Being well informed before you leave to Cuba, takes worry out of traveling and helps your trip goes smoothly.
Cuba is a warm, tropical island, so cotton and other light fabrics are ideal for outdoor activities. Keep in mind, however, that resorts, restaurants, tour buses and other public areas are generally air conditioned. During wintertime, which is slightly cooler, we recommend bringing a light overcoat. For the rainy season May to October, rain gear or an umbrella will come in handy.
Casual is the order of the day in Cuba. However visitors who enjoy elegant dining, theatre and other sophisticated entertainment tend to dress more formally for those occasions.
Loose, light colored cotton clothing, long shorts are acceptable for men and women, although women may find a skirt breezier and more comfortable.
• Electrical equipment
Electricity in Cuba is 110 volts, 60Hz, but most hotels in Cuba has 220 volts / 50Hz. Electrical outlets take flat plug prongs.
If you’re bringing an electrical equipment, check to see if you need an adaptor or converter.
Cuba is on EST - Eastern Standard Time, from May through October, Cuba transfer into daylight savings time (one hour ahead). GMT - 5 hours, as US - EST in the winter and EDT during the summer.
• Sufficient Funds
If you entering Cuba with just the air ticket, you may have to show that they have sufficient funds to meet their financial needs, for the duration of their stay. That is the equivalent to 50 CUC per day. Your Credit Card is also valid to proof that you have a sufficient funds.
• Health Insurance
Travelers must carry Health Insurance that covers medical expenses in order to enter Cuba. Upon arrival, you may be required to present a proof of medical coverage valid for the entire period of your stay in Cuba. For Canadian tourist is sufficient to have Canadian Health Card.
Every tourist should have a valid passport issued on his or her name.It is important for you to know that your passport should be valid for at least two weeks after the return date.
• Cuban Tourist Card or Visa
The Cuban Tourist Card allows its holder to stay in Cuba for 30 days from the date of entry into the Country, and is valid for one entry into Cuba. For a stay of more than 30 days and only up to 90 days maximum. You require visiting Cuban immigrations office to extend your visit period, or you can request at any tourism office in Cuba.
Children regardless of their age, also require Tourist Card, even if they are registered on their parents passports.
Cuban Tourist Card is usually supply along with the airline ticket. Cuban Tourist Cards is generally provided by tour operators or airlines with your ticket, or can be obtained from a Cuban government office. Check if you’re Cuban Tourist Card has a stamp at the back, from tour operators or airlines. Note, the Tourist Card is not valid without stamp.
If you don’t have Cuban Tourist Card you can always purchase it at the airport in Cuba, from the emigration for $20.
If you are planning to work, do business or study in Cuba you need another type of visa.
Please contact Consulate General of Cuba in your country
Cuba has good taxi services, as well cars and motorcycle rental is availble. Tour buses cover all the major sites of interest, for transfers and excursions contact tourist desk in your hotel.
Driving is an excellent way to travel around Cuba, you can pick up your car in all airports and citie centres.
• Travel on buses is only available through Viazul Busline, conecting major cities across the Cuba. Viazul Reservation and information:
- Havana tel: (53) 7- 881-1413 or 7-881-5652
- Varadero tel: (53) 45 - 61-26-26
- Santa Clara tel: (53) 42 -22-25-24
- Cienfuegos tel: (53) 43 - 51-57-20
- Trinidad tel: (53) 41 - 99-27-14
The official language is Spanish, but English and French is spoken in all the hotels and main tourist spots.
Health insurance, with provision for emergency repatriation, is compulsory for visitors to Cuba. Those travellers without adequate health insurance will be obliged to purchase Cuban health insurance on arrival.
No vaccinations are officially required, however visitors are advised to take precautions against typhoid if travelling to rural areas. Most of the more serious tropical diseases are rare in Cuba, but viral meningitis and dengue fever do occasionally break out, including in urban areas like Havana.
Dengue fever is on the increase and the best prevention against it is mosquito repellent and suitable clothing to avoid being bitten.
Food is considered safe, bottled water is available although mains water is chlorinated. Cuban medical facilities are mediocre and many medicines are unavailable. Those requiring regular prescription drugs should bring them.
Cuba is situated near the Tropic of Cancer and therefore enjoys a warm climate. Rainfall is high and relatively even, although there are two distinguishable seasons: the dry season is from November to April, and rainy season is from May to October. The average temperature during the day is 27 C / 81 F
while at night it is 20 C / 69 F July and August are the hottest months.
Tipping in Convertible Pesos CUC$ is welcomed, as salaries in the service industry are small. A 10% tips are appreciated in restaurants and by taxi drivers. Small amounts of $1 or $2 are appreciated by all hotel staff.
Cuba is considered free from any threat of terrorism, but theft from baggage during handling is common, and valuables should not be packed in suitcases. Be wary of pickpockets and bag snatchers in tourist areas and on buses or trains. Visitors should be particularly careful after dark in Havana, tourists are advised to take taxis after dark rather than walk.
Beware of thefts from rooms in private homes - Casas particulares.
• Cuban Customs
Visitors should address Cuban men as senor, women as senora and girl as senorita. Cubans are engage in political discussion and debate, it is not advised to criticise Cuban government vocally, and one should be respectful of Cuban Revolutionary figures.
who are well prepared and adhere to simple rules should have smooth entry through customs, when entering and leaving Cuba, Airport Departure Tax is included in air ticket.
Important information to remember:
Cuban customs laws prohibits any imports of pornographic material, narcotics drugs, live animals and firearms, although these last ones can be authorized by the organization in charge of this tourist modality when these are for the sport of hunting. Any possession, consumption and traffic of narcotic drugs and other substances are penalized, except for those of personal use accompanied by the corresponding doctor prescription letter.
• Inbound travelers
Duty Free - Travellers to Cuba over 18 years do not need to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 3 bottles of alcoholic beverages; gifts to the value of US$50; and up to 10kg of medicine.
Seeds, fresh animal or vegetable products, narcotics and psychotropic substances; explosives, firearms and ammunition; pornographic material; publications directed against public order and morality and household electrical appliances are all prohibited.
Strict regulations govern the import or export of philatelic collections; precious stones and metals; artistic, historical or cultural artefacts.
In addition to their personal jewelry, cameras and other valuables, visitors are allowed to bring into Cuba, duty free, two bottles of liquor, one carton of cigarettes and up to 10 kilograms of medicine. Gifts up to a value of $250 US$ can also be brought in. Of that, $50 is duty-free; the rest is 100 per cent taxable.
• Outbound travelers
Visitors leaving Cuba can take out 23 cigars (no in the box), and 1.14 litres of liquor two regular-sized bottles of 750ml. To export other items, such as art and antiques, obtain a permit from the National Registry of Cultural Objects.
Most legitimate vendors have such permits, and can officially stamp your receipt.
Shops in hotels, villas and airports sell Cuban cigars, rum and coffee, as well as snacks, arts and crafts, toiletries, books and souvenirs. Specialty stores in the main tourist regions also carry high-end European and other imports.
Official currency is the Cuban Peso $CUP, 100 centavos, the Tourist currency is Convertible Peso CUC$, all goods and services in Cuba are priced in CUC$ pesos only, including transportation and tourist establishments like hotels, restaurants and shops.
Traveler's cheques issued from a US bank can not be used in Cuba. Credit Cards as Visa and Master Card, not from US banks can be used to pay, in hotels, restaurants & shops.
Currency accepted by Cuban Banks exchage rates to CUC$
Canadian Dollar CAD $ 1 = CUC$ 0.71
US Dollar US $ 1 = CUC$ 0.97
Mexican Peso MXP 1 = CUC$ 0.05
Euro EUR € 1 = CUC$ 1.14
British Pound GBP £ 1 = CUC$ 1.20
Swiss Franc CHF 1 = CUC$ 1.00
Danish Kroner DKK 1 = CUC$ 0.15
Norway Kroner NOK 1 = CUC$ 0.12
Sweden Kronar SEK 1 = CUC$ 0.10
Japanese Yen JPY 1 = CUC$ 0.009
Telephone network provides direct communications inside the country and out with any part of the world.
The international access code for Cuba is 53, outgoing code is 119 followed by the relevant country code.
Cellular phone company Cubacell have roaming agreements with many international cell phone companies.
GSM network covers most main towns, and cell phones are available for rent, or you can activate your open cell phone in Cuba.
Public telephones are widely available for domestic and international calls, but international calls are expensive. All the public phones use only the Pre-paid phone card, no coins.
Internet cafes are located in hotels and Telephone Centers.
• Internet access and WiFi connection
Most hotels nad resorts in Cuba now offer internet access, computer rooms are located in the lobby area. You need to purchase Internet Nauta Card for CUC$ 1 valid for 60 minutes.
On these cards are usario - user ID and contresena - password that you need to sign-in.
When you connect to the access point your browser should open and prompt you for the username and password on the card, and give you a usage monitor.
Nauta Internet card CUC$ 1 for 60 min
You can access the Nauta homepage using the Internet web browsers in your device, the Nauta authentication page opens up automatically when you start the browser. Make sure you allowed pop-ups and cookies in the browser.
Don't forget to sign-out after your session (tipping 184.108.40.206 in address space), you can use the remaining minutes later.
Places with Wi Fi in Cuba are located in the central parks and city centers. List of the actual Wi-Fi spots in Havana and province:
• La Rampa WiFi covers area from the Malecon up to cine Yara in Vedado
• Parque de 51 in La Lisa
• Parque Coyula in Playa Miramar
• Parque Fe del Valle in Havana centre - Galeano / San Rafael
• El Anfiteatro de Marianao y el Paseo de la Villa Panamericana
• Parque Monaco Pabellones Central and 14 at Expocuba - Lenin park
Pinar del Rio: Independencia and Roberto Amaran parks in city Pinar del Rio and Parque Antonio Maceo in Consolacion del Sur
Artemisa: Boulevard pedestrian street and parque de La Iglesia and parque San Antonio in Artemisa town
Mayabeque: central park in Guines and boulevard in San Jose de las Lajas.
Madruga: Central park.
Varadero: shoping complex 'Todo en Uno' and La Libertad as well in all the hotels lobbys.
Matanzas city in Penas Altas city park.
Cardenas in Jose Antonio Echeverria park.
Santa Clara: Leoncio Vidal park in city centre, and Los Framboyanes square.
Remedios: Town Central Park
Cienfuegos: city centre Marti Park and Villuendas and el Rapido in Punta Gorda near the sea.
Trinidad: Cespedes Park - Carillo
Sancti Spiritus: Serafin Sanchez park and Plaza Cultural Yayabo
Ciego de Avila: City Parque Marti and Parque Maximo Gomez and Moron: central park.
Camaguey: Agramonte & Plaza del Gallo & Plaza de los Trabajadores parks
Las Tunas: Plaza Martiana & Parque Antonio Maceo & Tanque de Buena Vista
Holguin: Calixto Garcia and Julio Grave de Peralta parks & Parque infantil Ruben Bravo
Bayamo: Pedestrian street Bulevar
Manzanillo in pedestrian street and Guisa in Calixto Garcia park.
Santiago de Cuba: four city parks, Alameda, Cespedes, Ferreiro and Plaza de Marte.
Guantanamo: Avenida Camilo Cienfuegos
Baracoa: Marti park and central park.
Isla de la Juventud: Nueva Gerona in boulevard, pedestrian street.