Do you want tips for traveling to Cuba? We suppose so, for Cuba is a wonderful place: paradisiacal beaches, impressive natural spaces, a rich cultural architectural heritage and above all, an island full of good people, welcoming, friendly and happy.
That is why we love that you come on a trip to the island, because we know that the experience of traveling to Cuba will be unique and unrepeatable.
Before embarking on the trip to Cuba, we will give you a series of tips or recommendations so you can come to the island just to enjoy and avoid any setbacks.
Tips for traveling to Cuba and entry requirements
1 What official documents must you have "in order" to travel to Cuba?
Requirements to travel to Cuba:
- Valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from entry to Cuba
- Tourist visa (mandatory document for all citizens not born in the country.From the date of your arrival in Cuba, your stay permit is 30 days) or, failing that, a visa issued by the corresponding Cuban consular authorities in accordance with the activities to be carried out in this country and for the duration of the entire stay
- Proof of having contracted travel insurance for medical coverage.
2. Covid-19 pandemic requirements in Cuba
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic requirements in Cuba, this september, the Cuban Government has announced that as of November 15, 2021, the restrictions will be eliminated and only a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR will be necessary, but until then, these are the current requirements:
- You must present the Traveler's Declaration of Health (Mod. 82-32) as a sworn statement of your state of health.
- Health insurance is mandatory to include COVID coverage.
- It is mandatory to present the results of a PCR-RT test for SARS-CoV-2 from a certified laboratory in your country of origin and undertaken up to 72 hours before arrival in the country.
- Upon arrival in Cuba, 100% of the travelers will receive a free PCR check at the airport.
Non cuban travelers, on organized trips hired in advance (accommodation and transport) will get their results within 24-48 hours, having able, then, to travel freely.
If the traveler is Cuban or foreigner traveling on their own, they will be obliged to quarantine for 5 nights if they enter through the Havana and Santiago de Cuba airports, or 14 nights if they enter through another airport, in the hotel facilities designated in each territory. This has been called “institutional isolation” and the travelers must assume the costs of stay and transfers. On the 5th or 14th day, these travelers are required to undergo a second PCR, costing USD 30 for the traveler.
Having passed Covid or being vaccinated does not exempt from quarantine or PCR tests.
- A health fee of USD 30 per traveler has been established, which will be charged by the airline itself in the price of the flight.
- Luggage per person has been limited to two pieces of 32 kg each and one piece of hand luggage of maximum 10 kg.
Check here. all the updated information on the entry requirements to Cuba.
You don't need any special vaccination to travel to the island, so you can spare yourself the pin prick
4. Health system in Cuba
In Cuba, health care is good, but we could not compare it to the european one, for exampleIf you are in Cuba and have a health problem, most hotels have specialists there. On the island, the best clinics are those that serve well-off Cuban people and tourists. The downside is that you have to pay for health care and the bill is usually expensive. If you don't pay that bill, they won't let you leave the country.
If you need medication, sometimes it can be difficult to find, so if you have a specific need, you better bring it from home. As a last tip on health: it is better not to drink water from the taps on the island, since it is not drinkable, although the Cubans drink it. If you boil it, you can drink it. Otherwise, it is always better to drink bottled water.
5. Security in Cuba
Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America. There are many policemen in the streets to ensure security, whether uniformed or undercover. Thefts are infrequent but in order to avoid them, it is better not to be away from city centre at night or in remote sites, as can also happen in Europe. You can check out more information on security in Cuba in the post.
6. Be patient with Cubans
As the saying goes: «palace things, go slowly». Before coming to the island, you have to accept that things will not go as fast as you would like, so embrace patience. You can expect from queues that you will find when arriving at the airport, to unforeseen events on the island (such as water cuts in hotels, or shortage of some food). But despite everything, what you have to enjoy is the warmth and joy of the Cubans.
7. Money in Cuba
On January 1st currency unification was implemented in Cuba with the withdrawal of the Convertible Peso (CUC) from circulation, gradually and within a period of 180 days (6 months). From that moment on, a single currency will circulate: the Peso Cubano (CUP, with a exchange rate of 24 Cuban pesos for 1 dollar.
If you have not exchanged the euros for these currencies, we recommend that you do so at the airport, at the exchange office right on the outside, because exchange rate will be cheaper. You can also do it at bank offices or "cadecas". In Cuba almost everything is paid in cash. You can use credit cards, but they are only allowed in supermarkets and hotels, and in some restaurants, so we recommend you bring cash. You can get money at ATMs and banks, as long as they are not cards issued by US banks.
8. Transportations in Cuba
These are the most common ones:
- Official taxis are more modern yellow vehicles with air conditioning and more expensive rates.
- Private taxis, are private vehicles of "cuentapropistas" (self-employed) with license.
- Collective local taxis or "máquinas" are old American cars with taxi symbols on the roof, the rates are lower, and several people can climb. They are not supposed to accept tourists, but all tourists use them.
9. Using your mobile phone in Cuba
We do not recommend using your mobile phone beyond wifi connections in authorized places. Roaming rates are very high with Cuba.
What you can do is buy a 3G mobile, activate a Cuban line at the offices of ETECSA (approximately 40 cuc) and buy a navigation package (600 megabytes approximately 7 cuc).
The line takes about 72 hours to activate since it is contracted, and is activated through an SMS that you will receive on your mobile. Once the megas are spent, you simply have to recharge them again. Don't expect high speed browsing From CubaUnique we will provide you with a mobile phone with a Cuban line, as a courtesy service
10. What clothes do I take to Cuba?
To travel to Cuba we recommend to take light clothes, but also light jackets and scarves for the neck because the air conditioning of many establishments is extremely cold.Also wear a light raincoat, swimsuit, and sturdy footwear to walk the streets and the countryside.
Also highly recommended: a cap or hat and a fan as well as mosquito repellent.
In the coldest months of the year a fat sweater is convenient, because the wet cold sensation get to the bones.
Extra tip! Other essential things to travel to Cuba
We also recommend that you bring from home:
- Sun cream and anti-mosquitoes
- Anti-diarrheal and oral rehydration serum.
- Tissues, because in many bathrooms there is usually no paper.
- Sanitary towels and tampons and diapers, as they are not easy to buy.
- Flat plug adapter
You have no excuse for not coming to Cuba!
If you want more tips, you can go on reading here.With all this information… Now you just need to book the trip to Cuba!
From CubaUnique, we will tailor your trip and we will advise you in these and many other aspects of Cuba, because what we want is that you enjoy the island to the fullest and that you get to love this beautiful land and its people.
You dare? Cuba awaits you! Enjoy it!