Cuba is one of the destinations that I like the most and a place I recommend everyone to go. Although if you have reached this page it is because you are about to go, and I don’t have to convince you at all. Today I leave you some tips to travel to Cuba that I hope you serve. If I forget any, leave it in comments so everyone can read it!
It is true that as a Spaniard you need a visa if you are flying directly from Spain and that you must process before your departure. But be careful, because if your flight stops in the United States you will need a tourist visa that you must buy there, and the Spanish visa will not be necessary. My advice is that you first buy the flight when you have it, you are well informed to see what kind of visa you need to enter Cuba.
And very important, do not lose the visa or you can be fined at the exit.
For entering Cuba, it is very important to have a travel insurance. Surely you will meet people who tell you that they were not ask for it and that you don’t need it. Sometimes they ask for it and sometimes they do not, but as they ask for it and you do not have it, it bothers you the trip.
There are two reasons why I recommend you travel with a good insurance. The first one, because without it you can be refuse to enter the country and you are left without vacations. The second, because health care for foreigners in Cuba is very expensive. Therefore, a good insurance with medical expenses coverage between € 40,000 – € 60,000 is the minimum for quiet travel. Two good companies, which have always worked for me and have good coverage are Intermundial and Iati.
CURRENCY IN CUBA AND CREDIT CARD
In Cuba there are two official currencies, the CUC, and the CUP.
– The CUC is the convertible peso and is the one that you get when you exchange euros or dollars in Cuban currency, also the one that the ATM gives you if you have to withdraw money with the card.
– The CUP is the Cuban peso, and it is the national currency used by Cubans.
During the trip it will happen to you that you will pay in CUC and they will return the change in CUP, so it is important that you know how to distinguish both currencies and calculate the changes. Now reading it may seem a bit difficult, but once there you will see that in a moment you have it by the hand. A CUC equals 25 CUP, and a CUC equals just under one euro.
Regarding the credit card, you will not use it in Cuba unless it is in high-class hotels or to withdraw money from the ATM. And even then, not all ATMs accept all the cards and they do not always work, so my advice to travel to Cuba is to go with cash.
INTERNET IN CUBA
I’m going to tell you about the internet because it’s something from another planet in Cuba, but if something is useful, it is to really disconnect from the addiction that we have to the mobile phone and to be connected 24 hours a day.
In Cuba there is no free internet, all the networks there are public Wi-Fi, and do not expect 3G or 4G. Only some privileged as politicians, journalists or diplomats have their own network.
To connect you will have to buy an ETECSA card, which usually costs 1CUC and with it you have 1h connection. As you can see, it is not cheap, the time is almost one euro.
This card has a code, what you have to do is look for places where there is a sign of ETCSA, public parks, hotels and places and there connect to the network and enter the code. I recommend you a lot of patience because like you, you will see locals and tourists trying to connect. The network is always saturated and very slow.
In this case, the best advice to travel to Cuba that I can give you is that you forget the internet and enjoy being disconnected for a few days, because there is so much to see in this country.
ACCOMMODATION IN CUBA
In Cuba you will find hotels, resorts and private homes with their due license that are dedicated to lodging.
For me, there is nothing better than staying in a house. In all that I have been they have treated me wonderfully, they have advised me on how to move, they have told me their story and they have made each of my trips much richer. So, without a doubt, my recommendation is private homes.
DANCING IN CUBA
I leave the link to my partner’s article about places to dance Salsa in Cuba. Although if what you want is to make a group of friends and good teachers I recommend that you look at the trips we have in Cuba and we miss them, we are specialists in this destination!
I could give you advice on what to eat, how to move around the island or what to visit, but I think that would make your trip lose some magic, Cuba is a very safe country, with very friendly people and it is worth discovering as that one is there.