Safety in Cuba
When travelling to any destination, it's wise to think about safety. One of the most appealing aspects of Cuba for many people is that it is very safe. This doesn't mean that there is no crime in Cuba. However, violent crime against tourists is almost unheard of.
There many be scams, robberies and pick- pockets, but as long as you are aware of your surroundings and follow some basic safety rules, you shouldn’t be affected by petty crime. Cuba is safe and it is a marvellous place to take a holiday.
Is Cuba Safe?
Unlike many other parts of Latin America, Cuba has a low crime rate and is a safe country to visit. Crime, of course takes place, but violent crime against tourists is not usual. Even in a city like Havana, it is safe to walk the streets.
Due to the fact that Cuba is a one-party state, there is a strong police presence and guns are illegal, so you needn’t be worried about drive-by shootings or gun crime.
How to stay safe in Cuba
Just follow these simple safety rules to help you keep safe in Cuba:
- Always change your money at a bank, official exchange or by withdrawing cash from a cashpoint machine. Be discreet when handling money and don't lead your bag open or leave your wallet in plain sight.
- Make sure you don’t lock eyes with the street sellers, don’t engage them in conversation and don’t accept their offers of a taxi, a good place to stay, or a great exchange on your money or, even the offer to escort you to the best club in town.
- Everyone needs to earn a living, but if you use the services of the street vendors, you will find yourself out of pocket!
- If you want to get to know the locals talk to the shop assistants, the taxi drivers and your hosts, they will tell you if there are any places you should avoid, or where the street vendors or beggars tend to pester tourists.
- If you don’t want to do your sightseeing alone, then go on trips with an official excursion company and see the sites with other tourists.
- If you go out at night, take care with alcohol, people who are drunk are an easy target for theft and if you out very late, get a taxi back to your accommodation. Make sure it is a registered taxi and that the driver uses the meter.
- Keep copies of your passport and credit card numbers and the phone numbers that you will need to ring up and cancel them, if they are stolen and don’t carry your passport round with you.
Using your common sense and being aware of the people around you applies to holidaying in any country in the world. Cuba is a friendly country, the majority of people are kind and helpful and Cuba is a lot safer than many other countries.
Have a look at this independent article about Safety in Cuba.
You can also see our regularly updated guide to common scams in Cuba and how to avoid them.