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If you are looking for travel tips to Cuba this 2023, it is because you have probably already decided that you are going to visit this beautiful Caribbean island. Despite its lights and shadows, I’m sure it will fascinate you. You are going to visit beautiful colonial cities like Trinidad or Cienfuegos and you are dying to visit Havana in 2 days, 3 days or 4 days. The capital of Cuba will receive you with classic cars that seem to have been taken from the filming set of a movie and a lot of rhythm in its streets to the sound of ‘Guantanamera’ or ‘Rico vacilón’.
In this section we will give you the best travel tips to fully enjoy your precious vacations on the island paradise Cuba. We will give you tips such as requirements to enter the country, what to bring, how to move as soon as you land, which are the best places to stay, among many other very useful things to live your experience to the fullest without any inconvenience.
Requirements to travel to Cuba
- Check that you have a valid passport to travel to Cuba. To enter Cuba it is very important that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. Check it before your trip, it is one of the most important procedures.
- Tourist Card for Cuba. Another of the essential procedures to travel to Cuba is to obtain the Tourist Card, which is valid for a single entry into the country for 30 days. It can be obtained at the Cuban Consulates abroad or at travel agencies.
- Hiring travel insurance for Cuba is super simple, you can do it online in just a few minutes! You will only need to enter your country of residence, the origin, destination and dates of the trip, as well as the total number of travelers and their personal information.(You can get your travel insurance through sites like: IATI , MAPFRE ,among many others, it is your choice.
- The complete vaccination schedule and the negative PCR are no longer required.
- Entry form to Cuba. Another requirement that is requested is to fill out this form. It is called D’Viajeros and it serves to provide advance information in order to expedite procedures at the different points of entry. Babies and children can register within the form of the mother or father. This QR code is requested at customs.
- Round-trip ticket. It seems like a no-brainer, but I’m going to tell you about it in case you happened to have only bought a one-way ticket for whatever reason. If you haven’t bought it yet, you can compare prices and book your flight here.
- Check the official pages in case there are any last minute changes. To be well updated on the latest travel information for Cuba, check the official page.
Tips for traveling to Cuba: before landing
- You can pre-book the most important transfers. From before traveling you can make the reservation so that they look for you at the airport and take you to your destination to stay, even if you like they could give you the best views of the wonderful landscapes on the trip. For example, transfers from the José Martí International Airport to the center of Havana (round trip) and trips to Varadero, Viñales, etc. Here you also have the rest of the transfers in Cuba in case you need to move from other destinations, such as Santiago de Cuba, Varadero or Viñales.
You can find these services in the official pages here we show you some places where you can book: through the VIAZUL website, TRANSTUR, tourism transportation company in Cuba.The SOLWAYS company also offers you the most economical transfers, from the main airports to your destination hotel or between different hotels. In addition shared and private transfers, accompanied by a professional staff.
- Book your activities and guided tours in advance. You can make the online reservation from home for all the activities, guided excursions that you prefer to do on the island. Here are some options you can look for: TRIPADVISOR shows you the best options that you can book, from cultural heritage, historical places, nature reserves and many others.
- Book your accommodation. From the comfort of your home you can choose all the options that the island offers to stay from luxurious hotels to private houses that offer you incredible services that will allow you to enjoy your trip with complete safety and confidence. On our website you can find all the options you like to stay on the island from west to east. Here we show you some variants to make your search easier: Best hotels in Cuba.
Tips for when you are already in Cuba
- Book a tour. One of the things that tourists usually do as soon as they arrive in a city they don’t know is to book a free tour to find their way around. I think it is the best way to have a first contact with the city before getting lost in its streets. If you are one of those who loves to enjoy the beautiful views that the island offers, take a look at the different tours through Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba and all the other provinces of the country. I also recommend going on excursions in Varadero to see paradisiacal beaches in the surroundings and many other places of nature that will leave you speechless.
- Taste the typical local gastronomy. Cuban gastronomy is simple, but it is exquisite. Some of the most typical dishes are the Moors and Christians (white rice with black beans), ropa vieja, fried plantain, rice with chicken, the Cuban sandwich, Cuban-style tamale, roast pork and lobster (the latter the you can eat without leaving your wallet shivering).
- Use Maps.me. Every Cuban I spoke to advised me to use Maps.me. It works much better in Cuba than Google Maps. For this reason, I recommend you save in this application the accommodations, restaurants and important locations that you need to consult during your trip through Cuba.
Change money in Cuba
The best place to change money in Cuba is the CADECA. They are the official exchange houses and are located in practical places for tourists. There are CADECAs at airports, the busiest areas of cities and even some hotels. You can see all the exact locations on their website.The exchange rate in all CADECAs is the same. Therefore, the most practical is to change at the airport itself. So when you get to the city you no longer have to worry.
Can you pay with a card in Cuba?
Most payments in Cuba are made in cash. You can only pay by card in hotels, some restaurants and stores that accept MLC. Just keep in mind that cards issued by US banks do not work in Cuba (only in CADECA to get CUP).
Of course, most banks apply a commission of between 3% and 5% on the exchange rate. We could recommend the Revolut card to travel around the world without hidden commissions and with great exchange rates. But unfortunately Revolut does not work in Cuba. For this reason, there is no other option than to settle for Visa or Mastercard cards from traditional banks.
The best tips to enjoy Cuba
We have given you all the advice to make your long-awaited trip to Cuba, I hope it helps you and if what you have read has convinced you to enjoy your next vacation on this wonderful island, do not miss the opportunity and book your tickets, the best prices. Here we leave you the link so you can book NOW!