A tourist visa card is required. This can be purchased on arrival in Cuba, but most airlines require it to be presented at check in or you will be denied boarding. It is valid for 30 days and extendable for a further 30 days, except for Canadians who receive a 90-day visa. Available on check in for visitors travelling in from North South Central America and Canada. Rest of world need to pre purchase before the day of Travel and we can supply these for you.
Medical Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is now required and although you may not be asked on arrival you will need to have adequate insurance should you have an accident. You may purchase on arrival.
Now included in the flight cost.
We recommend pre booking a small number of the well reviewed restaurants especially at high season. The rest can be booked when you are in country.
We can organize private transfers but recommend our private guide/driver service where possible.
Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and government outlets. Private accommodation and paladars only accept cash. Travelers’ checks or credit cards issued by American banks will NOT be accepted anywhere on the island, so make sure that you have other means of payment if your card was issued in the US. There is virtually no cash points/ATM available for drawing cash against Cirrus or switch cards in Cuba. Any Cuban bank or CADECA should be able to issue a cash advance on a non-American credit card if you cannot find a cash point/ ATM for your VISA or MASTERCARD. Generally, banks are open from 09:00 to 14:00 Monday – Friday.
Cuba has a dual currency system but you will use only the CUC Cuban Convertible Peso or tourist currency as this is now the most used currency for everyone. will need to use this currency – the (CUC). You can exchange US dollars but will be liable to pay a tax of 10%. Bring pounds or Euros if you feel this will benefit you. Scottish bank notes are not recognized and should be avoided. You can convert back on departure.
There are now a large number of WIFI spots in Cuba and there is access in most hotels. The service is fast depending on the number of users. Rates range between 2 CUC per hour in internet cafes or 4 - 8 CUC per hour in hotels. An alternative to hotels is ETECSA offices, equipped with computers and Internet access. You buy a card and scratch off the login number and password to access the Internet.
International phone calls can be made from your hotel room using any pre-paid cards or Internet.
The norm in Cuba is 110-230V, 60 Hz, American-styled flat two-pin 110V, although most hotels have 220V sockets. However, make sure that you take an international adapter with you and read the instructions of your appliance before plugging it in. Power hungry appliances are not advised as the wiring in many hotels and private homes is of a low quality.
Health & Vaccines
There are currently no vaccination requirements for international travelers, but consult your doctor before travelling for the latest immunization information. Drink bottled water instead of tap water, easily purchased at most hotels and restaurants. Temperatures frequently hover around the 30 °C mark, so stay hydrated throughout the day. If you need to seek private medical care, the quality of service you’ll receive will match that of developed countries.
Food & Drinks
There are some good wines available however you may want to take a couple of bottles with you as a precaution.
Hotels use a voucher system to confirm payment of the hotel. At check-in you may be asked to present a voucher. For most hotels we send the voucher via email directly. However there are a few who do not accept this and we will give you a paper voucher on arrival at the airport to give to the hotel upon checkin. If you have any difficulties whatsoever with vouchers get the reception to call your concierge immediately. Some reception staff are very young and in training from hotel school and often do not know the systems of their own hotel and cannot find the voucher in the system.
A small tip to parking assistants, doormen, museum staff, housekeeping and waiting staff is normal, but not essential.