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.
Two types of currency circulate officially in Cuba: the Cuban Peso (CUP) and Convertible Cuban Peso (CUC). Common people usually handle Pesos, while tourists use Convertible Pesos.
Currency exchange is available on airports, banks, hotels, currency exchange houses (CADECA) and big shopping arcades. One CUC is equivalent to One US Dollar but in cash transactions a 10% tax is imposed. Therefore it is recommendable to travel with tax-free Canadian Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling or Swiss Francs.
You should always perform your currency exchanges in official places, avoiding strangers.
Euros circulate freely in Varadero, Jardines del Rey, Playa Santa Lucía, Playa Covarrubias, Cayo Largo del Sur and Guardalavaca.
You can check out currency exchange rates at the Banco Central de Cuba web site.
The following credit cards are accepted in Cuba: Cabal, Transcard, Visa, MasterCard Internacional, Access, Bancomer International,Eurocard, Banamex, Dinners Club International, JCB andCarnet. They cannot be purchased by United States' banks or its affiliates. National means of payment are also allowed, purchased by the BancoFinancieroInternacional (BFI cards), Banco de Crédito y Comercio, Metropolitano, Popular de Ahorro and BICSA (RED cards).
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.