When should you reserve your trip?
Cuba which is still a socialist country, lives at a slow pace. At the same time, the country is very popular with the almost 2,000,000 tourists who travel there each and every year. In Cuba there is no central reservation system equipped with sophisticated computers that is open 24 hours a day. It takes time, (up to one week) to make any reservation.
If you want to stay in any Old Havana hotel, you must make an early reservation, in high season up to 2 months in advance, and in low season up to one month before you plan to arrive. For other locations, one month in advance should be sufficient.
trip to Cuba?
All travelers need to plan their trip extensively in order to fully enjoy it. USA CUBA TRAVEL can provide all the required assistance.
American citizens are welcome in Cuba, and you will never have trouble because of your country of origin. In fact, Cubans dream of visiting the USA, where many of their relatives live.
To enter Cuba, you need a valid passport and a tourist card (visa) issued on a separate sheet of paper. We provide this tourist card with all the tickets or packages we sell.
Usually Cuban immigration does not stamp American passports. To avoid any mistakes, prior to handing over your documents, ask the immigration officer not to stamp your passport.
The tourist card (visa) authorizes a stay of 30 days, renewable for a further 30 days, for leisure or recreational purposes. It is not valid for any other travel arrangements.
In order to stay outside hotels or in other non-authorized accommodations, you must request authorization from Cuban immigration. However, as a general rule, if you want to stay in a Casa Particular (the Cuban version of the B&B), you must enter Cuba with a voucher confirming that you have reserved and paid for a minimum of 3 nights in a hotel.
At your departure, it is imperative that you present the tourist card together with your passport and ticket.
You are allowed to bring personal belongings to Cuba, such as jewels, photo and video cameras, portable radios and recorders, portable computers, sports gear, fishing gear and musical instruments.
It is important to travel with small denominations ($1-$5-$10-$20). Note that $50 and $100 bills are difficult to exchange. Safes are usually available in hotel rooms.
It is impossible for Americans to use any credit card issuded by a U.S. bank.
All major U.S. travelers checks, including American Express, are now accepted at specially-designated Cuban banks (Banco Financiero Internacional, CADECA, Banco Metropolitano, Banco Popular). If you choose not to buy them in the USA, Canadian travelers checks can be bought at exchange counters at any Canadian airport. All travelers checks will be exchanged for a 3% commission on weekdays and 4% on weekends.
The Transcard debit card is another available option. It is accepted in most banks, stores, restaurants and hotels. Prior to your departure, you must open an account and send a money order to their office in Canada. Once, in Cuba, you will have to pick up your card on weekdays (9:00 am - 4:00 pm) at the Transcard office. The amount deposited in Canada is your account limit. You may get cash advances or use your Transcard like any other debit card. A service fee is applied on your deposit. For more info, check www.transcardinter.com
Cuba is usually very hot. However in winter, especially in January and February, it is recommended that you bring some warmer clothing, for instance a jacket, especially if you are traveling in the western part of the island. Nights can sometimes be cold.
Casual dress is accepted in most tourist areas. However, Cubans are very proud people, and at night you are expected to dress up to go to restaurants and to dance clubs. No shorts are allowed at night in public places.
Bring all personal-care items with you. Many products can be bought, but purchasing them is generally annoying and inconvenient, and your favorite brand will not be available. We also suggest you carry a roll of toilet paper with you. Women should also bring paper toilet-seat covers.
We can also suggest hotels located near these airports if an overnight stay is required. All suggested hotels provide free parking for the length of your trip and a free airport shuttle service.
If you hold a gold or a platinum credit card issued by an American bank, your card-assistance program is fully accessible with Assistur.
To call the USA, you must dial 119+1+(area
For calls inside Cuba, you must dial
0+(area code)+phone number.
Paying for most required services before
your departure will allow you to bring less cash and travel trouble free.
Updated August 20, 2000
Copyright ©2000 USA CUBA TRAVEL