Cuba is warm and lovely, you can’t wait to prepare your bags and start the journey. In Espíritu Travel, we want to be sure that you will have the best holidays ever. That´s the reason we take care of all the planning so you can just discover and enjoy your trip. Pay attention to these tips to trip to Cuba that we are going to tell you.
But there is always a few extra hints we can give you.
11 tips to get the most out of your trip to Cuba
Before you depart, Espíritu Travel provides you with a detailed itinerary of your trip and related information about traveling to Cuba. In addition, you receive suggestions on how to be a responsible traveler in the country. Here are several tips to make your journey even more fun.
1. Clarify any doubt with us
Espíritu Travel is your friend. We know Cuba is a mystery that many Americans start to discover. Our first hand knowledge about Cuba, can help you to clarify your doubts and provide plenty of updated information.
2. Get to know a little bit about Cuba before you go
It’s a good idea to do some research about Cuba before your trip. Documentaries, blogs and other reading will help you to understand its culture, history and people while creating a huge expectative of what you could see. We especially recommend you The Cuba Libre Story, a 8-part Netflix original documentary narrating the story of the Cuban Revolution with the assistance of historians and eyewitnesses, and The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, a 1-hour documentary about the Special Period suffered in the island during the decade of 1990.
On the other hand, Espíritu Travel’s blog proposes a panorama of Cuba’s current life: you will learn about typical dishes, beautiful cities and even recall the activities offered during each season on the island. You could also explore other blogs such as Getting Stamped which give a very clear vision of a visitor experience in Cuba. Take note of the most interesting places to visit and things to do. It will be fun!
3. Bring cash
More things change in Cuba, the more they stay the same. There are now Wi-Fi spots in many areas of Havana and beyond and some services are started to be paid online. However, it’s still a long way until the use of credit cards is a common practice as in other parts of the world. Cuba remains a cash economy, so it is necessary to bring enough spending money for your trip. To give you some ideas: meals can cost between 8 and 12 CUC while cocktails range in 2-5 CUC, museums entry fee is usually 5 CUC, however musical spectacles can cost much more. The average daily expenses for a couple in Cuba is around 100 CUC.
4. Be aware of the sun
I don’t need to tell you that is hot in Cuba! Despite the dream of many travelers of enjoying the Caribbean sun, it’s important to be safe. So don’t forget the sunscreen (better to use an eco-friendly product such us Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen which is free of toxic chemicals), sunglasses and a hat to protect your head. In addition, drink a lot of water so that you have lots of energy to explore every region of Cuba!
5. Save time – exchange money at the airport
Oh, you have arrived to Cuba! Your personal local guide welcomes you at the airport to begin the adventure. Well, there’s not better moment to exchange money. In Cuba exists two currencies, but you visitors only need Cuban Convertible Pesos referred as CUC (pronounced: kook). Cuban pesos cannot be obtained outside of Cuba so you convert USD and other currencies in places called CADECAS. Save time exchanging the cash you will need for your trip at the airport.
There are other places to exchange money throughout the island but in order to avoid long lines interrupting your journey, it is best to exchange the money at the airport. If you have money left over, you can always exchange back before leaving Cuba.
6. Your local guide is a wealth of knowledge
Our team of professional guides is dedicated to maximizing your experience and amusement during the trip, showing you the real Cuba. He/she can enhance your trip by suggesting restaurants, what would make great souvenirs, wonderful drinks, diving spots or salsa classes. Don’t be shy to ask everything.
7. Save money on cigars
When visiting the Partagás factory or walking the Old Havana, there will be multiple offers to sell you “original” cigars underprice. Vendors are sympathetic and good talkers, it’s very easy to fall in the mistake of thinking it could be a good trade. Avoid them! It could be a scam. Your guide will take you to buy authentic cigars at the legal factory shops: Cohibas, Montecristos, Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo Monterrey and many others can be found there.
Save money buying cigars at the right place. We are sure you don’t want to return home with a box of original “Cohibas” made with banana leaves. It has happened before!!
8. Walk, walk and walk
Discovering a place is such a satisfactory experience. Let our feet go wherever they want and observe the stories growing around us. Havana is a marvelous city where the ancient architectonic styles, the warmth of the people and the colors of new bars and paladares create a vivid landscape. Walk the iconic Paseo del Prado, capture the nocturnal atmosphere of the Capitol and the Great Theatre of Havana, fall in love with the Malecón. Just walk, walk and walk!!!
9. Visit at least one museum
Definitely visit one of many museums if you have time. You can find large and small museums throughout the island. The venues have a diverse offering reflecting Cuba’s history, culture and traditions. Check our Top 10 museums in Cuba: a must-see attraction for a full list of them.
10. Look for free cultural activities
There is always something going on in every corner of Cuba, we just need to find it! Open your mind to the possibilities and explore the city looking for free cultural activities. You could find a street concert near to the cathedral in Trinidad, a new theatre play at the Culture House of Matanzas city, a free entry to the Archeology Museum in Bayamo and even a group of picturesque dancers on stilts in Old Havana squares. If you like surprises and entertainment, Cuba is for you!
11. Always be safe
Cuba is a safe country, we never get tired of saying it because it is true! You could walk the streets a 3:00 A.M. to feel the sea breeze without any danger. However, like in any place there are good and bad people and it’s better not to create a window of opportunity for the latter:
- If you are lost don’t be afraid to ask for directions one or more times, Cubans are very friendly and they will always do their best to put you in the right way.
- Don’t flash your money everywhere. You will attract a lot of attention just for being a tourist.
- Avoid dark alleys, you have seen enough horror movies already and that’s never a good move.
- Don’t follow unknown people to houses, the least that could happen is that they convince you to buy a bunch of things to help their ill grandma.
Now you hold all the tools to pass a delightful time in Cuba. Discover our trips to Cuba and choose the best one for you. You will live a unique experience.Don’t forget to have fun and to share your impression in Espíritu Travel’s Facebook page. We will be more than happy to know from you!