Tips about Cuba, valuable info for travelers to Cuba.

TIPS About Cuba

All the information you need to know when you come to Cuba

Useful phones in Cuba

  • Medical service     (537) 551185/552185
  • Police     106
  • Airport     (537)6495777
  • Information center     (537)2664644
  • Loss and found     (537)6426272/2664431
  • Domestic flight     (537)6495576
  • International flight     (537)2664153
  • Airport, Terminal 3     (537)6833455
  • Immigration (24 hrs) (537)2063 218

Acceso a Internet

Cuba se caracteriza por una conexión lenta, limitada y costosa. No hay banda ancha ni acceso a Internet como en otros lugares del mundo.
La red de teléfonos celulares es de segunda generación, no permite utilizar las aplicaciones de Internet.

En la Habana no existen cafés privados conde poder conectarse. Sin embargo, en los hoteles de la ciudad es posible comprar tarjetas para ello por el precio de $6 CUC la hora.


Airport tax

Within your travel budget to Cuba you should save 25 USD for the airport tax at the moment of your departure. It is obligatorily paid right after you check your bags, and must be in cash as no kind of credit card is admitted (even from non-U.S. banks).


Currency and Payments in Cuba

The national currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP), which is equivalent to 100 centavos (cents). Notes can be of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. Coins can be of 1, 5 and 20 centavos, and there are others of 1 and 3 pesos. All payments in the establishments operating in foreign exchange in Cuba must be made with Convertible Peso (CUC).

According to Resolution No.80/Año 2004 of the Central Bank of the Republic of Cuba, as of November 8th, all services and transactions conducted throughout the national territory in US dollars will be now made in convertible pesos (CUC), including hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, taxis, car rental, and other services.

After November 8th, persons who wish to purchase convertible pesos with US dollars will be levied a 10% tax. 1 USD is equivalent to 0.80 CUC.

Other hard currency accepted in Cuba: euro, Canadian dollars, pounds sterling and Swiss francs, may be exchanged for convertible pesos without having to pay tax, always bearing in mind that one convertible peso is equal to one US dollar.

Travelers can exchange money at the airport, hotels, banks and exchange offices (CADECA).

Operations conducted with credit cards with funds in US dollars accepted in Cuba (Visa y MasterCard not issued by US banks) will not be subject to the 10%. Debit cards are not accepted:

  • In Havana, travelers can extract convertible pesos at automatic tellers located in: Hotel Parque Central, Hotel Meliá Cohiba, Hotel Nacional and the Miramar Trade Center. In Varadero, there are automatic tellers at the Plaza America Shopping Center and banks

  • Travelers can use Visa and MasterCard not issued by US banks to extract convertible pesos (CUC) or US dollars in banks, hotels and exchange offices (CADECA).  With your Visa Card you can extract money from any electronic cashier machine but with MasterCard you need to go to the bank to make your extraction

  • Cuban Pesos or National Currency (CUP) can be used to purchase a limited number of products and services at certain local shopping centers, agricultural markets, cinemas and other facilities not liked to international tourism or located far from the main tourist resorts. The exchange rate of the Cuban peso (CUP) with respect to the convertible peso (CUC) is 24/1 (October/20049).

  • Visitors can also exchange convertible pesos back to US dollars or to any of the currencies accepted in Cuba (Euros, Canadian dollars, pounds sterling or Swiss francs) before leaving the country directly at the international airports. Travelers are recommended to change their money while in Cuba since they will not be able to do so once they leave the country

  • Although most visitors will never see any MN while in Cuba, is noteworthy to mention that MN can be freely exchanged for CUC at any CADECA (currency exchange booth). Cubans and foreigners alike may affect the exchange and the current rate is 24 MN per 1 CUC.


Cuba´s tourism sector is operating in convertible pesos starting on November 8th 2004 thus replacing the US dollar to pay for sales and services. Cuba´s Central Bank (www.bc.gov.cu) informed that payments in hotels, restaurants, bars, cafeterias, taxis, shops, car rental companies and other services will be made in convertible pesos.


International phone calls to Cuba

If you need to make a direct phone call to Cuba, the first thing to do is to dial code number (53). Then, dial the city or town code, and finally, the number you wish to call. You may check the list of national codes we hereby include:

  • Provinces, cities or towns:
  • Pinar del Río: 48
  • La Habana: 7
  • Artemisa: 47
  • Mayabeque: 47
  • Isla de la Juventud: 45
  • Cayo Largo: 45
  • Matanzas: 45
  • Varadero: 45
  • Playa Larga: 59
  • Cienfuegos: 43
  • Villa Clara: 42
  • Sancti Spíritus: 41
  • Topes de Collantes: 42
  • Trinidad: 41
  • Topes de Collantes: 42
  • Ciego de Ávila: 33
  • Camagüey: 32
  • Las Tunas: 31
  • Holguín: 24
  • Granma: 23
  • Santiago de Cuba: 22
  • Guantánamo: 21


In case you wish to call to a cell phone you just need to dial 53-5 and then the number.  To access to a cell phone of our agent in Cuba Luxury Hotels you should dial (53-5) 2919585.


Passports & Visas to travel to Cuba

Passports & Visas

  • A validity passport for at least six months is essential when you travel abroad

  • Those traveling as tourists must also have a tourist card. Tourist cards can be purchased at Cuban consulates, and travel agencies or airlines authorized to do so. Visas and tourist cards are valid for 30 days from the day you arrive in Cuba for the price of $25.00 USD in legal stamps that can be purchased at any of the Branches of the Banco de Crédito y Comercio. If you wish to extend your tourist visa for an extra 30 days you have the possibility of renewal for another 30 days.
  • To request your visa you need a reservation for accommodation in Cuba. We recommend came to Cuba with previously accommodation, mostly during high season in Cuba

  • Residents in the United States (not born in Cuba) must apply for a tourist card at Cuba's Interest Section in Washington or at a travel agency that has purchased the card from the Interest Section

  • U.S. citizens can legally travel to Cuba if they are engaging in 12 categories of activities such as professional research, participating in an athletic event, performing in a concert, working on a humanitarian project or taking part in educational activities.

 


Where to Buy Souvenirs in Cuba

After visiting Cuba you can bring home anything from the manufacturing industry to hand crafted items. Hotel shops are perfect for things like Che Guevara T-shirts, key chains, postcards, etc. For a more homespun feel, Cuban artists exhibit their paintings, woodcarvings, ceramics, metal work, weaving, etc. in these three craft fairs:

  • Malecón Vedado.
  • 3rd St. and O in Vedado (La Rampa).
  • San Rafael boulevard
  • Avenida del Puerto


They are open every day, except Monday