Tips for traveling to Cuba

Tips for traveling to Cuba

The essential to travel to Cuba

It is a fact that people when decide to travel to Cuba, have many doubts and questions since they want a perfect trip. First of all, in this article, you can find some tips for traveling to Cuba with complete peace of mind.

1. Visa

Firstly, if you want to travel to Cuba, you will need a visa. You must apply previously online by filling out the Cuba visa form or request it in your closest embassy.

2. Clothes

We advise you to avoid clothes with dark and yellow colors since they attract mosquitoes. Try to use cotton or linen clothes.

3. Currency

We inform you that Cuba has two official currencies, the CUC and the CUP.

Firstly, the CUC is the Cuban convertible peso. It is the currency that you find in the automatic teller machines and the exchange houses.

On the other hand, the CUP is the Cuban peso. It is the national currency that Cubans use regularly.

Surely you will pay in CUC, but, if possible, try to pay in CUP due to are much cheaper.

4. Best time to travel to Cuba

The best time is from December to April. Also, regarding the number of days when you travel to Cuba, you should stay at least 15 days, so that you can see many things and enjoy the beauty of this country.

5. Umbrellas

We recommend you bring an umbrella during your trip. It is common in Cuba to see many people with umbrellas in the street on sunny days due to the great heat.

6. Credit Card

We advise you to always carry cash, as there are many restaurants or shops that do not accept credit card payments.

7. Plugs

We recommend you to carry a universal adapter in your suitcase, since the current in Cuba is like the US current, with two pins and 110V/60Hz current.

8. Eating in Cuba

There are several restaurants, but the most typical places are palates.

9. Medical Insurance

In order to enter Cuba, there is mandatory medical insurance. You can request the service from your country of residence.

10. Internet

Certainly, in this country, you are not going to have high-speed internet. There is no free internet, and very few sites have public WIFI. We advise you to always connect from the hotel.

We hope you finally decide to visit Cuba and do not forget these tips for traveling calm and safe.

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Fly to Cuba from The United States

Fly to Cuba from The United States

How to organize a trip to Cuba from the US?

It is a fact that Cuba is one of the newest international destinations served from the United States. Certainly, the first flight to Cuba from the United States was in 2016. It is necessary to mention that the US people are prohibited to travel as a tourist to Cuba. For this reason, fly to Cuba from the United States is difficult.

Who can travel to Cuba?

People who travel with the purpose of conducting certain business activities. It is regulated by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

What aircraft are flying to Cuba?

We confirm you that most aircraft flying to Cuba are narrowbody aircraft and regional jets on certain routes. Most are Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, while others are narrowbodies like the CRJ-900 and E190 aircraft.

The decline of flights to Cuba

When Cuba was first opened for flights to the United States, airlines rushed to add service. Unfortunately, since then, Alaska Airlines, Silver Airways, and Frontier canceled service to Cuba. Beyond that, American Airlines canceled its flights between Charlotte and Havana and JetBlue has cut capacity to Cuba by operating smaller aircraft.

Airlines aren’t making money flying to Cuba. In reality, airlines were anticipating the growth of tourism between the United States and Cuba, probably through reduced geopolitical tensions. However, there is not a huge demand for flights to and from Cuba.

Best options

Certainly, if you want to go to Cuba from the United States, you have different options. Out of Florida, you will find flights to Cuba out of multiple gateways. This includes flights to smaller destinations in Cuba.

In addition, if you are a foreign national, you will probably find it easier to fly out of a European gateway. Quite a few airlines operate service from Europe to various destinations in Cuba.

Finally, do not forget you will need a visa if you travel to Cuba.

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New modality of lodging in Cuba

New modality of lodging in Cuba

The new Cuba

It is a certainty that Cuba is improving every day the services and the tourist offers. This has unleashed the creation of a new modality of accommodation, ideal for students or groups of friends interested in touring around the urban centers of the cities and their cultural heritage.

Nowadays, people is discovering the world using the hostels. This is because this type of accommodation is cheaper and more practical. We inform you that there are 12.000 hostels aprox. located and distributed in 165 nations. The target segment is the young people that want to share an experience with other people of different nationalities.

A good option to sleep

We recommend you to stay in Vedado Azul. It is located in a building from the 30s of the last century, which in the beginning was the home of a Havana family and since the 70s it has served as accommodation. The hostel has 20 air-conditioned rooms with 27 comfortable berths and nine beds, for a total of 63 pax. The tourists can use a television, wifi networks, a snack-bar and a terrace overlooking the city.

Another curiosity is that the hostel was built in 18 months at a cost of one million 800 thousand pesos. It is planned that this investment will be recover it in nine years with an efficient exploitation of this modality of city tourism.

In order to increase this type of tourism, Raciel Troval Rodríguez, president of the Islazul hotel business group, explained that they have to transmit the historical, cultural, social and heritage values of the capital, suggest places to visit, excursions, sports events, etc. and above all explain the benefits of this wonderful city.

Finally, she announced the opening of the new hostel. It is a part of the planned investments in greeting the anniversaries 500 of Havana and 25 of Islazul, and also the recently concluded International Tourism Fair, FitCuba 2019.

We hope this article has been useful to plan your trip to Cuba! Enjoy your holidays!

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Cuba, an essential place to visit

Cuba, essential place to visit

Cuba, is an essential place to visit due to is an island where the salsa still runs through the veins of every Cuban in this proud nation. In addition, the island has a breathtaking beaches, forest-covered mountains, colourful houses and cobbled-stone streets make an enlightening experience when you travel to Cuba.

In this article, we are going to give you some advices that will be useful if you are thinking to visit this beautiful country.

Places to visit in Cuba

Cuba has plenty of places to explore, from branded the birthplace of salsa to dream beaches. For example, Trinidad has a baroque architecture and sugar cane and tobacco plantations. In addition, it is deemed a UNESCO world heritage site.

Also, the archaeological capital of Cuba, Banes, is famous for its well-preserved artefacts from the indigenous Taino people, Then, Varadero is a beach town beside the 20 km stretch of white sands and turquoise waters.

When is the best time to travel?

We consider that the best time to travel to Cuba is between December and May.

Festival-wise, the best celebrations in Cuba take place from July 25th to 27th where the locals take to the streets to celebrate the success of the Cuban Revolution. The Cubans celebrate these days as the happiest days in Cuban history.

Itinerary example

We warn you that the transport in Cuba is unorganised. It is recommended to plan your trip beforehand rather than trying your luck with spontaneous trips to avoid unpleasant delays.

From day 1 to day 3: Havana

We recommend you to visit La Habana in the first time. It is the capital plenty of vintage cars, colourful colonial-style buildings, cigars and salsa. You have to head to La Habana Vieja, to eat churros and explore the streets where the decaying buildings are surprisingly pretty and charming. Also, you can enjoy a classic car tour in a vintage car. Do not forget to check out the Plaza de la Revolucion and the Havana Cathedral.

From day 3 to day 7: Jibacoa Beach and Varadero

Playa Jibacoa is the Cuba’s best-kept secret. This picturesque beach is postcard worthy for its soft white sands and clear emerald waters. You can relax, swim and dive the sunken shipwrecks for a few days and enjoy the Caribbean heat. Then, you can go to Varadero that offers the same gorgeous beaches but with more tourists and hotel chains.

In conclusion, Cuba is a wonderful country, for this reason you cannot miss any detail. Enjoy your trip!

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The best beaches, Cuba

What are the most wonderful beaches?

It is a fact that Cuba has the most spectacular beaches with hypnotic blue water and white sand. These beaches are a real paradise on earth. For this reason, we have listed some of the beaches below.

Varadero beach

Varadero Beach is one of the best beaches in Cuba. It is located in the peninsula of Hicacos, in the province of Matanzas. In it predominates the white sand. In addition, there is a clear and transparent waters that give you the possibility of practicing some sports.

Varadero beach

Esmeralda beach

This beach is located in Guardalavaca. It is considered the cradle of the first inhabitants of the island.

Ancon beach

The beach has a white sands, blue and green tones worthy of photography, and beautiful sunsets. This beach is close to Trinidad, one of the colonial architectural jewels that houses Cuba, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Paradise beach

This beach is the turquoise pearl of the Caribbean. It is famous for the transparency of the water. It is really extraordinary.

Paradise beah

Cayo Ensenachos

One of the longest and most spectacular beaches in Cuba is Megano Beach. It is a beach that is practically virgin, since it has very clean and crystalline waters.

Cayo Coco

The paradise of Cayo Coco and its beautiful Playa Larga is like a huge natural pool of turquoises, greens and electric blues.

Coco Cayo

Cayo Saetia

It is located in Holguín. This Cayo gives you the possibility to explore the exotic tropical nature in addition to practicing many aquatic sports. This is a perfect combination to enjoy the beautiful beaches, nature and an impressive natural landscape.

Cayo Largo

In this place there are the Sirena beach and the Tortuga beach. These are true natural swimming pools has a dozen privileged complexes that have been installed. Also, there are 20 km of white sand, turquoise waters and even iguanas.

Long Cayo

Iguana Island

It is very close to Cayo Largo del Sur, in the heart of the Caribbean. The Isla de las Iguanas is one of the most impressive areas of the Cuban Caribbean surrounded by crystal clear waters, reefs and natural pools.

Santa Lucía beach

It is located to the north of Camagüey, and in its almost 21 km of beach you will find a great variety of migratory ducks, flamingos, colorful tropical fish and other marine species, which makes it a main interest in the area. It is also an ideal place for lovers of diving and marine observation, as it is famous for having one of the most important coral reefs in the world.

We hope you have discovered new beaches and we wish you luck if you take a trip to Cuba.

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La Habana Vieja, discover it!

La Habana Vieja, discover it!

What to see on a city tour?

If your favorite places to visit are museums, you have something to enjoy in La Habana, Cuba. The mainly tours in this city includes some museums.

1. Museum of Colonial Art

It is a beautiful museum located at the entrance of the Plaza, where you are generally blinded by the grandeur of the magnificent cathedral. It was built in 1720, originally for the purpose of the residence of the Counts of Casa Bayon.

In 1969 it was restored and since then it has opened its doors to visitors as a Museum of Colonial Art, which, although relatively small, but very rich in dishes, sculpture and historical furniture.

2. Museum of Navigation

It is located a few steps from the moat of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, in Plaza de Armas. It has an interesting routes that illuminate the historical aspects of the fortress and the historic center of Old Havana.

3. City Museum

Everything is nearby, near the Plaza de Armas, so your walk is rich, without having to travel long distances. This museum dates back to 1770 and was built on the site of the original Havana church.

4. Card house

It was opened in May 2001 and it is located on the ground floor of the 17th century Prado Amero Marquise House, the oldest building in the square. It is an interesting and unusual offer, with more than 2.000 cards from around the world, dating back to the 19th century.

What else can you know walking in La Habana Vieja?

Some of the beauties that are this beautiful capital are impressive from the outside and contain incredible treasures.

Firstly, an special attraction is the Cathedral of San Cristobal de la Habana, the most famous of the eleven Catholic cathedrals on the island of Cuba. It is in the Plaza de la Cathedral, in the center of Old Havana.

The Cathedral was built in the baroque architectural style. Also, it has several Tuscan elements and has the peculiarity of being built mainly preserved marine fossils.

On the other hand, you can also visit the Castle of the Royal Force and the Palace of the General Captains. Another places include two streets: Calle Obispo and Calle Mercaderes.

Finally, we propose you to visit the Church and Monastery of San Francisco de Asís and the famous Old Square.

We hope you travel to Cuba and have the opportunuty to visit La Habana and discover the culture.

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The palates: the best places to eat in Cuba

The palates: the best places to eat in Cuba

The best places to eat

One of the concerns when you’re traveling is where to eat well. In this article, we are going to announce the best palates: the best places to eat in La Havana, Cuba.

In Cuba, the “palates” are options as diverse in their styles as in the delights they pose to the senses of the guest. The biggest difference between the palates is usually in the decoration of the place and the dishes, the location, the prices and the quality of the service.

The Guarida

Certainly, it is the most popular palate in Cuba. The Guarida is popular because it is an obligatory stop for every famous person who arrives in Havana. It’s a very attractive place, it’s not cheap, if you want different Cuban food, with a modern and gourmet touch, this is the adequate place.

Palate Coffee Laurent

Café Laurent has a bohemian chic aesthetic. The furniture and walls of the 1950s wallpapered with old newspaper clippings give it that retro atmosphere. In addition to its food, the most spectacular part of this site is its spectacular terrace.

Rio Mar Restaurant-Bar-Grill

The taste and the presentation of its culinary offer are exquisite and very original. The interior decoration is charming, but the most impressive are the views of the Almendares River. His cuisine is author.

The cook

The cook is a unique, dynamic, eclectic and multifunctional place. It is integrated by four spaces: the restaurant Terraza-Lounge, the Waiting Bar, the Havana Gourmet, and the fresh Terrace Garden.

The Cathedral

The Cathedral is a popular place with a quality-price value that makes it practically full every day.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

It is famous due to U.S. President Barack Obama chose it to dine with his family during his visit to Havana. It has an exotic collection of 50s memorabilia and its different touch to traditional Cuban dishes.

Doña Eutimia

This palate makes the best old clothes and the best sleeping black beans in Havana. It is located next to Havana Cathedral Square.

Cha cha cha cha

This is one of the new places that promise to become regulars for lovers of good food who also seek to have fun without looking at the time. Fusion style very fashionable, Cha cha chá flatters the palate, sight and ear with equal care.

In conclusion, if you are lucky enough to travel to Cuba you must discover the wonderful palates.

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Tope de Collantes: a natural paradise

Tope de Collantes a natural paradise

A natural wonder

The are many natural wonders in Cuba, but undoubtedly the Topes de Collantes is the best natural paradises. It is a protected natural area in the middle of the Sierra del Escambray. The location is great due to is very close to the tourist city of Trinidad, in Sancti Spíritus.

At an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and with Pico San Juan as the highest elevation with 1140 meters high, the Sierra del Escambray treasures 686 thousand species of insects and 8 thousand 600 of birds.

Certainly, this marvel is an ideal place if you are a lover of being in direct contact with nature. You can enjoy hiking and mountaineering, discovering strange species of birds, reptiles and plants.

Topes de Collantes gives you the possibility to get out of the stress of daily life and walk relaxed among its exuberant nature. A set of mountains, rivers and caves in their natural state formed the park.

Walks inside the nature

Among its trails you can find numerous species of endemic animals. Also, you can enjoy the beautiful waterfalls in the middle of a unique microclimate that favors the flowering of trees and fruits. This natural area is an ideal place to relax while enjoying pure air and its beautiful views. It is a good place to take the best pictures and feel nature.

The Carbuní trail ends in a magnificent waterfall with the same name. This is perhaps the most popular walk. In its two-and-a-half kilometer length it takes you between coffee plantations, traditional houses and cliffs to the waterfall.

In addtion, another walk is the Ecological Trail, also known as the Vegas Grandes, which ends at the Soroa Falls, an incredible pool of crystal clear water.

Finally, the path to La Batata takes you among beautiful views and gives you the chance to bathe in medicinal waters. The route of Hacienda Codina takes you to a ranch with medicinal mud baths, among bamboo forests and orchids. There you can also visit the Cueva del Altar, the Isla de los Enamorados and a natural viewpoint with a spectacular panoramic view of the Valle de los Ingenios.

Enjoy your visit to Cuba!

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Interesting facts about Cuba

Interesting Facts About Cuba

The island attracts many tourists every year thanks to its natural beauty. Many people also travel to Cuba to learn about their culture and history. Continue reading to learn more about some interesting facts.

Oldest fleet of cars in the world

Travelling to Cuba is like going back 50 years in time. The cars are from the 1950s. The older models of Buick, Packard, Hudson, Edsel and Ford are the most popular brands. For some people, it is a sufficient reason to visit the country.

Although travellers take advantage of their stay to acquire original parts for their own car collection, the trade in these parts is not very popular.

Two coins in circulation

The currencies in Cuba and their exchange rates are a curious fact that cannot be taken lightly. However, this does not affect the number of tourists visiting the island, it may be a relevant fact if you visit Cuba.

The Cuban Peso (CUP) is the legal currency in Cuba and is used by residents to pay for various services. The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is the other alternative and was created in 1994 with the fall of the Soviet Union. Its main function is to replace the US dollar because it has the same value.

High number of doctors

There is one doctor for every 130 people in the country. Compared to the percentage of other countries, you will see the enormous difference that Cuba has in this area.

This fact attracts some exclusive foreigners whom the government calls academic tourism. These are people who travel only to study in Cuban institutions.

Joy is part of their daily life

Contrary to what many people can imagine, Cubans are very happy and positive people. They learned to see the positive side of each adversity. The best in Cuba are probably the Cubans.

Sport is the national pastime

We inform you that people of all ages are interested in everything related to sport. However, the sport on the island is amateur, but it has nothing to envy to professionals.

White peas

Cuba has a record in the famous Guinness book. On January 16, 1982, a Cuban cow called Ubre Blanca produced 109.5 litres of milk in 3 milkings. This is four times more than the average cow. 24,268.9 litres were also collected in 305 days. None of these exploits had been observed in the world history of livestock.

The highest level of literacy in the world

In Cuba, 99.8% of adults over 15 years of age can read and write perfectly well. That is a good point in education. They have several high level university personalities, which is very difficult to match and even less so by other nations.

Finally, we would like to encourage you to travel to Cuba and discover all these curiosities.

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Staying in private houses in Cuba

Stay in private houses in Cuba

Is it legal? Is it safe? What are the prices? How do I book?

As a consequence of the legalization of private property in Cuba, small family businesses began to proliferate, such as the one that offers the possibility of staying in private homes.

We would like to inform you that these ventures are fully controlled and operate under the parameters set by law. We cannot guarantee 100% that there is no one on the whole island who practices them clandestinely for us. In addition, because of the general functioning of the rest of the tourism-related businesses on the island, it is quite complicated for Cubans to break the rules for a long time. The fines and penalties are so high.

How does it work?

It is totally legal and there is the following control:

  1. Not everyone can do it. The government opens a deadline for applications, enables a number of accommodations and closes the quota until further notice. In that previous inspection, it is analyzed that the house fulfills a series of conditions and depending on its size and if it is located in a province more or less tourist a quantity is fixed. This tax will have to be paid by the homeowners each month to the government regardless of whether they receive guests or not. Also, there are periodically inspections to verify that the house continues to maintain the same conditions.
  2. In addition to this amount, Cubans are obliged to report to the authorities the reception of guests and to pay a second tax consisting of a percentage based on the number of people they receive each month. In fact, the first thing they ask of you when you arrive at each house is the passports to be able to make that report. If you are caught hosting someone without warning you may lose your hosting license for life.

Why is it interesting to stay in private houses?

On the one hand, it’s a way of helping the people of the country. The staying in private homes is a help not only in terms of money contribution, also helps to continue entrepreneurial initiatives in many more sectors.

On the other hand, it is an enormous opportunity to get to know the country from the perspective of those who live there witnessing how a Cuban house works from the inside. Cubans are experts at making you feel like your family in less than an hour. They strive to help the experience of foreigners to be positive and demonstrate a generosity that manages to alleviate all the shortcomings that the country has at other levels. They are extremely educated and have a great vocation of service with the one who comes from outside.

What will you find? How much does it cost?

There is a fairly wide spectrum between the different types of accommodation: larger houses, villas in which you can have the property just for you. Prices vary and are always negotiable. Most of the time they don’t have wifi, although there are some exceptions.

Some accommodations also offer the option of breakfast, lunch and dinner with prior notice. Laundry is not a usual service. Sometimes you will manage to negotiate breakfast included and other times you will pay for it separately. Prices range from 3 to 5 CUCs.

The reservations can be made in a variety of ways:

Through airbnb. These reservations cannot be made via airbnb from within Cuba. You have two options: ask a relative or friend to make the reservation from outside with your user or contact the owners to formalize the reservation directly in person.

In the traditional way. As connections are complicated in Cuba, many of these particular accommodations are not published anywhere. Start walking, ask questions, call from a cabin, arrive by recommendation of an acquaintance, etc. This is the way to get better prices than there are on the Internet.

Normally it is paid in cash at the end of the stay.

Accommodation recommendations

All houses appear in Airbnb but are willing to make better prices if you contact them directly.

Havana

– Ignacio and Lora: 5 minutes from Old Havana. A very clean house with very full breakfasts. Contact: ignacio.santana2014@gmail.com / Mobile: 0053 5 827 24 49 / Fixed: 7 8660 188

– Lilli and Alberto: in the heart of Old Havana with its own wifi network. It’s a totally refurbished colonial apartment. They don’t make breakfasts but they’re next to a very good breakfast buffet. Contact: willglez59@gmail.com / 0053 5281 9726

-Los Cayos: Pulman Cayo Coco resort. According to the Cubans, the best in the area, although you can’t compare it with others.

Some details to keep in mind

Cubans love children. There are no restrictions on staying with a family. In fact, they found it is incredible that in Europe there were public spaces or celebrations that children are not allowed to go to.

The treatment of foreigners in Cuba in general is very good, which is why it is important that those of us who go from abroad treat them with the same reciprocity.

In conclusion, we hope you enjoy your experience in Cuba!

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