9 Things You Need To Know Before You Travel To Cuba

The Republic of Cuba is made up of; the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Spanish is the national language. Havana is the largest city as well as the capital city of Cuba.

Cuba is Caribbean’s largest island and the second-most populous after Hispaniola. The country has 16 provinces and is home to the world’s famous Che Guevara.

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Below is a list of what you need to know before you arrive in Cuba.

  1. Singaporeans do not need visa to Cuba unlike Americans

Unlike the American passport which has restrictions when visiting Cuba, the Singaporean passport passes the test and you can travel to Cuba without a visa for up to 30days.

All tourists require a tourist card, which goes for $20 and which you must purchase prior to your arrival in Cuba. This can be obtained in the country you are arriving in from.

  1. Avoid Hurricane Season – July to Nov

Cuban experiences stormy weather between the months of July and November. Hurricanes are mostly ranging in late August and early October. The other months of the year offer favorable weather for you to visit Cuba.

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  1. Print out your documents before leaving

It is advisable to have a print-out of your return ticket or even saved on your phone or laptop. During the check-in process, the airline checks to ensure that you possess a copy of your return ticket. Unfortunately, the airline isn’t in a position to have a print out done for you.

  1. Credit Card is useless there

All transactions in Cuba are done using cash. It is advisable to have ready cash on you. Foreign exchange counters are available at the airport for your access to Cuban currency.

American dollars are charged a 10% additional fee to the exchange rate when changing into Cuban money, so it is advisable to use other foreign currencies like the British pound, Mexican pesos, or Euro which do not attract such additional fee.

  1. Cuba’s 2 currencies

Cuba uses two currencies, the Cuban covertibles CUC, – which is mostly used tourists -and Cuban pesos CUP. Changing foreign currency to CUP you have to first change to CUC then to CUP. As a tourist, you can use CUP should you prefer.

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  1. Stay in Casas Particulares aka local Airbnb

Accommodation in Cuba is mostly what is referred to as Casas Particulares. Hotels are available but are few making Casas Particulares more common. Families with several rooms available in their homes offer the boarding services at a fee. You will have a shared common space with its members.

  1. Buses are the best transportation

Travel in Cuban is mostly by bus and they have good infrastructure connecting all the major cities. Few bus companies are available that offer bus services to tourist, but should you opt for bus tours ensure to be at the bus terminus earlier since no online booking services are available.

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  1. It is very safe in Havana

Havana is heavily guarded with security troops everywhere. This makes Havana very safe for you to even walk in the streets at night.

  1. The Internet is a scarcity

Internet access here is rather expensive and not easily available. The way for you to have access is to either check- in into one of the hotels that have Internet services, then pay for it, or buy local mobile provider (ETECSA) Sim-card then connect through one of the wifi hotspots available in the major cities.

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Havana city is a prime touristic site. I truly enjoyed the morning strolls along the El Malecon which has a fantastic view of the bay and runs alongside the main streets of Havana. The weather was warm and humid so an early stroll was more enjoyable, refreshing and scenic.

During my short stay, I could not pass up a quick stop at the Camara Obscura. It is situated in the old town and has a breathtaking 360-degrees view of the entire city.

Want to know more about Havana and Cuba? Just askus@ladyredot.com, we have all the tips and tricks for you.

Kally Hi, I’m Kally. A Singaporean who has been relocated twice, first to Shanghai, now based in Kuala Lumpur. I have always been the avid traveller since young. I had my passport made even before I went to primary school! I travel extensively during my free time, either on tour groups or backpacking around Europe and all within the recent years. I am exposed to many different cultures and places, which allow me, to have the ability to look at many things and situation from various angles. Having gained 20 years of corporate world, I decided it is time for me to hang up my briefcase and heels to indulge my passion: Writing and Traveling. The two passions that give me pure enjoyment and liberation. As much as I enjoy traveling and writing, I strive on assisting people in making their lives easier. This is evidently shown in MiddleMe.net where I am the founder and editor. Allow me @ kally@ladyredot.com to help you to pen down your next trip abroad!


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