You won’t be able to get in to Cuba without your passport, which should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date, and a Cuban tourist card, we can arrange the tourist card for you when you book your holiday with us. You’ll need to complete the Cuba form online approximately 48 hours prior to departure.
What you should wear in Cuba:
Cuba has a tropical climate, with year round warm weather. Traditionally the driest months are between November and April, with May through to October experiencing occasional short sharp bursts of rain, that normally lasts around 5 or 10 minutes. You should pack swim wear and light clothing for the day, with comfortable walking shoes if you are planning on doing any excursions, sunglasses, and a hat are a good idea to help you with the sun, (you’ll see plenty of Panama and Canotier hats in Cuba), along with sunscreen of course!
It's a good idea to bring a light jacket or cardigan for the evenings which can be a little cooler, they also come in handy for when some restaurants and bars are a little too enthusiastic with their air conditioning.
Whilst Cuba has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, as with anywhere in the world it’s still not a good idea to flash expensive jewelry around, or to pack it in your luggage, so you should leave this at home.
Some hotels have a dress code, so check before you travel, in most hotels gents are expected to wear trousers in à la carte restaurants in the evening.
Cash remains king in Cuba, most bars and restaurants do not have the ability to except credit cards currently, and most ATM machines are empty, so it’s important to bring enough cash with you for your stay.
The official currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso, this is a closed currency, making it worthless outside of Cuba, inflation is currently high in Cuba, so we recommend bringing over Euros in cash as this traditionally offers much better value for money locally. Many restaurants and bars have started to price up in Euros now, some taxis have also started to accept the Euro. We recommend small denominations as tips do go a long way in Cuba, you will probably get Cuban Pesos in your change so please bear this in mind and use these in Cuba as you can’t change them back.
As a contradiction, large hotels will only accept credit or debit cards, so check with your bank that they will excepted in Cuba as you may need them.
You should bring a 2-pin travel adaptor, confusingly some hotels, and Casas are adapted to except flat pin or round pin, so bring both. The power supply in Cuba is usually 110 volts, most hotels have dual voltage, with sockets in rooms being 220 volts, and the standard frequency is 60hz.
It’s also worth brining a portable charger just in case.
Cuba’s drinking water is treated, however unless you are a local, or frequent traveller to the Island you will not be used to it, so stick to bottled water, even when brushing your teeth, and avoid ice with drinks where possible. You should also remember to bring some with you when out on excursions as it’s easy to become dehydrated in Cuba’s sunny climate, especially if you’ve sampled some of Cuba’s world class cocktails the evening before.
Over the counter medicines:
Although Cuba has one of the best health care systems in the world, it does have shortages of basic medicines, and you may face a long queue to shop in a pharmacy. Over the counter medicines and pharmacy products are not always available. You should bring anything you might need with you including any prescription medicines if required.
It can sometimes slip our minds, but travel insurance is extremely important to have when travelling anywhere abroad. You should ensure that you have comprehensive travel insurance and bring a copy just in case, you may be asked to show proof of it on arrival in Cuba.
Tips, or gifts for the local people:
Tipping isn’t compulsory in Cuba, yet most Cuban’s who work in the hospitality industry rely on tips, as wages tend to be low in Cuba, the average monthly salary is about $40. it’s not uncommon to meet bar tenders, or waiters that have given up professions that are highly prized in the west to make ends meet. Leaving a small tip when satisfied with their service helps the local people and will also ensure better service next time around. Due to the U.S trade embargo certain items that are readily available and inexpensive to us, can be hard to come by in Cuba, things like over the counter medicines like aspirin, toiletries and school supplies are greatly appreciated, however these things should only be given out when it is felt appropriate, and not randomly in the street when it can appear to be offensive.
Our local Representatives contact details:
When you book with us you will receive an important information document, this contains our reps contact information, someone is always available so should you have any issues at all, please don’t hesitate to contact them.
An open mind:
Cuba is a wonderful and unique country, and sometimes it faces unique challenges, including some shortages at times, especially since the United States imposed a trade embargo on it in the 1960s, which remains in place to this day. Hotel ratings are mostly lower than European standards, so a five star hotel in Cuba normally equates to about a 4 star here, you won’t enjoy the experience any less as there is simply nowhere else like Cuba. The people of Cuba earn low salaries compared to us in the west, yet their indominable spirit and love for life carries them through, so please bear this in mind, and be respectful of it.
You cannot travel to one of the most unique, and beautiful countries in the world without taking a few snaps to treasure afterwards, so make sure that you pack a camera, or that your smart phone has enough memory left on it, you’ll kick yourself otherwise!