Useful information

On this page you will find useful information for your trip to Cuba. Hot and subtropical for most of the year. The rainy season is mainly from May to October. The hurricanes generally occur in summer and fall (June to November). Humidity is high and varies from 75 to 95 percent. The coldest months are from January to April and it is the season of drought, when less rain falls. Recommended clothes: It is recommended to use light cotton and linen during most of the year. The high humidity makes the use of synthetic clothing stuck to the skin uncomfortable. Is recommended to bring layers of water or some light raincoat throughout the year.

Coin, Cuba has two different currencies.

Cuban peso convertible or CUC. The visitor will pay mostly in Cuban Convertible Peso. Can be exchanged for a number of foreign currencies – only banknotes, coins are not interchangeable – like the euro, Swiss franc, sterling, US dollar. US Dollar will be charged with a 10% levy on established bank charges (the levy is not applied to credit card or debit card transactions). Most of the tourism related items such as hotels, car rentals, most restaurants, luxury items, a Heineken beer and a Nestlé ice cream etc, are paid at CUC. There are bills of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos, coins come in 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 peso.

National Cuban Peso (CUP) or National Currency.

  • The Cuban peso is used mainly by Cubans to buy fruits and vegetables at the markets, a pizza on the street, for the city bus, and to pay gas, electricity and telephone bills. Most wages are paid in the Cuban Peso. There are bills of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos, coins come in 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 20 cents, 1 peso and 3 pesos.
  • 1 peso convertible = approximately 24 Cuban pesos.

Useful information. Convertible pesos (CUC).

  • Can be purchased at the airport, banks, different hotels and currency exchange offices, called “CADECA” (these offices are located throughout the country). You can also exchange Cuban National Pesos (CUP) at CADECA or at any local bank.
  • The Cuban currency is only valid within Cuba, import and export is not allowed.
  • In tourist facilities and other service units, prices are handled in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). Varadero, Cayo Largo del Sur, Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo), Santa Lucía and the beaches of Covarrubias, as well as in the province of Holguín (tourist resorts on the north coast), payments in euros will be mostly accepted.
  • There may be a situation in which you are asked to pay in CUC for the products or services sold in National Currency. Common sense will help you a lot!

Food drinks in Cuba.

Running water is chlorinated and, although relatively safe, may cause slight abdominal discomfort. Bottled water is available and we advise you during the first weeks of your stay. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry and fish and shellfish as well as fruits in general are considered safe for consumption.

Health & Safety.

The primary health care system in Cuba is spread throughout the country and is considered the best in Latin America. Health services are free for Cubans. There is an extensive network of centers (442 polyclinics and 281 hospitals), as well as other specialized institutions. The average infant mortality is 5.3 per thousand live births and with a life expectancy at birth of 77 years. Cuba is among the six countries in the world that produce interferon (INF). Their vaccines against meningitis type B and C are unique in the world. These achievements have been made possible by the existence of 211 scientific research centers.

Useful information. Health Care and Insurance.

As of May 1, 2010, Cuba will require all travelers, foreigners and Cubans residing abroad, a travel insurance policy with coverage of medical expenses, in order to enter the country. The resolution states that insurance policies must be issued by insurers recognized on the island, and announces the sale of policies of Cuban insurers at points of entry to the national territory for passengers unable to submit an adequate insurance policy. About 95% of hotels have a doctor at the facility to provide primary care to patients. In addition there are eight international clinics that offer specialized treatment.

Migratory regulations in Cuba.

All visitors must have a valid passport or a travel document issued to their name and the corresponding visa or tourist card (valid for at least 6 months upon departure). Exempt persons who come from countries with which Cuba has signed free visa agreements. Visas may be requested at Cuban consular offices and sometimes through travel agencies and airlines.

Official commemorations, Holidays days.

  • 1st. January: Liberation Day. Anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution.
  • 25, 26 and 27 of July: Celebrations for the Day of National Rebellion.
  • 1st. May: International Workers’ Day.
  • October 10: Beginning of the Wars of Independence.
  • December 25th: Christmas Day.

Important dates in the country.

  • January 28: Anniversary of the birth of José Martí, National Hero of Cuba in 1853.
  • March 8: International Women’s Day.
  • February 24: Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in 1895.
  • March 13: Anniversary of the attack on the Presidential Palace in Havana by a group of young revolutionaries who planned to execute the tyrant Fulgencio Batista in 1957.
  • April 19: Anniversary of the defeat of the Bay of Pigs mercenary attack in 1961.
  • July 30: Day of the martyrs of the Revolution.
  • October 28: Anniversary of the death of Commander Camilo Cienfuegos, in 1959.
  • November 27: Commemoration of the execution of eight medical students by the Spanish colonial government in 1871.
  • October 8: Anniversary of the death of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, in 1967.
  • December 7: Anniversary of the death in combat of Antonio Maceo in 1896, important figure of the War of Independence of Cuba against the Spanish colonial dominion.

Payment Methods & Credit Cards.

In tourist facilities and other service units, prices are charged in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). You can pay directly with Euros in Varadero, Cayo Largo, Jardines del Rey, Santa Lucía beach in Camagüey, Covarrubias beach in Las Tunas and Holguín beaches (Guardalavaca, Don Lino, Esmeralda, Pesquero).

Credit cards are accepted in Cuba.

  • Except those issued by US banks or their branches in other countries. Cabal, Transcard, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. The CUC is not an internationally recognized currency. When withdrawing money with a credit card, the CUC will first convert to the US dollar, the amount in USD will be deducted from your account, plus 3%. Example: if you want to charge 100.00 CUC with your credit card USD 103.00 will be deducted from your account.
  • Cuban Convertible Pesos have unlimited legal status in the national territory and can be exchanged on departure with banking offices at international airports.
  • Travelers Checks are accepted, but subject to a commission and in case of loss, they can not be substituted in Cuba.

Useful information. Health regulations.

There are only restrictive sanitary regulations for visitors from countries where yellow fever and cholera are endemic or have been designated as areas of infection by the World Organization. Of the health. In such cases, the International Certificate of Immunization is required. The entrance of natural products of animal and vegetal origin is restricted. Animals may be imported upon presentation of the relevant certificate.

Capital, City of Havana

Provinces of Cuba.
The Republic of Cuba is made up of 15 provinces, 169 municipalities and the Special Municipality Isla de la Juventud. From the west to the east, the provinces are: Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Havana City, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Avila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.

The capital has more than 2 million inhabitants and a territorial extension of 727 km². It is located on the north coast of the western region of Cuba, facing the Florida Strait. Among the important cities of the country are: Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Pinar del Río, Ciego de Ávila, Bayamo and Guantánamo.

Communications in Cuba.

Cuba has a service and a telephone network that guarantees direct communication with any part of the world and from any part of the country. It also has Internet access in most of the hotels in the country.

Culture: Country with great cultural development, prodigal in artistic manifestations and creators. It has in its collection important names of writers, thinkers, dancers, musicians, painters, poets and singers. The Cuban handicrafts have a great development, with outstanding works in leather, vegetal fibers, wood, stone, metal and sea products.

Cuban cultural infrastructure consists of theater rooms, museums, libraries, art galleries and cinemas, in which national and international exhibitions are presented. The country is home to important international events such as the Ballet Festival, plastic art biennales, popular music festivals and the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, among others.

Useful information about economy system Cuba.

Cuban economy has two main resources: tourism and the sugar industry and its derivatives. Other important sources are: tobacco, coffee, rum, honey, cocoa and citrus fruits. Also the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, as well as the building materials, fishing, mining mainly nickel (the country has the world’s largest reserves of this mineral), copper, magnesium and refractory chromium.

Education:

Is free and compulsory through the ninth grade. In 1961, after a great national campaign, illiteracy was eradicated and today its population has a high level of education. It has a national education system that goes from children’s circles for children of working mothers to university centers scattered throughout the country that include municipal university seats and even chairs for the elderly.

Useful information about Electricity.

The electric current of general use is 110 V / 60 Hz, although in the hotels of new construction is of 220 V / 60 Hz. For the electrical equipments with round spikes you must bring a adapter of flat pins, that are the which accept plugs or outlets in the country.

Geography.

Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands, located at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico. The closest lands to Cuba are: East Haiti (77 kilometers), Yucatan Peninsula (210 kilometers) to the west, Florida Peninsula (180 kilometers) to the north and Jamaica (140 kilometers) to the south.

It is formed by about 4,195 cays, islets and islands, occupying an area of ​​42,803 square miles (110,860 square kilometers). 1 200 kilometers of extension, over a mostly flat and karstic territory. Diverse and lavish nature shows a wide variety of plants, animals and more than 280 beaches, virgin islands, grottos, caves, mountains, forests, savannas and marshes.

The topography there are three large mountain systems.

In the West, the Sierra de los Órganos; the central part, the Sierra del Escambray. In the eastern region, the Sierra Maestra, where the highest elevation is located, the Pico Real del Turquino, with 1,974 meters above sea level. Its longest river is the Cauto, with 250 kilometers of extension.

Health: The Cuban health system is characterized by one of the most comprehensive primary care programs in the world. The lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America and high life expectancy at birth. All health services are absolutely free for the whole town.

Spanish, Official Language. 

Main business partners: Canada, Russia, Spain, China, Venezuela, Italy.
Natural resources: Cobalt, nickel, iron, copper, manganese, salt, wood, silica, oil, natural gas, arable land.

Business hours.
The vast majority of businesses and offices open from 8:00 or 8:30 am until 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Banks close at 15:00 p.m. Many stores close at 12:30 pm on Sundays.

Useful information about Cuba Population.

The Cuban population is made up of more than 11 million inhabitants. In a peculiar mix that is mainly made up of Spaniards, Africans and Asians. The extermination suffered by the aborigines due to the harsh conditions to which they were subjected during the colonization. The Spaniards brought hundreds of Africans and Chinese to do the most difficult works of the sugar industry. Later, some Europeans arrived like German and French, as well as of other countries of the Caribbean; Haiti and Jamaica. All this mixture constitutes the great Cuban “ajiaco”. Ethnicity / Race: mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%.

President of Cuba.

Miguel Días Canel Bermudez.

Religion: Constitution of the Republic guarantees total freedom of worship. The most widespread religion is catholic. Afro-Cuban cults, a result of the syncretism between religions of African origin and Catholic saints. Are also deeply rooted. Other churches and cults develop their activities with full normality.

Transportation to Cuba.

The country has ten international airports and an extensive network of roads and roads.  (some 50 000 km, of which 14 000 km are on motorways and paved roads). Linking the main cities with the tourist regions and all their sites of interest. There are companies that provide services of domestic charter flights and aerotaxis within the national territory. The bus, taxi and car rental services are available at tourist facilities and airports.