A trip to Cuba isn’t high on everyone’s list of top places to visit. Which is a shame because there are some serious Cuba holiday deals going at just about any time of the year that you care to take a look!
If you have considered Cuba for a visit however, you need to know that there are some quirky little pieces of information you should be aware of before you land on those sunny shores. This goes for all nationalities, not just those from the US.
So here are our top tips for planning your trip to Cuba:
- If you’re from the US, you need to go on a tour with an operator who holds a Person-to-Person permit. To comply with this permit your tour operator will have a set itinerary that you must participate in. You need to keep proof of participation and a record of the places visited.
- It is generally understood that US dollars and any credit cards issued by US banks are not accepted in Cuba. There’ll be no relying on your secret stash of US dollars to get you out of a pinch if your credit card doesn’t work. In actual fact you can convert US dollars but you’ll end up losing about 30% on the transaction. For best value you need to take some other type of currency – Pounds Sterling are a good choice.
- Always make sure the currency you take to Cuba is in good condition or it could be rejected when you try to exchange it. Your Cuban holiday deal could be less than fun if you can’t exchange your cash!
- There are two currencies in Cuba. Cuban Convertible Pesos and the Cuban Peso. Tourists will mostly use the first one while locals generally use Cuban Pesos.
- You cannot convert currency outside of Cuba to the local currency. You’ll need to do so at the airport on arrival or when you get to your hotel. Generally once you convert your currency to Cuban pesos you cannot convert it back without paying large fees so make sure you only convert as much as you need unless you’d like some currency to take home as a
- Visas are required to enter Cuba. You can organize these ahead of time by checking with the consulate to find out what kind of Visa you need. Children require a Visa as well and these are not free.
- Currently travelers are required to show their proof of travel insurance on arrival in Cuba. If your insurance is not comprehensive enough you will be required to purchase extra insurance so make sure yours meets the guidelines before you pay for it. Consider getting confirmation in writing that you are covered in Cuba – especially if your insurance company is US based.
- Each person needs to pay an exit tax when leaving Cuba. Make sure you have enough cash notes in the local currency to pay this levy. Coins are not accepted.
Has anyone been to Cuba? How did you find exchanging money and securing Visas?