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Tips to Travelers


Things to know when traveling to Cuba.

Cuba Weather

Best time to visit:
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Havana is between November and April, once hurricane season is over and when temperatures are pleasantly temperate. May through October hosts seasonal rains (typically short, afternoon thunderstorms), when an umbrella will come in handy. The Cuban diaspora return in droves during North American and European holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, Easter and summer), when sights will be crowded and demand for rental cars high. Nevertheless, the end of the year is a great time to be in Havana when there are many star-studded festivals and unforgettable concerts.

Required clothing:
Lightweight clothes most of the year; the high humidity makes it unwise to wear synthetics close to the skin. A light sweater is advisable even during the hottest months for installations with air conditioning and a heavier sweater or jacket for December through March when cold fronts can drop the mercury to 10 degrees Celsius. Light waterproofs are advisable all year round. We recommend that you do NOT bring much in the way of jewelry and similar valuables. Crime against visitors is very low but it is still not advisable to be flashy or draw attention to oneself and one’s accoutrements.

Geography

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, about the size of England, and the most westerly of the Greater Antilles group, lying a mere 145km (90 miles) south of Florida.
A quarter of the country is fairly mountainous. West of Havana is the narrow Sierra de los Órganos, rising to 750m (2,461ft) and containing the Guaniguanico hills in the west. South of the Sierra is a narrow strip of 2,320 sq km (860 sq miles) where the finest Cuban tobacco is grown.
The Sierra de Escambray and Montañas de Guamuhaya behind Trinidad in the centre of the country rise to 1,140m (3,740ft) Encircling the port of Santiago are the rugged mountains of the Sierra Maestra. A quarter of the island is covered with mountain forests of pine and mahogany. Cuba has few rivers of note, the exception being the Río Cauto in the east. The country has 3,735km (2,321 miles) of coastline and thousands of offshore islands.

Money

Cuba has a dual currency system, one more for visitors, and locals who do business with them (the Cuban Convertible Peso, or CUC), and another more for purely local transactions (the Cuban Peso, or CUP). As a general rule, all goods and services which an American visitor pays for will be in CUCs. This includes all hotels, flights, buses and virtually all shops, restaurants and bars. Virtually all goods in shops are priced in CUC, with no option for payment in local money (neither for visitors or locals). You cannot buy CUCs outside of the country, therefore you will need to exchange some money at the airport upon arrival. Remember that once out of Cuba, you will not be able to use or exchange CUCs, therefore you must make sure that you spend/exchange/donate any left over money before leaving the country. You can change CUC back into GBP/Euros/CAD at the airport or CADECAs anywhere. The CUC is pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar, but there is a small exchange fee.

Credit Cards

Although recent U.S. policy changes have opened up the possibility of transactions in Cuba using U.S.-bank-issued credit cards, and one company (MasterCard) has announced that will allow transactions, the reality on the ground is that it will be some time before the policies and infrastructure are in place for widespread, regular credit card transactions by American visitors to Cuba.

Electricity

Electricity in Cuba is mostly 110 volts (especially in Casa Particulars), so you do not need to worry about power converters.

What to wear

Dress will generally be casual, accounting for the weather. Keep in mind it’s the tropics! Think nice-looking pants and shorts, and short- and long-sleeved shirts. We recommend that you do NOT bring much in the way of jewellery and similar valuables. Crime against visitors is very low but it is still not advisable to be flashy or draw attention to oneself and one’s accoutrements.

Telephones

U.S.-based cellphones generally will not work automatically in Cuba, due to lack of roaming agreements. Some phones, depending on their cellular band and frequency, may work with a Cuban SIM card (we understand that AT&T phones may work with such a card). Cuban SIM cards, or whole cellphones, may be rented in Cuba. Prepaid calling plans are necessary to make calls.

Landline telephones are available at the hotel to make calls, for a fee.

Internet

Most of the Hotel in Cuba has Wi-Fi for a fee, as do some other nearby hotels and places.

Health and Safety

Generally no special immunizations or vaccinations are necessary for visitors to Cuba.
Don’t forget sunscreen! You may also wish to bring hand sanitizer lotion. Visitors are generally very safe in Cuba; crime against them is low and there is a good police presence. However, as with any travel to a new place, it is wise to be vigilant and careful with one’s personal belongings. For example, it is not advisable to bring/wear expensive jewelry or similar such things.

Water

For drinking, it is best to always drink bottled water.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is usually provided in all hotels rooms and casa particulars, but be warned…it’s not quite Charmin! Whenever you use a toilet please place the paper in the rubbish bin provided –DO NOT flush it down the toilet as this may block the sewerage system.

Room Safe-Deposit box

Is strongly recommended for Clients to rent the safe-deposit box in their room for safekeeping of all their documents.
All ways carry a copy of passport with you.

About Cuba Travel-USA

Cuba Travel-USA is a charter operator established in 1992 as a d.b.a. from Supersaver Travel founded by Alina Fernandez. In 1992, became a Tour Operator for Cuba with our counter part of Havanatur Celimar. In 1994 we were the first Agency in the State of Louisiana to get Travel Service Provided…

Contact Us

Contact us for more information about your trip to Cuba or visit our office.

user_white250 Transcontinental Drive
       Metairie, Louisiana 70001
speech_whiteTel: (504) 252-9774 | Fax: 504-889-0140 | (504) 252-9774 | Cell (504) 237-4751
mail_whitealina@cubatravel-usa.com

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