Destinations

Travel Advice For Visiting Cuba

Today, I’m handing over my reins to Jordan Greene. He writes travel articles (like the one below – *wink*). I’ve been itching to visit Cuba for so long now and I’m excited to share his guest post (featuring tons of practical tips) with you. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here is some travel advice for visiting Cuba by Jordan Greene. 

Cuba is a fascinating country that is well known around the world for its excellent quality food, friendly locals and year-round sunshine. However, politics has kept it off the tourist trail for over 40 years. While visits to the country are increasing, it’s important to do your research and be prepared for your visit. We’ve included some of the key things that you need to know about traveling to Cuba.

Healthcare


Cuba is famous for having an excellent quality healthcare system that is free for locals, but as a traveler, you will be expected to pay for any medical treatment that you receive while you are in the country. For this reason, it’s vital that you have fully comprehensive travel insurance before you arrive. Hospital bills can mount up rapidly in the country and you might find it difficult to leave if you’re not able to settle them easily and promptly.

Communications


This is the time to unplug. In Cuba, even some luxury hotels suffer from a very slow internet connection. And while Wi-Fi does exist, it isn’t cheap or easy to connect to. It is, however, worth checking out a WiFi coverage map in advance to ensure that internet connectivity is available close to the area where you are staying (especially if this is something important to you). On the whole, though, it’s best not to go to Cuba with plans that require you to be regularly connected to the internet. You may be able to post the odd Instagram photo, but video calls might be a little trickier.

Politics


Cuba is the last remaining Communist state in the Western Hemisphere and while things have liberalized lately, the government maintains a very tight grip on Cuban society and political dissent is generally not tolerated. As a tourist, there is no particular reason why you would run into any problems during your trip but be sure to exercise care when it comes to the political opinions that you express. Avoid attending any protests that may take place as these tend to be broken up fairly quickly by the local authorities.

The political situation is subject to rapid and unannounced change, so be sure to check out the latest Cuba travel information before you leave on your trip. As a tourist, it’s important to bring a supply of US dollars with you as not all products and services can be purchased in the local currency, particularly if you are an international visitor.

Visas & Travel

Most Western tourists are able to enter Cuba without having to apply for a visa in advance. You’ll have to show two things a) you have enough money to get through the entire trip and b) you have a return ticket booked. A Cuban resort may be able to offset some of your worries. But if you’ve booked an independent trip, you might be under a little more scrutiny when you first arrive.

Circumstances can vary depending on the type of passport you hold; your government will be able to give you advice on the rules and regulations that apply to citizens of your country. Be sure to check in advance as airlines will deny boarding if there is any doubt about your eligibility to enter Cuba.

Did you enjoy this guest post? Should I have a guest post series on my blog? Let me know in the comments below! 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Larissa
    February 22, 2019 at 12:53 AM

    Cuba looks soo interesting, thanks for the tips!

    Larissa
    X

  • Reply
    celyn
    February 25, 2019 at 12:25 AM

    aaah really really want to go to Cuba! Thanks for sharing-will go back to this post for sure once I make my way to Cuba!

    Nofilter Travel

  • Reply
    Catherine
    February 25, 2019 at 8:31 PM

    How arrogant to suggest Cuba has been “off the tourist trail”…only to Americans, the rest of the world has been enjoying Cuba for years.

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      February 26, 2019 at 11:09 AM

      Hey Catherine, I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve never been to Cuba and thought this would be a fun way to share the country on my blog. This is a guest post and I definitely blame myself for not looking into the author more and fact-checking the content. xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Linda Compton
    February 25, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    I went to Cuba many years ago from Cancun and found it very interesting. The people and the food was awesome and it was amazing to me that many people who live there couldn’t do some of the things I was able to do like going to certain restaurants. I hope that has changed. I will go again at some point. I have been to 56 countries in the world thus far and Cuba was certainly one I wanted to go to. I recommend anyone who loves travel as I do go to Cuba and any where else in the world. It is wonderful to travel and meet people and build relationships. I met a couple in the airport, she was Cuban and he was from the U.S. She invited my friend and I to her mother’s house for dinner and it was the first time I ever had “black beans” Come to find out, they live only about three miles from me in Richmond, Calif.
    Take dollars with you but not hundred dollar bills. I got asked where I got it from. I think it iis still wise to be careful what you talk about and who you are talking to. Be well and enjoy!!

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      February 26, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story, Lisa! Plus, thanks for the authentic tips! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Nicole
    February 26, 2019 at 5:18 AM

    “Politics has kept it off the tourist trail for over 40 years?” Utter nonsense. I travelled to Cuba for the first time in 2002 as a teenager and I’ve been there ten times since. Among my friend group and family, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been to Cuba at least once or twice. Its a pretty basic destination. I have to question the travel expertise of anyone who would make such a ridiculous claim.

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      February 26, 2019 at 11:07 AM

      Hey Nicole, thank you so much for informing me. This is a guest post by Jordan Greene and my first time having a guest post on the blog. I will definitely be looking into my next guest post author a LOT more. xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Tanya
    February 26, 2019 at 5:37 AM

    I have thoughts of traveling to Cuba, so I appreciate your informative post. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Tanya Cain
    February 26, 2019 at 5:39 AM

    I have thoughts of visiting Cuba so I appreciate your thoughtful and informative post. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Deb Albert
    February 26, 2019 at 5:54 AM

    We just returned from Cuba last week and had a fantastic time! We were able to buy our visa at the airport in Fort Lauderdale (no line, $75.00) and we did not need to show we had enough money for our trip or a return ticket (though we had one). You do need to take dollars to exchange, as US debit and credit cards do not work in Cuba. You can change your money at the airport upon arrival and at hotels as needed. Meals are very reasonable. We paid around $5.00 for a complete breakfast with entree, juice, fruit, and coffee. Dinner was usually around $8-10. Mojitos and most drinks $3.00. Beer/water $1-2. We booked several tours/experiences through AirBnB and Strawberry Tours. One of the best was a cooking class in someone’s home, which was an amazing experience. You do not have to like to cook, you really are there to talk, do a little chopping, learn about the culture, and have fun! (I highly recommend the “class” through Airbnb with Marian/Raquel/Gabi).
    The interactions with all the Cuban nations we came in contact was incredibly eye-opening. Each one had varying opinions about their county and for the most part, openly shared. We learned quite a bit about Cuba, both good and not so good. It was great to get a different perspective on a country that has been a bit of a mystery to us. It was an amazing trip and the weather was fantastic as well!

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      February 26, 2019 at 11:13 AM

      Hey Deb, thank you so much for the authentic tips! I truly appreciate you adding this in the comments section (I know people will find this comment particularly useful)! xx – Anshula

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