Useful information

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Your satisfaction is of the utmost importance, therefore, Havana Journeys would like to share with you some useful information that you should know before arriving in Cuba.

1

The majority of tourists visiting Cuba are required to obtain a visa which is called the Cuban Tourist Card. This tourist card allows you to stay in Cuba for 30 days (Canadian and Spanish nationals for 90 days). Depending on the country, the tourist card is provided by the airline. You should check this information before booking your flight. Sometimes, it is required you request the visa to the Cuban consulate in your country.
While in Cuba, make sure you do not lose this card since Cuban Immigration will demand this card at the airport on the day you are leaving.
Before leaving Cuba, an airport tax of 25 cuc per person must be paid. Make sure you put this money apart.  After you check-in at the airport, look for the stand with the sign "Airport Tax". IMPORTANT: Some airlines are including the airport tax in the ticket price. Please check with your airline.

2

Pedestrians do not have the right to go!!! You must look both sides when crossing the street.

3

Cuba´s health care system has a very good reputation and international recognition. You should have medical insurance before traveling to Cuba. You can buy this service at the airport in Havana if you are not covered. Because of the island´s tropical weather, it is recommended to drink only bottled water. The water and cocktails at restaurants or "paladares", which are subject to the Ministry of Health´ inspections, is safe to drink.
Bring mosquito repellent if you are traveling beyond Havana. There have been some reported Zika cases.

4

In Cuba two currencies are used: CUC and CUP. The CUP is mostly used by locals to pay taxes, buy vegetables and food from local farmers or from street vendors. The CUC, on the other hand, is widely used both by tourists and locals since most of the things are available in this currency. Therefore, once in Cuba you are going to need to exchange your money into CUC. Avoid US Dollars if you can because there is a 10% tax charged by the government on each US Dollar so you will end up losing more.  *Cuba has announced the 10% tax will be eliminated but so far it has not been implemented* Euros would be ideal.  We suggest you exchange your money either at a bank or at an Exchange House (CADECA) where the rate is better. At the hotel you will not get a favourable rate. If requested, we can take you to a bank during our tour. For you to exchange money at the bank, you will need at least one passport.  

5

Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted as long as they are not issued by US banks or their branches. Please check that your credit or debit cards are not American or you will not be able to withdraw money. The US embargo prevents tourists from using their credit cards if these were issued by an American bank or any of their branches. Visa and Mastercards Credit and Debit cards can be used at the ATMs *If you are an American travelling to Cuba under one of the 12 authorized categories by US government, please contact your bank in advance informing that you will need to use your credit cards in Cuba. So far only the credit cards issued by Stonegate are working.

6

In order for you to call home or abroad from Cuba you must dial:

  • 119 + country code + city code + telephone number.
7

There is Internet access at most hotels in Varadero and Havana. It is not free of charge. The speed has significantly improved since the Wi-fi Hotspots have been introduced. An internet card needs to be purchased. The price is 2 cuc per hour. The first time you log in, your computer or phone will inform you the connection is not safe. You need to click on the option that states “I understand the risks” otherwise you will not have access.

8

Most places will only have 110V (60Hz). However, newer buildings and hotels will provide both 110V and 220V (60Hz). Make sure you bring an adaptor for American type flat prong outlets for your laptop or any other appliances.
Be aware the hotels run by Spanish corporations such as Meliá, etc will have European outlets.