On this page you will find information about visa rules, travel insurance, transport, climate and more in connection with your trip to Cuba.
- Language: Spanish
- Capital: Havana
- Population: 11 mill.
- Religion: Catholicism
- Currency: Convertible Peso (CUC)
- Surface: 110,860 km2
About a week before departure, you will receive your final departure letter. The departure letter contains important information about the place and time of departure. It also contains a telephone and address list of the hotels we use on the trip and the tour guide’s name.
Requirements and recommendations regarding vaccinations are constantly changing for different countries. Therefore, contact your doctor or vaccination center for current information regarding necessary vaccinations. You can also read more at www.vaccination.nu .
Since the general health insurance does not cover the cost of travel home and care in Cuba, you should definitely take out travel insurance that covers both the cost of care and any repatriation. Furthermore, we recommend that the insurance covers luggage in the event of damaged or lost luggage. Albatros Travel cooperates with Gouda Reseförsäkring and we are happy to help you take out travel insurance.
NOTE: When entering Cuba, it is mandatory to have travel insurance that covers costs for care in Cuba. You may be asked to document this to the authorities at Havana Airport. If, contrary to expectation, you have not taken out such travel insurance before departure, you can do so with one of the insurance companies at Havana Airport.
Before departure, find out what the weather is like at the place where you are going to travel. Forecasts can find for example www.smhi.se , www.weather.com or www.yr.no .
Swedish time -6 hours. You change between summer and winter time in Cuba, just as we do in Sweden, but the change from winter time to summer time takes place 2 weeks earlier than in Sweden.
We recommend that you pack your hand luggage, so that you have what you need easily accessible should the rest of your luggage be delayed. Furthermore, we advise you to pack valuables and important medicine in your hand luggage. If you bring prescription medicine that you need to take during the flight, the name of the prescription and flight ticket must match.
We otherwise refer to the Swedish Transport Agency’s website: www.transportstyrelsen.se .
It is a good idea to bring a light sweater for the flight and bus trips. Even if the air conditioning is good you can get frozen! Also feel free to bring a towel and swimwear. If there is an opportunity to swim during the trip, we stop and take a dip.
Transport in Cuba
The buses in Cuba do not meet the standard we are used to in Europe. Of course, we have chosen the best category, with air conditioning where possible.
A main course plus accessories costs around 90 Swedish kronor. When it comes to pocket money, we know from experience that you can manage on around 170-250 kronor per day. Such a sum can cover drinks and various other necessities.
Currency and credit cards
USD can no longer be used in Cuba. Instead, we recommend that you bring euros in cash. You will then exchange these for CUC (Pesos Convertibles) upon arrival in Cuba. You can change at the airport or at the hotel where the rate is mostly the same. Tourists are usually paid at CUC. Feel free to bring euros in smaller banknotes, which in many places can be used as direct means of payment.
You can change back your CUC to EUR at the airport before flying home. When you change on arrival, you will receive a CUC and a receipt that you have changed. It is important to save the receipt if you want to change back to EUR on the way home.
The local currency is called the peso, but this currency applies only to Cubans. It costs about 24 pesos for 1 CUC and some items can only be bought with CUC – therefore CUC is highly sought after among Cubans.
It can be difficult to use a credit card, it works mostly as an emergency solution. VISA cards can usually be used, MasterCard is not accepted very often. Credit cards issued in the United States cannot be used in Cuba.
On our travels, you come into contact with everyday life in Cuba, including conditions that may not appeal to you, or that you are not used to. Take for example the system of tips. In many countries, tips are a more organized phenomenon than we Swedes are used to, and you are expected to leave some tips to local guides and drivers during the trip. We enter an amount in our travel program so that you can count on this when you make up your travel budget at home.
In Cuba, tips are widely accepted in the tourism industry. It is normal for a traveler to pay tips to bus drivers, local guides, hotel piccolos, in restaurants, etc. As a first-time traveler to Cuba, it can be tricky to know how much you leave to different people. But with one or two CUCs, you get far! In practice, it is possible to arrange for the tour guide to collect money for the entire trip and ensure that the right people get what they need. We would like to emphasize that it is of course voluntary to tip, even if it is common practice.
In addition to this, it is expected that you leave tips to hotel cleaners, WC staff and other service staff that you meet during the trip. For many Cubans, tips are the only way to get over the “hard” currency CUC – with significantly stronger purchasing power than the usual Cuban peso. In many places you will come across Cubans who entertain with music, magic, caricatures and the like. in the hope of tips that can help them to a slightly better life in the difficult economic situation that the vast majority of the country’s citizens are in.
The price of the trip does not include individual tips, as it is a personal decision to make. However, the drinking system is part of the culture you choose to visit and should therefore be followed and respected.
Bars, cafes and nightclubs as well as restaurants in hotels often add 10-15% in service charge on the bill. It appears from the bill, but in addition it is customary to tip the waiter an additional 5% of the entire bill.
Cuba uses 110 volts. American model, but the type may vary. You should therefore bring an adapter kit with many options.
Telephone and internet
According to allcitycodes, the international country code for Cuba is +53. It is expensive to call home, so feel free to consult with your mobile operator regarding coverage and prices for calls from Cuba.
Internet cafes are now available in many cities, but we know from experience that the connection is usually very slow.
In Cuba, hygiene conditions are slightly lower than in Western Europe. Hotels and larger restaurants, on the other hand, usually meet modern / western standards. Out in the city and in the country, you can count on going to so-called pedal toilets, and that there is a lack of toilet paper. The standard of public toilets or in the countryside can thus be relatively primitive. Bring your own toilet paper, wet wipes and perhaps hand sanitizer (available at Swedish pharmacies, for example), so you will not be as dependent on access to water.
You should not drink tap water, but instead buy bottled drinking water.
Smoking is prohibited during all flights and bus transport. Smoking is also prohibited in most restaurants and hotels. If you are unsure, consult your tour guide about what applies to smoking in Cuba.
Customs and traditions
Cubans are generally open and treat tourists in a friendly way. Cubans do not like to get involved in how you behave, and it is assumed that you as a visitor to the country have familiarized yourself with how to behave on arrival in the country.
Although the locals are usually used to many tourists, it is expected that local customs and practices are respected. More important than anything else is nature conservation. Most often, the areas we visit are completely protected, and the preservation of these areas has the highest priority among the authorities and the local population. You should therefore listen extra carefully when the tour guide and local guide during the trip inform about nature reserves.