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INFORMATION that you need 

 

FOR TRAVELING TO CUBA 

 

1 - General advises

 

To enter and to leave Cuba is needed passport with more than six months of validity, Visa (or tourist card), and the round trip ticket.

 

The entrance stamp is put on in the Visa, not in the passport, for not affecting those persons who travel to United States

 

To walk around in Cuba we recommend to make a photocopy of the passport (main page) and leave the original at home, in order to avoid losing it. Besides: don't take too much money with you.

 

In casa particular where you are going to be lodged, always ask for the advice of the proprietors about any information you need, may be about places where to eat, or where to go for a walk, etc. They are the persons who better know the environment and they will be pleased on helping you. 

 

Descripción: pasaportes

 

2 - Regulations for entrance in Cuba 

 

Entrance: When arriving in Havana, in the immigration control will be requested from you the passport, the ticket of the returning flight and the Visa, (tourist card) and they will ask you the place where you will be lodged. You should give them the name of the place where you will be lodged (authorized casa particular or hotel). Giving fictitious names of hotels, habitual thing in the agencies that arrange the Visa, can cause problems to you.

Tourist's card is valid for 30 days and once in Cuba it is renewable for 30 days more.  

 

To the entrance, are exempt of taxes the personal use objects, own jewels, photographic or videotape cameras, personal computer, sport effects and fishing gears, 2 bottles of liquor, one cardboard of cigarettes, and up to 10 kilograms of medications, whenever they are in their original containers. In total it can be 30 kilograms of baggage plus the 10 kilograms of medications. It is not allowed to introduce firearms, except those properly authorized for hunting, neither narcotic. 

The entrance of money cash is limitless. You must declare it when more than 5000 US dollars.

 

Departure: To the departure, you can take exempt of taxes your personal use effects, as well as the own jewels, photo or videotape camera, personal computer or typewriter, sport effects, fishing gears, etc. We recommend you to see all you can export in the web site of the Customs of the Republic of Cuba.   

 

To the departure you won't be able to take with you: 

·         More than three units of one medication of national production, except those dedicated to the continuity of treatments, on depending of the time of duration of the treatments. They should be accompanied by the Certification of the Health Center and in case of passengers’ not permanent residents in Cuba, accompanied by the corresponding Official Invoice. 

·         Patrimonial art works or works with museum value, books, pamphlets and serial publications with more than 50 years published, as well as Cuban Books of Editions "R" if they have not the Certificate for Export from "Registro de Bienes Culturales.               

·         More than 50 units Cuban cigars (tobacco cigars), if you don't show the Official Invoice of the authorized store where the purchase was made. See more information in FAQs. 

·         Lobster (frozen) without Invoice of its licit acquisition in authorized store. 

·         Money cash in superior quantity to $5000,00 USD or equivalent one in other currencies which was not declared at the entrance or not authorized by the corresponding Bank. 

·         More than 100 Pesos National Currency (CUP), neither more than 200 Convertible Cuban Pesos (CUC). 

·         Hand written books; incunable books (books from period between 1440 and 1500); books, pamphlets and serial foreign publications printed in XVI - XVIII centuries (1501 till 1800); books, pamphlets and serial publications published in Cuba in XVIII century; books and pamphlets having the stamp of libraries belonging to the National System of Public Libraries or other information systems, as well as of organisms and Cuban institutions: THEY ARE NOT EXPORTABLE. 

·         Pieces and collections with numismatic value if not showed the Authorization of the Numismatic Museum or of the Central Bank of Cuba. 

 

If you acquire fresh paintings and sculptures in the sale points or stores where they are offered, make sure that they have the Stamp authorizing their export. If not you should request the corresponding Permission, which is an indispensable requirement for the extraction of it from the country.

 

ARRIVING TO CUBA  

There are 11 international airports. More than 40 cities from all over the world are connected with the Island through more than 50 airlines of around 30 countries.  

The most important airports are: Havana, Varadero, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín and Camagüey.

 

WHEN LEAVING CUBA 

Passengers will pay in the airport 25 CUC for concept of airport tax when exit of international flights. International airlines are connected by computers to their reservation central stations overseas, however, confirming or changing reservations probably can take more time than the one you expect.  

Don't leave those things for the last moment.

 

CUSTOMS  

Cuban airports have the international system of two areas, red when there are articles to declare and green (nothing to declare).  

Visitors have allowed 20 Kg of personal effects plus "other articles and goods depending on their profession", all that has to be re-exported.  

There is a tax for Kg exceeded over the 20 Kgs  

Other 2 additional Kgs are allowed for gifts if he/she goes in separate baggage.  

Additionally, they are allowed up to 10 Kg of medicines (in their original recipients), 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 gr of pipe sting and until 3 liters of wine and other alcoholic drinks, plus 50 American dollars of tax-free additional objects, like it can be, a reasonable quantity of articles dedicated to the personal use.  

Another 200 supplementary dollars of "objects and articles for non commercial use" can be carried in, with a tax similar to 100 percent of the declared value (you can fill a customs form and use the red area).  

Laptops have to be declared, being necessary to fill a customs declaration and to take back the laptop when you leave the country.  

If for some reason it is necessary to leave some ownership with the customs authorities, you should make sure that they give you a signed receipt that allows you to claim your ownership at your exit from the country.  

The hand baggage will be subjected to rays X at the arrival.  

Cuba does not allow the export of antiques and patrimonial works of art without license, as well as, of animals or plants in extinction. It is not allowed the export of more than US $5,000 cash.  

The airport tax in the international Cuban airports is 25.00 CUC. 

 

If you require additional information on customs regulations, see the official site of the Customs (www.aduana.co.cu)

 

North American citizens (USA): If you are North American citizen, when entering to the country you should keep in mind that: 

-          as any other visitor you need to have a valid passport at least for 6 months starting from the entrance date to Cuba 

-          the laws of your country (USA) prohibit you to travel to Cuba unless you have a permission of the Department of the Treasure, reason why, if you decide to do it, you will have to travel through a third country. The third country usually is Canada, Mexico or Bahamas. 

-          You don't need visa, but you need a document called tourist card that can be obtained in the Cuban Embassy on any country or in a travel agency if you enter by the way of Canada, Mexico or Bahamas, or even in the airport if you travel through Cancun. 

-          Your passport won't be stamped by migratory authorities of Cuba, just will be stamped a separated document that you will keep until your exit of the country.  

    

Sanitary regulations to travel to Cuba

 

There is not necessity to be vaccinated to travel to Cuba. Most of the hotels have medical services the 24 hours with specialists and nurses. In the main cities there are specialized clinics for the attention to the tourists. 

Although the water used by the people is drinkable, it is advisable that you drink bottled water, or to use pills to add for making water drinkable and this way to avoid any possibility of tropical illness.  

Is advisable to make a small trip first-aid kit in which will be included (like for any trip to the Caribbean) the necessary thing for first aids and your personal medicines which should be taken in the hand baggage. 

 

We advise you, just in case, to take a good antibiotic to cure the diarrheas, don't forget that you go to a tropical country, although in Cuba there are not tropical illnesses neither mosquitoes passing malaria or dengue. Anyway there is a stupendous sanitary system in the country and in Havana there are international pharmacies in diverse places (in “Cira García Hospital”, in “Habana Libre Hotel”, etc.).  

 

3 – Wardrobe

  

Slight wardrobe, cotton fabric or similar is recommended.  

For winter and air-conditioned places are suggested garments of fine wool or gabardine.  

Practical suggestions:  

- Bring a small handbag or backpack appropiated for one day trips or walks.  

- Don't forget: Passport, Air Tickets, Traveler Checks, or another necessary documentation.  

- Leave your deluxe garments at home.  

- Bring any specific medication that you think you could need.  

- Cuba is mainly warm and humid. It is recommended to use shirts and pants. Can be cold in winter, especially in the night. Pack a sweater and/or a jacket, which could also need to be sheltered of the intense air conditioning in the bus and many of the restaurants.  

- Pack many socks and interior garments; you will need a daily change.  

- In the humid season, it is recommended to have a small folding umbrella.

 

How to dress?

 

The "formal dress” of the Cubans is not complicated, and most of the travelers won't need of elegant clothes. People in Cuba use to dress informally, though always neatly. Even so, pack a pair of pants and an elegant shirt for the discos and the finest restaurants.  

The shorts are accepted. A couple of slight sandals or comfortable shoes of low heel are useful. Canvas shoes will be useful and appropriate for most of the occasions. 

 

4 – During your stay in Cuba

 

Using mobiles in Cuba  

The most advisable thing is that you bring your own mobile. CUBACEL will activate it and  will provide you a local line.  

The norms DAMP and Standard GSM are compatible with local nets.  

There are telephones and lines for rent, but it is much more expensive.  

Mobiles work in Havana and in the main cities. There are roaming agreements with Spanish companies but we know for sure that with Movistar  the SMS works perfectly. To see coverings and details, visit the web page http://www.cubacel.cu

 

Hours: 

The island has a difference of six hours with Spain and countries of Western Europe. 

It is under the GMT-5

 

Electric current: 

The electric current in general works to 110 V / 60 Hz, although it is very frequent that there are plugs at 220 in most of rent houses and hotels so that Europeans may load the mobile or use the electric razor. 

Plugs are plane (not round) spikes, for what we recommend to take an adapter of spike plane to round.  

 

Safety in Cuba

 

Cuba is a very safe country, with a very low crime rate index. Tourists are welcomed. Besides, for keeping pace and quite, in the streets there are enough policemen to whom you can go if you need something, they are always young men willing to help.

   

Nevertheless, like in any other tourist place, you must take cautions like not to forget your wallet and personal things in public places, neither to buy things in any street corner.

 

How to pay...cards and CUC  

 

There are  two different currencies in circulation in Cuba. The "Peso Cubano" (Cuban Peso) and the "Peso Cubano convertible" or "CUC" commonly called "chavito". The dollar no longer circulates. 

 

The Cuban Peso is good for example to buy vegetables or fruits in those "agromercados" or to go to the cinema, (the entrance is worth 2 Cuban Peso), to go to the theater, to travel in the local buses, to eat in restaurants for Cuban people, etc.

  

The CUC (Peso convertible) is good to pay the lodging in the hotel or casa particular (particular houses), to buy in supermarkets, to eat in tourist restaurants, to pay taxis, etc. 

 

Descripción: Pincha en la imagen para ver las monedas

The Cuban Peso is known as MN (National Currency)  

The Convertible Peso is known as CUC and it is the currency that circulates in the country for touristm and in stores and services which operate in that currency.  

 

WHERE TO CHANGE MONEY  

 

Never carry out change of money to any person in the street. It is better to make it in the houses of change known as CADECA. 

 

Of them there is everywhere.  

 

The change fluctuates depending on the fluctuation euro-dollar in the international markets. See the Site of Banco Metropolitano (Metropolitan Bank) with the official daily change to CUC for all currencies.

 

IMPORTANT: 

 

CUC is equal to the dollar in the international change rate, but the government burdens with additional 10% the change of the cash dollar to the CUC and also taking out money with credit card (*), (because it is previously converted to dollars), for what the best thing is to bring money cash in Euro.  

The credit cards Visa, MasterCard, etc, are accepted whenever they are not emitted by banks of United States, but taking out cash with them has an obligation. 

 

Take care of your cash money and keep lodged at legalized casas particulares. 

 

Change some money to CUC before leaving the airport, to pay taxi and first expenses. The rate of change in the airport can be more expensive, don't change there too much.  

When leaving Cuba, in the same airport there are banks and CADECA services where the spare CUC can be changed to your original currency. 

 

(*) Credit cards and travel checks are accepted whenever they are not emitted by North American banks (American Express) neither their branches in other countries. Are accepted without any problem those emitted by Spanish, European or Canadian banks: Visa International, MasterCard, Eurocard, CABAL and BFI.

 

In the case of traveling checks are accepted: Thomas Cook and Barclay 

 

Wardrobe:

 

The wardrobe should be slight. It is recommended to take cotton fabrics, flannels, short pant (shorts), and of wearing shoes sandals preferably. For the winter that rather is usually a less intense summer, it is advisable to take a sweater of fine wool, fundamentally for the nights, and closed but comfortable shoes. Avoid to take synthetic clothes since it retains the heat of the body and the humidity

 

Don't forget to take glasses for the sun, bathroom suit and a cream solar protector, because Cuba is an eternal summer.  

 

Descripción: cubanas

 

 

If you plan to attend some theater function, to eat in a restaurant or simply to enter to the cinema, you should know that is prohíbited the entrance in these places if dress goes with short pants and T-shirt without sleeves. 

 

It is considered that summer begins in April and finishes in October, and then there is a little lower temperature, but it is a "pleasant winter." 

 

Transport 

 

The must suggested way to moving for Havana is to do it in taxis, buses, or in some small called tricycles "cocotaxis."

 

It is available a diverse offer of taxis, car rent and buses. There are 17 airports and an extensive net of highways and freeways which links the different regions of the country. There are regular flight services and also charters and air-taxis. Traveling railroad services and bus along the country are offered.

 

If you want to travel the island you can make it through the tourist buses agency Viazul, (www.viazul.cu), or through "Astro" buses. 

 

RENTING A CAR

 

For renting a car is necessary to present your passport and driving permission.  

The driver should be not less than 21 years old.  

It is advisable not to travel in the nights and to have caution with the appearance of  animals in rural areas. In the urban areas caution should be kept with cyclists who circulate by the streets and roads.

 

We recommend you, mainly if this is your first visit to Cuba, to mount your general headquarter in Havana and from there go to the very beautiful beaches in Playas del Este (20 min. from the city) and make trips to different locations. There are many and very beautiful places where to go from Havana you can do by yourself or in organized trips with groups. (To see here on "Excursions" and on "Tours"). If you are thinking on making a journey through the whole island, you will have a collaborator in the proprietors of your particular house. If you wish to receive now some recommendations, please you may tell to us your ideas and will receive by mail our advice free.

 

TELEPHONE

 

  • To call to Cuba, to a fixed telephone, disk 53, then the code of the city and immediately the wanted number.                                                                                                           
  • To call to a mobile: disk 53, then 5 which is the code of mobile telephony; then disk the mobile number.                                                                                                                  
  • To call directly from Cuba to any country of the world you should disk 119 first, followed the code of the country, code of the city and the wanted number.

 

You can find in our Site Home Page the most important for you in Cuba Telephone numbers and Addresses. Among them the next ones: 

 

*      " Embassies and consulates  

*      " Hospitals  

*      " Police 

*      Police Central in Havana city: (53 7) 8677777 from here they can put you in contact with other police stations in the rest of the country.  

*      " Cancellation of cards 

*      To cancel stolen cards or lost, is necessary to go to FINCIMEX (cards central office) in the first floor of the Habana Libre Hotel, in 23 street and M street, or to call to  tel. number: (53 7) 554 444.  

         

International messaging

 

DHL World Messaging has offices in most of the main cities along Cuba. 

 

Cubapost offers a service of international messaging (EMS)  virtually to all the countries of the world using TNT. 

 

Cubapacks also offers messaging service. 

 

OPTIONS OF ENTERTAINMENT you will have: 

v  Festivals  

v  Museums and art galleries  

v  Ballet  

v  Theater   

v  Cinemas  

v  Folkloric Music  

v  Bars and discos  

v  Cabarets  

v  Sport Shows 

 

You can find wide updated information and actual daily programs of most important entertainment options in Havana in Home page “Night Clubs”.

OUTDOOR CHOICES

  Bicycling

  Bird watching

  Ecotourism

  Fresh water and inshore fishing

  Deep-sea fishing

  Fishing tournaments

  Hunting

  Golf

  Hiking

  Spelunking

  Rock Climbing

  Sailing

  Yacht charters

  Scuba diving

  Horseback riding

5- Cuban people: Character, Conduct and Customs.

Cubans´ refreshing innocence and disarming charm is uplifting.

Most Cubans, regardless of their political believes, take varying degrees of pride in the ¨¨Revolution¨, a large percentage seems happy to accept the   individual sacrifice for the   notion of improving equality.

The Cuban people are committed to social justice, and the idea that democracy includes every person's rights to guarantee health care and education is deeply ingrain in their consciousness.  

True, people crave the opportunity to better their lives materially, but few Cubans are concern with the accumulation of material wealth. Instead, they find gratification in developing their strength and, in rising to the challenges of love, restraint, and rising children.

 

Most Cubans are more interested in sharing something with you than getting something from you.

 

Descripción: Character,%20Conduct%20and%20Custom4It's more important to enjoy life indeed. The time has not changed the hedonistic culture of Cubans, the traditional afro-Cuban tropical culture has proved to be time resistant. They are sensualist of the first degree. Cubans are also proud, and notoriously toilet and fashion conscious.

The women are astute and self-assure, and the men are very sentimental.

There is not reserve, no emotional distance, no holding back. Cubans engage you in a very intimate way. They are not afraid of physical contact; they touch a lot. They also look you in the eye, they don't blink or flinch, but are direct and assured and free of social pretension. They are alive and full of emotional intensity, and chock-full of "chispa" (spark).

Cubans accept people at face value and are slow to judge others negatively. They are instantly at ease, and greet each other with hearty handshakes or kisses.

Even the most fleeting acquaintance will   offer you a meal, or go out of their    way to help you however they can. As a foreigner, you will meet with the warmest courtesies wherever you go.   Every Cuban wants to open his or Cubans accept people at face value and are slow to judge others Descripción: Caracter%20Conduct%20and%20Customsnegatively. They are instantly at ease, and greet each other with hearty handshakes or kisses.

Even the most fleeting acquaintance will   offer you a meal, or go out of their    way to help you however they can. As a foreigner, you will meet with the warmest courtesies wherever you go.   Every Cuban wants to open his or

Cubans are an intensely passionate and patriotic people. United by nationalist spirit and love of country. They are by culture and tradition politically conscious.

They are distinct from all their Caribbean neighbors in one important respect; they combine

their southern joy of living with a northern work ethic that makes them unique achievers.

PERSONAL CONDUCT

Cubans are immensely respectful and courteous, with a deep sense of integrity and exemplary morals.    Politeness is greatly appreciated, and you can ease your way considerably by being both courteous and patient.

Always greet your host with "Buenos días!" (Morning) or "Buenas tardes!" (Afternoon). And never neglect to say "Gracias" (thanks).

Honor local dress codes as appropriated. Topless and nude bathing are neither allowed nor accepted, except at key tourist resorts.

 

 

 

her home and is eager to please, uncommonly generous, extremely courteous and gracious, and self-sacrificing to a fault.

 

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