What should tourists be aware of in Cuba?
Travelers may encounter men and women, pejoratively known as jineteros, who informally tap into the dollar economy by profiting off of relationships with foreigners. These encounters often arise as a “chance” meeting outside of hotels or tourist locations. As a general rule of travel, if a stranger approaches you with a deal that seem too good to be true… it almost certainly is. When dealing with Cuban hustlers, a simple shake of the head, “No gracias” or a firm “Dejame en paz” are appropriate ways to respond.
Also we do not recommend that you buy cigars, rum or anything products from people trying to sell you such items on the street. More often than not you will be buying an inferior product, sometimes the cigars are made with banana leaves and not tobacco!
Please understand that Cubans are very friendly and love making conversation with guests in their country. Therefore, do not shy away from conversation or dismiss all strangers who approach you.