Cuba – Wikitravel

Cuba

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Quelques faits
Capitale Havana
Gouvernement République socialiste à parti unique
Devise Peso cubain (CUP), peso cubain convertible (CUC)
Zone 110 860km²
Ville 11.382.820 (juillet 2006 est.)
langage Espagnol espagnol
Religion Nominalement 85% de catholiques romains avant la révolution; Les protestants, les témoins de Jéhovah, les juifs, les musulmans et la Santeria sont également représentés. Cuba est officiellement un État laïque.
Électricité 110V, 60Hz ou 220V, 60Hz (prise nord-américaine, européenne ou italienne)
Code pays +53
Internet TLD .cu
Fuseau horaire UTC -5
Pour d'autres endroits avec le même nom, voir Cuba (homonymie).

Cuba C'est la plus grande île des Caraïbes, entre la mer des Caraïbes et l'océan Atlantique Nord. Il est situé à 145 km (90 miles) au sud de Key West, en Floride, entre les îles Caïmans et les Bahamas, à l'ouest d'Haïti, à l'est du Mexique et au nord-ouest de la Jamaïque.

Pour comprendre(éditer)

La plage de Caletón, près de Playa Larga.

Cuba est devenue un protectorat américain en 1898 après que les forces américaines et cubaines eurent vaincu les forces espagnoles pendant la guerre hispano-américaine. En 1902, l'amendement Platt mit fin à l'occupation militaire américaine de Cuba, mais les États-Unis se réservèrent le droit d'intervenir dans les affaires cubaines pour "défendre l'indépendance cubaine et maintenir un gouvernement adéquat pour la protection de la vie, des biens et des biens". liberté individuelle. " Entre 1902 et 1959, de nombreux citoyens américains vivaient à Cuba ou se rendaient fréquemment à Cuba. L'économie cubaine dépendait fortement du tourisme aux États-Unis et au Canada. La Havane avait beaucoup de spectacles, d'événements et d'hôtels pour les touristes.

Fulgencio Batista a été élu président de Cuba de 1940 à 1944 et dictateur soutenu par les États-Unis de 1952 à 1959, avant d'être renversé pendant la révolution cubaine. La Révolution cubaine (en espagnol: Révolution cubaine) était une révolte armée dirigée par le Mouvement 26 de Julio de Fidel Castro et ses alliés contre le gouvernement de la dictature de droite de Fulgencio Batista. La révolution a commencé en juillet 1953 et s'est poursuivie sporadiquement jusqu'à ce que les rebelles expulsent finalement Batista le 1er janvier 1959.

La révolution cubaine a été un tournant décisif dans les relations entre les États-Unis et Cuba. Bien que le gouvernement américain ait été initialement disposé à reconnaître le nouveau gouvernement de Castro, il a vite craint que les insurrections communistes ne se propagent à travers les nations d'Amérique latine, comme elles l'avaient fait en Asie du Sud-Est. Pendant ce temps, Castro en voulait aux Américains d'avoir aidé le gouvernement Batista pendant la révolution. Après que le gouvernement révolutionnaire a nationalisé tous les biens américains à Cuba en août 1960, l'administration américaine Eisenhower a gelé tous les actifs cubains sur le sol américain, rompu les relations diplomatiques et durci son embargo sur Cuba.

Le président Dwight D. Eisenhower a commencé à planifier secrètement des efforts pour assassiner ou renverser Castro, comme l'invasion de la baie des Cochons, qui a finalement eu lieu sous l'administration du président des États-Unis, John F. Kennedy. Lorsque Castro a demandé aux États-Unis de nouvelles armes, le président Eisenhower a refusé, gardant l'embargo sur les armes en place. En réponse, Castro a commencé à acheter des armes à l'Union soviétique.

En octobre 1960, une raffinerie de pétrole américaine privée à Cuba a refusé d'affiner une cargaison de pétrole brut soviétique. En réponse, Castro a nationalisé toutes les raffineries de pétrole à Cuba, sans indemniser les propriétaires. Entreprises privées américaines UU. Ils possédaient toutes les raffineries de l'époque. Dans les mois suivants, EE. UU. Il a progressivement augmenté son embargo et Castro a nationalisé de plus en plus d'entreprises américaines. Enfin, le président Kennedy a ajouté des restrictions de voyage, qui sont restées en place jusqu'en 2016.

Après 1959, le tourisme cubain a diminué de façon spectaculaire et était principalement destiné aux habitants du bloc soviétique. En conséquence, Cuba n'a pas rénové de nombreuses installations avant les années 1990, lorsque Cuba a perdu le soutien financier de l'ancienne Union soviétique, lorsque Cuba a ouvert ses portes au tourisme étranger et à la possession de devises étrangères. Maintenant, de nombreux visiteurs européens, canadiens et même américains viennent sur l'île. Dans les régions touristiques typiques telles que Varadero et Holguin, il existe de nombreux hôtels modernes de 3 à 5 étoiles, tandis que dans les régions touristiques moins populaires, les visiteurs peuvent toujours louer des chambres dans de nombreuses maisons cubaines (appelées maisons privées).

Voyager à Cuba pour des activités touristiques est toujours interdit aux citoyens américains. Cependant, en mars 2016, l'administration Obama a délivré des licences générales pour 12 catégories de voyages. Les personnes qui remplissent les conditions réglementaires de la licence générale en vertu de laquelle elles cherchent à voyager n'ont pas besoin de demander une licence OFAC supplémentaire pour voyager à Cuba. Les 12 catégories de voyages autorisés à Cuba sont les suivantes: visites familiales; affaires officielles du gouvernement américain UU., Gouvernements étrangers et certaines organisations intergouvernementales; activité journalistique; recherche professionnelle et rencontres professionnelles; activités éducatives; activités religieuses; performances publiques, cliniques, ateliers, compétitions sportives et autres, et expositions; soutien au peuple cubain; projets humanitaires; activités de fondations privées ou d'instituts de recherche ou d'enseignement; l'exportation, l'importation ou la transmission d'informations ou de matériel d'information; et certaines transactions d'exportation autorisées.

En raison de plusieurs facteurs de longue date (par exemple, l'embargo américain contre Cuba, l'inefficacité bureaucratique et la perte de subventions soviétiques), une grande partie de l'infrastructure du pays a aujourd'hui besoin d'une réparation urgente. Les principales destinations touristiques n'ont aucun problème d'énergie ou d'eau. Des coupures de courant sont courantes à Cuba, sauf dans les installations touristiques. Depuis 2006, année de la révolution énergétique à Cuba, les Cubains ont installé de nombreux petits générateurs pour éviter les pannes d'électricité. Depuis que le Venezuela a commencé à fournir du pétrole bon marché à Cuba et que Cuba a redémarré la raffinerie de Cienfuegos, la situation énergétique s'est améliorée. De nombreux hébergements touristiques proposent des alimentations 220V et 110V. Cela convient à vos besoins énergétiques et devrait être suffisant pour accueillir tout ce que vous connectez, au moins dans une limite raisonnable.

Régions(éditer)

Carte de Cuba.png
Cuba occidental (Pinar del Río, La Havane, Matanzas, Isla de la Juventud)
La capitale, les collines de Pinar del Río et une île inhabituelle avec une bonne plongée ajoutent à une région passionnante
Cuba centrale (Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Santi Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey)
Est cubain (, Las Tunas, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Guantánamo)

Statue de Che Guevara sur son mausolée, Santa Clara.
  • La Havane: capitale cosmopolite avec une vie nocturne animée
  • Baracoa, une ville côtière pittoresque et la première capitale de Cuba.
  • Santa Clara – Maison de la bataille la plus réussie d'Ernesto "Che" Guevara pendant la Révolution. Un mausolée est érigé à la périphérie de la ville et contient maintenant ses restes, récupérés de Bolivie dans les années 1990.
  • Trinidad – Site du patrimoine mondial avec de charmants bâtiments de l'époque coloniale
  • Varadero – plage populaire, à l'est de La Havane, remplie principalement de touristes.

Autres destinations(éditer)

  • Cayo Largo: une petite île aux installations naturistes
  • Maria la Gorda – une petite ville avec des options de plongée en apnée et de plongée
  • Plage de Varadero: 20 km de plage de sable blanc fin et d'eaux

Parcs(éditer)

  • Viñales – Un parc national dans la province de Pinar del Río, avec des montagnes et des grottes. Il possède les installations touristiques les mieux développées des parcs nationaux de Cuba.
  • Parc national de Ciénaga de Zapata (Parc national de Ciénaga de Zapata): un parc national dans la province de Mantanzas, similaire au parc national des Everglades en Floride, avec de grands marécages et observation des oiseaux, plongée et plages de renommée mondiale; et le site de l'invasion américaine de la baie des Cochons en 1961.
  • Grand Parc Naturel Topes de Collantes (Parc National des Topes de Collantes): un parc national dans les montagnes de la Sierra del Emcambray, à cheval entre les provinces de Cienfuegos, Villa Clara et Sancti Spiritus.
  • Le parc Allejandro de Humboldt (province de Guantanamo), à environ 40 km de Baracoa, propose des randonnées et des mouvements de conservation.
Avertissement de voyage

REMARQUE: Le 8 novembre 2017, les États-Unis ont établi de nouvelles restrictions pour les citoyens américains voyageant à Cuba. Pour plus de détails, voir le US Treasury Department. UU. communiqué de presse

Pour des informations spécifiques pour les citoyens américains / américains des Samoa, voir Américains à Cuba

Un carte de visa touristique (visa de carte de touriste) est une exigence pour les voyageurs de la plupart des pays.

Sans visa(éditer)

Les citoyens du Bénin, de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, de la Macédoine, de la Malaisie, du Monténégro et de la Serbie peuvent visiter sans visa jusqu'à 90 jours. Les citoyens de Grenade et de Saint-Vincent-et-les Grenadines peuvent visiter sans visa jusqu'à 60 jours. Les citoyens d'Antigua-et-Barbuda, de Biélorussie, de Mongolie, de Russie, de Saint-Kitts-et-Nevis, de Singapour, d'Arménie et de Sainte-Lucie peuvent visiter sans visa jusqu'à 30 jours. Les citoyens de la Barbade et de la Dominique peuvent visiter sans visa jusqu'à 28 jours.

Visa et questions juridiques(éditer)

En général, une enquête n'est pas nécessaire pour accorder un visa de touriste et la plupart des compagnies aériennes les distribuent même à l'enregistrement ou à la porte d'embarquement. Contactez votre compagnie aérienne et demandez. Si vous prenez l'avion depuis Cancun, vous ne serez pas laissé dans l'avion sans l'avion et cela coûte 300 $ MXN ou 25 $ USD.

Les passagers canadiens obtiennent une carte touristique à bord de l'avion, qui est incluse dans le billet d'avion.

Les sanctions imposées par Cuba aux compagnies aériennes qui amènent des voyageurs sans papiers peuvent être assez sévères. Si vous rencontrez ce problème, vous risquez de perdre votre billet d'avion, car vous ne vous êtes pas assuré de pouvoir entrer dans le pays avant de demander au transporteur de vous emmener à Cuba.

Les frais de visa sont systématiquement inclus sur les vols en provenance du Canada, les visas touristiques étant délivrés avant l'atterrissage. Les cartes Visa peuvent être achetées à Cancun, El Dorado et dans de nombreux autres aéroports d'entrée. Cependant, vérifiez la disponibilité des visas dans votre pays d'origine avant votre vol. Dans de nombreux endroits, ils peuvent être achetés à l'aéroport ou auprès d'un agent désigné par la compagnie aérienne qui entre à Cuba. En général, ils peuvent être achetés dans les aéroports d'Amérique centrale et d'Amérique du Sud, mais pas dans la plupart des aéroports européens (Zurich fait exception).
Selon l'ambassade de Cuba aux Pays-Bas, à partir de 2017, les visas peuvent être achetés à l'aéroport de Schiphol (Amsterdam) auprès des agences de voyage TUI, Neckermann et Thomas Cook.

Le visa de touriste est valide pour 30 jours et peut être renouvelé pour 30 autres. Cependant, les Canadiens obtiennent des visas de 90 jours renouvelables pour 90 jours supplémentaires. Le taux de renouvellement du visa touristique est de 25 CUC. Il n'est pas renouvelable après la première prolongation: après 60 jours, vous devez quitter le pays (dans le cas des Canadiens, 180 jours, etc.). Les touristes peuvent quitter Cuba et revenir immédiatement pendant encore 60 jours, mais se heurteront à une barrière pour rentrer s'ils essaient de rester plus de 120 jours (une entrée, une extension, une sortie courte, une entrée, une extension = 120 jours)

Votre passeport doit être valide pendant au moins 60 jours après avoir quitté Cuba dans le cas de certains pays (pays de l'UE, y compris le Royaume-Uni, les États-Unis) et 6 mois pour d'autres. Comme il est possible pour un visiteur de renouveler un visa pour 120 jours, il semble exceptionnellement imprudent d'avoir un passeport qui expire dans les six mois suivant son départ pour Cuba.

Les conditions d'entrée à Cuba peuvent être un peu intimidantes. Si vous êtes un expatrié de votre pays de naissance, vous devez avoir le passeport de votre pays d'adoption ou, si vous n'avez pas la nationalité dans votre pays d'origine actuel, vous devez être en mesure de prouver votre résidence dans le pays où vous vivez et travaillez. La documentation est absolument vitale: documentez que vous avez un visa valide pour le pays d'origine, documentez votre véritable résidence dans ce pays, documentez votre intention de retourner dans ce pays. Une lettre de votre employeur sur le papier à en-tête de l'entreprise documentant votre travail, la durée de vos vacances de cet emploi et votre claire intention de reprendre cet emploi a été utile pour d'autres voyageurs. Il y a eu des cas de personnes qui se sont vu refuser l'entrée et la sortie parce que la sécurité ne croyait pas qu'elles retourneraient dans un pays où elles étaient clairement affiliées. Il y a également eu des cas de voyageurs qui sont invités à téléphoner à leur employeur pour prouver leur histoire. Il est préférable de pouvoir documenter très complètement votre situation. Il est également sage d'avoir un itinéraire complet, avec des confirmations de réservation d'hôtel, etc.

Si vous entrez à Cuba pour rendre visite à des proches, il est conseillé d'entrer avec un visa de touriste puis de vous convertir dans les 24 heures au bureau local de l'immigration. Pour le visa familial, vous devez vous présenter au bureau d'immigration avec le propriétaire. Il est illégal pour les non-Cubains de rester dans les maisons des Cubains, mais doit rester dans un maison individuelle ou un hôtel. La conversion en visa familial était, dans le dernier rapport, un taux CUC40. Le visa familial est valable 60 jours à partir du moment de l'entrée et peut être renouvelé deux fois de plus, pour un total de 180 jours à Cuba.

Américains à Cuba(éditer)

Les citoyens américains ne peuvent visiter Cuba que pour l'une des 12 raisons que l'OFAC a désignées. L'une de ces raisons est le voyage «de personne à personne». L'idée est que non seulement vous visitez Cuba, mais qu'il y a un échange interculturel entre le visiteur et les citoyens cubains. Peu d'entreprises américaines ont approuvé les voyages de personne à personne disponibles pour amener légalement le citoyen américain. Faites attention à qui voyage, car l'entreprise n'a pas la charge de la preuve, le visiteur en a.

MISE À JOUR 2017: En juin 2017, Donald Trump a annoncé des changements dans les règles de voyage pour Cuba. Vous ne pouvez plus voyager dans la catégorie Personnes à personnes en tant qu'individu, et vous ne pouvez pas dépenser d'argent pour des entreprises appartenant à des militaires. Cependant, voyager de façon indépendante dans 11 autres catégories, y compris le soutien au peuple cubain, est toujours autorisé.

Les entreprises qui proposent des visites de personne à personne(éditer)

  • Aventures à Cuba, (4). Une société de gestion de destinations (DMC) située à La Havane qui aide les voyagistes basés aux États-Unis. UU. Développer et guider le voyage de personne à personne. éditer

Né à Cuba(éditer)

Pour entrer à Cuba, les citoyens cubains qui résident de façon permanente dans un autre pays ont besoin d'un passeport cubain valide avec l'autorisation correspondante. Cette autorisation est connue sous le nom de «validation» du passeport. Pour obtenir cette autorisation, le citoyen cubain doit être reconnu comme migrant par le gouvernement cubain.

La plupart des personnes nées à Cuba qui sont citoyens d'autres pays ont toujours besoin d'un passeport cubain autorisé à entrer à Cuba. Le gouvernement cubain ne reconnaît pas les nationalités qui auraient pu être acquises par toute personne née à Cuba. Cela signifie que tous ceux qui sont nés à Cuba sont considérés comme des citoyens cubains, même s'ils ont une citoyenneté différente.

Une exception à cette règle est les Cubains nés à Cuba qui ont émigré de Cuba avant le 1er janvier 1971. Dans ce cas, ils peuvent entrer à Cuba avec un passeport non cubain et le visa correspondant. Cependant, il convient de noter que certains consulats sont connus pour ignorer cette exception et forcer les voyageurs à acquérir un passeport cubain à un coût important.

Pour plus d'informations, consultez le site Web du gouvernement cubain "Nation et immigration":

En avion(éditer)

Havana(éditer)

Aéroport international José Martí

Aéroport international José Martí En dehors de La Havane, c'est la principale porte d'entrée de Cuba et est desservie par les principales compagnies aériennes à partir de points aux États-Unis, au Canada, au Mexique et en Europe. Il existe également des vols régionaux en provenance d'autres îles des Caraïbes. La compagnie aérienne nationale de Cuba est Aviation cubaine, reliant l'île à une poignée de destinations au Mexique, en Amérique centrale et du Sud, au Canada et en Europe.

Les voyageurs américains voient de plus en plus de compagnies aériennes proposant des vols réguliers vers de nombreuses villes de Cuba. Il y a des vols quotidiens depuis Atlanta, Miami, New York et de nombreux autres centres aériens américains. Vous pouvez également voler légalement à travers Mexico ou le Canada. Bien que cela semble incomplet, il est tout à fait légal.

Un taxi officiel pour le centre de La Havane coûte 25 CUC mais vous pouvez en trouver d'autres moins chers et illégaux. Le coût est d'environ CUC1 par kilomètre.

Il y a un nouveau service de bus du Terminal One (vols intérieurs) vers Havana Center. Donc, si vous arrivez à Cuba avant 20h00, vous pouvez demander au chauffeur de taxi de vous y emmener et d'attendre le bus (CUC1 pour le taxi et quelques centimes pour le bus). Pour les plus aventureux, ou pour ceux qui souhaitent économiser de l'argent, les bus publics partent tard le soir via Rancho Boyeros Avenue, à seulement un pâté de maisons du terminal II. Bien que prendre le bus coûte quelques centimes, ils sont souvent emballés avec des passagers.Par conséquent, si vous transportez plus qu'un sac à dos de taille moyenne ou de petits bagages à main, vous ne pourrez pas littéralement serrer si vous choisissez ceci option, gardez à l'esprit que depuis décembre 2016, les bus et les arrêts n'ont pas de cartes de bus. En d'autres termes, vous devez vous préparer avec votre propre carte; un sens de l'orientation solide et une certaine capacité à parler espagnol.

Cependant, vos bagages enregistrés sont en grand danger. Il est de plus en plus courant d'ouvrir vos bagages et d'enlever tout ce qui a de la valeur. Auparavant, ce problème ne se posait qu'à José Martí International (La Havane), et il semble maintenant qu'il s'est étendu à tous les aéroports. Emballer des objets de valeur dans des bagages enregistrés est extrêmement risqué, sinon idiot.

En ce qui concerne les bagages, les bagages perdus ou retardés à José Martí Internacional (La Havane) sont dirigés, au moins dans le terminal international, vers une zone d'objets perdus.Si, pour une raison quelconque, ils sont dirigés vers la zone d'objets perdus , si possible, apportez votre étiquette de bagage ou votre numéro de réclamation. Préparez-vous à être accueilli par une foule de gens autour de la porte, car le personnel ne nécessite pas la création d'une file d'attente (ligne). Lorsque vous obtenez des objets perdus, vérifiez auprès de ceux qui sont arrivés avant vous. Souvent, ils peuvent avoir des informations sur les temps d'attente approximatifs, etc. En parlant de temps d'attente, en décembre 2016, les temps d'attente peuvent aller jusqu'à sept heures ou plus! Votre temps d'attente dépendra de l'heure à laquelle vous arrivez (tard le soir / tôt le matin a tendance à avoir des temps d'attente plus courts), ainsi qu'à quelle heure de la semaine vous arrivez. Si vous ne pouvez faire aucun progrès, vous pouvez également exiger, si possible, que votre compagnie aérienne prenne les devants pour vous escorter jusqu'au point d'entrée fermé perdu et retrouvé. Pour plusieurs invités, cette option s'est avérée réussie.

Veuillez noter que si vous avez acheté un billet oneworld, les autres vols vers les États-Unis au cours de l'année ne seront pas autorisés via American Airlines.

Santiago de Cuba(éditer)

Alors que La Havane est de loin le port d'entrée le plus populaire, il existe également des vols Aéroport Antonio Maceo de certains des voisins les plus proches des Caraïbes à Cuba, en Jamaïque et en Haïti, ainsi que dans des endroits plus éloignés, tels que Miami, Toronto, Madrid et Paris. Santiago de Cuba est reliée au reste de Cuba par la route et le rail.

Autres destinations(éditer)

Il y a aussi régulièrement charte de vacances des vols vers des stations telles que Varadero et la ville orientale de Holguin (Condor vole ici depuis Francfort), et ceux-ci peuvent parfois être moins chers que ceux qui vont à La Havane.

Tous les aéroports disposent de la climatisation et sont assez modernes, par rapport à d'autres destinations dans les Caraïbes, ils offrent de bons soins médicaux en cas de problèmes et, en général, sont relativement faciles.

En bateau(éditer)

Il n'y a pas de ferries ou de bateaux réguliers vers Cuba à partir de ports étrangers, bien que certains navires de croisière le visitent. Les yachts devraient mouiller dans les marinas publiques. La plupart des ports sont fermés et les touristes ne peuvent pas les contourner. Les bateaux privés peuvent entrer à Marina Hemingway à La Havane ou à Marina Acua à Varadero. Il n'y a pas d'obligation de visa. Attendez-vous à livrer plusieurs factures de 10 USD pour une entrée facile.

Arriver(éditer)

En bus(éditer)

Les bus à Cuba sont appelés "guaguas" comme dans d'autres régions des Caraïbes, prononcé "GUAHguah" avec le soleil sonnant comme dans porte, pas comme dans Jorge. D'autres mots en espagnol comme bus et collectif Il ne sera pas compris par de nombreux Cubains. Ce nom s'applique à tout bus d'un bus local "bus local" à un bus touristique plus grand et élégant "bus touristique".

Víazul (8) est la ligne de bus de change de Cuba et est de loin la meilleure option de transport public pour visiter l'île. Ils dirigent des bus longue distance confortables avec climatisation, salles de bains et télévisions vers la plupart des lieux d'intérêt pour les touristes. Les bus deviennent un peu sales, mais ils sont fiables et ponctuels. Les horaires complets sont disponibles sur le site Web de Viazul (Varadero – Santa Clara – Cienfuegos – Trinidad et le service de retour est absent du site Web, mais fonctionne tous les jours). Les bus peuvent théoriquement être utilisés par n'importe qui, y compris les Cubains, mais en réalité, peu de Cubains peuvent payer des tarifs en pesos convertibles. Les réservations peuvent être faites à l'avance, mais ne sont généralement pas nécessaires, sauf aux heures de pointe. En décembre / janvier 2017/18, les itinéraires de bus les plus populaires ont été réservés jusqu'à 4 jours à l'avance, alors arrivez tôt si vous prévoyez de voyager pendant cette période. Vous pouvez acheter des billets en ligne via le site Web de Viazul, mais gardez à l'esprit qu'en réalité, les ventes sont effectuées via l'agence espagnole, ce qui conduit parfois à la «perte» des billets en ligne et non à propagation au système Viazul (par exemple, les routes Varadero – La Havane, La Havane – Viñales). Les boissons gazeuses ne sont pas servies, malgré ce que dit le site Web, mais les bus s'arrêtent pour les pauses-repas dans les restaurants en bord de route avec de la mauvaise nourriture (apportez votre propre nourriture!). Les bus sont souvent climatisés, apportez donc quelque chose de chaud à utiliser. N'oubliez pas que la plupart des bus à destination de Santiago de Cuba passent la nuit. Selon l'endroit, vous devez vous présenter 30 à 60 minutes avant le départ du bus pour vous inscrire.

Astro est la ligne de bus que la plupart des Cubains utilisent. Astro a récemment renouvelé sa flotte avec 300 nouveaux autocars chinois aussi confortables que Viazul (sans la salle de bain). Bien que les nouveaux bus se soient révélés peu fiables et tombent souvent en panne, ils sont toujours meilleurs que les anciens bus qu'Astro utilisait auparavant. Astro possède un réseau beaucoup plus étendu que Viazul, et contrairement à la croyance populaire selon le vendeur et sa capacité à parler espagnol, surtout si sa destination n'est pas couverte par Viazul, il est possible d'acheter des billets.

À La Havane, les itinéraires sont couverts par les nouveaux bus chinois YuTong dans toute la ville, et sont un répit des tarifs de taxi exorbitants. Chaque tarif coûte 0,40 CUP, quelle que soit la distance parcourue. Ceci est particulièrement utile pour arriver à l'aéroport, où le tarif officiel est de 20-25 CUC depuis Centro ou Vieja en taxi (bien que la négociation patiente puisse réduire cela à 15 CUC); N'importe quel bus pour Santiago de Las Vegas, comme les P-2, P-12 et P-16, qui partent du Fraternity Park à côté du Capitole et n'importe où le long de l'Avendida de la Independencia, peut vous emmener près de l'aéroport à Boyeros. (encore une fois pour 0,40 CUP ou 0,02 CUC, un millième de ce que vous paieriez pour un taxi). De Boyeros, à l'extérieur de l'hôpital psychiatrique, ou quelques arrêts avant ou un après, on peut marcher, composer un taxi, ou si vous allez au Terminal 3 prendre le bus & # 39; Connexions & # 39 ;. Les gens seront utiles lorsqu'ils demanderont des conseils à ce sujet lorsqu'ils sont dans le bus, même sans connaissance de l'espagnol. Réitérer au moment de la rédaction de cette option vous coûtera de 0,02 Go au lieu de 20 Go. Si vous transportez plusieurs petits sacs à dos ou bagages à main, le bus n'est peut-être pas la meilleure option. Souvent, les bus sont remplis sans espace disponible.

Il existe également des bus provinciaux locaux, qui se composent de bus anciens et bondés d'Europe de l'Est qui peuvent ou non fonctionner, mais ils sont très, très bon marché. Chaque ville aura un «terminal» où des bus ou des camions (gros véhicules avant 1960) desservent des destinations locales et généralement vers les provinces voisines (par exemple, de Santiago, vous pouvez rejoindre Bayamo ou Guantanamo). Ils sont généralement assez faciles à trouver: à La Havane, il est situé au Lido, à Marianao (le P-9, P-5 ou P-14 le rapprochera), tandis qu'à Santiago, il est situé sur la Calle 4 ( à côté de la Place de la Révolution).

Il est important de garder à l'esprit que les files d'attente seront longues (il vaut mieux arriver tôt le matin ou, alternativement, donner un pourboire au conducteur pour qu'il puisse sauter) et devrait toujours dire qu'il est étudiant, car les touristes sont théoriquement interdits d'utiliser ce transport. Vous devrez peut-être occasionnellement payer un peu plus en raison du fait d'être un touriste, mais cela ne devrait jamais être supérieur à 1-2 CUC pour les longs voyages (par opposition à 5-10 CUP pour les habitants).

Il est également possible de voyager entre certaines destinations touristiques populaires, comme La Havane et Varadero, en particulier minibus touristiques transportant 4-5 personnes. Le coût est de quelques dollars de plus, mais il est fortement recommandé si vous ne prévoyez pas de dormir sur toute la distance, vous pouvez également demander au chauffeur de s'arrêter en cours de route!

Alternativement, il y a des bus qui pourraient en fait être moins chers que le bus officiel. Les avantages de ces collectif c'est qu'ils vous amènent exactement où vous voulez, ils peuvent être moins chers et courir et s'arrêter pour une collation quand vous le souhaitez. Exemple Santa Clara – La Havane: Viazul coûte 18 CUC et part à 3 h 15. et 17 heures, le bus coûte 40 à 50 CUC (si vous le remplissez avec 4 personnes, il est de 10 à 12 CUC chacun ou, alternativement, vous pouvez attendre que le conducteur recherche d'autres passagers). Bien que ce transport (comme beaucoup de choses à Cuba!) Soit en théorie illégal, rappelez-vous que l'argent va directement au propriétaire (contrairement au gouvernement cubain) et les risques de tout problème sont minimes.

En taxi(éditer)

Officiel Taxis Ils sont assez chers pour les longues distances. Entre La Havane et Viñales, par exemple, il circulera autour de CUC 90-100, bien que cela puisse être moins cher que de voyager en bus ou en train si vous divisez le prix entre plusieurs personnes. Certains tarifs récents (janvier 2016) incluent 120 CUC pour 4 personnes Havana-Trinidad, 50 CUC pour 4 personnes Santa Clara-Matanzas (cela dépendra plus ou moins de votre chance, de vos capacités de négociation et de votre volonté d'attendre un autre taxi). Si vous êtes prêt pour une petite aventure, vous pouvez trouver des locaux entreprenants désireux (illégalement) de jouer au "taxi" avec votre vieille voiture pour un peu moins d'argent. Gardez à l'esprit que si vous les attrapez, vous devrez sortir de la voiture. Bien qu'il n'ait pas de problèmes avec les autorités, il peut se retrouver au milieu de nulle part sans transport.

Les taxis sont le moyen le plus pratique pour se déplacer dans les grandes villes. Il existe plusieurs types de taxis, y compris les taxis officiels du gouvernement, les "réservoirs d'extraction" privés et potentiellement non autorisés, et les petits taxis à trois roues pour la noix de coco. Ils sont assez abondants et pas difficiles à trouver: ils ont tendance à se regrouper devant les grands hôtels, mais il sera généralement moins cher d'en trouver un ailleurs.

Attention, la plupart n'ont pas de ceinture de sécurité et les pauses peuvent être lentes en raison de l'âge de la voiture.

En voiture(éditer)

Yank Tanks

Mantenimiento de autos clásicos en las calles de La Habana.

Encontrará un número inusualmente grande de autos antiguos fabricados en los EE. UU. En la calle. Conocidos popularmente como "Yank Tanks", estas son importaciones previas a la revolución de la década de 1950 que han sido atendidas durante medio siglo, porque los automóviles fabricados por los soviéticos disponibles durante la Guerra Fría apenas se asignaron a la mayoría de los cubanos para comprar (y otros los autos siguen siendo demasiado caros hoy).

En Cuba, todos los vehículos circulan por el lado derecho de la carretera.

1950 Chevrolet en Camagüey, Cuba

Alquiler de coches comienza desde CUC 65 por día (incluido el seguro) más el costo de un tanque lleno de gasolina. Los depósitos reembolsables comienzan alrededor de CUC 200. Los autos de alquiler son en su mayoría modelos europeos o asiáticos importados bastante nuevos. Las multas de tráfico recibidas se anotan en una hoja de alquiler de vehículos y se deducen de su depósito de alquiler. Tenga en cuenta que si está involucrado en un accidente de tráfico grave que implica lesiones o muerte, será detenido en Cuba hasta que el proceso legal resuelva las cosas, lo que puede llevar de varios meses a un año. Por esta razón, muchos países aconsejan a sus ciudadanos que no alquilen autos en Cuba.

Las estafas en las oficinas de alquiler de autos parecen volverse comunes, aunque de ninguna manera son omnipresentes. El engaño explota su deseo de estar seguro y tener un seguro de cobertura total. Consulte la sección Estafas para más detalles. Tenga en cuenta que algunas cosas sospechosas están bien, por ejemplo, el depósito (generalmente alrededor de 200-300 CUC) casi siempre se paga en efectivo. Solo asegúrese de obtener un recibo.

Las carreteras más concurridas y las calles de la ciudad son generalmente de buena calidad (transitable) y no deberían plantear muchos problemas si se ejerce el debido cuidado, sin embargo, algunas carreteras rurales tranquilas necesitan una reparación seria.

En general, el tráfico es ligero, especialmente lejos de La Habana. Fuera de los pueblos y ciudades, el tráfico suele ser muy ligero, no hay automóviles por millas en algunas carreteras rurales. Tenga cuidado: también comparte las carreteras con vendedores locales que venden queso, bocadillos y cebollas (!), Ciclistas (a veces van por el camino equivocado y por la noche, generalmente sin luces) y vehículos tirados por caballos. También tenga en cuenta que la Autopista (la carretera principal que atraviesa el centro del país) es cruzada ocasionalmente por vías de ferrocarril; tenga cuidado de reducir la velocidad antes de pasar para evitar daños a los neumáticos o la suspensión. Muchos de estos tienen una señal de alto ("PARE" en español) a la que debe prestar atención, o arriesgarse a una multa de 30 CUC, incluso si no viene ningún tren.

Las carreteras están mal señalizadas (y con frecuencia no lo hacen en absoluto), por lo que si planea conducir en serio, sería recomendable descargar mapas en su teléfono con anticipación y asegurarse de que su GPS funcione. También puede ser útil obtener un mapa impreso detallado y pedir direcciones cuando no esté seguro, en particular porque algunas carreteras en el campo son de muy mala calidad y Google Maps no indica la calidad de la carretera y puede ser muy optimista en el tiempo de conducción. Tenga especial cuidado en las montañas, ya que algunas carreteras pueden ser peligrosas si no es un conductor experimentado de todoterreno 4×4, e incluso pueden ser completamente impasibles después de fuertes lluvias.

Tenga en cuenta que muchos semáforos, especialmente en las ciudades, se colocan en la esquina de la intersección, a diferencia de Europa (donde la luz es donde se detiene) o los Estados Unidos (donde la luz está en el medio de la intersección). Probablemente sea obvio que no debes detenerte en el medio de una intersección, ¡sino que solo mantén tu ingenio sobre ti!

Espere encontrar puntos de control cuando viaje por el interior del país, generalmente en las intersecciones entre dos carreteras principales, pero no siempre. The speeds are clearly indicated and usually require you to slow down to 40. Respect the speed limits or get fined 10 CUC!

As of January 2018, gasoline costs around 1.20 CUC for a liter of special (94 octane). Tourist rental cars are required to use 94 octane fuel.

Hitchhiking and the "Amarillo"(edit)

The Cuban government&#39;s system for facilitating hitchhiking is by far the most economical way for foreigners to travel in Cuba, though a flexible schedule and good Spanish are a must. Known as "El Amarillo" ("the yellow guy") for the yellowy-beige uniforms of its administrators, the system consists of points along main routes where certain vehicles are required to stop and pick up hitchhikers. Amarillo points ("el punto amarillo") along major highways are often full service rest stops for hitchhikers, with water, peso-priced food, and a 24 hour indoor waiting area.

Hitchhiking is the only system where you can travel for Cuban prices without paying a tourist premium. Given that transportation is one of a tourist&#39;s biggest expenses in Cuba, this can make your money go much further. Tell folks you&#39;re a student (not a tourist) to avoid funny looks and price gouging.

To use the system within cities, just keep your eyes peeled for a man or woman in a yellow / beige uniform standing along the road near a line of people. Tell the official where you need to go, and wait. To travel long distances, you need to get to the "punto amarillo" on the edge of the city in the direction you&#39;re going. Ask a local for help on the best way to do that. Then as you pass through cities, ask what bus or taxi to take to get to the "punto amarillo" on the outgoing road at the opposite extreme of the city. This can be tricky, and it&#39;s often worth it to take a local taxi. If you can find a Cuban to accompany you on your journey, their help will be invaluable.

In daytime hours, when the amarillo is present, you pay a nominal amount of money (approx. 20 pesos from one city to the next) to the official when you find a ride. The money all goes to the government; drivers don&#39;t get any. As a result, it&#39;s much easier to travel long distances at night, when the amarillo has gone home and drivers can make some money picking up hitchhikers.

Of course, it&#39;s always possible to hitchhike just by sticking out your thumb to passing cars, but be prepared to give the driver 20-50 pesos for a long ride.

Most of the rides you get will be in the back of large trucks, open to the weather. This is an exciting and beautiful way to travel the Cuban countryside. Though an accident would obviously be very dangerous for passengers, school kids, older adults, and parents with small children use this system every day. Make sure to bring protection against sun and rain and, if traveling at night, wind and cold.

By train(edit)

The main train line in the country runs between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, with major stops at Santa Clara and Camagüey. Trains also run to other cities such as Cienfuegos, Manzanillo, Morón, Sancti Spiritus, and Pinar del Rio.

There is one reliable train in Cuba: the overnight Tren Francés between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, which runs on alternate days. It uses equipment that was formerly operated on the Trans-Europe Express, and donated to Cuba by France a few years ago (hence the name). There are first class and special first class seats on this train (the special seats are better and more expensive), but no sleepers. If only one train in Cuba is running, this will be it.

All other trains in Cuba are unreliable. The equipment is often in poor condition, breakdowns are common, and when they occur, you can be stuck for the better part of the day (or night) waiting for a replacement engine. There are no services on the trains, so bring plenty of food and water with you. Trains are frequently cancelled. Some trains offer first class seats (don&#39;t expect too much); others have second class seats, which can be very uncomfortable. Schedules are at best optimistic and should always be checked in advance of travel. There are no sleepers on overnight routes.

If you are still thinking of taking a train, other than the Tren Francés, you should know that many Cubans prefer to hitchhike than take the train.

If you are still determined to take a train, approximate schedules are given under the different city descriptions. Foreigners must pay much higher fares (which is still very cheap) than the locals. Tickets are roughly two-thirds what Viazul charges. Theft is a problem so watch your luggage!

The following services can be expected to run (special first class: air-conditioned, reservation required, meals and drinks available; regular first class: more comfortable seats, otherwise like second class):

  • 1/2, every third day, Habana Central – Santiago de Cuba, "Tren Francés", train, first class
  • 3/4, every third day, Habana Central – Guantánamo, train, second class
  • 5/6, every third day, Habana Central – Santiago de Cuba, train, second class
  • 7/8, every third day, Habana Central – Bayamo, train, second class, continues as 28/29
  • 9/10, every second day, Habana Central – Sancti Spiritus, "El Espirituano", train, second class
  • 11/12, two per week, Santa Clara – Santiago de Cuba, train, second class
  • 19/20, every second day, Habana La Coubre – Cienfuegos, second class
  • 28/29, every third day, Bayamo – Manzanillo, train, second class, continues as 7/8
  • 83/84, daily, Camagüey – Bayamo, train, second class
  • 88/89, every second day, Guantánamo – Holguin, train, second class
  • 90/91/92/93/800/801/802/803/804/805, daily, Matanzas – Habana Casa Blanca, Hershey railbus
  • 119/120, daily, Habana La Coubre – Unión de Reyes, train, second class
  • 133/134, daily, Matanzas – Agramonte, train, second class
  • 139/140/141/142/143/144, Habana 19 de Noviembre – San Antonio de los Baños
  • 159/160/161/162, daily, Cárdenas – Aguada de Pasajeros, railbus, second class
  • 163/164, daily, Colón – Aguada de Pasajeros, railbus, second class
  • 165/166, daily, Los Palacios – Guane, train, second class
  • 168/169, daily, Guane – Pinar del Rio, train, second class
  • 213/214/215/216, Artemisa – Habana 19 de Noviembre
  • 224/225, every second day, Pinar del Rio – Habana Central, "El Lechero", second class
  • 331/332, six per week, Cienfuegos – Santa Clara, train, second class
  • 333/334, five per week, Cienfuegos – Sto Domingo Viejo, train, second class
  • 337/338/339/340, daily, Santa Clara – Caibarién, railbus, second class
  • 341/342/344, daily, Sagua – Santa Clara, railbus, second class
  • 343, daily, Concha – Santa Clara, railbus, second class
  • 345/346, daily, Sagua – Caibarién, railbus, second class
  • 347/349/350/351/352, daily, Sagua – Concha, railbus, second class
  • 353/354/355/356, daily, Santa Clara – Vega Alta, railbus, second class
  • 357/358/359/360, daily, Zaza del Medio – Tunas de Zaza, train, second class
  • 361/362/363/364, daily, Placetas Norte – Sopimpa, railbus, second class
  • 365/366/367/368/369/370/371/372, daily, Trinidad – Meyer, railbus, second class
  • 373/374, daily, Trinidad – Enlace Central FNTA Iznaga, "Expreso", railbus, second class
  • 379/380, daily, Aguada de Pasajeros – Cienfuegos, second class
  • 501/502/503/504, daily, Morón – Camagüey, railbus, first class
  • 505/516, daily, Morón – Júcaro, railbus, second class
  • 506/511/512/515, daily, Júcaro – Ciego de Avila, railbus, second class
  • 507/508/509/510/513/514, daily, Morón – Ciego de Avila, train, second class
  • 519/520/521/522/523/524, daily, Fallá – Morón, railbus, second class
  • 525/526, daily, Morón – Ciego de Avila, railbus, second class
  • 532/533/534/535, daily, Nuevitas – Camagüey, train, second class
  • 536/537/538/539/540/541, daily, Nuevitas – Tarafa, railbus, second class
  • 542/543/544/545, daily, Santa Cruz del Sur – Camagüey, railbus, second class
  • 546/547/548/549/550/551/552/553/554/555, daily, Las Tunas – Balcón, railbus, second class
  • 557/558/559/560/561/562/563/564/565/566/567/568, daily, Piedrecitas – Kilómetro 5.6, railbus, second class
  • 608/609, daily, Santiago de Cuba – Manzanillo, train, second class
  • 610/611, every second day, Santiago de Cuba – Holguin, train, second class
  • 613/614, daily, Herrera – Santiago de Cuba, train, second class
  • 615/616, daily, Holguin – Herrera, train, second class
  • 617, daily, Bayamo – Jiguani, train, second class
  • 618/619/620, daily, Jiguani – Manzanillo, train, second class
  • 621, daily, Manzanillo – Bayamo, train, second class
  • 622/623/624/625, daily, Bayamo – Guamo, train, second class
  • 626/630, daily, Contramaestre – Jiguani, railbus, second class
  • 627/631, daily, Jiguani – Oriente, railbus, second class
  • 628/632, daily, Oriente – Contramaestre, railbus, second class
  • 633/634, daily, Contramaestre – Santiago de Cuba, railbus, second class
  • 712/713/714/715, daily, Guantánamo – Martires de la Frontera, railbus, second class
  • 716/717/718/719/720/721, every second day, Guantánamo – San Anselmo, railbus, second class
  • 722/723, daily, Guantánamo – Yayal, railbus, second class
  • 726/727/730/731/732/733, daily, Guantánamo – Caimanera, railbus, second class
  • 807/809/853/870/872, daily, Talleres Calle 7 – Canasi, Hershey railbus
  • 810/811/812/813/814/815/816/817/818/819/820/821/822/823/824/825/826/827/828/829/830/831, daily, Jaruco – Talleres Calle 7, Hershey railbus
  • 832/833/836/837/842/843/846/847, daily, Caraballo – San Mateo, Hershey railbus
  • 834/835, daily, Caraballo – Playas del Este, Hershey railbus
  • 838/839/844/845/848/849/850/851, daily, Caraballo – Hershey, Hershey railbus
  • 840/841, daily, Caraballo – Talleres Calle 7, Hershey railbus
  • 852/854/855/865/866, daily, Canasi – Santa Cruz del Norte, Hershey railbus
  • 856/857/868, daily, Santa Cruz del Norte – Talleres Calle 7, Hershey railbus
  • 858/859/860/861, daily, Santa Cruz del Norte – Jibacoa, Hershey railbus
  • 862/863, daily, Santa Cruz del Norte – Hershey, Hershey railbus
  • 864/867, daily, Canasi – Hershey, Hershey railbus
  • 876/881/882/883, daily during summer, Playas del Este – Habana La Coubre, Hershey railbus

The following services peut run (all daily, second class):

  • 86/87, Holguin – Las Tunas, train
  • 117/118, Matanzas – Los Arabos Nuevo, train
  • 335/336, Los Arabos Nuevo – Santa Clara, train
  • 569/570, Camagüey – Talleres, train
  • 572/573, Las Tunas – Camagüey, railbus

By plane(edit)

The fastest and most comfortable way to cover larger distances in Cuba is on either of the Cuban airlines, Cubana de Aviación (9), Aero Caribbean (10) or Aerogaviota (11). They operate on the following routes:

Cubana de Aviación(edit)

  • Havana – Camaguey – Havana, Yakovlev Yak-42D
  • Havana – Santiago – Havana, Yakovlev Yak-42D
operated by Aero Caribbean(edit)
  • Havana – Camaguey – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Guantánamo – Havana, ATR 42-300/320

Aero Caribbean(edit)

  • Havana – Baracoa – Havana, ATR 72-212
  • Havana – Bayamo – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Cayo Coco – Cienfuegos – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Cayo Largo del Sur – Varadero – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Cienfuegos – Cayo Coco – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Las Tunas – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Manzanillo – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Moa – Holguin – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Nueva Gerona – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Santiago – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
  • Havana – Varadero – Cayo Largo del Sur – Havana, ATR 42-300/320
operated by Global Air (Mexico)(edit)
  • Havana – Cayo Coco – Holguin – Havana, Boeing 737-200
  • Havana – Holguin – Cayo Coco – Havana, Boeing 737-200
  • Havana – Santiago – Havana, Boeing 737-200

Aerogaviota(edit)

  • Havana – Kingston, Jamaica – Havana
  • Havana – Cayo Las Brujas – Havana
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Baracoa – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Cayo Coco – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Cayo Largo del Sur – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Holguin – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Cayo Las Brujas – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Santiago de Cuba – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Holguin – Playa Baracoa (Havana) – Baracoa – Holguin – Playa Baracoa (Havana)
  • Varadero – Cayo Largo del Sur – Varadero

By bike(edit)

Calm roads and beautiful scenery make Cuba an ideal country for biking. You will have to bring your own bike as bikes suitable for trekking are not readily available in Cuba. Do not under any circumstances rent a bike (i.e. el Orbe in Havana) in Cuba as you will get a junker or something that will leave your backside raw.

Roads in most places in Cuba are reasonable, but it may still be a good idea to bring a mountain bike. Mountain bikes are stronger and allow for better driving off-road. Make sure to bring all spare parts you might need along the way, since they will not be available in Cuba. As casas particulares are available even in relatively small towns it is easy to plan an itinerary. Food for on the road can often be obtained locally for cheap Cuban Pesos, but make sure if you travel through more remote areas to carry enough food (and water!). Obtaining bottled water outside the major cities can be a definite problem.

Bikers are often met with enthusiasm and interest; when taking a break you will often be approached by curious locals. It is possible to take bikes on a tour bus, like "Viazul", to cover larger distances. You have to arrange a personal agreement with the driver however, who will expect a little bonus in return. It is also possible to take bikes on trains and even to hitch with bikes (wave some convertible pesos to approaching drivers to catch their attention).

By boat(edit)

When To Go(edit)

The best times to go are between December and April, to avoid the horrendous storms and hurricanes before December and the sticky heat of the Cuban summer which can be unbearable for some. This is also the high season so expect a price increase during this period.

The official language of Cuba is Spanish, quite similar to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican Spanish, although the version here is quite different from that spoken in Spain (although quite similar to the one in Canary Islands because many Cubans are descendants of Canarians), Mexico and South America. Cubans tend to swallow the last syllable in a word and generally swallow the &#39;s&#39; sound.

Basic to fair English is spoken in some tourist locations and language should not be a deterrent to visiting the country for non-Spanish speaking tourists capable of speaking English, though basic Spanish would prove useful, especially in more informal settings.
Cubans enjoy talking to tourists, especially if you are staying with them in the "Casas particulares" and some knowledge of Spanish will help you understand regular Cubans&#39; experiences.

Instead of the Spanish "¿Qué tal?" for "How are you?", Cubans will say "¿Qué vola?" (similar to "What&#39;s up?", generally quite informal) or "¿Cómo andas?" (literally means, "How do you walk?").
Young Cubans amongst themselves will use the word "asere" which means "buddy" but is generally used between men and is not recommended for use by women.

Agriculture and Propaganda; common sights on the road in Cuba

Classic car maintenance on the streets of Havana
  • Walk along Havana&#39;s Malécon during the early evening and take in some of Havana&#39;s culture. Be cautious about prostitutes, as mentioned above; they are heavy in this area, especially in sections where rich white male tourists are known to walk.
  • Walk around in Havana Vieja, especially in the early mornings when the city wakes up. You can also take what is probably the best (and most extensive) walking tour on the island with "Havana Frans", a Dutch jazz photographer who lives in Havana.
  • If you have the money (usually about $60 USD or the euro equivalent), go to the Tropicana, which is an ex-Mafia hangout owned and operated by the state. The Tropicana is located, as it has always been, deep within a strategically tree-heavy area with a narrow road within the city, back behind the trees, and since its admission price is far too expensive for any average Cuban to afford, the people who go there are almost all international tourists. The club still has old-style traditions such as table service, lavish costumes, dazzling lights, a coat check area, etc. Real (but quite small) cigars are also available and can be smoked inside the venue, including near the stage. The Tropicana is so well-kept that it is almost a time warp (with the exception of the modern stage-equipment and the lack of a dress code) and, so long as you can forgive yourself the fact that most Cubans cannot afford what you are doing, and that the people who work there could not be there if they were not employed there, your night is sure to be extremely enjoyable.
  • Go see a neighborhood performance of Afro-Cuban dance, which exists in almost every neighborhood.
  • Go see local music, which exists in almost every neighborhood.
  • Go to the clubs, all of which heavily play things like Cuban reggae and Cuban rap, as well as more traditional-sounding Cuban music with modern lyrics.
  • Go to the beaches — but be careful, as in Jamaica, of being solicited by prostitutes and con people, both male and female.
  • Don&#39;t stay at a resort, unless you don&#39;t want to experience the local culture. You will probably be bored and things around you will feel fake, gaudy and overdone — because they are.
  • Go out in the countryside and talk to farmers. Check out the area markets. There are two types of market — state-run markets, which sell food very cheaply and for which Cubans keep ration books (and that you probably can&#39;t shop at because you won&#39;t have a ration book of your own), and for-profit markets where farmers sell their produce directly, which of course, is quite a bit more expensive.
  • Expect to hear a lot of Carlos Santana blaring out of windows at odd times of the day.
  • Drink lots of fresh fruit juice, which basically flows like water in Cuba due to the abundance of fresh fruit.
  • Colon Cemetery, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedado, (6). Very interesting cemetery with many Cuban personalities 5 5. edit
  • UnderwaterCuba (Tours in Cuba), http://www.underwatercuba.club (Varadero), (7). Tours in Cuba, Scuba Diving in Havana, Snorkeling in Varadero 40. edit

Money(edit)

For information specific to U.S. citizens see Americans in Cuba

There are two currencies circulating in Cuba, Cuban Pesos (CUP) and Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). Prior to November 2004 US dollars were in wide circulation on par with the CUC, but the government discontinued that and they are no longer used.

CUC (pronounced kook) is the currency most tourists will use in Cuba. It is how you will pay for hotels, official taxis, entry into museums, meals at restaurants, cigars, rum, etc. Since March 2011, the CUC has been set at par to the USD for exchange calculation (with commission and, in the case of actual USD a penalty – see below). Conversion into CUC can be done at exchange houses (casa de cambio, or cadeca). These are located in many hotels and in other places throughout the cities. CUC are valued at 25 times the value of CUP. Tourists are permitted to import or export a maxiumum of CUP 100 or CUC 200 at any one time. Locals pronounce the currency CUC/CUCs as "kook" or "kooks"

CUP are also known as local pesos and are referred to in Spanish as "Moneda Nacional" (National currency). As of Mar 2018, 1 CUC buys 25 CUP and 25 CUP buys 1 CUC. There is a limited range of goods that can be bought for local pesos, and these are transactions carried out in agricultural markets or from street vendors. Fruits, vegetables, fresh juices and snacks from street vendors are among the things CUP can buy. CUP&#39;s also buys the local cigars &#39;tabacos&#39; or &#39;Nacionales&#39; in local shops. These taste fair, and you get one for 1 CUP, far cheaper than what you have to pay for the exportation brands. Try them, they are OK. If you plan on staying in Havana there are plenty of locations that offer goods in CUP and they are worth checking out. There are even sit down restaurants with food priced in CUP. The food is cheaper and you will be eating with actual Cubans. However the quality of cuisine can be very hit or miss.

See legal banknotes on website of the Central Bank of Cuba.

Because the products that can be purchased with CUP are limited, it is a good idea to change only about CUC 5-10 into CUP at a time.

If you are on a budget, finding food vendors in CUP is the best way to go. These will not be aimed at tourists and therefore much cheaper. A street vendor selling donuts for 5 CUP might bump up the price to 1 CUC (roughly five times more) though, so make sure you always have some CUPs on you.

Cuban government prepares to end dual currency system in 2018 and have now printed 200 CUP, 500 CUP and 1000 CUP banknotes.

Exchanging currency(edit)

Changing Cuban currency can only be done in Cuba. Cambio shop, banks, and hotels offer currency conversion.

The USD is no longer a proxy currency in Cuba, and now incurs a 10% exchange penalty that other foreign currencies are exempt from. Therefore, if you are holding USD, it may be cheaper to convert to another currency (CAD/EUR/GBP/CHF), so long as you don&#39;t lose more than 10% in the conversion; The Swiss franc is often the best option, trading virtually at par with both the USD and CUC. Ironically, if converting from CUC to other currencies, USD is one of the few currencies that are available to convert to. There is no penalty when converting to USD. Note that as of July 2016, the only available currencies to convert from CUC at the airport were USD and the Euro. The smallest sized denominations available were $5 USD and 5 Euros.

For the overwhelming majority of travelers, it is completely unnecessary to exchange your money (losing) twice. Check to see if your home currency is accepted at the Banco Metropolitano (12). Over 75% of Cuba&#39;s visitors hold Canadian Dollars, Sterling or Euros which are perfectly acceptable. Mexican Pesos, Swiss Francs, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollars and at least four other currencies are also reportedly converted at major banks in Cuba. If you must change a large sum of home currency for another, make sure to change directly into CUCs, and research exchange rates in advance. For currencies that aren&#39;t accepted in Cuba, converting to Euros in your home country will probably be the easiest & cheapest option.

Banco Central de Cuba publishes official exchange rates (13) and the official buy/sell rates (14) on its website. If you must buy Canadian Dollars or Euros first, compare retail rates from different forex vendors: the interbank rates cited by online calculators will underestimate your true exchange costs by 5-10%.

Most travel transactions and expenses are in &#39;pesos convertibles&#39; or &#39;chavitos&#39; (CUC$). The best rates for CUC$ are at the banks or CADECA kiosks, not resorts. There&#39;s little difference between the rates offered at Cuban airport kiosks or banks. Consider changing only what you need, because re-conversion will add another exchange cost. Also, be advised that travelers changing money on the street have been defrauded, with fake or local currency. Caveat emptor!

Changing a very small sum (USD$ 5.) into &#39;moneda nacional&#39; (CUP) is useful only for theaters, cinemas, local buses, etc. Most tourists will not ever use the &#39;moneda nacional&#39; on holiday. Travelers or Backpackers with a low budget can save a lot of money in food expenses if they are willing to compromise on food quality. This is particularly feasible in Havana where there is more street food.

Traveler&#39;s Cheques(edit)

Traveler&#39;s checks drawn on American banks are not technically valid in Cuba, though many have had success cashing U.S. traveler&#39;s checks at major tourist hotels. American Express checks are difficult to cash due to the likelihood that they were purchased with U.S. dollars. For example, Swiss traveler&#39;s checks will be accepted, as long as they are in Swiss francs, even if the checks are made "in licence" of an American bank, as long as the real producer of them is non-American. Visa traveler&#39;s cheques are accepted, though the same caveats about being drawn on an American bank apply. It&#39;s better to bring cash to Cuba; resorts accept Euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs and Hong Kong Dollar currencies without any fees. If backpacking or leaving the resort areas, exchange your currency to CUCs, as foreign currency is not accepted by many locals. For U.S. dollars, they will charge a penalty of 10%, so it&#39;s better to change to Euros, Canadian dollars or Swiss francs before travelling there.

ATMs and Credit cards(edit)

In December 2014, the U.S. and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations. As a result, U.S. credit and debit cards will now be accepted on Cuban ground.UPDATE: As of December 2016, U.S. credit and debit cards were not being accepted. With all of this being said, travelers should carefully review the information below.

ATMs are relatively rare in Cuba, with most being in Havana. Most are linked with either to the Visa/Plus interbank systems. Unlike some national systems, only primary accounts (typically checking) are recognized. Most ATMs will only give a maximum of 40 bills in one transaction, so if they only hold CUC 3 notes, that is a maximum of CUC 120. Even if you find an ATM and meet the above criteria it still may not have sufficient cash for a large withdrawal – if refused, try again and ask for a smaller amount or ask the bank clerks for a cash advance, they can process cash advances.

Visa & Mastercard credit cards (of non-US origin) can usually be used, including for cash advances, but places that accept Visa as payment are extremely limited. Credit cards are charged in US dollars plus a 3% commission. The best places to attempt to use a credit/debit card for a cash withdrawal are at the state run Cadecas / Cambios – rather than banks used by Cubans, using the &#39;red&#39; (company name) ATMs. Canadian debit cards are generally not accepted, although this does vary from card to card.

As a rule of thumb: if your debit card has a Visa logo it should work in an ATM, if it has a Visa or Mastercard logo it should work over the counter in a bank. If you were able to make a purchase via internet it may work. If it is a USA bank card it won&#39;t work.

Many banks will tell you that your debit card will be accepted in Cuba when in fact it will not. Do not rely on ATMs for cash as you may be used to in other countries. Top Tip: Have enough currency or travellers cheques when you enter the country to get by, if necessary. There is a high chance you will not be able to withdraw any cash other than with a credit card,for which you will pay the conversion to "US dollar rate" and then conversion of those US dollars to your local currency at the rate charged by your card (which is usually about 2% more than the posted bank rate). To withdraw cash you will need to present your passport to an employee, and you will be asked where you are staying. The Cadecas are open longer hours than the banks, but the queues are usually much shorter in the banks.

Other than for use at ATMs and banks, there are generally no facilities for making payments with plastic in hotels, shops and restaurants, necessitating the use of cash.

Banks(edit)

Banks often close at 3 p.m., and earlier on the last day of the month. Cadecas (exchange bureaus) may be open longer, especially in hotels. When going to a bank allow enough time as service is usually slow and many people may already be waiting. Foreigners may get preferred treatment in exchange for a small tip.

You must bring your passport in case you want to exchange traveler&#39;s checks or make a credit card advance, although cash can be changed without a passport. Exchange rates do vary from place to place, and some hotels do give significantly worse exchange rates than the banks.

As of March 2018 when visiting Banco de Crédito y Comercio on the corner of Amargura and Mercaderes in Old Havana you will be asked for passport and address. You will receive a receipt with all the denominations (in CUC) you will receive for your currency. From there you can exchange again your CUC to local CUP currency.

Merchandise(edit)

As in any developing country, most of the merchandise available is designed for tourists to take back home. The biggest Cuban exports for tourists are rum, cigars, and coffee, all of which are available at government-owned stores (including the duty free store at the airport) or on the streets. For genuine merchandise, you should pay the official price at the legal stores.

Cubans also do well in creating music such as salsa, son, and Afro-Cubano. You can purchase CDs or tapes anywhere, but paying the average cost of 20 CUC assures you of quality.

If you are planning to take big quantities (several boxes or more) of cigars with you, be sure you have purchased them officially from an approved shop that gives you proper purchase documentation. Foreign nationals are allowed to export up to 50 cigars (generally 25 to a box) without special permits or receipts, but the export of more requires official receipts. If you buy cigars cheap on streets and you don&#39;t have official purchase invoice then your cigars may/will be confiscated. Also, be advised that any purchase of Cuban cigars outside government-approved stores (even in resorts) has the potential to be fake, and that the "cigar factory worker who steals from the factory" does not exist in any appreciable quantities. If you find a "deal" from a street vendor, it&#39;s incredibly likely you are getting fakes, some of which may not even be made of tobacco. Always ensure, no matter where you buy, that the Cuban government origin warranty stamp is properly affixed to the cigar box. Americans are no longer allowed to bring Cuban cigars back into the U.S., regardless of their value, if they have an OFAC license, or even if they were given as a gift. It is also illegal for Americans to smoke or buy Cuban cigars anywhere in the world.

Officially you&#39;ll need permission to export paintings that are larger than 70cm/side. When you buy artwork from approved shop then they&#39;ll give you also the required document, that consists of one paper and one stamp that will be glued on back of your painting. Serial numbers on the stamp and paper must match. Cost of the document is about CUC 2-3. In reality, it is possible that no one will be interested in your paintings.

Medical Tourism(edit)

Cuba has long been a popular Medical Tourism destination for patients worldwide that seek high quality medical care at low costs. According to the Association of Caribbean States, nearly 20,000 international patients visited Cuba in 2006 for medical care. Cuba is especially attractive to many Latin American and North American patients given its easy proximity and relaxing environment.

A wide range of medical treatments are provided including joint replacement, cancer treatment, eye surgery, cosmetic surgery and addictions rehabilitation. Costs are about 60 to 80 percent less than U.S. costs.

As all restaurants are owned by the government and run by employees, the food in Cuba is notoriously bland. If you are expecting the fiery pepperpot spiciness found on some of the other Caribbean islands, consider that the national dish in Cuba is rice and beans (moros y cristianos). A popular saying goes that the best Cuban food can be found in the United States. Within Cuba, the best food will generally be found in your casa particular ou dans paladares (locally owned restaurants in private homes).

Black beans are a main staple in Cuban households. Cubans eat mainly pork and chicken for meat. Beef and lobster are controlled by the state, and therefore illegal to sell outside of state owned hotels and restaurants, however special lobster lunch/supper offers are plentiful for tourists. You may see turtle on menus in Paladares, but be aware that they are endangered and eating them is illegal.

Paladares are plentiful, even in the smaller towns. Seating is often limited, so you may need to arrive when they open, usually around 5 or 6PM. If you are staying in a casa particular ask your host for recommendations, as the quality of the food can vary substantially between paladares. Only eat in ones that have a printed menu with prices, otherwise you are very likely to pay two to three times as much as you should. That said, several have taken to printing two different menus, one with local prices and one with foreigner prices. Eating in paladares is perfectly legal, but be aware that if you are taken there by a Cuban, you may be charged extra in order to cover commission of the person who brought you. A supper will cost around 7 to 10 CUC per person.

Eating in state owned hotels and restaurants is significantly more expensive and compares with prices in many first world countries. An average supper with soup, dessert and a glass or two of wine could easily set you back 20 to 30 CUC per person.
Note that in these establishments, the vast majority of the employees&#39; income would come from tips (their monthly salary often being less than the cost of one meal), making it a friendly and welcome gesture to tip liberally for good service.

In bigger towns you will also find some state-run restaurants which cater mainly to Cubans and accept local currency. Prices are extremely low, but the quality of food, service and ambiance is typically shocking. You may be able to secure better food by offering to pay in CUCs. Still, this may be an option if you are on a really low budget or look for an &#39;authentic&#39; Cuban experience. If you choose to tip, do so in CUCs as anything else would be an insult to staff.

It is difficult to find any restaurants serving breakfast in Cuba outside of resorts; most casas particulares will serve their guests a large breakfast for around 4 CUC per person if requested. However, make sure you get value for money – often you can buy for much less money (in national pesos) the same fruit, coffee bread/omelette etc out in the street that your casa particular owner will want to charge you 4 times more for just to present it to you in a more comfortable fashion.

Sometimes if you ask nicely, your casa particular owner may let you use their kitchen to prepare your own food – in fact, they are usually quite accommodating if for instance you have special dietary requirements, or young children etc.

A tasty serving of rice, vegetables, plantains, and pork or beef (called a cajita ("little box" in English)) is an attractive and affordable option, and are generally sold for around US$1 out of people&#39;s homes.

You can also find small street vendors selling a variety of foods, typically sandwiches and pizzas for between 2 and 12 CUP. The quality varies from vendor to vendor so when you find a good one take note. Many of these stores are run from people&#39;s living rooms, and buying from them is a good way to help provide some extra income to a Cuban family. While these meals are satisfying and cheap, be warned that long lines are common and the vendors are rarely in any rush to see everyone fed quickly.

Havana Chinatown
Food in Cuba is quite monotonous and – let&#39;s be honest – pretty bad (mainly rice, beans, chicken, sandwiches and pizza, all prepared without much regard to taste or presentation), but check out the small Havana Chinatown a few blocks west of the Capitolio if you are looking for something different. There are a few Chinese themed restaurants there, where the food is neither spectacular nor really authentic, but decent enough if you can&#39;t face another serving of rice and beans. Street food can also be a notch better here, try the area around the intersection of Avenida de Italia and Avenue Zanja.

The purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 18 años.

Cuban national cocktails include the Cuba Libre (rum and cola) and the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint leaves, club soda and ice).

If you request a rum in a small country restaurant do not be surprised if it is only available by the bottle. Havana Club is the national brand and the most popular. Expect to pay $4 for three year old white rum or $8 for seven year old dark rum.

Cristal is a light beer and is available in "dollar" stores where Cubans with CUCs and visitors may shop. Cubans prefer the Bucanero Fuerte, which at 5.5% alcohol is a strong (hence the "fuerte") darker beer. Both Cristal and Bucanero are brewed by a joint venture with Labatts of Canada, whose beer is the only Cuban beer sold in CUC. A stronger version, Bucanero Max is also available – primarily available in Havana.

There are also smaller brews, not available everywhere, such as Hatuey and Corona del Mar. These are sold in CUP.

Note that – similar to restaurants – there are two types of establishments you can go to to drink in Cuba: Western-style CUC bars with near-Western prices, a good selection of quality drinks (and sometimes food), nice decorations, semi-motivated staff and often live music, typically found around tourist hot-spots such as Old Havana and tourist hotels. Here you will mostly meet other tourists, expats and a few Cubans with access to hard currency, but don&#39;t expect a &#39;local&#39; experience.

The alternative is to seek out local neighborhood bars where you can choose from a quality, but limited, selection of drinks (mainly locally produced rum by the bottle, beer and soft drinks, very rarely will you be able to get cocktails such as mojitos), cigars of dubious and cigarettes of only slightly better quality, and sometimes snacks. Local bars accept CUPs and are dirt-cheap, although bar keepers will often ask you for CUCs instead – it&#39;s up to you to negotiate an acceptable price, but keep in mind that local bar staff are state employees and (literally) paid a pittance. These bars are also a good way to meet locals who may even open up a bit and talk about their lives after a couple of drinks.

Local bars are not that hard to find despite typically having no prominent signs displayed outside. Just ask or walk around a local neighborhood and look out for a bare-walled, neon-lit room without any decorations or furniture, save for a bar and a few rickety chairs and tables, sullen staff and depressed/bored/drunk-looking customers, almost always men. Contrary to Cuba&#39;s reputation as a music and fun loving nation, local bars are not boisterous affairs – they are quiet, almost subdued, music is rarely played (if at all, it will come from a radio but never be live), and have the charm of third-world railway station waiting rooms.

Nonetheless, they make for a fascinating experience (especially if you make the effort to speak to some locals – offering to buy a drink will get a conversation going, no surprise there), and they provide a good insight into what life must be like for ordinary Cubans without access to hard currency. As a foreign visitor, you will be generally welcomed. Discussing politics over a drink is a tricky, and typically lose-lose proposition: speak negatively about the Cuban political system and you may put your Cuban drinking companions into a very difficult position as they may very well be informed on for hanging out with subversive foreigners.

If you want to experience something of the real life of Cubans, the best places to stay are casas particulares (private houses licensed to offer lodging services to foreigners). They are cheaper than hotels and the food (breakfast CUC 3-5, dinner CUC 7-15) is almost always better than you would get in a hotel. Casas particulares are plentiful even in small towns; they are somewhat more expensive in Havana than elsewhere. Note that any service offered by a casa particular other than accommodation, such as driving you to the bus station, will be added to your bill, regardless of whether this is stated up front. Items such as bottled water supplied with your meal will also have a charge. Always make sure that you talk to the owner about what things will cost when you arrive to avoid unpleasant surprises later. These houses are under a lot of restrictions by the government, so make sure that you are staying at a legal "casa". A legal house will have a sticker on the front door (often a blue sign on a white background), you will notice these as you walk past houses. Upon arrival, the houseowner will need to take down your passport details and how long you will be staying for. Some Cubans do offer illegal accommodation and although they are cheaper, the quality of the food and service is generally lower. If found, the Cubans will risk a large fine and it is best to avoid illegal casas completely.
If travelling around the island, it is recommended to ask the casa owners if they have friends or family in the city you are going to. There is a network of casas and the family will gladly organise for you to be met by their friends off the bus at your next destination. If you prefer having an apartment all for yourself, have a look online: Casas de Cuba provides casas particulares booking service worldwide.

If travelling by bus, you will be accosted by jineteros (hustlers) trying to lead you to a casa, where they will get a commission and you will be charged the extra. You may wish to arrange your accommodation in advance, either by asking your host to recommend someone or by using a casa particular association (note, however, that the party making the introduction will almost always receive a commission, which you end up paying as it will be included in the accommodation price). Some will let you book accommodation over the internet before your trip, and will go out of their way to arrange accommodation for you while you are there. But to avoid commissions and annoyances, the best thing to do is just walk around by yourself and knock on doors with the distinctive "arrendedor divisa" sign, meaning it is a legal casa particular. They are plentiful, and you&#39;ll find one that you like for the price you want to pay (generally 15-20 CUC per room is standard around the island).

Most small cities and larger towns have at least one state-run hotel, which is often in a restored colonial building. The prices range from around CUC 25 to CUC 100, depending on what you are getting. Resorts and high-end Havana hotels can be significantly more expensive.

Cubans hosting foreigners for free is technically illegal and risk a large fine if caught. Some will bend the rules, but be cautious if you choose to take up the offer (e.g. don&#39;t walk out the front door if you see a police car nearby, especially if you look obviously foreign).

Les University of Havana (15) offers both long and short-term Spanish courses. If you do chose to study at the university, try and see if you can obtain a student "carné" = student card. (On courses longer than 6 months you can get Cuban ID card) which will enable you to benefit from the same advantages as Cuban students (museums at a 25th of the price, entrance to nightclubs full of mostly Cubans). If you want to take private classes or study Spanish in smaller groups, Babylon Idiomas (16) is offering a wide range of intensive courses for all levels that you can start on any Monday of the year. You can study Spanish in Havana, Trinidad or Santiago de Cuba.

Cuban museums are plentiful, frequently open, and usually charge only one or two CUC for admission. You may get a guided tour from one of the staff members; even if you do not speak Spanish, this can be useful. They will generally make you check your bags, and charge a small fee for the privilege of taking pictures inside.

The average official salary for Cubans is about US$15 per month. Non-Cubans can only obtain a business/work visa or a work permit through a Cuban business or a foreign business registered in Cuba. Business visas are generally for up to three months. Work permits are renewable annually.

Stay safe(edit)

Cuba is generally a very safe country; strict and prominent policing, combined with neighborhood-watch-style programs (known as the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or C.D.R.) are officially there to keep the streets safe from violent crime. There is almost no gun crime, violent robbery, organized gang culture, teenage delinquency, drugs or dangerous no-go zones. Local criminals try to avoid targeting foreigners at all costs because they would pay a very steep price if caught but keep in mind that all cats are black in the dark and you may become a victim even if by accident. However, a certain degree of common-sense and caution is advisable, especially in major cities.

The legal system in Cuba is very different from most other countries and it is best to avoid getting caught violating any law. Bars, restaurants, and hotels will not hesitate to call the police if there is any trouble and it is best to diffuse the situation.

While one of the best things in Cuba is to meet the local people, there is a subtle line that divides the touristic world from the real world of every day Cubans. Political topics should be handled with respect and discretion. You can find Cuban people (mainly older) with zero tolerance for any negative comments about the revolution or Fidel Castro. Avoid references to North Korea, the Soviet Union, or any country that was linked to communism as this is likely to stir controversy. Average Cubans will become very uncomfortable if a conversation turns to politics or can be perceived to be derogatory to the country or the political system. The words "democracy" or "human rights" are particularly thorny and one should not question whether Cuba is a democracy or not. If a foreigner makes a negative comment about anything remotely related to the government, locals are expected to "confront" this person and they would not hesitate to do so. Intellectuals, higher education students, or people with very little education can become equally uncomfortable with these topics and can react the same way. Have common sense: How many times has complete strange approached you in the street with similar questions? Warning: Any attempt to contact local opposition leaders or provide any support to them will be considered a felony and can be punished with deportation from the country or even jail.

Drug laws can be harsh and severe. The same may be said about the laws concerning prostitution. The importation, possession or production of pornography is strictly prohibited. It is not uncommon to see a dog jogging on the luggage carousel sniffing arriving luggage, especially when arriving from countries prone to drug-trafficking, so be sure to lock and/or wrap your luggage to avoid any problems in this regard. Additionally, it is against the law to take pictures of airports, government buildings, politicians, the military, and police officers.

Women should feel very safe as Cuba is a country with a high degree of feminine integration into the society and there is little gender discrimination or problems about it. It is almost customary for a man to comment on the beauty of any woman and this should not be taken negatively. These messages do not have a sexual intention or sexual harassment, and should be answered with a polite "gracias". Elders may even use expressions that rhyme in Spanish and are called "piropos" and can range from very poetic to very vulgar. The recipient of these calls is not supposed to return the call or pay any attention to the episode or it can be interpreted as an interest and can lead to confusions. Tourist women can walk alone at night or at any time of the day on any area that other tourists are present without any fear.

Don&#39;t drink tap water. Water in Cuba is generally safe; however, it is highly chlorinated to kill all tropical germs. People not accustomed to such chlorine concentration may experience vomiting, diarrhea or stomach spasms.

Scams(edit)

Note that many locals are simply friendly and their only motive is a conversation. However, a few well established scams exist:

  • Insurance price for the rental cars became a subject of scams. It is quite expensive as you may get to pay twice the real cost. You should keep in mind that there is one type of insurance policy covering everything (except for radio and tires) and the price varies only depending on the car type. The guy at the car rental office might start to explain the difference between 2-3 types of policies for the same car type, coming at different costs. Undoubtedly, only the more expensive one has full coverage (except for the radio and tires theft). This is the scam! If you choose the more expensive option, you are told that it is not possible to pay the full amount with credit card. Nevertheless it is possible to pay a part of it with credit card (exactly the cost of the less expensive one)and pay cash for the difference. You will not get any receipt, nor does this sum appears on the rental contract. This is the exact amount the scammer gets from you.
  • When booking a car, beware of Internet scams. There are many reports of people who booked and prepaid through an internet agency arriving to find no car exists. Best book directly with an actual car rental company (Via, CubaCar or Rex).

Comparison between fake and real cigars.
  • Cigars are the most popular merchandise for the tourists to Cuba, however most of the cigars that tourists bought in Cuba during Havana one-day tour or even in Varadero airport tax-free store are fake. Make sure you buy cigars in official shops, do not trust the tobacco factory where the tourism guide takes you to.
  • In some spots such as casa de gobierno y palacio municipal, be cautious to the staffs who want to take photos for you or offer you a visit to some "hidden" area. They will ask you more than CUC1 as tips after they have "served" you.
  • Real-looking discount cigars of dubious authenticity being offered by street touts. Quite often though these are indeed genuine articles which have been stolen or collected over a long period of time by cigar workers and are sold at substantial discount on legal and taxed cigars. If you are unable to distinguish genuine cigars then you should only buy from the official cigar dealers. The best people to buy untaxed (illegal but genuine) cigars from tend to be hotel doormen who will not be offended if asked "if they know where you can get cheap cigars" and may lead you to a room in the hotel used for this purpose. If buying untaxed cigars you should not pay more than say CUC 50 for a box of say 25 Espléndidos (around ten times cheaper than taxed cigars a rule of thumb). Be careful that you see the box you are buying open to prove there are in fact cigars in it. Also often stickers are included to allow you to seal the box as if it had been taxed. There is a risk that customs will confiscate these on exit, but for less than 50 cigars it is very unlikely. If carrying more then they should be split between the members of your party. Since the activity of selling untaxed cigars stolen or collection from the factory is illegal and the locals are often very short of money outside the main tourist season it is possible to haggle the prices very low, but since a typical salary for a hotel worker may be the equivalent of USD 20 per month it may seem unfair.
  • "Friendly" locals inviting tourists to bars for a drink (normally a mojito) or to a restaurant; the tourist will be charged two to three times the normal price, and the spoils split between the establishment and the "friend". In Central Havana area, a running trick is a young local man or couple, in pretext of practicing English, to invite tourists to attend a performance by "Buena Vista Social Club" (no, most of the members of BVSC have passed away and the group hasn&#39;t performed in Havana for many years) while suggesting to go to a nearby bar for a drink while waiting for the show to start.
  • Short-changing in bars or taxis or giving national pesos (CUP) in change for convertible pesos (CUC). Or, offering to swap 3 CUC or more for a "special edition" 3 peso coin with a picture of Che Guevara (the swap is of a CUC for CUP which is worth about 20 times less). Unfortunately unlike bills, convertible coins are unmarked as such. Get familiarized with the coins as soon as you get them from the bank or CADECA – the ones with a big star or Che Guevara on one side are all national pesos. The convertible bills have images of monuments on them while the pesos have images of people on them. Further the convertible bills have a water mark of a man (Jose Martin) on them while the pesos have a watermark of a woman (Fidel Castro&#39;s personal secretary who was beloved as the mother of all Cuban children because she provided help to those in need) on them.
  • Water is often sold around tourist areas. Sometimes these bottles have been filled with local tap water and re-sealed (which can be poisonous). You can usually see this tampering on the bottle, but not always, in any case tap water will taste markedly different to bottled water and should be avoided in all cases. If in doubt you should discard the water. In fact, real bottled water (same goes for canned soft drinks) is a luxury even to locals and costs about the same either in national pesos (around 10 CUP) or convertibles (around 0.45 CUC) in stores, local or tourist ones alike – if you get one too cheaply, it&#39;s probably too good to be true.
  • Locals offer to swap money at a &#39;local bank&#39; where the natives can get the best rates and ask you to remain outside whilst they do the deal as your presence would drive the rate up. If you give them your money you will never see them again.
  • Credit cards scams are common and accordingly money should only be withdrawn in reputable hotels or banks. Ideally carry cash with you; CAD, EUR, and GBP are almost universally accepted (in order of popularity) despite being illegal to spend.
  • In Havana it is important to always be careful when using money. When taking a taxi, ask someone familiar with the system what the approximate fare should be, as many drivers will try to set an artificially high fare before departing. If in doubt, insist that they use the meter. You can almost be sure that any predetermined fare from the airport is at least 5-10 CUC higher than it should be – insist on the meter.
  • Shop assistants have been known not to give change and go on serving the next customer, assuming the tourist will not be able to speak enough Spanish to question the matter. In addition, some ambiguity exists between whether or not published prices are in CUC or CUP, and many vendors will take CUC when CUP is due and pocket the difference without telling you of your mistake. If in doubt, observe what the other customers are doing before making your purchase.
  • Credit card scams are common. Do not let your credit card out of your hands, and watch as the salesperson passes the card in the machine. If anything seems strange, DO NOT SIGN! Merchants in small shops may take your card to an adjacent bank counter and use it to take out a cash advance. Look closely at your receipts, if the receipt indicates &#39;Venta&#39; and a dollar or CUC amount, this means that is has been passed as a cash advance (which will be kept by the dishonest employees). Credit card facilities are however generally so limited to non-existent in shops that it is customary and more practical to just pay with cash.
  • Often, real products such as rum and cigars may be switched by employees for fake ones which are under the counter or in a storeroom.
  • Jineteros/jineteras are a problem in larger cities, and will try to sell tourists anything, including restaurants, cigars, sex and drugs. Note that this type of solicitation is illegal in Cuba and most will leave you alone if you ignore them or politely say no for fear of police attention.
  • Bicycle tour drivers will often quote you a price of 5-8 CUC for a 1 hour tour of nearly all of the tourist sights. This is impossible to do by cycle in 1 hour and will take 2-3, which you will then be asked to pay for and be given an excuse as to the &#39;confusion&#39;. The tours are still a great way to see the city, just confirm and negotiate all the details before you accept.
  • Look before you buy has become a relatively common trick for tourists in Havana, especially with cigars. Very friendly men will quote you a very good price on some cigars, and you can go with them just to look before you decide if you want them. Then once you are at their house or office or shop, they will present what are inevitably fake cigars and passively-aggressively force you to buy them.
  • The artisans&#39; cooperative shop. A friendly local starts a conversation (often in fluent English) with the unsuspecting tourists. S/he asks what you&#39;ve been visiting in Cuba so far and if what souvenirs you&#39;re taking home. Then s/he brings up this great shop nearby, a cooperative of poor Cuban artisans or tobacco producers, which is just about to close for a few days (usually some holiday you haven&#39;t heard of) and if you hurry you can still catch it for half an hour to buy what you need. Once there, you will be sold the lowest quality stuff at the highest prices; you will be told it&#39;s great quality, hand-made and you&#39;re helping to feed their children.

Stay healthy(edit)

The famous Cuban Health care system is free for Cubans but not for foreigners, plan ahead and buy medical insurance as is required for travel to Cuba. There are special clinics and hospitals for tourists and the prices are not exactly cheap. You cannot walk into the ER at a random hospital unless you have a real emergency. If an emergency were to happen you will receive any attention needed; you will be taken to the nearest hospital and the local police will be called quickly to assist while you should expect to be the center of attention from medical personnel and other patients.

Cuba is considered very healthy except for the water; even many Cubans boil or filter their water. It is advisable to avoid any of the homemade juices served at the little restaurants frequented by locals. That said, some travelers drink untreated water without ill effect. The best solution is bottled water and lots of it, especially for visitors who are not used to the 30+°C/85+°F temperatures. Bottled water ("agua de botella") is easily found and costs between .65 and 2 CUC for a 1.5L bottle, depending on the shop. It should be noted that the mineral count (total dissolved solids) of bottled water is quite high compared to elsewhere in the world, so if you are planning to visit Cuba for an extended period of time (e.g. as a student or on work permit), it might be a useful idea to bring a small jug/sports bottle water filter with a few cartridges along to further purify the water.

Cuban milk is usually unpasteurized, and can make visitors sick. Additionally, tourists should be wary of vegetables washed in tap water. Despite the warnings, most Cuban food is safe to eat and you do not need to be paranoid.

The island is tropical and thus host to a number of diseases. Dengue fever, cholera and Chikungunya are not rare at all. Mosquito repellent is recommended. Some recommend an aggressive program of inoculations when planning a trip to Cuba, but most travelers come with little or none. Hepatitis B and tetanus shots are recommended by most travel clinics. Malaria and yellow fever have been eradicated completely so there is no need for prophylaxis or yellow fever vaccination.

HIV/AIDS infection is less than 0.1%, however, as always, you should exercise care and make sure you or your partner wears a condom should you become sexually active while in Cuba.

Cuba has one of the highest number of doctors available per capita in the world (around one doctor for every 170 people), making doctors readily accessible throughout most of the island. Your hotel reception should be able to point you to the closest doctor. So plentiful in fact are doctors in Cuba, that it is not uncommon to see doctors selling paintings, books or other artwork to tourists at the flea market to make money to supplement their meager salaries.

Finding medication however, is often difficult. It is highly recommended to stock up on over-the-counter medications before heading to Cuba, as pharmacies lack many medications that westerners might expect to find, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and immodium. Do not attempt to import psychoactive drugs into Cuba. Havana also features a clinic (and emergency room) for foreigners, which offers extremely prompt service.

Toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, razors, tampons and condoms are also hard to come across and expensive, so stock up before you leave.

Toilet paper has been a absent in most public toilets, at the Havana Uni and other places you may be visiting.

Police, Fire and Medical contact numbers(edit)

The emergency number in Cuba is: 106.

Respect(edit)

Cubans are generally friendly and helpful people. Keep in mind that they make about US$15 a month; if they can help you, they probably will, but they may expect you to return the favor. If you are invited into a Cuban&#39;s home for supper, take the invitation. You will really be treated like a guest of honor. It is a great way to get a feel for the culture. Of course, ordinary Cubans are not permitted to host this type of event, but it goes on as a matter of course.

One way to help local Cubans is by staying in casas particulares and eating in paladares. While free enterprise is usually banned, several years ago the government began selling expensive licenses to individuals wishing to open up rooms for rent in their houses, or set up a few tables on their porch and cook out of their kitchens. Not only are the licenses very expensive but the fees must be paid monthly regardless of income, leaving those less fortunate the possibility of actually losing money. Not only is it more interesting to stay with locals and eat in their homes, you&#39;re actually directly benefiting them in one of the few ways possible.

Do not push Cubans into a discussion of political issues, as this could have serious repercussions on you and the person to whom you are talking.

Traditionally Cuba is Catholic, but the government has often cracked down on demonstrations of faith. Recently, however, it is less frowned upon since Pope John Paul II&#39;s visit, and there are more important issues to deal with. Other religions in Cuba are hybrid religions, mixing elements of Catholicism with others of traditional African religions. The most common one is called "Santería" and their priests can be recognised by the full white regalia with bead necklaces that they wear. Women going through the process to become priests are not allowed (amongst other things) to touch other people, so if your casa owner is distant and dressed all in white, do not be too surprised. There are many museums in Cuba (especially in the Southern cities like Santiago de Cuba) which depict the history and traditions of Santería.

Contact(edit)

PSTN or a landline, Mobile "Cubacel" is provide in Cuba by state company called ETECSA.

Internet access(edit)

In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government&#39;s communications centres and Wi-Fi hot spots (17) in parks. Look for buildings bearing the name "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts. The connection speed is 1-2 MBps near the ETECSA office.

This is payable by purchasing a prepaid scratch card called NAUTA with a PIN code granting you access for one hour. The same card can be used throughout the country at any ETECSA terminal, allowing you to disconnect after your session and use the remaining time on the card further at the next hotel/city you go to.
PRICES:

  • One hour NAUTA card for 1 CUC
  • Five hours NAUTA card cost 5CUC – Your best deal, go to your local ETECSA office and purchase this one.

You can only buy 3 cards per day, and the queues are long, as the same office will sell top-ups for mobiles, and other services. Bring your passport with you.

The Wi-Fi card is valid for 30 days after activation. The expiration date printed on it is irrelevant and ETECSA offices often sell cards with a print-on date in the past.

To connect visit 1.1.1.1 or if you directed to the user portal.

Having internet access at your house is illegal, though illegal connections (usually through a modem set up at a school or workplace) can be obtained for about 30 CUC per month. However legal connections are available for Cubans from ETECSA. Access is through wifi and connection gear cost around 200-300 CUC. (Bring your old PC and wifi stuff to Cuba, even used equipment is expensive for the people.) Citizens pay their connection through the same prepaid system as tourists. Campaign price is -50% from the 4.5 CUC per hour. This can be renewed online. (May 2015)

As of 2018 Wi-Fi hot-spots are present in parks and even 3-star hotels, and most B&Bs have it too. Major services such as Skype, Facebook or Instagram are not blocked. However the connection speed is generally very slow (around 3 mb/sec).

Residential customers can purchase Internet for home now called "Nauta Hogar" with ADSL2+ Modem Router TD-8840T
(18)

Cuba is connected to Internet highway as of 2018 through 2 optical fibre links. (19).

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba | ALBA-1 | Ocho Rios, Jamaica (20).

Siboney, Cuba | ALBA-1 | Maiquetia, Venezuela (21).

Phone(edit)

The country code for Cuba is 0053 ou +53.

Havana numbers start with 7xxxxxxx (+537xxxxxxx)
Mobile numbers start with 5xxxxxxx (+535xxxxxxx)

The emergency number is 116. The information number is 113.

Mobile(edit)

GSM cell phones will work in Cuba (900 MHz) and as of 2018 3G (900MHz).

Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. Incoming phone calls to Cuba cost about €1 / minute on your own mobile , even through services like Skype. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as €5 per minute for making international when roaming with your cellphone from overseas.

Cellphones can be rented at several stores in Havana, including one in the airport. The rates are 9 CUC per day (6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card), plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards.

If you bring an unlocked GSM phone operating at 900 MHz (or quad-band world phone) you can buy a Pre-Paid SIM card for 40 CUC, plus your prepaid minutes. If you&#39;re staying two weeks or more it makes sense to bring a cheap phone, buy a SIM card and prepaid minutes, then give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellphones are among the most desired items for Cubans (bring a case for the phone too, Cubans are very fussy about keeping their phones scratch-free). You will have to go to a cellphone store with your friend and sign a paper to give the phone to your friend. Don&#39;t give your friend an unlimited plan that charges to your credit card!

Check your price plan:
Sent SMS to number 2266 with text “plans”
Contact ETECSA:
Through telephone consultation by the 52642266 or by the 118.
Voicemail: (Calls to * 123 or * 80), 0.20 CUC / min, only the listener.
To recharge your balance, dial * 666 (free of charge) and follow the instructions you will receive.
To quickly recharge the balance dial * 662 * Cod. Access #

  • 222 # Check status of your credit.
  • 222 * 266 # Check status of your bonus from 1.11.2017
  • 222 * 767 # SMS check the status of SMS plans.
  • 222 * 869 # check the status of Voice plans.
  • 222 * 328 # DAT Bolsa nauta has the option to make use of 5 MB for a cost of 1.50 CUC.

ETECSA often runs promotions offering top-ups their of pre-paid mobile phones from internet giving you extra credit of between 30 – 40 CUC to use in 7 to 14 days.
Check their website often http://www.etecsa.cu/inicio/ some of the website offering to-up charge commission.

It is expected that owners of the pre-paid SIM card will able to access internet on their mobile some time in 2018.

Anyone with Cuban ID card can set up on their pre-paid mobile phone account "Movil Nauta" (22)that will allow them send/receive e-mail from their mobile phone
using address *@nauta.cu, plus giving them access to Wi-Fi internet with just a username and password and top-up this account online.
Request for service nauta cost 1.50 CUC as a one off set-up fee, and send and receive message from the mobile cost 1.00 CUC per Megabyte (MB) of data transferred.

Please not if you set up below setting on your phone, but will not have activated the Nauta account and try to connect to other e-mail providers this that will still be chargable and your credit will be deducted.

Apn : nauta
User : leave blank
Password : leave blank

Email account : (email protected)
User : (email protected)
Password : ******

IMAP4 : imap.nauta.cu, port: 143
POP3 : pop.nauta.cu, port: 110
Exit
server : SMTP : smtp.nauta.cu, port : 25, authentication : Yes

Mail/Post(edit)

You can buy and send an Aerogram (a piece of stationery that you fold into an envelope and send like that with no extra stamps, used to be very popular worldwide decades ago) to anywhere in the world for as little as 0,60 peso (2007 price).

Please not that post stamps are sold in Cuba only in CUP, but as a tourist you may/will be asked for CUC.

News(edit)

  • Cuba Authority, (23), U.S President Barack Obama Visits Cuba first president in 88 years. News, travel tips and info to prepare. NON Cuban website.
  • Granma has a daily (24) edition and an international (25) version.
  • Bohemia Magazine has a daily (26) edition.
  • Cuba Vision, (28) is the national television station.
  • Cuba Holiday News, (29), online news channel, with selected news for people interested on travelling to Cuba. NON Cuban website.
  • Havana Times, (30), Photos, News Briefs and Features from Havana, Cuba. NON Cuban website.
  • Cuba Headlines, (31), Cuba News Headlines. Cuban Daily News | Cuba News, Articles and Daily Information. NON Cuban website.
  • Cuba Journal, (32), In-depth coverage of travel, business, art and news for the new Cuba. NON Cuban website.

Television(edit)

If you&#39;re staying at a hotel or casa particular, it&#39;s likely there will be a television, and watching Cuban television is a good place to observe Cuba&#39;s unique mix of vibrant culture, sports and controversial politics.

The Cuban telenovelas are one of the state&#39;s key instruments for addressing sexual taboos and educating young people about AIDS, for example. The locally produced cartoons are the most interesting and uniquely Cuban. They range from abstract and artsy to informative to entertaining.

The most famous of the genre is the children&#39;s program Elpidio Valdés, which chronicles the adventures of a band of rebels in the 19th century revolt against the Spanish. The mix of cartoon slapstick humor and images of violent revolution (dashing revolutionaries stealing rifles, blowing up Spanish forts, and sticking pistols into the mouths of goofy Spanish generals) in a program geared at children is simultaneously delightful and disturbing.

There are classes under the heading "Universidad Para Todos" (University for Everybody) with the purpose to teach Cubans subjects like mathematics and grammar through the television. Also one of the channels is called the "Educational Channel" (Canal Educativo), although this uses "educational" in its widest sense, including foreign soap operas and pop concerts.

Cuba has adopted digital terrestrial system – Televisión digital terrestre (TDT) called DTMB (same as in China and HKG) and in 2018 being to turn off analogue TV in some regions.

Radio(edit)

  • Radio Reloj, (33) broadcasts news 24 hours and states the time every minute on the minute — dos cuarenta y dos minutos
  • Radio Rebelde, (34), another news radio station.

Cuban radio stations from all the regions can bu tuned on internet from the Portal de la Radio Cubana en Internet webiste (35)Create category


Album photo : Les plus belles plages de cuba