VETELOTODO

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CUBA

 

1. Currency

Cuba has two different currencies: CUC (tourists currency) and CUP (national currency) neither exchangeable in foreign markets. The exchange to CUC is better with EUROS. There are several exchange establishments in La Habana. You might have to form in line for an hour the first day to make sure you get enough CUC for your trip. Bring your passport! They won't make the exchange if you don't have it.

Cuba has two different currencies: CUC (tourists currency) and CUP (national currency) neither exchangeable in foreign markets. The exchange to CUC is better with EUROS. There are several exchange establishments in La Habana. You might have to form in line for an hour the first day to make sure you get enough CUC for your trip. Bring your passport! They won't make the exchange if you don't have it.

2. Medical Insurance

Travel medical insurance is MANDATORY for visitors as per the government of Cuba. Check first if your private health insurance covers Cuba, if not, there are plenty of options online. I found one for 12$.

Travel medical insurance is MANDATORY for visitors as per the government of Cuba. Check first if your private health insurance covers Cuba, if not, there are plenty of options online. I found one for 12$.

3. Passport

Before flying make sure to purchase a round trip flight. Write down the address of your hotel or casa particular and double check your passport, make sure that it does not expire in the next 6 months. 

Before flying make sure to purchase a round trip flight. Write down the address of your hotel or casa particular and double check your passport, make sure that it does not expire in the next 6 months. 

4. Cuban Visa / Departure Cash

When leaving Cuba, you will be asked to pay in the airport a 22$ tax. Make sure you have cash, they don't accept credit cards.

When leaving Cuba, you will be asked to pay in the airport a 22$ tax. Make sure you have cash, they don't accept credit cards.

3. Oficial Language: Spanish

Don't worry if you do not speak Spanish, most Cubans speak more than just one language. (English, French, etc.)

Don't worry if you do not speak Spanish, most Cubans speak more than just one language. (English, French, etc.)

4. Lodging: Casas Particulares

There are plenty of luxury hotels in Cuba. However, I recommend you to stay at a "Casa Particular". You get to know better the country when connecting with its people. They are around 25 cuc/night. 

There are plenty of luxury hotels in Cuba. However, I recommend you to stay at a "Casa Particular". You get to know better the country when connecting with its people. They are around 25 cuc/night. 

5. Be open for change of plans

Do not be super attached to your travel plan. Be flexible, enjoy each situation, go with the flow... and remember, expect some delays, there is not rush in Cuba.

Do not be super attached to your travel plan. Be flexible, enjoy each situation, go with the flow... and remember, expect some delays, there is not rush in Cuba.

6.  Security

Cuba is one of the most secure countries in the world. You can walk around the city at night without any issue. They will ask for money, but they won't still it from you. Guns and drugs are prohibited and policemen are walking around the streets all the time.

Cuba is one of the most secure countries in the world. You can walk around the city at night without any issue. They will ask for money, but they won't still it from you. Guns and drugs are prohibited and policemen are walking around the streets all the time.

7. Water

It is really hot outside, so you will need to hydrate yourself with mojitos, local soda, and bottled water. Sometime will be hard to find. When at your "casa particular", remember you cannot drink   tap water. The only way is by boiling it.

It is really hot outside, so you will need to hydrate yourself with mojitos, local soda, and bottled water. Sometime will be hard to find. When at your "casa particular", remember you cannot drink tap water. The only way is by boiling it.

8. Taxis

Those vintage cars are taxis. Get a ride, it is such an experience! Ask the taxi driver   how much for the ride before getting into the car. You can always negotiate and check with others.

Those vintage cars are taxis. Get a ride, it is such an experience! Ask the taxi driver how much for the ride before getting into the car. You can always negotiate and check with others.

9. Other Transportations in La Habana

I recommend you to walk as much as you can. If tired, get a ride in the cocotaxis, I loved it! You can also get a ride in one of those bikes for two.

I recommend you to walk as much as you can. If tired, get a ride in the cocotaxis, I loved it! You can also get a ride in one of those bikes for two.

10. Long Distance Transportation

I am fan of renting cars, that way you do not depend on others. Rent a car can be expensive in Cuba, and is recommended to do it in advance online. Cheaper (trust me). You can also get the Viazul bus, this takes you to different points of the island. Sometimes, believe it or not, a taxi will cost less than a bus ride even when long distances. (Taxi drivers in Varadero would take you for almost nothing to La Habana if they are ready to go back home after a long day)

I am fan of renting cars, that way you do not depend on others. Rent a car can be expensive in Cuba, and is recommended to do it in advance online. Cheaper (trust me). You can also get the Viazul bus, this takes you to different points of the island. Sometimes, believe it or not, a taxi will cost less than a bus ride even when long distances. (Taxi drivers in Varadero would take you for almost nothing to La Habana if they are ready to go back home after a long day)

11. Cubans

They are really nice people. Full of joy. They love to explain the situation of their country, their lives and their culture. You will learn a lot if you ask the right questions. They might ask you for money, cloth, etc...I recommend you to bring some extra toothbrushes, mouthwashes, toothpastes, floss, panty hose, or even your old bras. I promise you they will appreciate anything you have.

They are really nice people. Full of joy. They love to explain the situation of their country, their lives and their culture. You will learn a lot if you ask the right questions. They might ask you for money, cloth, etc...I recommend you to bring some extra toothbrushes, mouthwashes, toothpastes, floss, panty hose, or even your old bras. I promise you they will appreciate anything you have.

12. Dance

Dance is part of their culture. If you like dancing, try to get into a 1h salsa class. Or just enjoy watching them dancing. 

Dance is part of their culture. If you like dancing, try to get into a 1h salsa class. Or just enjoy watching them dancing. 

14. Rum

It was so hot in July that I ended up   drinking mojitos at any time of the day. They are so good! 

It was so hot in July that I ended up drinking mojitos at any time of the day. They are so good! 

14. Habanos

I don't smoke, but I couldn't miss that experience of tasting a cuban cigar. In "Valle de Viñales" I got habanos per cuc. Your friends/family would love it!

I don't smoke, but I couldn't miss that experience of tasting a cuban cigar. In "Valle de Viñales" I got habanos per cuc. Your friends/family would love it!

 

EXPLORE THE CARIBBEAN:

Why Cuba? Travel back in time.

Why Cuba? Travel back in time.

Why Tulum? because you deserve it.

Why Tulum? because you deserve it.