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Cuba - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of contents

  1. When is the best time to go?
  2. Do you need a visa?
  3. How can I get there?
  4. What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
  5. What is there to see and do?
  6. Is it safe to travel to Cuba?
  7. What is the internet access like?
  8. 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, although in some hotels you may find 220 volts, it is highly recommended to bring a world travel adapter as some hotels may have the US or European plugs.


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