We are an expert team in this destination. We can provide useful tips to guarantee a very comfortable and safe trip to Cuba.
Cuba is a tropical country, where most of the year it is convenient to wear light clothing, especially those made of cotton. Bath suits and sun-blocker creams should always be in your handbag, although a light sweater is recommendable if you are planning to visit mountain areas or if you travel on winter season (from November to March). It will be also useful to carry a light raincoat or an umbrella if you visit Cuba during the rainy season, from May to October. Comfortable shoes should be taken in consideration by trekking and walking enthusiasts. Plus, you should always drink bottled water.
When leaving the hotel, do not leave photo or video cameras unattended, neither any other electronic devices, such as MP3/MP4 players.
Even though informal outfits (jeans, shorts, jerseys, etc.) are usually seen as correct, formal clothingmight be requested at some theaters, luxury restaurants, concert halls and others. Long-sleeved shirts and a tie will do well for most of those places.
When checking in the hotel, it will be highly convenient to ask about the facilities and services that require extra payments, such as: Safe-deposits, Room services, Mini-bar replenishment, among others.
The national currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP). Notes of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos circulate.
You can exchange freely convertible currencies (currency) for the Cuban peso (CUP) at banks and Exchange Houses (CADECA), which have a wide network of commercial offices; located at international airports, ports where cruise ships operate, main hotels and areas with the highest influx of tourists.
There is also a network of Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) distributed throughout the country where you can withdraw CUP, but it is not a guarantee, they are scarce in some cities and towns, especially in the interior of the country.
Do I need to have Cuban pesos during my stay in Cuba?
We advise you to have a certain amount of Cuban pesos CUP (around 5,000) to buy in small local businesses such as cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, agricultural markets and use public transportation.
What currency in cash is recommended to bring to Cuba?
To travel to Cuba, the traveler or tourist may enter in cash any foreign currency accepted by the Central Bank of Cuba to be exchanged for the Cuban peso (CUP), except US dollars USD, which are only accepted through transfers. Among those accepted are the Mexican Peso, Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen.
The Cuban Peso is not valid or exchangeable outside of Cuban territory.
What debit or credit cards work in Cuba?
Debit or credit cards accepted in Cuba are: Visa, Mastercard, and American International Service (AIS). However, travelers interested in traveling to Cuba are recommended to check with the bank where they have their bank account if they will be able to use their card in the national territory.
No card issued by United States institutions works in Cuba. Verify before traveling that your card is not associated with a US banking institution and always has a cash backing in one of the currencies accepted in Cuba, to avoid mishaps.
Important information about payment for some services
In shopping malls and other services such as car rental, hotel and excursion reservations, purchase of airline tickets, only payment is accepted using cards in freely convertible currency (MLC). You can use your debit/credit card or purchase a prepaid card at one of the CADECA offices.
Travelers, upon leaving the country, can request at the CADECA of the airport, that the balance that was left on the prepaid card be refunded.
Visitors should possess an effective Passport or a trip document stating their name and the corresponding visa or Tourist Card, excepting those countries that Cuba maintains Free Visa agreements with.
Tourist Cards can be requested at the Cuban consular representations or in travel agencies and airlines. They are of two types: for individual tourists or tourists that travel in groups.
Businessmen, journalists at work and natural of Cuba non-residents or with another nationality, should get a visa at consular representations.
Consult Current Customs Dispositions at the web site of Aduana General de la República de Cuba: www.aduana.gob.cu.
Health restriction policies only apply to travelers from countries with endemic yellow fever or cholera, or from those declared by the World Health Organization as infected zone, in such cases, an International Vaccination Certificate is demanded.
Animals and Plants have specific restrictions to importing, while vaccinated Pets are allowed only with necessary documentation.
Travelers to Cuba must carry travel insurance with a health insurance policy valid in Cuba from May 1st, 2010.
This policy must be handled at the country of origin. Although, those travelers without health insurance policies at their arrival to Cuba, will be able to acquire one, provided by Cuban Insurance Companies right at the airport, marina or port.
Travel insurances subscribed by Cuban insurance companies and most of international ones, have Assistance Services guaranteed throughout Cuba, provided by Asistur S.A. 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Power outlets in Cuba are 110 volt, 60 cycles, although most of the hotels also have 220 volt available. The majority of hotels have flat outlets, therefore we recommend carrying a round-flat adapter.