Get in & around
Tourists can get to Cuba mainly by air. There are 17 airports on the island. Jose Marti International Airport, located in Havana, is the primary one among them. The Airport serves regular flights from Canada, Mexico and Europe. American passengers can get to Cuba from Miami or Tampa. In addition, there are regular holiday charter flights to popular resorts of Cuba.
Cuba also can be reached by sea. The private courts are entering in maritime towns such as Marina Hemingway, Chapelin, Gaviota, Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, etc.
From the airport to the hotel you can get by intercity bus or taxi. In the same way it is possible to travel between cities. If you prefer to use buses, then choose the companies “Viazul” or “Astro”. To move around the city in Cuba there are buses. However, due to the fact that they often break down, it is not recommended to use them. It is better to take a modern and comfortable “tourist taxi” that will cost you 2 USD per 1.5-2 km. You can order a taxi directly from the hotel. Or you can rent a car, bike or bicycle.
Cuban music and dance
Cuba is the place where was born the modern Latin American music. The mixture of rhythms of African drums and Spanish guitar gave life to such emotional Latin American dances as Danzon, Son, Cha-Cha-Cha, Mambo, Rumba and Salsa. Every tourist who comes to Cuba considers it his duty to learn to dance passionate and hot Salsa dance. In every Cuban city you can find dance school where under the guidance of experienced Cuban partners you’ll learn correct movements of salsa, and clubs where you can listen to the salsa music performed by famous Cuban bands.
If you want to go home with things that will remind you about the vacation on a paradise island then we advise you to purchase jewelry from coral and silver. You can also buy national tropical shirt “Guayabera”, musical instruments, fabrics or articles of tortoise-shell (not to encounter a fake buy them in the audited shops). Must-have souvenirs are considered to be Cuban cigars and Cuban rum which is the base of such popular Cuban cocktails as Cuba Libre (rum and coca-cola), Mojito, Daiquiri, Cubanito.
The main attractions in Cuba are the beaches, the sun and the clear waters of the Caribbean. However, for those who prefer active rest Cuba is a real godsend. Its diverse flora and fauna is an excellent base for activities such as ecotourism and bird watching; beautiful coral reefs, thousands of ancient shipwrecks and rich underwater world fit for diving; a large number of restaurants and clubs will provide tourists a great night rest and a lot of impressions from traditional cuisine. And this is only beginning. Cuba will please you with excellent fishing, hiking through huge karst caves, studying the life of Cubans and many others interesting activities. Here you will not be bored.
Required documents for travel
- A valid passport. Passport must be valid for at least one week after your return from Cuba.
- A return ticket.
- If you travel to Cuba as a tourist you need to get a tourist card which allows tourists to stay in Cuba within 90 days of the date of entering. As a rule, the tourist card is issued by tour operators or airlines. If you need to extend the tourist card you can apply to any travel agency. The maximum period of extension is 6 months.
- To obtain a tourist card you will need the following documents:
- Valid passport;
- Plane tickets with date of arrival and return;
- Receipt of payment of consular fees.
- If you are traveling with children you may be asked for proof of parental rights or guardianship.
- If you are traveling with pets you must have a state veterinary certificate received not more than 10 days prior to arrival to Cuba.
- Since 2004, Cuba abolished the free circulation of the US dollar, therefore, upon arrival to Cuba exchange US currency to the convertible peso (marked “pesos convertibles”). There is one big drawback – banks charge a fee of 10% exchanging US dollar.
- Due to the embargo, American tourists cannot use US credit cards. But it is possible to use international Visa, MasterCard, EuroCard.
- In Cuba is forbidden to photograph military installations or machinery and industrial enterprises.
- If you want to leave a tip, it is customary to leave 10% of the service cost.
- It is forbidden to smoke in public places.
- Before flying to Cuba, make sure that your health insurance is valid because the medical care on the island is quite expensive.
- Be sure to bring sunscreen, not to get sunburned.
- In Cuba you can come across troubles such as malarial mosquitoes, caimans, sea urchins, jellyfish, sand fleas, mosquitoes. Therefore, please bring the medication of “first aid”.
- If you need to make an international phone call, this can be done only with the telephone exchange “Telekorreos”.
- When you purchase products of crocodile skin, seller must give you a license to export- otherwise this thing will be picked up at the airport.
- Going to Cuba, don’t forget to bring a good mood for a great Cuban vacation.