Items that are allowed to enter:
Travelers may bring personal effects (including photographic material, binoculars, musical instruments, recorders, radio, personal computer, tent, fishing rod, bicycle, other sports equipment) and gifts worth $ 50.00 cuc.
Among the articles banned in Cuba are: narcotics, explosives, pornography, widely defined electrical appliances, GPS, endangered species and publications considered to be a threat to the country's general interests. Canned, processed and dehydrated food is not a problem.
Items allowed to be taken out:
It is allowed to export a box of 50 tax-free cigars (or 23 individual ones)
All embassies are in Havana, and most open from 8 am to 12 noon from Monday to Friday.
Argentina (7-204 2549, 36 street n 511, Miramar)
– Chile (7-204 1222, www.conchile-lahabana.cu, 1423, 33 street , Miramar)
– Colombia (7-204 1246, 14 street n 515, Miramar)
– Spain (7-866-8029; www.maec.es; Cárcel, 51, Old Havana)
– USA (7-833-3026; http://havana.usint.gov; Interests section, Road between L and M streets, Vedado)
– Mexico (7-204-7722; www.sre.gob.mx/cuba/, 12 street , 518, Miramar)
– Venezuela (7-204 2662, www.venezuelaencuba.co.cu, 5th avenue n 160, Miramar)
Typical products and specialties:
Popularly known as Creole food, Cuban cuisine is characterized by the ¨congrí¨ (rice with black beans), meat (especially pork, followed by chicken and veal), fried banana (green banana), salad (limited to seasonal ingredients) and The tubers, usually cassava and squash.
Fish is also common. Although it is possible to find gilthead, swordfish, and occasionally octopus and crab in some establishments specializing in seafood, it is more common to see red snapper, lobster and prawns.
Cubans do not understand vegetarianism, and when they do, it can be ably reduced, in a word: omelet, or at most, scrambled eggs. Cooks in private homes, who may have cooked meatless dishes for other travelers, will better meet the needs of vegetarians; It is recommended to ask.
From a medical point of view, Cuba is usually a safe place as long as you have a minimum of care with what you eat and drink. The most common diseases among travelers, such as dysentery and hepatitis, are contracted by the consumption of food and water in poor condition. Mosquito-transmitted diseases are not a major problem in most of the Cuban archipelago.
Prevention is the key to staying healthy while traveling through Cuba. Travelers who get recommended vaccines and see common sense precautions usually suffer from mild diarrhea.
Since May 2010 it is mandatory that foreigners who visit Cuba have travel medical insurance. The traveler should be able to prove that he or she has a policy and be prepared to show it along with the other documents in Cuban customs. If you arrive without health insurance, you will be forced to take out a policy with the state insurance company Asistur.
If the traveler finishes in the hospital must call Asistur (7-866-4499, urgencies 7-866-8527, www.asistur.cu, Paseo de Martí 208, Centro Habana) to help with insurance and medical assistance. The company has regional offices in Havana, Varadero, Cienfuegos, Cayo Coco, Camagüey, Guardalavaca and Santiago de Cuba.
In Cuba it is not safe to drink tap water. To purify the water, the most effective is to boil it for one minute.
The water can also be disinfected with iodine. Pregnant women, people with a history of thyroid disease, and those allergic to iodine should not drink iodized water.
There are several water filters on the market, so follow the instructions to the letter. It is advisable to buy water in the market. The medium plastic bottle of natural mineral water which has a net content of 1500ml is priced at $ 0.70 c.u.c and the large bottle which has a net content of 5000ml has a cost of $ 1.90 c.u.c this price was considered in the state market.
The telecommunications service is a service provided by the State through the company Etecsa, which provides Internet access throughout the country from the new Tele – points. In all the important cities of each province these premises can be found. It is paid through cards of $ 2.00 c.u.c the hour. You can also make international calls from the offices of Etecsa.
Cuban police agents are very present they are usually very friendly. Corruption is considered a very serious offense, so nobody wants to be mixed up in it. The tourist must have always their identification, so it is advisable to always carry something, even the driver's license, a photocopy of the passport or even the student card. Drugs are prohibited. Penalties for buying, selling or possessing drugs are severe and applied with harshness.
It is one of the most complicated aspects of the trip to Cuba, since it is a bit about understanding the double economy. Two currencies circulate in the country: convertible pesos (CUC) and Cuban pesos, called national currency and abbreviated MN, although the international abbreviation CUP is also used. Most of the tourist goods and services are paid in convertibles, for example, accommodation, car rental, bus tickets, museum tickets or Internet access, among others. The change is 25 pesos for 1 convertible. In most places of sale, you can buy with two coins, although there are still several things that can´t be bought with national currency, it is recommended to carry a little of the two coins by hand.
Cuba works with an economy based on cash; Credit cards do not have the importance they are given in Western countries. Although carrying cash is riskier, in this case it is much more practical.
It is best to take 20/10/5/3/1 cuc tickets, since many small businesses (such as taxis or restaurants) do not give big ticket changes (like 50 or 100 cuc) and the phrase "unchanged" is the order of the day. In case of desperation, you can always change these tickets in hotels.
One of the most complicated parts of the double economy is terminology. Cuban pesos are called national currencies (abbreviated MN) or Cuban pesos or simply pesos, while convertible pesos are called convertible pesos (abbreviated CUC) or simply pesos (also). It is very common and popular that they also call the CUC FULA. For some time, people have referred to them as Cucs. Sometimes it can happen that the traveler is trading in Cuban pesos while his counterpart assumes that they are convertibles. The fact that the bills are very similar does not facilitate things; Nor that the symbol of both be the same: $. It is easy to imagine the potential for deception that can be achieved with these combinations.
The Cuban peso has tickets of 1,3, 5, 10, 20,50,100,200,500 and 1000; And coins of 1, 5 and 20 cents, as well as 1 and 3 pesos. The five-cent coin is called the middle and the 20-cent coin, peseta as in Spain. Cents are sometimes called kilos. The convertible peso has bills of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100; And coins of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 peso.
Officially Cuba has nine official holidays. Other celebrated national celebrations are: January 28 (anniversary of the birth of José Martí); April 19 (victory of the Bay of Pigs); October 8 (anniversary of Che Guevara's death); October 28 (anniversary of Camilo Cienfuegos´s death); And 7 of December (anniversary of Antonio Maceo´s death)
January 1 Triumph of the Revolution
January 2 Victory of Day
May 1 Workers' Day
July 25 Commemoration of the assault on Moncada garrison
July 26 National Rebellion Day. Commemoration of the assault of Moncada garrison.
July 27 Commemoration of the assault of Moncada garrison
October 10 Independence Day
December 25th Christmas
31 December New Year's Eve
In general, Cuba is safer than most countries, and violent assaults are very rare, but preventive measures work miracles. The action of the pickpockets can also be avoided: you have to carry the bag in front on buses and markets full of people, and when going out at night take the money just that one is going to need and not carry the mobile phone.
Begging is a widespread problem and aggravated by tourists who distribute money, soap, pens, chewing gum and other things to people who ask in the streets. If the traveler really wants to help, pharmacies and hospitals will accept donations of medicines, schools will gladly take pens, paper, crayons, etc., and libraries will accept haunted books. Other options are to deliver the material to the owners of private homes or leave it at a local church.
To call Cuba from abroad, dial the international prefix, the Cuban prefix (53), the city code or zone (minus 0, which is used for interprovincial calls) and the destination number. To call abroad from Cuba you must dial the international prefix (119), the country code that corresponds, the location and the telephone number. In the case of USA, dial 119 + 1, the local prefix and number. To call from Cuba to Madrid would have to dial 119 (international code) + 34 (code of Spain) + 91 (area) + number.
Travelers who want to spend up to two months in Cuba do not need visas, but if a valid tourist card for 30 days is extended once inside the country. If you arrive by plane the price of the card is usually included in the fare paid to the travel agent or airline along with the ticket.
Normally it is not allowed to board a plane bound for Cuba without it, but if by chance you do not have it, you can get it at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, although there may be problems that are best avoided. Once in Havana, extensions or replacements cost US $ 25 more. You cannot leave the country without presenting this card, so be careful not to lose it. It is also not allowed to enter Cuba if there is no exit ticket. Airport officials do not affix entry or exit stamps in the passport but on the card.
The address in Cuba must be specified, if only to avoid unnecessary discomfort. While staying in a private home or hotel, there should be no problem. Business travelers and journalists need a visa that must be requested at a consulate at least three weeks in advance or more if requested from a country other than the country of origin.
Travelers with a visa or anyone who has stayed in the country for more than 90 days must apply for an exit permit at the immigration office.
For most travelers it is easy to obtain a visa extension once in the country. Just go to an immigration office and present the documents along with 25 cuc stamps, which are sold at any branch of Bandec or the International Financial Bank. After the original 30 days, one only receives 30 additional days, but you can leave and re-enter the country in 24 hours and start again (some Havana travel agencies have special offers for this type of excursion). It is recommended to request extensions a few business days before the date of expiration of the visa and never travel around Cuba with an expired visa.
Almost all provincial capitals have immigration offices. It is advisable to avoid the Havana office because it is always crowded.
Baracoa (Antonio Maceo 48; 8: 00-12: 00 and 14: 00-16: 00 mo-fr)
Cienfuegos (43-52-10-17, 46th avenue between streets 29 and 31)
Havana (Desamparadosn110 between Habana and Compostela; 8: 30-16: 00 mo-we and fr, 8: 30-11: 00 p.m.)
Santiago de Cuba (22-69-36-07, Calle 13 n 6 between General Cebreco Avenue and Calle 4; 8; 30-12: 00 and 14: 00-16: 00 mo-fr, except my). Extension of the visa are sold
in the Bank of Credit and Commerce, in Felix Pena n 614, in the park Céspedes
Trinidad (Julio Cueva Díaz; 8: 0-17: 00 p.m.) At a junction of the Agramante promenade
Varadero (avenue 1 esq. 39 street; 8: 00-15: 30 mo-fr)
In terms of personal security, Cuba is a paradise for travelling women. You can walk at night through almost every street, the crime rate is very low and the good part of machismo means that a woman will be never in trouble. However, the latter also has its counterpart in the form of compliments and comments.
The simple clothes help to avoid unwanted attention and sunbathing (on topples) is absolutely not advisable. Inventing an absent husband, whether or not it exists, has almost no effect. If you go to a disco, you have to make clear to the possible Cuban dance partners what you want and what you do not.
Arrival in the country, whether it is the first time or not, the approach to José Martí international airport on the reddish tobacco fields is in itself an unforgettable experience. Fortunately, the entry process is relatively simple, and with more than 3 million visitors a year, immigration authorities are accustomed to dealing with arrivals from abroad.
Outside Cuba, the capital is often called Havana, and this is how travel agents, airlines and other professionals refer to it. Inside Cuba, it is almost always called La Habana.
Cuba has 10 international airports. The largest by far is José Martí, in Havana. As only important airport is the Juan Gualberto Gómez, in Varadero.
Cubana (www.cubana.cu), the national airline, has scheduled flights to Bogota, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Cancun, Caracas, Guatemala City, London, Madrid, Paris, Toronto, Montreal, San Jose, Costa Rica and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Its modern fleet covers the main routes and its tickets are among the cheapest. However, overbooking and delays are recurring problems.
The airline has a zero tolerance policy with excess baggage, and severely penalizes every kilogram that exceeds 20kg of checked baggage.
Documents required at the entrance:
– Passport valid until at least one month after the date of departure
– Cuban tourist card filled in correctly
– Proof of travel medical insurance (mandatory since May 2010)
– Evidence that sufficient funds are available to cover the length of stay
– Return plane ticket.
At the airport everyone must pay an exit fee of 25 CUC. You can only pay in cash.
It is a reliable way to get around, at least for the most frequented areas. Viazul (www.viasul.com), the only long-distance bus company that non-Cubans can use, offers occasional air-conditioned services (too) that go to places of interest for travelers. Viazul charges tickets in convertibles, and the traveler can be sure that he or she will arrive punctually at the indicated destination. Buses run regular stops for lunch / dinner and always carry two drivers.
Many successful tourist sites have bus routes that link the main points of interest of a particular area and charge 5cuc per ticket daily. The services are managed by the state transport agency Transtur (7-831-7333; www.transtur.cu). In Havana and Varadero the vehicles have two floors and an open roof. Similar minibuses are used in Viñales, Trinidad, Cayo Coco, Guardalavaca and Baracoa (in season).
To travel short Cuban distances, use provincial buses, which charge in pesos and are much less comfortable and reliable than Viazul. They leave the provincial bus stations of each city. Schedules and prices are usually written with chalk on a blackboard inside the bus station.
Cuba therefore aims to provide our fellow visitors with experiences that have a positive impact on them in the locations they visit – promoting Responsible Travel in Cuba. As visitors from another country, you should never impose your own culture, traditions or beliefs on others and instead, look to appreciate those of the locals and experience firsthand a different way of life.
At Cuban Sunrise we believe that giving something back to the community is essential, because it is this community that makes our tours such a success. We work with our fellow visitors, clients, employees, and local contacts to ensure the successes of our business go directly back into the community and into protecting Cuba’s precious environment. We take responsible travel in Cuba very seriously.
Our responsible travel policy:
– Being efficient in our use of natural resources.
– Minimizing environmental damage due to items that can carry a negative impact
– Leaving accommodation sites in better conditions than we find them.
We use every available opportunity to remind our staff of the importance of the need to reduce, re-use and recycle. All of our guides are aware of our responsible tourism objectives and values and buy into the importance of this message.
This is not only good for the communities we visit, but it also gives our travelers more enriched adventures.
What we focus on from this moment will create the life and the person we will be.
C u b a n S u n r i s e
a happiness for the heart