lunes, 11 de diciembre de 2017

27 cuba travel tips you need to know!

27 cuba travel tips you need to know!

Money Tips for Cuba

1. Take cash with you

Even though things with the States are settling down now, it’s a good idea to take some hard currency on your trips to Cuba.

2. Take Euros or GBP Sterling – these get the best exchange rate.

3. Don’t take Aussie dollars, they don’t know what to do with them. Don’t take American dollars, the exchange rate will be terrible plus you have to pay an extra fee every time.

4. Cuba has two currencies:

CUC (Cuban convertible peso or ‘Cuban dollar’) aligned to USD which tourists must use, and CUP (Cuban national peso) worth around 1 CUC = 22 CUP.

Non­Cubans shouldn’t have any CUPs on them – though people do.

As Cuba­/USA relations ease, the likelihood of the CUC disappearing and the CUP remaining is high. US dollars will also probably become more accepted too.


5. You will find dual pricing in most places and the CUP and CUC prices won’t match up. It’s important not to let this bother you!

6. Get a VISA card for Cuba

Due to it being an American company, MasterCard has never really worked in Cuba though with changes happening all the time, more and more American companies are working with Cuba now. VISA is usually ok. Usually!

7. Check to see if your bank has any American alliances. If it does, you might not be able to access your money regardless.

As US/Cuban relations improve, things will change.

8. Where to get money in Cuba

Try to get money out of the ATM upstairs on level 1 of Havana International Airport. Avoid using the bureau de change at the airport though. They’re known to give incorrect change and the rates aren’t as good.

Hotels and resorts usually have a bureau de change.

9. Every town will have two types of bank – Banco de Cuba, which are proper banks, or Cadeca, which is like a currency kiosk. The bank usually gives better rates.

10. Only one person at a time can be served in the bank. If you’re traveling with a friend or your partner, flip a coin to see who goes! Towns usually have ATMs too – though some smaller places like Viñales don’t.

11. Tell your bank you’re going to Cuba

It’s a good idea to do this every time you leave your country anyway, but one of our top Cuba travel tips it that it’s even more important for this destination.

International calls are expensive and internet access is very limited.

If your bank thinks your cards are being used without your consent, they will cancel them on your behalf and leave you stranded.


Documentation Required for Travel to Cuba

12. Travel Insurance for Cuba

You need to have travel insurance to travel to Cuba. They do spot checks at Customs and if you can’t produce policy documentation, they make you buy insurance there.

The credit card we use to buy flights has nominal travel insurance included. It doesn’t cover everything though but we took the gamble. We weren’t checked going into Cuba.

13. Print out any travel documents before you leave for Cuba

Tech is really hard to come by during travel in Cuba.

If you need any travel documents while you’re in Cuba or for your next destination, print them before flying to Havana.

14. Getting your Cuba Visa

Most nationalities require a visa for Cuba called a “Cuba Tourist Card” to enter – here’s a site with a list of countries requiring visas.

How to get a visa for Cuba? You can either buy yours through your local Cuban embassy or before check­in at a Cubana Air desk.

Your airline may include the Cuba visa on the price of your flight tickets – but you’ll still need to collect the tourist card at the Cubana Air counter before you check in.


Packing and Getting to Cuba

15. Travel as light as possible

When you fly to Cuba, if you can, go with cabin luggage only. We managed to and it was the best. We didn’t have to worry about losing our stuff or about it getting damaged.

We also saw other travelers struggling in and out of the tiny doorways of Cuban buildings and up tight staircases with their enormous bags, which looked like a nightmare.

16. Gifts and bartering in Cuba

There’s a lot of talk about having pens to give to people in place of money. There is a barter system in Cuba, but not for pens.

Kids love to have pens but there won’t be a mad scramble if you produce a chewed up Biro.

We saw a man trade a bar of hotel soap for a cigar once, and there seems to be a shortage of tinned tuna in Cuba – it’s one of the most expensive things to eat there.

Otherwise, clothing with American brands on it is popular as is anything to do with baseball.



17. Flights to Cuba

Get to the airport three hours before takeoff for both flights to Cuba, coming and going.

Cubana Air likes its passengers checked in at least an hour earlier than any other airline. Planes are often over­booked, so it’s worth that extra hour for peace of mind.

Download the new Skyscanner App, which makes it easier for you to find the best travel deals for Cuba. It’s an all in one flights, hotel and car hire search engine app!

18. Food in Cuba

Due to restrictions in trade, Cuban food isn’t the best – though it’s not the worst either. It’s usually just a bit bland.

Take a little salt with you or – as our friend did – take a bottle of sauce with you. He took some Sriracha, which was almost all gone after two weeks!

Technology in Cuba

19. Galileo Offline Maps

The internet hasn’t really taken off in Cuba yet, but you can still use your smartphone to get around.

Galileo Offline Maps allows you to use your phone’s GPS to show where in the world you are. You can even set Galileo to record your movements so you can see where you went!

You can also upload maps from elsewhere into Galileo (see my next point).

You need to download maps onto the app first before you get to Cuba and go offline. This is a paid app but worth every penny.

20. Casas de alquiler en Cuba

A brilliant blog, which tells you a lot about the country. This guy also has maps of Cuba with each Casas Particulares – a type of homestay popular with tourists in Cuba – noted on the map.

21. Havana Good Time

Havana Good Time is a good app­-based guide to Havana that’s fairly current and will steer you clear of all the usual over­touristy spots.

Join our VIP community. We send a personal email message once per week that will inspire you to smash away any travel fears and give you tips on destinations so you can bring more travel into your life. Pop your name below and we’ll see you on the other side:

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22. Best time of year to visit Cuba

As with any destination, there are good and better times of year to visit Cuba. Between mid­ November and March is the cooler dry season – this is usually a busier time of year due to the lower temperatures and humidity level.

When to go to Cuba?

Between May and June is the wet season when things get a bit sweaty in Cuba but things happen like the tobacco is harvested and carnivale, which are one of the most popular highlights of the Cuban calendar.

July to early November is hurricane season, when things can get a bit windy.

23. Book your first night’s accommodation in Cuba

Not sure where to stay in Cuba?

Another one of our top Cuba travel tips it that it’s not a good idea to arrive in Cuba with no plan of where you want to sleep that night. Make sure your first night at least is covered.


24. Book Cuba tours before you leave

As we’ve mentioned before, the internet is hard to come by in Cuba. Searching for Cuba tours and activities while you’re there will be difficult and costly.

We booked a small group tour with Cuban Adventures before we left and it proved to be the best decision.

25. Choose your tour based on itinerary

If you want to join a tour, you will need to think about how long you want to be traveling and create your list of places to visit in Cuba.

Don’t worry too much about promised services or extras. Most tours use the same agency for the tour guides.


26. Learn as much Spanish as you can

One of our helpful Cuba travel tips is to learn a little of the local language.

Even simple words and sentences will go a long way in Cuba. People love to talk to you and if you know a little of their lingo, they’ll be even friendlier.

It also helps if you’re staying in casa particulars so you can speak to your generous hosts.

27. Take salsa lessons

Everyone in Cuba knows how to salsa. Even if you just learn the basic steps, you won’t feel left out stood at the edge of the dance floor while everyone else is enjoying themselves.

You can take lessons in Cuba while you’re there, but by then it might be too late.


The most important thing to remember to do while you’re in Cuba is to have fun.

Cuba is not a dangerous country, as many people think. Crime rates are not high. There is a lot of bureaucracy here though, which makes traveling hard.

Providing you use your common sense and behave with respect for the local culture, you’ll have the best time in Cuba.

Worried about recent changes for American Travelers to Cuba under the Trump administration? These new updates will give you handy tips and insights about travel to Cuba in 2017

Santa Clara

The city of Santa Clara is best known as the place where the dictator Batista surrendered to Che Guevara in 1958. The province of Villa Clara is also noted for its production of sugar, coffee and tobacco. A recently built causeway linking the mainland to the offshore islets has helped open the beach areas to tourism.

In 1958, guerilla troops commanded by Ernesto Che Guevara attacked the industrial centre of Santa Clara after a hard, 400-kilometre march that had begun in the Sierra Maestra mountains. The dictatorship finally surrendered to Guevara’s troops.

The province of Villa Clara is a traditional sugar producer. Excellent coffee grows on its southern mountain slopes, as does one of Cuba’s important tobacco crops. A recently built causeway linking the mainland to the keys has helped open the beaches to tourism.

Places to visit

Che Guevara Mausoleum 
Is where the bodies of Che and his troops, who died in battle in Bolivia, are buried.








A spa on the northern coast about halfway between the city of Santa Clara and Varadero Beach, is noted for its mineral springs and mud baths.




Founded in 1514, is a well preserved town with large colonial houses and a church. It is famous for its parrandas, or street festivals, and known for its museum, where artifacts relating to music, dancing and fireworks are on display.

On Villa Clara’s northern coast include the pristine Santa María and Las Brujas, across from the Old Bahamas Channel.

San Pascual's Pontoon 

Hotel is a 130-metre, concrete ship that was built in San Diego, California in 1920 and ran aground north of Villa Clara.

Hanabanilla Lake
Is a large, fresh-water mountain reservoir surrounded by tropical forest. It is a popular Cuban trout-fishing spot.


Breve reseña histórica de San Juan de los Remedios

La actual ciudad de San Juan de los Remedios (Monumento Nacional) es una de las primeras poblaciones españolas surgidas en Cuba durante la etapa colonizadora en el siglo XVI; su fundación se produjo el 3 de mayo de 1513, pero en los inicios fue convertida en propiedad privada del capitán de conquista y rico encomendero extremeño Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa; hombre con suficientes influencias, tanto en la corte como entre los principales representantes de la monarquía en América, para adjudicarse la prerrogativa de convertir aquel poblado y los territorios aledaños en un “feudo particular”, sin aparato gubernamental, hasta unos años más tarde, cuando conformó su primer cabildo, pasando a ser considerada la “Octava Villa” cubana a pesar de haberse establecido en fecha anterior a la de la mayoría de sus contemporáneas.

Al principio aquella comunidad se denominó “Santa Cruz de la Sabana de Vasco Porcallo”, tomando en cuenta su fundación el 3 de mayo, día de la Santa Cruz en el Santoral Católico, el nombre de “Sabana”, con el cual se identificaba al cacicazgo indígena que allí existía, y de “Vasco Porcallo” por ser este el dueño y señor de la comarca; nominativo que cambió por el de “San Juan de los Remedios”, que conserva en la actualidad, cuando tomó posesión su primer gobierno local el 24 de junio, día de San Juan Bautista, de 1545.


La historia local se puede admirar en el Museo de Historia. El elemento más distintivo de la región son sus famosas Parrandas, festejos anuales a los que concurren personas de toda la Isla. Tan importantes son, que existe en la ciudad un museo dedicado a este fenómeno: El Museo de las Parrandas, desde abril de 1980, que aglutina toda la memoria de las celebraciones y conserva el patrimonio mediante fotos, documentos, maquetas, vestuario, instrumentos musicales  y objetos artesanales, relacionados con estos seculares festejos. Remedios posee, flanqueada por hermosos flamboyanes, una plaza muy singular, porque es la única del país con dos iglesias catolicas: la de Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje y la Parroquial Mayor de San Juan Bautista. En esta última todos los altares están enchapados en oro y dentro de una de sus vitrinas o escaparate se puede admirar una escultura representando a la Inmaculada Concepción, embarazada, la cual se dice es única en el mundo. También Remedios se caracteriza por la irregularidad de sus calles, a la vez que crean un entorno que llama a adentrarse por las arterias de la centenaria urbe.
Otro de los tesoros de la villa es el Museo de la Música, consagrado al destacado músico cubano Alejandro García Caturla, nacido allí en 1906, que custodia en la que fuera su casa, numerosos exponentes vinculados a su quehacer artístico.