Cuba - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Is it safe to travel to Cuba?
- What is the internet access like?
- What is the electric voltage used in Cuba?
When is the best time to go?
The best time of year to visit Cuba is between December and May, with the main tourist season here typically running from December to March where the island's weather is at its driest and mildest. The hurricane season is from June to November and the weather during this time of the year can be hot, humid and wet. During the dry season (November to April) the weather is predominantly sunny and temperatures average between 24 and 27 degrees Celsius.
Do you need a visa?
You will need to get a tourist visa (also known as a tourist card) before you travel to Cuba, which you can obtain through the Cuban consulate in London or, for a quicker and more convenient option, through us, as we provide them with all of our holiday packages to Cuba. The standard tourist card allows you to remain in the country for up to 30 days and can be extended for a further 30 days once you are in Cuba. You also need to have tickets for onward travel and your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you enter Cuba. It's essential to have comprehensive medical and travel insurance before you visit Cuba and you may be asked to show a copy of your policy upon arrival.
How can I get there?
There are several direct flights from the UK to Cuba, with Virgin Atlantic offering twice-weekly flights to Havana while Thomas Cook flies directly to Varadero from Manchester and both Thomas Cook and Thomson also operate regular flights to Holguin from London Gatwick. Direct services to Santa Clara are available from Manchester during the summer months. Air France, KLM and Air Europa all offer flights to Cuba from the UK via another European city. The average direct flight time from London Gatwick to Havana is nine hours and 40 minutes, while the journey is approximately 20 minutes shorter if you depart from Manchester.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency for tourists is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) . although another national currency exists for the use of locals exclusively - and all goods and services in the main resort areas and in all hotels and tourist attractions are priced in this currency. You can change Euros, Canadian dollars, British sterling and Swiss francs for convertible pesos without much difficulty, but exchanging U.S. dollars incurs a ten per cent charge. Some credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted in Cuba.
What is there to see and do?
Cuba has an amazing array of attractions, from its incredibly well-preserved colonial cities to areas of outstanding natural beauty. The waters around Cuba are also well known for their vibrant marine life, which makes snorkelling and scuba diving top activities to try. Varadero Beach is one of Cuba's most striking, with 20 kilometres of white sands waiting for you. In terms of the country's cities, Havana is a must-visit thanks to its splendid architecture and wonderful attractions, including the Cathedral Square, Castillo de la Real Fuerza and the Captain-General's Palace. In fact, the whole of Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trinidad de Cuba is another popular city to visit and it too is home to some spectacular colonial architecture. Nearby is the Valle de los Ingenios - another UNESCO World Heritage Site - that was vital to the country's sugar industry. There are many historical sites in Cuba relating to its revolution, as well as attractions linked to Ernest Hemingway
Is it safe to travel to Cuba?
Cuba is a very safe destination and actually has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean.
What is the internet access like?
Access to the internet in Cuba is typically very slow and also expensive. Although some of the upmarket hotels in Havana offer Wi-Fi access for an extra cost, do not expect to be able to get online everywhere in the country.
What is the electric voltage used in Cuba?
The voltage in Cuba is 110 volts and you will need either a European or U.S. plug adaptor to use British appliances in the country.
Cuba Holidays Browse all
With great watersports galore, your winter-sun holiday can be one to remember in Cuba
- Try your hand at some adrenaline-pumping water sports including sailing, windsurfing and diving
- If you’re not up for a night on the tiles you can simply chill out at the resort and enjoy the evening’s entertainment
- If you’re a night-owl you won’t be able to resist Varadero’s buzzing nightlife
Relish the timeless charms of Cuba from the comfort of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels
- Exclusive Free Havana city tour, visiting Revolution Square, Malecón and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana
- Stay at two of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels, bursting with modern comforts
- Explore Havana’s charismatic, timeless and bustling streets
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 15th Nov
- Relish an all-inclusive beach retreat, boasting an overabundance of facilities
Enjoy a summer holiday of a lifetime staying at two amazing hotels in both Havana and Varadero
- Experience Havana's vintage vibe & Varadero's soft white-sand beaches all in one trip
- Enjoy water sports on the Varadero beach, relax by the hotel pool, sample a refreshing cocktail
- Book now to receive our exclusive Couples offer which includes a bottle of cava on arrival in both hotels, turndown service in the evenings and a guaranteed reservation in the a la carte restaurants in Varadero and much more
Fall in love with Havana and its captivating heritage before being dazzled by the pristine shores of Varadero
- You will be staying in luxurious hotels in both Havana and Varadero that combine perfectly and offer the best of both worlds whether you are looking to adventure or relax
- Experience the best of the world famous Varadero Beach where white sand is lapped by clear water when staying at Melia Varadero
- Enjoy a Welcome cocktail and a bottle of cava on arrival in Havana and Varadero
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
Unwind, relax and take it easy in Varadero before a truly Cuban experience in Havana
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 15th Nov
- Miniclub for children from 2 to 12 years old at Blau Varadero
- Memories Miramar Havana is perfect for those wanting to visit the old Havana, yet stay in total luxury and comfort
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
One of Havana's most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over half...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...
Explore the historic and cultural wonders of Cuba's spellbinding capital as you unwind over an eight-day getaway. Havana...
Beyond its sober elegance of Mudejar roots and the presence of round arches and red clay tile roof, it is known for its...
Spend a few nights at the Memories Miramar Havana Hotel in Havana and experience the Cuban lifestyle first-hand. The...
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