation there. With 2 million visitors a year, Cuban officials have better things to do than call every a casa mentioned on tourist cards.
Check out this non-profit casa site : www.cubacasas.net for over 350 listings in 33 cities and lots of other pertinent info on travel to Cuba.
If you are thinking about a LOCAL guest in a HOtel, just forget it unless you are married. NO hotel at all allows locals in rooms.
Casas will have no problems at all if registering all their guests: locals and non locals. Locals have to carry ID for 24 hours and if not having anything to hide should not mind allowing Casa owners to register them.
Do not bring MX, their change rate is worse than the one for the USD even with the surcharge mentioned. Best bet will be Euros or CAD.
You are able to purchase Euros or CAD for MX Pesos or USD at good rates at the "Casas de Cambio" Cancun airport or other "Casas de Cambios" there in Cancun.