Before you go

Your Financial Protection

The Package Travel Regulations 1992 require us to provide security for the monies that you pay for the package holidays booked from this brochure and/or website and for your repatriation in the unlikely event of our insolvency. We provide this by placing any monies paid by you the customer into a trust account held by PTS – Protected Travel Service. We are not allowed to draw money from that account until you return from your holiday or the trip is cancelled. For more information about PTS please click here:

Getting the Right Visa

A Tourist card is normally issued for 30 days. If you want to stay for another month you need to extend your visa at immigration in Havana for extra charge. Its very easy and fast to obtain the tourist card either via online website, or directly with Cuban embassy. Feel free to contact us if you need any help.

Recommended website: VisaCuba

A Student visa is required only if you will be studying in Cuba more then 30 days.

Travel Insurance

Its compulsory for tourist travelling to Cuba to have appropriate travel insurance before they entry Cuba. ¡Vamos*Cuba! can advise you on this matter if you wish.

Money in Cuba:

Cuba has a double economy, whereby convertibles and Cuban pesos circulate simultaneously. In theory, tourists are only supposed to use convertibles (CUC), but in practice, there is nothing to stop you walking into a Cadeca (Exchange office) and change your convertibles into moneda nacional (Cuban pesos – CUP). With an exchange rate of 24/25 pesos per CUC, CUP come handy when buying street food or taking the Cuban old car taxis. For i.e. ice-cream on the street costs 1-3 CUP, if you pay with CUC wait or demand change back .

You can change your money (best to exchange GBP or EUR) in the hotels where they have casa de cambio (exchange office) or in CADECA office. Have your passport with you.

Cards are not commonly used. Expect to pay everything in Cash. There are few ATMs in Havana where you can withdraw money. If  your debit or credit card is not linked to American bank  you shouldn’t have any problems. I used VISA – Lloyds and HSBC debit cards and didn’t have any problems.  Vamos Cuba host will be able to advise you on your nearest ATM.

Outside of Havana ATMs are very limited and best is to exchange money in Cadecas.

Tourist scams

Cuba is amazing country and beautiful place, but the country is in difficult economic situation and therefore many people are struggling. The less honest try to survive by running scams on tourists. They called them jineteros – opportunists. They usually hang out at touristic places like Casa de la Musica or around Havana vieja. They tried look like your friends to get money from you. They seem very friendly but they are not the ‘real Cubans’. Your real Cuban friend will offer you friendship without wanting anything in return.

Using Mobile and Internet

your mobile should work fine in Cuba, however in some places you might be without a signal. Internet is available in some hotels. You can go to Hotel Plaza at Parque central. 1h costs 6CUC and its very slow for our standards or in Hotel Parque Central where they have a WIFI. Its 8CUC per hour or 35CUC for 5 hours. You need to have your own computer but it works much faster. You buy the card in the hotel reception, scratch of the back and use the code to log in. Its valid for 30 days. So you can use the card few times till you run out of 60 min.

Safety 

Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America. Unlike in developed countries, children in Cuba play in the street even during the night while their parents are inside.

However petty crime like pickpocketing is common. Sexual assault and other violent crimes are rare and guns are illegal in Cuba

Customs

Customs rules are changing very often. The best is to visit the Cuban Customs website before flying: www.aduana.co.cu (also in English).

Electrical Equipment – Cuba electricity is generally 110 volts with American type sockets. So might also need adapter and converter.

Public restrooms – The Cuban toilets are not the nicest part of Cuba J. Most of the time they wont have seat. You cant flush the toilet paper! There is always a bucket next to it. That’s common thing in whole Cuba and Central America. Also is common that there is a person who maintains the restroom who you will have to tip – 10-25 cents is ok.

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