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, 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.
Cuba Holidays Browse all
Enjoy the long list of fun options for all the family or bask on Varadero's pure white sands
- Sample a host of activities including snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, golf and more.
- Located on a gorgeous stretch of Varadero beach.
- Enjoy 24-hour all-inclusive service.
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then move on the shores of Cuba's most famous beach
- Get the honeymoon package with late check out, turn down service, special room upgrade and other services
- Full range of spa treatments for a more relaxing break at Blau Varadero, or a selection of water and land sports to choose from for the more active traveller
- Be swept away by the amazing panoramic views of Havana from the NH Capri's rooftop swimming pool
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana, staying in the residence of the 'stars', with a relaxing beach holiday in Cuba's world famous resort, Varadero
- Nacional De Cuba hotel is considered a symbol of history, culture and Cuban identity
- Iberostar Laguna Azul offers 15 bars and restaurants, and worldwide cuisines
- Enjoy watersports including windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, paddleboats, and snorkelling
Explore Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Varadero this summer on an adventure of a lifetime
- Enjoy basking and rejuvenating upon stunning sandy shores
- Explore Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Varadero within one holiday
- Enjoy mingling with delightful, local hosts whilst staying at privately owned Casas
Head to one of the Caribbean's liveliest cities, then move on to a luxury beach resort
- Bella Vista sits on Varadero's pristine stretch of beach with 24-hour all-inclusive services
- Rooftop swimming pool and Jacuzzi at Parque Central where you can look over the spectacular city of Havana
- Endless range of facilities and activities for the perfect stay in your beachfront paradise
Indulge in a couples special retreat that includes a Deluxe Havana City Break and Luxury Adults-Only All Inclusive Beach Escape in Varadero
- The perfect 5* multi centre - mixing exciting city life with a pampering beach retreat in romantic Cuba
- The luxury adults-only all-suite hotel Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort and Spa is situated on the pristine Varadero beach
- Melia Habana is the perfect base for exploring all that Havana has to offer
If the retro style of the 1950s is your thing, then look no further than the Iberostar Habana Riviera Hotel. With is...
Travel to one of Cuba's hidden touristic gems and stay at the Blau Varadero, where stretches of secluded beach await...
Start your Cuban experience at the NH Capri Hotel, one of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the...
Your Cuban experience begins at the memories miramar havana, a 4-star hotel located right at the heart of the classy...
The Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is the perfect place to feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, and will...
Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...
Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...
This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...
Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...
Spend a few unforgettable nights in the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares and enjoy the coastal treasures of one of Cuba's finest...
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Starting on Friday 12th January, Caribbean Airline Limited (CAL) will make inter-regional travel simpler as it begins operating flights to Cuba from four other islands: Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada and Guyana. In an attempt to promote the new route, CAL launched a campaign called "Hola Cuba" which is offering a 50 per cent discount on tickets.
Members of Cuban Parliament recently gathered in the Attention to Services Commission to discuss the current situation of tourism in the island. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero Cruz and his peers highlighted the industry’s positive results (with a 19.7% increase in comparison to 2016), addressed ongoing issues and reviewed long-haul plans for the future of this sector in the island.
Filled with colonial charm and an eclectic, buzzing atmosphere, Havana is one of the most picture-worthy destinations in the world. Travel magazine Lonely Planet recently published an article describing the top seven settings within Cuba’s capital that make for wonderful selfie shots.