Practical Guide to Cuba
Those who want to travel to Cuba must have a valid passport or a travel document issued in the traveler’s name and the corresponding visa or tourist card. Countries which Cuba has Visa-free travel agreements with are excluded. The tourist cards can be requested directly in the Cuban consular representations, travel agencies or airlines that keep commercial links with the island. Business people on a business trip and journalists on duty must have a Visa issued by the Cuban consulate.
Habano Cigar Export
Travelers leaving the country are obligated to verbally declare before the customs office all the twisted tobacco they have with them or inside their luggage.
The traveler must present in the customs office, at the moment of the verbal declaration mentioned before, the bill or official sales document from the shops network authorized for commercializing Habano Cigars that confirms the legal acquisition of the tobacco is trying to export.
Both in the arrival and departure moment, the passenger cannot have:
• Drugs, narcotics and psychotropic or hallucinogens, except those for medical use accompanied by the corresponding prescription.
• Firearms and ammo, except those that have authorization from the competent organism.
• Obscene or pornographic literature, articles and objects that attempt to attack the general interests of the nation.
• Protected species by the Convention on International Trade of Wild Fauna and Flora (if the traveler does not have the permit issued by the Competent Authority (CITES permit).
All the articles that aren’t part of the traveler’s personal effects must be declared, whether they are subject to duty payments or not.
• Guns (firearms, knifes or others) and their ammunition.
• Live animals or products of animal or plant origin.
• Samples or other products with commercial purposes.
• Satellite communication equipment.
• Other communication equipment (walkie talkies).
• Cash that exceeds the (5,000.00 USD) or the equivalent in other currencies.
• Master pieces and museum valuable objects.
• Any article of great value that the passenger attempts to re-export (take with him on his departure).
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
These are valid only for travelers from countries where endemic yellow fever and cholera exist, or that have been declared infection areas by the WHO, in which case it is necessary to present the International Certificate of Vaccination. The entrance of products of animal and plant origin is restricted.
What to Wear
It is recommendable to wear cotton made clothing and similar, mainly of light colors. For the short winter and air-conditioned places we suggest warmer clothes, while to attend theatres, concert halls and cabarets, as well as luxury restaurants and others, a more formal style is required.
Methods of Payment
The prices at the tourist facilities and services are available in Cuban Convertible Pesos, so this is the currency to make operations in Cuba. In some tourist destinations the Euro circulates officially. Credit cards are accepted, as long as they haven’t been issued by American banks or their filial. The Cuban peso (national currency) is also in circulation.
We guarantee the direct phone communication to any part of the world from our hotels. In the streets there are phone cabins that can be used with pre-paid cards and that are available, in Cuban Convertible Pesos, for 5, 10 and 20 CUC.
110 and 60 Hz. In most cases, there are flat pin sockets, so it may be necessary an adapter to other system in case the traveler brings an electronic item. Some hotels have 220 v.
Eastern Standard Time. From May to October, the summer time or daylight saving time is adopted, moving forward one hour to take advantage of the sun light.
Observances and Holidays
The following dates are nationally celebrated:
• January 1st: Anniversary of the Revolution. Liberation Day.
• May 1st: International Workers Day.
• July 26th: National Rebellion Day.
• October 10th: Beginning of the Independence Wars.
• Also: July 25, 27 and December 25.
The fastest way of getting information is going to the reception of the hotel and to the corresponding tourism bureaus. Nevertheless, in the streets you’ll always find someone willing to help you, as it is a characteristic of the Cuban people, who in many cases also speak foreign languages.
A departure tax is established in the country’s international airport. The tax is 25.00 CUC.