Step back into the 1950’s and experience Cuba in all its rustic beauty. This stunning country has true charm that cannot be compared to anywhere in the world, Cuba cannot be described, it has to be experienced firsthand. Walk through the streets and experience something unique, inhaling the atmosphere – a true time warp which reminds you of a time before iPhones and Facebook. like stepping back into the 1950’s. At face value, it may look run down, but once you look past the exterior, experience the warmth underneath, latin beats in the street and the warmth and generosity of the welcoming, intelligent and charming Cuban people, you will discover the true appeal of this country.
Imagine pristine, white sand Caribbean beaches and crystal clear water, warm tropical temperatures and unexplored, pristine Caribbean diving. With the travel embargo about to be lifted between the US and Cuba, the last chance to experience this beautiful country before it becomes the hottest new travel destination. The charm of this remarkable country lies in its flaws….A country with a soul – truly perfect imperfection.
|Jardines De La Reina|
Australian passport holders require at least six months validity beyond your intended stay. All Australian passport holders require a tourist card to go to Cuba. This can be obtained from a travel agent or through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate. Some airports also issue tourist visas at the airport including Mexico City and Cancun. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.
Please note: Travel insurance must be purchased to enter Cuba. Please ensure you have purchased comprehensive insurance before you leave.
Cuba has two official currencies – Monetary National (MNX) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). There are about 25 Monetary National to the Cuban Convertible Peso. One CUC is equal to about US$1 and most tourists will only deal in Cuban Convertible Pesos which can result in inflated prices for tourists. Where possible, have some Cuban Pesos on you for smaller purchases like water and snacks.
ATM’s and Cadega’s (Currency Exchange houses) in Cuba do not accept all Australian credit cards. You WILL NOT have access to funds through ANY BANK AFFILIATED WITH THE US. Check with your bank before leaving to avoid getting caught out. Carrying as much cash as you are comfortable carrying will make life much easier. Hotels, banks and cadega’s will often convert money for you, but US Dollars will incur a penalty of around 10% as well as a weak exchange rate, so it’s advisable to carry other strong currencies – Euros are advised. Travellers cheques are not accepted. Visa card incurs a fee of 3%-5% per transaction and mastercard incurs a fee of 5% – 10%. You will not be able to exchange until the airport. Cadega’s can be found outside the airports upon arrival.
The official language of Cuba is Spanish. The second most spoken language is Haitian Creole. English is taught in schools and some english is spoken in tourist areas and resorts.
Generally 110 volts, US two pin with more modern hotels fitted with European adapters at 220V. Carry both a US and EU adapters.
GMT-4 to GMT-5
Dress casual and low key in Cuba. Light weight natural fabrics are recommended. Be sure to carry a light jumper for cooler evenings (not needed from June – August). Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and leave flashy jewellery at home.
The climate in Cuba is hot all year around with temperatures ranging from high 20’s in winter to high 30’s in summer. Cuba experiences dry and wet seasons with dry season being December – April and wet season from May to October.
Water temperatures are warm between 26’c and 30’c year round
There is a departure tax of 25 Cuban convertible pesos which must be paid in CUC. Tipping: Tipping is common in tourist areas and in upmarket restaurants. Many workers in Cuba rely on tips to subsidise their low salaries. There is no right amount to tip. As a guide, 1 CUC for wait staff and potentially 5 CUC for a tour guide. Be sure to tip in CUC’s and not CUP.
NOTE: Not all phone service providers will work in Cuba and internet access is expensive and limited. Large hotels have access to internet and phones but at a cost. Please be prepared for your communications being limited and advise family at home – most importantly, enjoy unplugging!