Are you planning a trip to Cuba? We have compiled a helpful guide to help you get ready for a trip and not forget about documents and vaccinations. We will also give you tips and notes for the traveler.
Traveling to Cuba – Things You Need To Travel
What do you need to know for a person who wants to visit Cuba for the first time? Many people are under the impression that Cuba is another beach destination for families or friends. But, Cuba has a diverse culture, unusual history, and vibrant cuisine. Therefore, before traveling, you should prepare yourself to know what you can and cannot do in Cuba. Here are Cuba travel guides to help you better prepare for your trip.
To travel to Cuba, you will need the following documents:
- international passport;
- air tickets and copies, or booking tickets;
- medical insurance.
The consulate can change the list of required documents for Cuba without notifying it on the official website. Therefore, check with visa experts for the most up-to-date information on the list of documents and filing specifics.
There are no compulsory vaccinations when traveling to Cuba. Doctors recommend vaccinating against the following diseases: hepatitis A, typhoid fever, diphtheria, hepatitis B. The probability of getting these diseases is small, but vaccinations will once again protect you from them. Whether you need to do these vaccinations or not is up to you.
Naturally, while traveling, you need to follow the well-known rules of personal hygiene, wash vegetables and fruits before eating, and drink bottled water. Then there will be no problems. In any case, the tour operator is obliged to warn about the need for any vaccinations before traveling.
If you are planning to travel to Cuba shortly, then you will need a Covid-19 test. You will need to take the first test before the trip no earlier than 72 hours before departure. Doctors will ask the preliminary test result to present when boarding an aircraft flying to Cuba and passing the Cuban border. The second test, you will need to pass on arrival.
When going through passport control in Cuba, you will need to present your passport and immigration card. It is advisable to get the blank cards from the flight attendant on the plane since it is impossible to find them at the airport. Often, the stewardess takes a microphone in her hands and tells you, point by point, how to fill out an immigration card. You need to fill out an immigration card on two sheets. One of them is picked up at passport control when flying to Cuba, the other when leaving Cuba.
Money and Currency
There are two types of currency in Cuba:
- local currency – Cuban peso and exchange by travelers is prohibited;
- convertible peso, CUC – used by travelers.
You can exchange currency for CUC at the airport, banks, hotels, city exchange offices Casas de Cambios. It is more profitable to take the euro with you since the exchange rate is more favorable than for the dollar. When exchanging dollars, banks charge a 10% commission. Most restaurants and shops in Havana and Varadero accept credit cards Eurocard, Visa, MasterCard.
Do and don’ts in Cuba? The country allows carrying no more than two bottles of spirits and 200 pieces of cigarettes, audio, video, and photographic equipment – one item for each person. It is prohibited to import: computers and spare parts for them, medicines without specifying the manufacturer’s brand, some food products. The country bans the export of singing birds, exotic birds and animals, and cultural values without the Ministry of Culture’s corresponding permission.
Internet and VPN
Cuba is one of the countries where the Internet is still a scarce product. Here, the Internet is expensive and can only be used in special places while standing in line for a couple of hours or purchasing a special card. There is a list of sites that Internet users ban: Cubaencuentro, Cubanet, Revolico, and Telegram, Netflix.
Tourists often don’t understand how to unblock Netflix and other websites. VPN does a great job with Netflix unblock and other sites. The most reliable service is VeePN. The company provides a free version, which is very convenient. During the trial, you can test all the functions and determine how well the servers work. With this tool, you can always be online and communicate with loved ones.
Is Cuba safe to walk around? Cuba is still a safe country for tourists, but care must be taken, especially in Havana’s old part at night and in the evening. You also need to consider that no hotel is responsible for your safety and the safety of your luggage if you escort strangers to your room.
There are specific rules on the beaches: if the lifeguards put out a red flag – swimming is prohibited, a yellow flag – be careful, a green flag – informs about the alarm’s cancellation. On some beaches, the sea’s bottom has sharp corals and sea urchins, making sense to enter the water in slippers. Sharks and other large fish will not threaten you, as coral reefs protect the beaches.
It is not worth using public transport in Cuba. First of all, it is impossible to find it, but the quality of services will be inferior even if you find it. For tourists in Cuba, there are so-called tourist taxis – these are always modern cars. Relevant companies monitor the movement of tourist taxis, which ensures your safety.
African, Caribbean, and Spanish cultures influence Cuban cuisine. The most common side dish is Cristianos y Moros, which is white rice with dark beans. There are many chicken and pork dishes on the menu. The cook usually cuts the beef into thin slices and chunks. Bananas fried in oil are no less satisfying, often served with various dishes as a side dish. Fresh fish is done only in tourist hotels.
We hope our travel guide Cuba will help you prepare for your trip. Finally, we want to present you with the top 10 places to visit in Cuba:
- Old Havana.
- Playa Paraiso.
- Zapata Peninsula.
- Valley of Viñales.
- Cayo Coco.
- Alexander Humboldt National Park.