The island is easily one of the most unique and interesting destinations to visit in all of Latin America, if not the world. While you may come to Cuba looking for answers you’re more than likely to return home with even more questions. With a complex history from pre-colonial times all the way up to the present day global political climate and economic situation, Cuba is a history and polysci buff’s paradise. Not only that, Cuba’s vibrant culture is reflected in its art, music, dance, food, drink and overall ambiance felt as you cruise the streets of la Habana Vieja or spend a leisurely afternoon smoking a cigar on a family run tobacco farm in Viñales Valley.
Our Cuba tours immediately immerse you into everyday life in Cuba as your settle into your “casa particular” owned and run by a Cuban family. From there you will jump into learning about Cuba’s historic and cultural past and present while traveling throughout both urban and rural Cuba. Our in-country host families, local guides and drivers are all friendly, warm and excited to share the real Cuba with you. While your stay in Cuba won’t be spent at the beach side resort, the experiences had and connections made will last a lifetime. We invite you to join us to learn about this beautiful and resilient nation and the people who call it home. And also, get ready for rum, cigars, classic cars, nonstop music and dancing and delicious farm fresh meals!
Major Destinations & Points of Interest:
- La Habana
- Santiago de Cuba
Languages Spoken: The official language of Cuba is Spanish and the vast majority of Cubans speak it. Lucumí, a dialect of the West African language Yoruba, is also used as a liturgical language by practitioners of Santería and so only as a second language. Haitian Creole is the second most spoken language in Cuba, and is spoken by Haitian immigrants and their descendants.Other languages spoken by immigrants include Galician and Corsican.
What will the food be like on my trip?
Cuban cuisine is a blend of Native American Taino food, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Some Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor. This results in a blend of the several different cultural influences, with strong similarities with the cuisine of the neighboring Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. We will be taking you to our favorite restaurants where you will get to try food local to Cuba as well as some non traditional cuisine.
Can I drink the water in Cuba?
We do not recommend drinking tap water in Cuba. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water; ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It’s also advisable to peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Is it safe to travel through Cuba?
Cuba has the lowest crime rate in the Western Hemisphere! You will be surprised by the visible police presence in Cuba. They are there specifically to protect and help tourists.
Are credit cards/debit cards accepted?
No US-based credit or debit cards can be used in Cuba.
What documents do I need to visit Cuba?
The required tourist visa, known as a tourist card, allows the holder to stay in the Cuba for 30 days and is valid for a single entry. You must also have a passport valid for two months beyond the length of your proposed duration of stay, as well as proof of a confirmed return flight and booked accommodation.
Do Americans need a visa to visit Cuba?
Cuba will give you a visa / tourist card, however, you must acquire the visa before you arrive.
Do I have to pay for a Cuba departure tax?
Yes. There is a departure tax of US$25, but it is usually included in the price of a flight.
What’s the rule of thumb for tipping?
Tipping is a personal choice and depends on the service rendered, but 10% is standard.
What is the weather like in Cuba?
The summer in Cuba is from June to August which are the hottest months and some people (including the Cubans!) find the heat quite intense. Temperatures rise to 100 Fahrenheit on the eastern side of the island, which when coupled with high humidity. The rest of the year in Cuba generally enjoys beautiful warm weather. December, January, and February are the coolest months of the year in Cuba where the average maximum daily temperature is 77F, and an average of 65F at night.
Do I need an adaptor for my electronics?
You’ll typically find North American 110V 2-3 prong plugs like those in the US United States, Canada, and Mexico. If you’re coming from one of these countries you won’t need to bring an adaptor.
What is Cuba’s currency?
Cuba uses two currencies, Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) and Cuba Pesos (CUP or MN, for Moneda Nacional). CUC is the currency tourists will need to get while locals use Cuban Pesos. The easiest way to tell the difference? CUCs have monuments on them, while Cuban Pesos feature the faces of local heroes.
The exchange rate for the CUC is pinned to the US Dollar, 1:1. Most restaurants, bars, museums, taxis, stores (including local department stores), souvenir markets, lodging and tourist transportation only take the CUC. Notes can be of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 CUC.
Can I use my cell phone in Cuba?
You will be able to use your phone when connected to wifi, however you will only be able to connect in the internet parks near where you’re staying. Your casa particular and most restaurants will not have wifi.
Cubacel, operated by ETECSA, is the main phone company in Cuba — you can buy a SIM card from a local office to put inside an unlocked phone that operates on a 900 MHz frequency. However, this process isn’t easy, with long lines and very little English spoken, so it may be quite an endeavor to get yourself a card