Frequently Asked Questions

Will it be necessary to pay a tax before leaving Cuba?
Yes, in the Cuban airports you have to pay a tax (25 CUC) before leaving Cuba. This quantity is equivalent to 27 USD.

Is really Cuba a safe place for tourist?
Cuba has the lower rate of delinquency and is considered the safest place around the world. Nevertheless, we recommend you to use the safety deposit box available in the majority of the hotels in Cuba. We recommend you to make photocopies of your passport and take the photocopy everywhere with you in Cuba. Leave your original passport inside your safety deposit box with your extra money, traveler´s checks and other important documents. You just have to take all the necessary precautions when you travel abroad.

Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?

Those people who travel to Cuba need to have a valid passport or a document authorizing you to travel with your name and your visa or tourist card. You just only can ask for a visa in the Cuban consular representation in your country.

There are two kinds of visas or tourist cards available: the first one for individual tourists and the other one for tourist who travel in groups.

Businessmen,journalists carrying out their duties in Cuba, and Cubans residing abroad or with other nationalities have the chance of getting a visa through the Cuban consulate

To be allowed into Cuba those people residing in the United States of America, they need a visa that is not issued by the government employees.

Do I need a medical document to be allowed into Cuba?
The sanitary restrictions exist only for those people from countries where yellow fever and cholera are endemic, or from countries or areas in quarantine owing to the infections declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the last case, you have to present the international vaccination certificate to the sanitary authorities.

Where can I search for tourist information about Cuba abroad?
Cuba has offices in different coutries, in accordance with its main tourist markets. These offices represent Cuba before all the tourist institutions and organizations in its main tourist markets. Besides, all the Cuban embassies assume the tourist promotions of the island as one of their tasks.

In those offices you can search for information about Cuba as a tourist destination and acquire videos, CD, fliers and exclusive offers in accordance with the tourist seasons.

Besides, in our web site we divulge some useful informations for all the people with intentions of visiting Cuba.

Which are the main tourist destinations and tourist attractions in Cuba?
With the deep conviction that Cuba is an authentic and extraordinary tourist destination, the development of the sector in the island is aimed at offering to the visitors different, diverse and updated options to increase its competitiveness. There are in Cuba many regions with their own tourist attractions and image, that you would like to visit for sure, that´s why our Web Site gives you the chance to know them.

Main tourist destinations:
La Habana (Havana)
Cayo Guillermo
Cayo Coco
Cayos de Villa Clara
Cayo Largo del Sur
Santiago de Cuba
Santa Lucía de Cuba
Pinar del Río
Península de Zapata

Can the Cuban hotels ensure the medical attention?
More than 95% of the Cuban hotels have medical primary attention for all the tourist. Also, there are eight international clinics for prolonged treatments in Pinar del Río, Varadero, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa María, Santa Lucía, Guardalavaca and Santiago de Cuba.

It is advisable for all the tourist traveling to Cuba to have a guarantee of health, that can be acquired through the company of assistance to the travelers ASISTUR S.A. once in Cuba.

Can I take photographs and film videos freely in Cuba?
You can take photos and film videos freely in Cuba, except for restricted areas because of military interests and others. The museums and galleries and other places of interest have specific regulations. For color photos, the best time to take them is from 09:30am to 11:30am and after 16:00 hours.

Are there areas in Cuba for hunting and fishing?
In Cuba there are regulations in accordance with the legal requirements about the international trade of protected species of the flora and fauna (CITES). These regulations indicate that is forbiden to extract live or stuffed animals and/or goods made of some parts of the protected species.

The exportation of jewels made with species of the Cuban flora and fauna is accepted under approval of the CITES in Cuba.

Can I put off or change the manners of tourism and the kinds of available visa?
To put off your stay in Cuba or change your manners of tourism you were authorized to travel to Cuba through, you have to go to the nearest tourism bureau.

Can I export unlimited quantities of Cuban Cigars?
It is allowed to export up to 23 Cuban Cigars, loose Cigars or packing Cigars, without any permission. If the travelers want to export more than 23 Cigars, they have an obligation to claim for the original documentation and copies of the official invoices issued in the establishment designated by Habanos SA (in the place where the cigars were acquired) and finally give a copy in the customs.

The Cigars must be packed in original packings with official marks, including the holographic seal. If your cigars don´t fulfill the essential requirement of licit acquisition, the product will be confiscated by the customs.

Does it work your cell phone in Cuba?
You can take your cell phone to Cuba. ETECSA (National Telephonic Company) have roaming agreements with several operators around the world. You can activate the telephonic service automatically when arriving in Cuba. If the client have a monthly cotract (not paying by ear), the service can be activated with the operator of the international roaming, and only if the terminal that you utilize is compatible with the characteristic of the company´s network (900 MHz). If you have intentions to activate your cell phone when arriving in Cuba, please first of all turn it on and register yourself automatically in the network. On the screen will be showed 368-01 / CU-CCOM / CUBACEL, depending of the configuration of your cell phone. In case you can not activate the automatic registration, try with the manual registration of the network through the menu of your phone. For more information, visit the official web site of ETECSA or an office for costumer service of this company once in Cuba.

How can I extend my stay permission in Cuba?
On your arrival at the airport in Cuba, you should have your passport expiring in more than six months and of course, your visa. The visa can be issued for 30 days and subsequently if you want to extend your stay, you can go to the immigration offices before the expiration date of your visa to ask for a extension of your visa.

What´s the state of the streets in Cuba?
In the main cities, the streets are in good conditions of signposting and relatively free of traffic. The main cities don´t have traffic jam, that´s why there driving is easy. The main freeway have 4 lanes on both sides of the road and good conditions. caution! Anyway in the roads you can find very commondly pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycle, trucks, farm animals, etc.

Do I need an international driving licence to drive in Cuba?
No. Cuba accepts the local permissions to drive issued by all the countries. The signposting of the traffic is based on the international system. The steering wheel is on the right side and the streets have signposting depending of the section of the road.

Fines and the local police
As in the majority of the countries, Cuba is very severe when a driver exceeds the speed limit, when drive under the influence of toxic substances, for driving irresponsibly or for violating the roadsigns.

If you are fined during your stay in Cuba, the ticket will be enclose in a special area of your tenancy agreement and you should pay it in the rental agency when you give the car back. There is a special traffic law for drivers in the Fifth Avenue in Havana that prohibits stopping on the way , between the road separators or driving too slow.

Is it dificult to find combustible in Cuba?? How much is it?

In the main cities, it si easy to obtain combustible. If you plan to travel throughout the country , you are almost obliged to fill up the tank in the cities before departing from them, because in the freeway there are few gas stations and you could take a risk of being out of combustible.

Are there in Cuba automatic and mechanical cars?
There are both kinds of cars in Cuba. Generally, the small cars are mechanical, and the biggest and de luxe ones are automatic. If you need an automatic car, it is advisable to reserve in advance.

How is the night life in Varadero?
The night life in Varadero is very similar to the night life in Europe, with discotheques that reproduce European music predominantly. The entertainment that give the hotels is really indebted for its quality. The night show, theaters, dancings and small discotheques are the most ordinary chances to have fun at night. For all the family, even for children there are entertainment´s offers in the Cuban hotels.

Can I travel to other Cuban destinations from varadero?
Yes, and it is very usual. After some days in varadero, we are sure you´d like to visit some other Cuban destinations. The most popular travels are: Old Havana and Trinidad. It takes 2 or 3 hours from Havana to arrive to both cities. It is better for you to reserve in advance in case you want to continue traveling throughout Cuba.

Are there beaches in Havana?
In Havana city there aren´t beaches, but only 25 km far from the downtown are located the East Beaches of Havana with more than 70 km of beaches and coastal towns. To visit the beaches is required a car or a public bus (first option recommended). Those people who want to visit the beach, can stay in a hotel in the city and visit the beach during the day or they can stay overnight in a hotel by the beach (only 20 km from Havana city).

How is the night life in Havana?
Marvelous, it would be the right word. Havana has it all, from bars to luxurious discotheques. Many visitors enjoy in small bars situated in patios and squares in the old part of the city (Old Havana) and other historical sites, those places always accompanied by traveling musicians playing Cuban music.

Cubans turn every moment into a party, and their very open nature give you a chance to meet new friends, in case you wish. The most famous Jazz Bars in the city are: El Gato Tuerto, Jazz café and La Zorra y el Cuervo among others, where music and entertainment is great and plentiful.

Do I need a car in Havana?
The majority of travelers prefer to travel independently and in their own car. Havana is normally the main destination for travelers traveling by car. The city is big and covers about 70km, and most of people consider that moving by car in Havana is the best option.

Is it really Havana a good place to begin traveling throughout Cuba?
Yes. Havana offers a good initiation when knowing Cuba. There are excelent options of arrival flights in Jose Marti International Airport of Havana City, also many domestic fligts inside the country and cheaper means of transport. If you decide to visit other cities like Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Santa Clara, Pinar del Rio; Havana City provides all the available transport options to everywhere in the island.

Do I need a diving license to dive?
Yes, you will need it, unless you are in a course to learn how to dive.

Is the sea calm in Cuba (no many waves)?
In winter normally the north coast could be restless, but the rest of the year, the coasts in Cuba are perfect for fishing, diving and swimming.

What percentage of Cubans speak English or Italian?

Many Cubans speak English, Italian and French, but many of the languages without any specialization. However, communication is always possible.

What currencies are in circulation in Cuba?
The Cuban Prices System for tourism is based on CUC as tourist currency, replacing the rest of the foreign currencies without permission to be in circulation in Cuba. You can obtain whatever you want available in boutiques and other places paying in CUC, although some services and products can be obtained in Cuban Pesos (non convertible), mainly in markets for agricultural products and foods offered by a peddler (pizzas, hot dogs), taxis and buses.

To change money, there are places called CADECA in the Airports, banks, hotels, shopping malls and establishments for money exchange. However, it is important to know that Dollar has 10% tax when changing into CUC, that´s why it would be convenient for travelers to bring cash in CAD, EUR, pound sterling or Swiss franc.

What´s the time zone in Cuba?
Cuba is situated in the time zone number 19 GMT - 05:00 and this time zone coincides with the East Standard Time in the USA. Cuba, Miami, New York, Washington, the East Coast of the USA and Canada share the same time. From March to october in Cuba is adopted the Summer Time, adding one hour to the normal time in accordance with the time zone.

What´s the most appropriate wardrobe in Cuba?

Dresses made of cotton or something similar are appropriate almost during the whole year, however, it is necessary to take into consideration that from October until almost April is very frequent the arrival of Cold Fronts, particularly on December, January and February, which causes low temperatures (sometimes temperatures below 10 degrees Celcius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit). In this period of the year is necessary to wear a light sweater made of wool or gabardine.

During the rainy season (from May to October) is advisable to have a raincoat. Although the casual clothes (jeans, shorts, T-Shirts, etc.) is acceptable in almost all the places, it is better to wear formal dress to go to a theater, de-luxe restaurants and concert halls. For Cubans, you wear formal dress if you wear a long-sleeved shirt and a tie, or even a suit would be acceptable but non very common.

How is the internet access in Cuba?
Cuba has internet access in the majority of hotels and tourist facilities. There are also Cyber Cafés in the main cities and tourist destinations. Generally, the internet connection is slow and through the modem (dial up). Many hotels in Cuba have WI-FI by paying a supplement at the Front Desk.

What´s the exchange rate of CUC into a foreign currency?
It depends largely of the time. The exchange rate can rise or fall like every economy. You can check the exchange rate into CUC by connecting to the official web page of the Cuban Central Bank (http://www.bc.gov.cu/).

What customs regulations exist?
General Customs of the Republic of cuba.

Telephony in Cuba.

Do I need a travel insurance to cover the medical expenses to enter to Cuba?
Yes. From May, 1st, 2010, Cuba states that all the travelers, the foreigners and doctors living abroad must show a travel insurance policy to cover medical expenses, with the aim of entering the country.

To carry out this demand, the traveler must have a travel insurance including medical expenses or a medical expenses policy with a hedge inside the country.

You must acquire your policy in your resident country. Those travelers that exceptonally don´t have a policy once in Cuba, they can acquire an insurance policy and the medical care hedge subscribed by the Cuban companies in the airports, ports or other places.

The travel insurances subscribed by Cuban companies and most of the international insurance companies count on the services of ASISTUR (Services for assistance to travelers in Cuba) inside the island. This service works 24 hours a day all the year.

According to the figures, more than 80% of people visiting Cuba in this moment, have a service of travel insurance offered by companies from their residence country. This travel insurance covers the medical expenses in Cuba.

For residents in the USA traveling directly to Cuba, they must acquire an insurance policy that covers expenses inside the island.

This insurance policy is commercialized by a network of associated agencies to the company HAVANATUR-CELIMAR, owing to the impossibility for the insurance companies in USA to guarantee a cover in the island.

The traveler when arriving in Cuba at check-in time in the airport must show the policy, certificate of insurance or the assistance card for travelers, valid during the stay in Cuba.

What´s the best season to travel to Cuba?
Cuba enjoys a tropical hot climate almost all the year. The best season to travel to Cuba is from November to April (Winter Season). March, April, October and November are the perfect months to travel because those months have a good climate condition and a less rainy climate.

The high tourist season in Cuba for Cubans covers July and August, but it is also the hottest period in the year. The highest tourist season in the island begins on November until April.

The hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30th.

How is the traffic in Cuba?
In Cuba, it is established to drive on the right side of the road, and with the exception of the biggest cities, traffic is normally slow. At night, you should drive carefully. There are areas with poor or limited visibility, so take care because it could be dangerous.

In the whole country you have to pay attention to the cyclist and animals on the road. The traffic signs in Cuba obey the international regulations. The speed over 100km/h is not allowed sometimes on the roads in Cuba. Bear in mind that the secondary roads are more damaged than the main ones.
CubaHotelTravels.com offers you more than 200 hotels in Cuba in more than 40 tourist destinations in the island. Our informations about the hotels, provinces and tourist destinations will help you to find the best options for you to choose how to make your own trip. What modes of vacations do your prefer?, de luxe, in couple, in family or even if you need a hotel for business, in our web you will find the best offers of hotels in Cuba.