Travel to Cuba

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Travel to Cuba

The country of Cuba nationalized American-owned oil refineries without compensation and as a result of which the United States of America severed trade ties with Cuba. So since 1960, Americans have faced travel restrictions to Cuba. But things have started changing off late and the Americans have eased trade and travel restrictions with the resultant that many Americans are now planning their travel itinerary to Cuba.

Vague Travel Tour Packages

People cannot travel to Cuba just for recreation purpose. It has to be for some work that involves the Cuban people, like an educational trip or some community project. So the tour companies sell the Cuba travel packages taking advantage of the legal loopholes and you are projected as someone who would talk with a school or collaborate with artists. Check out the cheap flights to Cuba from NYC and talk to your tour manager regarding the tour bookings.

Transit through Foreign Gateways

Well if there are options for direct travel to Cuba, then how about travelling there illegally through the foreign gateway channels? This way you travel to Canada or Mexico first and then fly to Cuba from these countries. Anyway Cuba is a hot spot for travel aficionados and going to Cuba from either Canada or Mexico is the most preferred method of travel to Cuba.

Immigration Process in Cuba

immigration cuba

When you travel to Cuba via Canada or Mexico, the immigration officials stamp the visa and not on the passport. This helps in not getting into trouble with the American government because there is no passport record of your travel to Cuba. This is done because Cuba earns good revenues from American tourists. Other than the points covered here, read or search online for the Cuba travel guide before you enter this country.

Money in Cuba

Cuba doesn’t accept the American banks credit and debit cards. So you are left with no option but to travel with cash in hand. You may have an expenditure of about $100 for a day in Cuba. And when you leave Cuba, there is an official currency exchange outside the Havana airport. It is best to exchange all the leftover Cuban currency back to dollars before flying out of Cuba.

Accommodation in Cuba

Accomodation in Cuba

If you are a budget traveler stay in the casas particulares. This is nothing but a home stay or like the stay at a guesthouse. The cost varies from $30-$40 for a night and may include breakfast. The persons who host the guest need to register and pay special tax to the Cuban government. The casas do not have an active online presence and you may not be able to pre-book the rooms. You will have to walk around and ask for accommodation. The people there will guide you to good casas and in case it is occupied, the owner itself may recommend you to another one nearby. The casas are good to stay and the rates are nominal too. There are resorts and expensive hotels in popular tourist hotspots like Trinidad, Havana and Varadero. It is better to ask for the tour manager about the popular casas and hotels when you book your Cuba travel packages.

To Move around in Cuba
  • Cars: Renting a cab isn’t cheap and you need to book the vehicle atleast 2-3 weeks in advance through correspondence like email or a phone call. You have the option of traveling in a rented vintage car with driver, but that isn’t cheap either.
  • Buses: The Cuban government bus services for the tourists called the Viaz crisscrosses the country and are not expensive. But since the popular routes are fast filled, you need to personally go to the station and book the ticket atleast a day in advance.
Some Other Things about Travel to Cuba
  • Previously, the Cuban government used to charge a nominal exit fee to all the travelers who were outbound. But now this is included in the airline ticket cost.
  • Always carry bottled water with you when you travel in Cuba because the tap water is not safe to drink.
  • There is web connectivity in Cuba, but some applications and articles are censored.

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